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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a sociologist of international development and wellbeing. My research explores the tensions between local experience and global policy narratives, with a particular emphasis on culture and social identities. I enjoy working at the interface of theory and practice and challenging disciplinary boundaries.

In 2016-17 I hold a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship to work on relational wellbeing. In this short video I talk about my research linked to my paper on relational wellbeing, published in Policy and Politics, 2017. This builds on my ESRC/DFID grant in India and Zambia, Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways, 2010-14.

My edited Cultures of Wellbeing: Method, Place, Policy (2015, Palgrave Macmillan) challenges conventional psychological perspectives on happiness and subjective wellbeing with a more socially grounded approach. Highlighting the politics of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, case studies across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the UK explore wellbeing in relation to health, children and youth, migration, economics, religion, family, landmines, national surveys, and indigenous identities.

My edited Wellbeing and Quality of Life Assessment. A Practical Guide(2014, Practical Action ) shares ideas and experience from practitioners in international NGOs on integrating wellbeing in their programmes.

My first book, Arguing with the Crocodile: Gender and Class in Bangladesh (Zed Books, 1992) was a village-based ethnographic study, which questioned conventional development understandings of women and gender relations in Bangladesh. This attention to the politics of development discourse, particularly with respect to the representation of social identities and relationships, has been a continuing theme throughout my work on gender, masculinities, race, agency, child rights, NGOs and civil society, participation, marriage, the family and religion. Geographically my main focus has continued to be South Asia, especially Bangladesh, although my recent research has enabled me to strengthen my comparative experience, through the study in Zambia.

Research interests

  • Culture and Wellbeing
  • Gender and Child Rights
  • Religion and Race
Latest publications

cultures-of-wellbeing-book-cover

Cultures of Wellbeing: Method, Place, Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015

Arguing with a crocodile book cover

Arguing with the Crocodile: Gender and Class in Bangladesh, Zed Books, 1992

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Projects

Wellbeing Achieved from Earthen Residence

White, S.

The British Academy

18/11/1917/11/21

Project: Research council

Relational Wellbeing

White, S.

The British Academy

1/10/1630/09/17

Project: Research council

Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways

White, S.

ESRC

1/08/1030/04/14

Project: Research council

  • Research Output

    Therapeutic Culture and Relational Wellbeing

    White, S. & Jha, S., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Handbook of Global Therapeutic Cultures. Nehring, D., Madsen, O., Cabanas, E., Mills, C. & Kerrigan, D. (eds.). Routledge

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Moralities of Wellbeing

    White, S., Jul 2018, Bath: Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath, p. 1-17, 17 p. (Bath Papers in International Development and Wellbeing; no. 58).

    Research output: Working paper

    Open Access
    File
  • Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach to Wellbeing: Life Histories and Self-Determination Theory in Rural Zambia

    White, S. & Jha, S., 30 Sep 2018, In : Social Science and Medicine. 212, p. 153-160 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Economics, Relationality and The Good Life in Chiawa, Zambia

    White, S. C., 15 Aug 2017, Good Life Beyond Growth: New Perspectives. Rosa, H. & Henning, C. (eds.). London, U. K.: Routledge, p. 229-239 11 p. (Routledge Studies in Ecological Economics).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access
    File
  • 9 Downloads (Pure)

    Thesis

    Living with landmines: mine action, development and wellbeing in post-conflict societies – a case study in Cambodia

    Author: Davies, G., 18 Aug 2015

    Supervisor: White, S. (Supervisor) & Hart, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Negotiating the powers: everyday religion in Ghanaian society

    Author: Graveling, L., 1 Mar 2008

    Supervisor: White, S. (Supervisor) & Devine, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Physical activity, noncommunicable disease, and wellbeing in urban South Africa

    Author: Brangan, E., 12 Dec 2012

    Supervisor: Copestake, J. (Supervisor) & White, S. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Searching for a better life: young people living in slum communities in Bangkok

    Author: Mahony, S., 1 Apr 2010

    Supervisor: White, S. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Seeing the Social: Understanding why children are out of school in rural Ethiopia

    Author: Grieve, T., 20 Jun 2016

    Supervisor: White, S. (Supervisor) & Wikeley, F. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File