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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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Zambia Social Sciences
India Social Sciences
Bangladesh Social Sciences
happiness Social Sciences
well-being Social Sciences
empowerment Social Sciences
modernity Earth & Environmental Sciences
religion Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2007 2020

Relational Wellbeing

White, S.

1/10/1630/09/17

Project: Research council

Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways

White, S.

1/08/1030/04/14

Project: Research council

poverty
statistical test
Zambia
research policy
rural community

Research Output 2002 2018

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. 58/2018).

Research output: Working paper

Open Access
File
morality
Zambia
promotion
interaction

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

White, S. & Jha, S., 1 Sep 2018, In : Social Science and Medicine. 212, p. 153-160 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Zambia
Personal Autonomy
self-determination
Mental Competency
autonomy

Economics, Relationality and The Good Life in Chiawa, Zambia

White, S. C., 1 Aug 2017, Good Life Beyond Growth: Critical Perspectives. Rosa, H. & Henning, C. (eds.). London, U. K.: Routledge, p. 229-239 (Routledge Studies in Ecological Economics).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Zambia
profit
marginality
livelihood
economics
4 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
Bangladesh
political economy
marriage
inflation
gender
5 Citations (Scopus)

Relational Wellbeing: Re-centring the Politics of Happiness, Policy and the Self

White, S. C., 1 Apr 2017, In : Policy and Politics. 45, 2, p. 121-136 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
modernity
Zambia
pathology
happiness
ideology