Sue Heath

Sue Heath

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Personal profile

Overview

Sue Heath is a Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences. She served as Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Humanities between 2020 and 2023, and as Deputy Associate Dean PGR and Director of Methods North West between 2018 and 2020. She is also a former co-director of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Sue was an undergraduate at the University of Bristol, and studied for her PhD at Lancaster University. After working as a researcher in various posts around the North West, she started her lecturing career in the Department of Sociology at UoM in the mid-1990s. In 1998 she moved to the University of Southampton, where latterly she was the Co-Director of two ESRC Research Centres: the National Centre for Research Methods and the Centre for Population Change. She moved back to the University of Manchester in 2010 to take up Co-Directorship of the Morgan Centre.

Research interests

Sue Heath’s main research interests revolve around the themes of housing, home and everyday domesticity, with a particular focus on practices of home-making and cultures of everyday life in shared living arrangements, and the housing pathways and intergenerational dependencies of ‘Generation Rent'. Amongst other externally funded projects, she has led on two ESRC-funded projects focused on shared living arrangements, including the 'Under the Same Roof' project, which focused on the everyday relational practices of contemporary communal living, and culminated in the book 'Shared Housing, Shared Lives: Everyday Experiences across the Lifecourse' (Routledge, 2018), as well as in other project publications.

Sue's interest in these issues have recently taken a historical turn, as she is currently conducting research into the social and cultural history of student living arrangements, set against the changing nature of access to higher education as a consequence of the shift from an 'elite' to a 'mass' university sector.  Sue is working with a range of archival sources, including university and student union records, Mass Observation data, print media, and cultural sources. 

Throughout her career, Sue has also had strong methodological interests, with a particular focus on research ethics and creative qualitative methods. In 2015/16, Sue was the academic lead in a year-long collaboration between the Morgan Centre and Lynne Chapman, a Sheffield-based artist and 'Urban Sketcher'. As a Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence, Lynne created a visual record of everyday life in the Morgan Centre, whilst together Lynne, Sue and other Morgan Centre members explored the potential of observational sketching as a social science research tool. A journal article on the lessons we learnt from the residency is located here, and Sue and Lynne also have a chapter on sketching in the edited collection 'Mundane Methods'.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Applied Social Science and Educational Research, Lancaster University

19901994

Award Date: 1 Nov 1994

Bachelor of Science, Social Administration, University of Bristol

19841987

Award Date: 1 Jul 1987

External positions

Trustee, National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

20172022

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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