Prof Sophie Woodward

Professor of Sociology

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Research interests

  • Materiality and material culture 
  • Feminism and feminist theory
  • Clothing and fashion
  • Consumption
  • The everyday and ordinary
  • Creative qualitative research methods (especially ethnographic)

Other research

Current Research Projects

My research falls within 3 interconnected areas; material culture and everyday life, creative methods(particularly related to how we understand the material) and feminist theories.

My interest in material culture and everyday life has been developed through an ethnography into women's wardrobes and subsequent research into denim with Daniel Miller (see the Global Denim Project for details). This includes an ethnographic project into jeans wearing in London into how wearing jeans is part of a desire and struggle for ordinariness. I am currently carrying out research into ‘dormant things’ in domestic spaces (such as things in cupboards, attics). The project aims to explore the vitalities and relationalities of things that are not currently being used. It does this by developing methods which foreground the things themselves in a kind of ‘socio-archaeological’ approach (see the project website

This develops my interest in ‘material methods’, which I have recently written a book on (Material methods: researching and thinking with things for Sage). I have previously carried out an exploratory interdisciplinary collaboration, with the school of materials, which developed methodologies for understanding materiality through the example of old, denim jeans. I am developing a series of In Conversation videos on material methods with the NCRM - see the first video which sets the series up.  

My work in feminist theory engages with the connections and disruptions between theory, methods and everyday life; this has been explored through an intergenerational dialogue (with Kath Woodward) as a means to challenge generational bound wave models of feminist thinking as evident in a recent book  on Birth and Death: experience, ethics, politics with Routledge. 

Recent publications

I have 2 recently published books: 
Woodward, S. 2019 Material Methods: researching and thinking with things. London: Sage
Woodward, K and Woodwardm S. 2020. Birth and Death: experience, ethics, politics. London: Routledge. 


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display