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Personal profile


I completed my BSc (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Surrey in 2004.  My undergraduate dissertation involved the use of conversation analysis to examine power relations in interactions between people with learning disabilities and their carers.  I realised that I really enjoyed conducting research like this so I decided to indulge my passion by staying on to complete a PhD with the aid of a university bursary. My PhD was supervised by Dr Mick Finlay and focused on Discourses about Empowering People with Learning Disabilities. In January 2009 I took up a lecturer post at the University of Portsmouth.  My roles within the Department of Psychology have been varied.  For several years I was a unit co-ordinator on the MSc Applied Psychology of Learning Disabilities.  More recently I became unit co-ordinator on the undergraduate psychology courses, teaching qualitative research methods to Level 4 students.

Research Interests

I am a social psychologist with a particular interest in learning disabilities, identity and power relations.  To date, my main research has involved the use of qualitative research methods such as conversation analysis and discourse analysis to examine carer talk about facilitating the choices and control of people with learning disabilities, power relations in interactions with people labelled as learning disabled and how the support staff /carer/parent identity and learning disabled identity are constructed in talk.

More recently I have been developing an interest in how people with learning disabilities and/or people with mental health difficulties experience departures and re-entry into employment and the implications this holds for their identities. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., 'Bugger you lot I know I can do it!': Discourses about Empowering People with Learning Disabilities, University of Surrey

18 Sept 200430 Jun 2009

Award Date: 30 Jun 2009


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