North East Medical Sociology Group Inaugural Event
Thursday 8
th March, 2012 (12:30pm‐ 5:00pm)
Trevelyan College, University of Durham

What does research tell us about the way middle‐aged drinkers differ from their binge drinking younger counterparts? Why do government agencies compartmentalise ‘health behaviours’ in ways that emphasise individual agency and rationality and ignore the relational nature of social life? How should we research the complex array of processes involved as traditionally trained cancer clinicians take on board the requirement to incorporate the use of complementary and alternative medicine?

Critical, sociological questions like these are key to interrogating the changing landscape of medicine and health. Within the North East of England there is considerable strength in research related to health, wellbeing and the provision of health services, with all of the five HE institutions (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside) hosting Centres, Institutes and individual academics working on health and health service issues from a range of disciplinary perspectives. There are also a large number of post graduate researchers currently undertaking theses in the area. The North East is host to a UKCRC funded Public Health Centre of Excellence, FUSE, which acts as a considerable hub for work on public health issues, but work on clinical aspects of health is also undertaken in the Medical Schools and throughout the region in areas related to professions allied to health. It is our belief that sociology has a central part to play in, for instance, the study of the delivery of health services, health promotion and public health approaches, the way in which the health workforce is developed and utilised, and the lived experience of health and ill‐health among the population in the region.

The North East Medical Sociology group was recently established in 2011, under the aegis of the British Sociological Association (BSA), by sociologists from within the five HE institutions across the region. This new group is co‐convened by Professor Janet Shucksmith (Teesside University), and Dr Sally Brown (Durham University). The group aims to provide a forum to foster collaborative working, mentoring, discussion, and to enhance the profile of medical sociology in the region. We would now like to invite you to a half‐day event to launch the group.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Rose Barbour (The Open University) who will explore the results from a number of projects looking at weight management. Three short presentations will also be delivered by researchers from different institutions across the North East. These papers are all very different in focus and have deliberately been selected to provide delegates with a broad flavour of the work currently being undertaken across the region. Following this there will be a lively workshop session, where we hope to give you a chance to build personal and professional links in the North East, and to make your contribution to a discussion of ways forward for the group.

Who should attend? The conference is aimed at academics, researchers, postgraduate students and others with an interest in the critical sociology of health.

Cost of attendance Lunch and refreshments will be provided. To cover our costs and to enable us to hold future events there is a small charge for attending, as detailed on our web site.

Bookings are essential.


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