Staff research projects

Members of our Sociology department are currently engaged in a range of exciting research projects. These include an investigation of the sociology of elite lifestyles, a study of the meaning of marriage and weddings in people's lives, and also racialised discourses on health and illness.

Dr Sarah Cant

Dr Sarah Cant is a medical sociologist and is currently working on a number of research projects. Combined with her long standing interest in complementary medicine, Sarah is undertaking research focused on the mental health of undergraduates and this extends to a wider examination of the changing landscape of higher education. Her commitment to understanding and tackling social exclusion and health inequality, is practically linked to an ethnographic study of Margate. This unique case study provides an examination of exclusion and integration, of conflict and conviviality, of deprivation and hope. Developing from her support for local sociology school teachers and students, Sarah has undertaken research examining the status of sociology and is developing new school based resources that showcase the value of the discipline, drawing on recent research. Sarah additionally uses her sociological imagination to reflect on her own teaching and the experiences of her students. Sarah invites PhD proposals in any of these areas.

Dr Harshad Keval

Dr. Harshad Keval is currently writing a book for the Palgrave Pivot series, provisionally titled Health and Ethnicity: Deconstructing the South Asian Diabetes Risk . The book is an exploration of the discursive racialised formulations of health risk as they appear in scientific, health promotional, academic and popular discourse. By excavating the various ways in which minority groups have been placed under a particular type of gaze, the book will show the connections between many forms of race relations and ‘diversity’ management, and the current bio-cultural health panic of diabetes. The formulation of health risk as it moves from biological, to cultural and more recently genetic, is viewed as mediated by a complex and interconnected constellation of notions of ‘difference’.  Dr Keval has also published in the areas of Cultural Epidemiology and Anthropology, Race, Ethnicity Health, and Qualitative Methods. He is currently writing two peer reviewed journal articles on ‘Race and Multiculturalism’, and ‘Diabetes, Race and Genetics’. 

Dr Matthew Ogilvie

Dr Matthew Ogilvie is a political sociologist working in the area of socio-political protest against energy infrastructure. This research focus combines an interest in social movement theory, political conflict, environmental issues and public goods dilemmas. Over the last few years, Matthew has carried out research into mobilisation against wind energy and fracking developments in the UK. He is currently researching these areas through NIMBY (‘not in my backyard’) theory, which he seeks to combine with social movement perspectives. Matthew is an Associate Editor of Contention: the Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, and supervises a number of PhD candidates, one of whom has recently been awarded her doctorate.


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Last edited: 06/04/2020 14:59:00