After studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at San Francisco State University, I came to the London School of Economics in 2004 where I completed my MSc - during which time I was awarded the Hobhouse Memorial Award. My doctoral work - also undertaken at the LSE - explored themes of self and biography as they take place in a transitional context; how individuals come to understand themselves within and through significant work-life changes.
Similarly, the substantive core of my research interests surround issues of biography and biographical process – how individuals construct worthwhile and meaningful lives – as they relate to work and career, gender, families, identity and self-actualisation, narrative, and ‘turn to self’ paradigms such as individualisation, the ‘New Age’, and the mainstreaming of ‘self-help’ discourse. More generally, I am interested in the way that social structural and discursive factors are understood, articulated, and negotiated within everyday activities and practices, and how contemporary economic and organisational arrangements have impacted the possibility for identity, self-understanding, and working-lives considered to be fulfilling and meaningful. My current research is a development of my doctoral work, exploring issues of self and biography within the context of transitional narratives taking place during the recent economic recession.
Teaching and subject expertise
I am module leader on Being Sociological, Sociological Imagination II, Youth and Popular Culture, and Work, Self and Society
Publications and research outputs
Potter, J (2018) 'Work and Intimacy: reassessing the career/couple norm through a narrative case approach'. Sociological Research Online. https://doi.org/10.1177/1360780418792431
Potter, J (2015) Crisis at Work: identity and the end of career. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137305428