Medical Sociology - West Midlands Regional Group Archives

16 May 2014
BSA West Midlands Medical Sociology Group: 'Under-served' or 'Hard to Reach'? Community and participatory approaches in health research
Coventry University, UK

24 May 2013
West Midlands Medical Sociology Group and Disability Study Group:  New variants on the 'undeserving poor': current perceptions and experiences of disability and illness
Coventry University, UK

9 November 2011
A one day Conference of the BSA West Midlands Medical Sociology Group: 'Translating health related research into practice: issues and opportunities'
Coventry University, UK

23 April 2010
'Generating sociological understandings of the health and well-being of children and adults' - A joint one day Conference of the BSA West Midlands Medical Sociology Group & the BSA Childhood Studies Group
Coventry University, UK

7 March 2009
One Day Conference: Interdisciplinary Understandings of Women's Health with Guest Speaker, Professor Gillian Hundt
Coventry University, UK

BSA West Midlands Medical Sociology Group hosted this forum to mark International Women’s Day, the theme of which was Global Women.  International Women’s Day represented the struggle of women for equality, justice and peace and presentations were related to aspects of gender, health and well-being.


The West Midlands MedSoc Group held a Postgraduate Forum in March 2008.  The event took place within the BSA Annual Conference on Friday 28 March 2008 entitled ‘Health, well-being and society’.  This broad title was intended to appeal to postgraduate students with an interest in all aspects of the Sociology of Health and Illness.  


The West Midlands Medical Sociology Group and the Institute of Health at Warwickjointly held a Postgraduate Forumfor Research on social aspects of health, illness and medicine on May 23rd 2007. This half day event began with lunch and the chance for postgraduate students to meet each other and academic staff based at Warwick and Coventry Universities.

There were five very interesting presentations, the first was given byJanine Winterbottomof the University of Liverpool who presented interim analysis of a qualitative study which explored how women with epilepsy perceive pregnancy and pregnancy planning. Fiona Mackichanof University of Bristol presented data from a study which explores the experience of pain and help- seeking amongst older adults with chronic pain. Jonathan Mathersof University of Birmingham had undertaken interviews with working class students who were studying at English Medical Schools.  His findings led him to question whether some medical schools were falling short of embracing the ‘widening participation’ agenda.  He used innovative methods to engage the audience which stimulated a wider debate about the strengths and limitation of using audio material in presentations. Dunya Ahmedis a Warwick PhD student who spoke about‘Gender, disability and Islam: living with visual impairment in Bahrain’. A key finding of Dunya’s research is that females experience the intersection of gender and disability in ways that disadvantage them.  There is potential for Islamic teachings to be interpreted to support further social inclusion of disabled people with a focus on a rights based approach. Lorraine Shackfrom London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine spoke to us about‘Variations in colorectal cancer survival in the North West of England, 1995-2003’, presenting data from this quantitative project.

The plenary speaker wasDr Karen Throsbyof University of Warwick who gave a fascinating paper entitled‘‘It was literally to do or die’: evidence, risk and the decision to undergo weight loss surgery’. By using representations of obesity portrayed within the media Karen demonstrated how pervasive and entrenched the negative discourse surrounding obesity is in UK society.   This critical examination of weight loss surgery has much to offer the developing field of obesity studies.

This particular Postgraduate Forum gave students from a wide range of fields (and Universities) the opportunity to meet and discuss their areas of interest.  We would like to encourage such multi-disciplinary networking for future events.  For information about future proposed events please contact Geraldine Brady.

The West Midlands Group has been involved in lively and well attended events held at the University of Warwick.

West Midlands Medical Sociology Group seminar series, 2005: The seminar series will be an opportunity to discuss ongoing and completed PhD research and will include presentations on ethical issues in palliative care research, narratives of motherhood and cultural constructions of death in the Irish Catholic community in Britain. Postgraduate forum: Another opportunity for postgraduates to present their research in a friendly and constructive environment. . We look forward to welcoming you to another lively and engaging day.

The group would like to thank Dr Hannah Bradby, University of Warwick, for organising other successful and interesting meetings.

During May 2004 we held two half day postgraduate forums at which a total of nine postgraduates presented their research. The idea was to provide constructive and friendly criticism of ongoing research which might provide a staging post for presentations to a wider audience. The level of interest was high, with a total of 45 people participating over the two days from six different Universities. Presentations ranged from the lived experience of Cystic Fibrosis to hunger and food insecurity in Portugal and the social determinants of child health in Malaysia. Theoretical approaches drew on feminism, Heidegger and phenomenology and quantitative and qualitative methods were represented, including the use of visual methods when interviewing older people. For further details and to view the power point slides shown see:

On June 16th 2004 a colloquium entitled ´Social Aspects of Ethnicity and Health: Research and Service Provision´ attracted over one hundred registrations. Representatives from the worlds of policy-making, funding, service provision, service use, academic research and the voluntary sector made for a day in which the politics of inequality was never far from the top of the agenda. For further details and the power point slides shown see:

Please click here for the BSA Medical Sociology Regional Group West Midlands Annual Report 2005.