PhD Research Student

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My PhD is An exploration of the role of Care & Repair Cymru Caseworkers in facilitating independent living for older people in Wales.

My background

After graduating in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in Sociology from the University of York, I undertook a M.A by Research in Sociology. My thesis and research project were a micro-ethnographic study of the lived experiences of care workers operating in the private care sector. My project examined meso-level issues that can arise from the privatisation of care work. Specifically, my project examined the routinisation and how this impacts the working conditions and types of caring labour that care workers can undertake.

Throughout my undergraduate and post-graduate degrees, I also worked as a care assistant for older people in a residential care home. My experiences provided me with the impetus to conduct research into the care sector. More recently in 2014, I volunteered for the charity Women’s Health and Family Services based in Tower Hamlets, London. This provided me with an insight into the emerging importance of Third sector organisations and the role they play in community social support roles for vulnerable people in society.

My research

In October 2014 I commenced a full-time PhD studentship, placed within the Centre for Innovative Ageing, supervised by Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nallétamby and Professor Vanessa Burholt. My PhD project has the title “We are probably Wales’ best kept secret”-An exploration of the role of Care & Repair Cymru Caseworkers in facilitating independent living for older people in Wales.

This is a mixed methods PhD project which uses network theory, social and human capital theories and emotion work to explore the actions that caseworkers take to facilitate independent living for older people. I anticipate that the findings will have a practical impact both inside and outside academia. In addition to developing upon current knowledge and research practice, one of the main aims of this research is that the findings will be used ass an evidence base to inform the policy and practice associated with independence, community living and ageing populations.

Supervisors

Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nallétamby, Prof Vanessa Burholt

Read more from Joanna in the College of Human and Health Science Focus on Student Success