Photo of Professor Susan Pickard

Professor Susan Pickard MA(Oxon) MSt (Oxon), MA (Manchester) PhD (Bristol), SFHEA

Professor of Sociology and Head of Department Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Personal Statement

I am Professor of Sociology and, since September 2020, Head of Department. I was also Research Lead (2017-2020) and REF coordinator for the 2021 REF exercise.

My current research comprises two main threads.

Firstly, as PI, I am leading two substantial theoretically-informed empirically-based projects. The first is a £1.1 million interdiscipinary multi-national project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the Inclusive Ageing call, entitled: 'Understanding the varied experiences of frailty in older age with respect to ethnicity: a mixed methods approach' (ES/W012510/1). This project runs from September 2022 to June 2025 involving fieldwork in Leicester. Alongside sociology, co-investigators are drawn from the field of clinical medicine, EDI, GP education, public health and philosophy, with third sector partners including Age UK Leicester and the Race Equality Centre.The second, 'Minority ethnic women's experience of menopause: a mixed methods study' is an interdisciplinary Ageing Research Development project costed at £400k and funded by the Medical Research Council (MR/Y009959/1) with co-investigators based in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology and Liverpool Women's Hospital. It will involve fieldwork among minority ethnic communities in Liverpool city region. Both projects are intended to contribute impactfully to clinical practice as well as to inform policy on frailty and the menopause respectively.

The second thread is a conceptual focus on sociological theory. One major project within this is a forthcoming monograph on Simone de Beauvoir and her usefulness to sociology (where she is rarely seen), to be published by Bristol University Press. The book is called 'Simone de Beauvoir, Gender Theory and the Life Course: from the second sex to the third and beyond' and will be published in 2024. I have several papers forthcoming, or already published, relating to this work, in journals including Analyse & Kritik, Simone de Beauvoir Studies and The Gerontologist. Alongside this I have a long-standing interest in cultural gerontology, feminist theory and the life course.

I currently direct the Centre for Ageing and the Life Course which aims to foster high quality inter-disciplinary research in critical and cultural age studies, exploring the material, cultural and life course factors shaping inequalities in ageing as well as the subjective meaning and lived experience of health and well-being in later life

I have published in numerous high-impact journals, including Sociology, the British Journal of Sociology, Social Science and Medicine, the Sociology of Health and Illness, The Journal of Social Policy, Ageing and Society, the Journal of Aging Studies, The Gerontologist, Simone de Beauvoir studies, Feminist Theology, Feminist Theory and many others. I am also the author of two recent monographs, 'Age Studies: how we age and are aged through the life course' and 'Age, gender and sexuality: the girl in time', as well as an edited collection, with Jude Robinson, 'Ageing, the Body and the Gender Regime: health, illness and disease across the life course.'

I have written a Blog that summarises my research to date and some of its main themes. I was also interviewed for the Researcher in Focus podcast series.

I sit on the editorial board of the British Journal of Sociology.

Funded Fellowships

  • International Academic Fellowship (Leverhulme Trust, 2014)