Prof Sophie Woodward

Professor of Sociology

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I research material culture, everyday life and consumption using a range of creative research methods. I have a particular interest in the materiality of everyday life (having researched clothing, fashion and unused objects in the home), and also feminist theory (in recent research on birth and death). 

I have an interdisciplinary background - having studied Archaeology and Anthropology for a BA at the University of Cambridge, Research Methods for an MA at the University of York, and Social Anthropology (Material Culture) for a PhD at University College London. I have worked in various Art and Design schools, before moving to Sociology at the University of Manchester in 2009. This background leads me to creatively draw upon methods, theories and approaches from a range of disciplines to think critically and sociologically about everyday life and material relationships. 

I am a member of the Morgan Centre into everyday lives where I use theories of personal life and everyday relationships to think through how people relate to things/objects and how relations to each other are mediated through things.  My ongoing research is into Dormant Things (things people keep but are no longer using) which I am currently writing up. I have recently published 2 books:

Woodward, S. 2019 Material Methods: researching and thinking with things (London: Sage). 

Woodward, K and Woodward, S. 2019 Birth and Death: experience, ethics, politics (London: Routledge). 

In addition to my research activities and teaching, I am also the Director of Post-Graduate Research in the School of Social Sciences. 

I am also a Co-Investigator for NCRM (the ESRC funded National Centre for Reserach Methods) leading on creative methods. Activities include creating a series of In Conversation events on material methods

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology - Materiality, Material culture, fashion, feminism, Gender, consumption, creative methods

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