Posts Tagged mental health)

Pauline Morris, PhD 1968

Pauline Morris: The first ever Ph.D was awarded in 1968

The first Ph.D. on Sociology at Essex was awarded to Pauline Morris in 1968, four years after the department opened. It is likely that she was supervised by Peter Townsend. Pauline Morris was at that time married to Terrence Morris, the criminologist at the London School of Economics. Pauline became Head of the Department of Sociology at South Bank around 1970; and chair of the board of examiners of the B.Sc. London External. She died in the mid 1970’s.

The book  has recently been republished by Aldine and the blurb says:

This classic book allows its readers for the first time to comprehend the size, organization, staffing and operation of a national system of hospitals and residential services for the subnormal. It also allows for the first time, reliable estimates to be given of the scale and severity of certain problems. The basis has been laid for an evaluation of the effectiveness of hospitals for the subnormal. All this has been made possible by a generous grant from the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children to the Department of Sociology in the University of Essex upon the foundation of the University. Of course, a great deal of further research remains to be done but a preliminary network of information is now available to all those deeply concerned about the handicapped.

This is a study of the range and quality of institutional provisions made in England and Wales for that group of handicapped individuals who are known as mentally deficient. Dr. Morris reports on an investigation, which covered nearly half the hospitals for the sub-normal in the country: many of its findings can only shock and dismay.

The investigation was concerned to discover what facilities-physical, occupational and educational-there was for patients, and to learn more about their social environment. It was also concerned to determine the extent to which both staff and patients are affected by their social environment, and by administrative action, and to learn something of the relationship between the hospital as an institution and the outside community, as well as between the patients and the outside world. In addition, it examined the extent to which the provisions and facilities available met the needs of the patients in relation to their physical and mental handicaps.

Pauline Morris was Principal Lecturer in Sociology at the Borough Polytechnic, London. She worked in the field of social research. After a period in California looking at the services for the mentally retarded, Dr. Morris went to the University of Essex.

Peter Townsend is professor of International Social Policy, at The Social Policy Department at the University of Essex. He is a senior fellow and emeritus professor of social policy at the School of Policy Studies at Bristol University. In 1999 he was elected founder Academician to the new Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences. He has written much in the areas of old age, poverty, health, and social policy’.

For a full list of PhDs and MPhils completed in the department, see Memories

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Susie Scott, BA Sociology 1999, MA Sociology 2000

I first came to Essex in 1996, as a shy 18 year old in my gap year, with the intention of filling in time before starting a Psychology degree. As my Dad (John Scott) was teaching in the department, I started hanging out in the Resource Room, with Helen Hannick and the team of student volunteers. We helped students with study skills, proof reading essays, and general support and advice. Later   on, Rowena Macaulay arrived to replace Helen, and did an equally great job of building up the Resource Room and creating a student community. I had such a fantastic time there and made such wonderful friends (including fellow Essex Sociology alumni Chrissie Rogers, Paul Howell, Lynne Pettinger and Agnes Skamballis) that I decided I wanted to stay and become a sociologist instead! The department was a lovely place to be, with so many interesting people and warm, friendly staff – I felt instantly at home there. I’ll always remember the day I was coming home on the train and met Tony Woodiwiss, then Head of Department, who answered my tentative question of whether he thought there was a chance I could stay on with a wry smile and the words, “I should think that would be quite likely.”

So I studied at Essex as an undergraduate from 1996-1999 (BA Sociology) and then as a postgraduate from 1999-2000 (MA Sociology). Never looked back on that lost career as a psychologist, which I’m sure I would have sucked at. I loved every minute of my time at Essex and learned so much – I really think it was the perfect place to study Sociology, as everyone was so interested and passionate about both research and teaching.  After that, I moved to Cardiff to do my PhD (2000-2003) on ‘the sociology of shyness’, which then became my trademark topic. Then in 2004, after a period of research bits and pieces and increasingly desperate job-hunting, I somehow landed both an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship and a follow-on lectureship at Sussex University, where I have been ever since.

My research interests are in self-identity, interaction and everyday life, and Sussex has allowed me to indulge my love of Symbolic Interactionist theory and Goffman’s dramaturgy in my research and teaching.  I’ve carried on the shyness research through my book, Shyness and Society (Palgrave, 2007) and various articles about shyness as interactional deviance, as well as subsequent projects about lecturers’ experiences of performance anxiety, and the effects of new technologies/digital media upon shyness in contemporary art galleries. My second book, called Making Sense of Everyday Life (Polity, 2009) was about the rituals, routines and norms that shape mundane social activities, such as sleeping, eating and shopping. The other strand of my research is in the field of health and illness, where I have worked on projects about risk assessment in both cancer genetics and the contested mental health condition ‘Dangerous and Antisocial Personality Disorder’, as well as a critique of the medicalisation of shyness as Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder. Reading Goffman’s famous study, Asylums, I became fascinated by the social worlds of total institutions (places where people spend 24 hours a day) and my third book, Total Institutions and Reinvented Identities (Palgrave 2011) was about how these had changed since Goffman’s time to be more about voluntary self-reinvention. More recently, I’ve done some random quirky projects about swimming pool behaviour and etiquette, and stage fright in performing artists. I am soon to begin a Leverhulme-funded study of asexual identities and practices of intimacy, with Matt Dawson (also ex-Essex) at the University of Glasgow. Finally, sticking with my Goffman/SI-obsession, the next book that I am working on is called Negotiating Identities, which has been a lot of fun to research and hopefully won’t be too painful to write. At least, I couldn’t have asked for a better foundation than having studied Sociology at Essex!

My links: I can be contacted at Sussex here:

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Karen Waddy, BA (Hons) 2008

Karen Waddy, BA 2008I’m currently working as a Marketing Administrator at LIFE-FORCE Counselling Service, Colchester, and volunteering with the British Heart Foundation, as a shop worker for 2 hours each week. In addition Im always looking for ad hoc work locally.

After I graduated I couldn’t get a job as employers didn’t seem interested in a degree, they all wanted you to have ‘work experience’ (typical) but eventually I offered to work a few hours a week for free at a local counselling service, in the office (I didn’t want a big gap on my cv) and eventually I was offered a paid position (part time).

I actually got frustrated at the lack of office jobs around (all stuff for shop workers…and I’d never worked in a shop in my life!) so I also volunteered at The British Heart Foundation shop in town (my dad died of heart woes during my 2nd year at uni). I’ve gained a ton of work experience and am still volunteering every week as I love it in there!

The olympic focus on volunteers has gone some way to promoting volunteering but there’s always a danger of companies hoping for free labour. I’d given myself a deadline of 12 months ‘free work’ at 2 hours a week (so as not to put anyone else out of a job) so I was fortunate to have been offered a paid position before the year was up! It did mean I had to become self-employed though (which I wasn’t keen to do) but since then I’ve set up my own webpage (see ‘My Links’ below) offering ad-hoc paid work locally (I don’t drive) to fit around my current hours. I haven’t had much response as yet but you never know….!!

Sociologically I’m interested in women’s issues, health (including mental health), disability and gender issues, while my non-academic interests are family history, gardening, writing satire and holidays!

My Links:

, , , ,

Leave a comment