I joined the Department in 2010. I was previously at Roehampton University and a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey Sociology Department). I have also worked as a researcher with Novartis Foundation for Sustainable development (Basel, Switzerland) on Leprosy ntervention projects in Sri Lanka, and the Swiss Tropical Institute and University of Basel, primarily engaged on sociological and anthropological studies of both mental and physical health and illness in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and West Bengal. In addition to these posts I was also employed as a research consultant to the WHO and Tanzanian ministry of Health (in Tanzania) prior to returning to the UK in 2002. I am also an External examiner for Bath Spa University.
I am interested in ethnicity, cultural identity and race and also the intersection with health and illness. My PhD was a sociological study using in-depth interviews and ethnographic fieldwork to generate data within several South Asian communities in England. The aim was to explore the different ways in which diabetes is conceptualised, managed and coped with. I explored the combined use of traditional / herbal medical systems and biomedical / allopathic models of medicine. One of the central concerns of the thesis was to identify ways in which ‘risk’ categories in health science discourse have been allocated to specific groupings, using genetic, lifestyle and ‘cultural’ arguments. Using evidence of both critical theoretical work in sociology and medical anthropology and the qualitative data generated in the study, these ‘constructions’ of risk were juxtaposed to the lived, everyday experience of health and illness, and the variety of ways in which people demonstrated their dynamic ideas of culture and ethnicity, using their biographical and experiential frameworks. My interests also lie in qualitative methodology and the role / identity of researchers in the research process.
Teaching and subject expertise
I teach on all levels of the Sociology programme. I am also Programme Director for the MSc Sociology programme.
Cant, S., Keval, H. and Watts, P. (2012) “Volunteering and Community Partnerships - Students as Producers of Knowledge in a credit bearing volunteering module”, paper presented to Canterbury Christ Church University Learning and Teaching Symposium – ‘Students as Consumers –Students as Producers?” Canterbury, June 2012
Keval, H. ‘It’s ok, he’s one of us’ – negotiating the constructions of in/outsider status’, paper presented to Department of Sociology Annual conference, Bournemouth, 2008
Keval, H. ‘Cultural Negotiations in health and Illness: The experience of diabetes in a South Asian community in England’, Paper presented to Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, York, 2005
Lamb, J., Keval, H. & Bulmer, M. ‘Teaching Students about Social Survey Research: A UK Initiative’, American Sociological Association conference, Philadelphia, August, 2005
Bulmer, M., Keval, H., & Lamb, J. ‘Improving questionnaire design through the provision of electronic access to large scale survey questionnaires in the UK’, Paper presented to the RC33 Sixth International Conference on Social Science Methodology, Amsterdam, August 2004
Keval, H. ‘Integration of qualitative and quantitative methodology applied to cultural epidemiology’, Inaugural conference of Cultural Epidemiology Studies at Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland, 2001
Publications and research outputs
Keval, H. (2016) ‘Health, Ethnicity and Diabetes: Racialised Constructions of 'Risky' South Asian Bodies.’ Palgrave Macmillan.
Cockcroft, T., Bryant, R. and Keval, H. (2016), “The Impact of Dispersal Orders on Congregating Youth”, Safer Communities, Vol. 15, No. 4. Pp. 213 - 222.
Keval, H. (2015) 'Risky cultures to risky genes: The discursive racialised construction of south Asian genetic diabetes risk.' New Genetics and Society. DOI:
Keval, H. (2015) 'Schizophrenia and psychosis: the magical and troubling disappearance of race from the debate.' Diversity and Equality in Health and Care, Vol. 12, 1, 6-8.
Morjaria-Keval, A. and Keval, H. (2015) 'Reconstructing Sikh Spirituality in Recovery from Alcohol Addiction,' Religions 2015, 6(1), 122-138
Keval, H. (2014) 'From ‘Multiculturalism’ to ‘Interculturalism’ – A commentary on the Impact of De-racing and De-classing the Debate', New Diversities, Vol 16, No2, 125-139. ISSN2199-8116
Essau, C.A. & Keval, H. (2011) ‘Cross Cultural Research’, in Encyclopaedia of Child Behaviour and Development, S. Goldstein, J. A. Naglieri, (Eds.) Part 3, 434-438
Keval, H. (2009) ‘Cultural negotiations in health and illness: the experience of type 2 diabetes amongst Gujarati South Asians in England’, Diversity in Health and Care, Vol. 16, 4, 255-265(11)
Keval, H. (2009) ‘Negotiating constructions of 'insider’ / ‘outsider’ status and exploring the significance of dis/connections’, ENQUIRE (Electronic Nottingham Quarterly for Ideas, Research and Evaluation) (4)
H. I. A. Qazi, Y. M. Jeanes and H. C. Keval (2008) "Trapped within a cycle? An in-depth exploration of the experiences of yo-yo dieters", Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2008), 67
Raguram, R., Weiss, M.G., Keval, H., & Channabasavanna, S. M. (2001) ‘Cultural dimensions of clinical depression in Bangalore, India’, Anthropology and Medicine, Vol. 8, 1, 31-36