Research Interests

I am a critical social and developmental psychologist with an interest in diversity and social justice.

My doctoral research examined lesbian/family of origin interaction with respect to help, caregiving and support for older family members.  In undertaking the research I engaged with a Foucauldian genealogy of the informal carer, utilised focus groups and thematic analysis to examine the hopes and fears that young lesbians hold about their future out lives, explored how middle aged and older lesbians are involved with their families of origin and how taking on family responsibilities such as caring and supporting elderly parents impacts upon lesbian lives using a grounded theory methodology.  My final study tested several competing predictions about the allocation of elder care tasks to women on the basis of sexual identity and relationship status.

Currently my research interests are focused around issues of diversity, gender, sexuality, social identity, race and ethnicity, and minority stress.  Across this broad base I am interested in a number of areas.  First, how the changing discourses around family norms and expectations since the introduction of civil partnerships and same sex marriage impacts sexual minority identities.  I am also interested in gender and sexuality from a critical social psychological position, here I am interested in the changing use of language around gender and sexuality.  Here I am particularly interest in how changes in the language open up or close down available identities, which then changes what identities can and cannot be examined, ultimately leading to the silencing of some minority voices.

Other areas of interests are in the history and philosophy of psychology, issues of ethics and psychology, sociology of scientific knowledge, the public understanding of science, and social representations – particularly representations of non-normative women.

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