Sarah Riley

Sarah Riley
Massey University · School of Psychology

Psychology

About

98
Publications
35,471
Reads
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2,099
Citations
Citations since 2016
46 Research Items
1145 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Introduction
I am an identity researcher - blending psychology with sociology, cultural and media studies, I explore relationships between the personal, cultural and material. I use a range of qualitative research methods, including discourse analysis, cooperative inquiry and visual methods, which I have applied to the interrelated topics of gender, body image, youth culture, neoliberal subjectivity, recreational drug use, and club cultures. I have been funded by the EU, ESRC, EPSRC, the British Academy & charities.
Additional affiliations
August 1999 - January 2011
University of Bath
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (98)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Healthy lifestyle change improves outcomes in coronary heart disease (CHD), but is rarely sustained. To better understand barriers to lifestyle change, we examined couples' talk of engaging with lifestyle advice after one partner receives a diagnosis of CHD. Design: A longitudinal qualitative design, in which a poststructuralist disc...
Article
Full-text available
Body dissatisfaction is so common in the western world that it has become the norm, especially among women and girls. Writing New Body Worlds is a transdisciplinary research-creation project that aims to address these issues by developing an interactive digital fiction for body image bibliotherapy. It is created with the critical co-design particip...
Article
In this article, we combine theory from cultural theorist Stuart Hall with phenomenological psychology to analyze the experiences of female Nigerian doctors and nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS). Drawing on 32 interviews with 24 nurses and doctors, our empirical analysis demonstrates how encounters with patients, colleagues and th...
Article
A burgeoning body of literature shows a positive relationship between body functionality and positive body image. Although still nascent, research centring experiences of people with disabilities and bodily differences develops this literature. In this article, we offer directions for this research, bringing body func-tionality into dialogue with f...
Chapter
Against the backdrop of écriture feminine and e-lit texts, Ensslin et. al advance methods and findings of the "Writing New Bodies" project ("WNB"; SSHRC IG 435-2018-1036; Ensslin, Rice, Riley, Bailey, Fowlie, Munro, Perram, and Wilks) to lay the foundations of Applied E-literature Research. Their aim is to develop a digital fiction for a new form o...
Article
“Writing New Bodies: Critical Co-design for 21st Century Digital-born Bibliotherapy” is a research project funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant (2018-2020). Using methods of feminist participatory action research and critical community co-design to develop an interactive digital story app (i.e., digital fiction)...
Article
Full-text available
Contemporary gender relations occur in a polarised environment characterised by popular feminism and networked misogyny. This context structures feminist researchers’ public engagement and exposes them to online hostility. Addressing a paucity of work on the affective dimensions of digital hostility, this article analyses 2400 comments made in The...
Chapter
Contemporary sport cultures have become sites for new practices of masculinity. In this chapter, we explore what this might mean for men’s engagement with dance. Anglo-American cultures traditionally constructed dance as a feminine activity, thus devaluing it, and making men who danced vulnerable to homophobia. But the emergence of new practices of...
Article
The field of body image and appearance research and practice is progressing; however, there is still work to be done to ensure broad societal impact. This article consolidates reflections from a range of established and early career experts in the field of appearance and body image, with a focus on stimulating and guiding future agenda setting and...
Article
Full-text available
Inclusive Masculinity Theory (IMT) offers an important framework for conceptualising masculinities within cultures characterised by declining homophobia. But the framework faces several challenges when it theorises masculinities as relatively stable sets of attitudes and behaviours in the context of complex and dynamic contemporary gender practices...
Article
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This article summarises the standpoint of the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society regarding the current position of qualitative research in psychology in the United Kingdom. The article is in three parts. Part one documents the historical development of the section, outlining its rationale, remit, and curr...
Preprint
Full-text available
British Psychological Society regarding the current position of qualitative research in psychology in the UK. The article is in three parts. Part one documents the historical development of the section, outlining its rationale, remit and current activities. These activities aim to champion and develop qualitative methods in psychology, supporting h...
Article
Full-text available
Time is a powerful but under‐examined element in healthy lifestyle advice, particularly in the promise of stable states of future health achievable through sustained lifestyle change. But such linear, sequential time frames reinforce notions of rational choice, personal control, and responsibility despite common experiences of diet and exercise reg...
Article
Self-help promises the chance of being “better”. Across multifarious platforms, including books, apps and television shows, it offers hope that we can be our own agents of change for a happier life. Critical research troubles this premise, arguing that the recurring trope of the individualistic ideal-self found in self-help literature is at the exp...
Article
Making sense of service users’ accounts of their mental health problems requires a method able to deal with complexity. Yet the different underlying epistemological and ontological positions of the methods researchers use, based, for example, on biomedicine or social constructionism, produce highly partial analyses. Addressing this problem, this ar...
Poster
How can digital media use affect eating disorder (ED) prevention, treatment and recovery? We conducted a systematic mapping of the current gaps in knowledge related to digital media use and EDs. 13 academics, clinicians, and non-profit staff participated in a national workshop. In two parallel focus groups, they discussed experiences of gaps in kno...
Book
Full-text available
This ground-breaking book employs a transdisciplinary and poststructuralist methodology to develop the concept of ‘postfeminist healthism,’ a twenty-first-century understanding of women’s physical and mental health formed at the intersections of postfeminist sensibilities, neoliberal constructs of citizenship, and the notion of health as an individ...
Chapter
This chapter analyse the website TubeCrush, where commuters share images of unsolicited attractive men on the London Underground. We define TubeCrush as a digital intimate public as it creates commonality in the desires of straight women and gay men. But TubeCrush also engages with and extends workplace affects through its location on the Tube, loc...
Article
This paper critically reviews how feminist academic psychologists, social scientists and media scholars have developed Rosalind Gill?s (2007a) generative construct ?postfeminist sensibility?. We describe the key themes of postfeminist sensibility, a non-coherent set of ideas about femininity, embodiment and empowerment circulating across a range of...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we analyze the website TubeCrush, where people post and share unsolicited photographs of “guy candy” seen on the London Underground. We use TubeCrush as a case study to develop Berlant’s intimate publics as a lens for examining post-feminist sensibility and masculinity in the liminal space between home/work. The paper responds to not...
Article
Full-text available
From the early days of hippie counter-culture, music festivals have been an important part of the British summer. Today they are commercialised offerings without the counter-cultural discourse of earlier times. Drawing on participant observation, interviews and focus groups conducted at a rock festival and a smaller boutique festival, the paper exa...
Chapter
In this chapter we develop a central component of postfeminist sensibility, the transformation imperative, to analyse Fitblr content. “Fitblrs” have emerged as a recognisable element of social media blogging application Tumblr, with text and images intended to motivate followers in their exercise and dietary regimes. Research on postfeminist sensib...
Article
In this article, we explore the notion of freedom as a form of governance within contemporary consumer culture in a sphere where ‘freedom’ appears as a key component: outdoor music-based leisure events, notably music festivals and free parties. ‘Freedom’ is commodified as central to the marketing of many music festivals, which now form a highly com...
Article
This article reflects on the findings of the interdisciplinary 'TransForm' project, which ran between 2012 and 2014 and aimed to explore how reading and writing digital fictions might support young women in developing frameworks for more positive thinking regarding their body image. The project comprised the following stages: (1) a review and compi...
Article
Full-text available
Feminists have argued that women’s bodies, appearance, and subjectivity are formed through a multitude of regulatory dispositif and disciplinary apparatus. One such disciplinary technique has been “looking”, evidenced in work on the male gaze, disciplinary power, misrecognition, objectification, and indirect social aggression. But there remains a s...
Chapter
This chapter explores some important issues for critical psychologists interested in gender. We consider how complex and changeable sex and gender categorisations are when we try to define them and draw on social constructionist and poststructuralist theoretical frameworks to think through these complexities. Reviewing a shift from thinking about g...
Chapter
This chapter explores the aesthetic labour of Anastasiya Shpagina (aka Anime Girl), whose beauty and body work through online makeup tutorials and celebrity imitations align her to the ?living dolls movement?, where women engage in constant practices of self-transformation to appear doll-like. We argue that Shpagina?s aesthetics is an example of a...
Article
This article reports on a discussion with a group of qualitative researchers working with digital and online research. The conversation took as its starting point the social and technological changes that make distinctions between on and off line selves increasingly irrelevant. Through this lens the group considered the distinctive contribution of...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter examines the idea that alongside a decline in traditional forms of political participation, new forms of political participation are emerging within the realm of leisure. Exploring these ideas through theories of neoliberalism and neo-tribalism, we report an empirical analysis of ethnographic observations, interviews and focus groups w...
Article
Building on work that has identified the difficulties ‘newbies’ (people joining an internet forum for the first time) have in negotiating acceptance onto eating disorder related forums, the present study reports a discourse analysis and a descriptive statistical analysis of the structure and content of newbie first posts and the responses to them....
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses the findings from a cooperative inquiry study with seven feminist identified women based in the UK. It explores the tensions participants experienced in negotiating their feminist identification on the one hand and engagements in normative beauty practices on the other. A discourse analysis of participants’ talk identified an...
Article
Full-text available
Contemporary female celebrity is produced within a context of postfeminism, sexualised culture, consumerism and neoliberalism. Feminist analyses often argue that such celebrity figures commodify female sexuality and depoliticise feminist issues regarding autonomy and sexual agency; although some celebrate contemporary celebrity as a site for produc...
Article
Full-text available
Visual images percolate our everyday lives, visual technologies are increasingly accessible and affordable, and visual methods are at the forefront of methodological innovation. If psychology students are to capitalise on these exciting developments, visual methods teaching needs to be integrated into ‘mainstream’ qualitative methods training. This...
Article
Between 2002 and 2005 fresh or unprepared psilocin-based 'magic' mushrooms were legal to possess and traffic in the UK, and commercial sales demonstrated a significant market for this hallucinogenic drug. During and after this time there has been relatively little analysis concerning how magic mushroom users accounted for their drug use, nor on the...
Article
Full-text available
This article contributes to debates concerning the sexualization of culture in the European context by analysing shifts in contemporary forms of British women’s (hetero)sexual sexual subjectivities in relation to consumer culture. The article employs a ‘heterotopological’ analysis of how space is materialized through history, power and discourse. A...
Article
Full-text available
This article argues that youth cultural leisure and consumption practices have the potential to be sites for alternative political participation, an ‘everyday politics’ that involves a personalizing of politics and an ‘aloof ’ stance regarding official institutions. Drawing on the work of Harris (2001) and Maffesoli (1996), the article outlines the...
Article
Full-text available
‘Raunch’ culture and ‘porno-chic’ are examples of a dramatic rise in the re-sexualization of women’s bodies. Wrapped in discourses of individualism, consumerism and empowerment, and often excluding those who are not white, heterosexual and slim, this sexualization of culture has created significant debates within feminist literature with regard to...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we explore the potential for leisure as a site for new forms of political participation. Using electronic dance music culture (EDMC) as an example, we locate our analysis within theories of neo-liberalism and neo-tribalism, both of which suggest that political participation may be occurring at an informal level through consumption....
Article
Full-text available
‘Raunch’ culture and ‘porno-chic’ are examples of a dramatic rise in the re-sexualization of women’s bodies. Wrapped in discourses of individualism, consumerism and empowerment, and often excluding those who are not white, heterosexual and slim, this sexualization of culture has created significant debates within feminist literature with regard to...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the role of online ‘body talk’ (text-based communication about bodies and bodily experiences) in the management, negotiation and development of eating disorder related identities. Two anorexia related Internet discussion forums (a ‘pro-ana’ and a ‘recovery’ website) were analyzed through the means of discourse analysis. The anal...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the multiple and contradictory understandings that participants of a free party (rave) scene in the South West of England drew upon when talking about ketamine, and the role of these understandings in identity and consumption practices. The data is drawn from 19 semi-structured interviews and one focus group conducted in two p...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Between 2002 and 2005 fresh or unprepared psilocin-based 'magic' mushrooms were legal to possess and traffic in the UK, and commercial sales demonstrated a significant market for this hallu-cinogenic drug. During and after this time there has been relatively little analysis concerning how magic mushroom users accounted for their drug us...
Article
A survey of magic mushroom use was completed by 174 participants in 2004, a year when the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms was not illegal in the UK. The data were collected in Edinburgh and Bristol (UK). Participants were a self-selecting convenience sample. Participants tended to be in their 20s, White-British, in education or employed; 64% were...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses some of the key factors that shape young people"s identity in relation to contemporary youth cultures. It describes a tightening of relationships between identity, leisure and consumption that have interacted with developments in communication technologies and an understanding of the self as being dynamically (re)produced in in...
Chapter
Issues of weight, size and body management have become highly salient for those living in Westernised cultures at the beginning of the 21st century. At this time, one of the most powerful ways in which bodies are given meaning is through the sociocultural significance accorded to body weight. Rather than existing merely as ‘undesirable’ and ‘desira...
Chapter
The aim of Critical Bodies has been to demonstrate an understanding of body weight and body management as always political and intertwined with a multiplicity of discourses including health, medicine and identity. Consequently, the meanings attached to weight are dynamic, fluid and context dependent. The authors in this book wanted to challenge con...
Book
Using work produced from the critical and postmodern arena in social sciences, this book examines three key areas - representation, identities and practice - to explore and interrogate how body and weight management, subjectivities, experiences and practices are constituted within and by the normative discourses of contemporary western culture. © S...
Article
Despite long-standing concern over the sexual health of the population there has been little work undertaken in the UK investigating sexual risk taking and sexual behaviours in the context of substance use. To investigate this further, 270 non-drug treatment seeking members of the public aged between 18 and 66 were administered a questionnaire cont...
Article
Full-text available
In critical realism, language is understood as constructing our social realities. However, these constructions are theorized as being shaped by the possibilities and constraints inherent in the material world. For critical realists, material practices are given an ontological status that is independent of, but in relation with, discursive practices...
Article
Full-text available
In this reply to Speer's response to our paper we argue that in presenting our method for doing critical realist discourse analysis (CRDA) our paper provided a systematic method from which to do CRDA that was timely, rigorous and significantly different from conversation analysis (CA) in its examination of material practices. We note that our paper...
Article
Full-text available
It is a common-sense ideology that appearance is vertically representative, in that the outer surface reflects the inner self. This paper explores the impact of this ideology on women's understandings of their Body Art. Meaning and belonging were identified as central themes in accounts produced from two focus groups with young women in Glasgow, Sc...
Article
Full-text available
A survey of drug use in the past year was completed by 124 clubbers (50% male, 50% female, age range 14-4, mean 24 years). Participants were self selecting and recruited in clubs and pre-club bars. Prevalence rates for alcohol, cannabis, and ecstasy were over 80%; 63% reported cocaine and 53% amphetamine use, 15%-43% used ketamine, psilocybin, LSD...
Article
This study examines men's talk on gender roles in the context of the lack of a legitimate successor to the male provider role (Bernard, 1981) despite social change in gender relations and egalitarian value systems. Discourse analysis was performed on 46 interviews with professional, white, heterosexual men to examine the management and functions of...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies are described and examined in terms of the power dynamics created through the subjective positions made salient for both researchers and the participants by the research process. The reflexive accounts of these studies are informed by the poststructuralist critique of reflexivity as both a truthful representation of the research proce...
Article
Full-text available
The contradiction between support for egalitarian employment practices and the maintenance of occupational androcentrism was examined by discursively analysing constructions of equality and discrimination from 46 interviews with professional men. Accounts of equality were produced through the interpretative repertories of 'interchangeability', 'ind...
Article
To describe the patterns of drug use at dance (rave) events in terms of prevalence, frequency, type of drugs used, patterns of use, access and risk-associated behaviours. Self-selecting participant-completed survey. Three dance events in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. One hundred and twenty-two drug users (57% males, 43% females), 90% of whom were in emp...
Article
Aims. To describe the patterns of drug use at dance (rave) events in terms of prevalence, frequency, type of drugs used, patterns of use, access and risk-associated behaviours. Design. Self-selecting participant-completed survey. Setting. Three dance events in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Participants. One hundred and twenty-two drug users (57% males,...
Article
Full-text available
Research in the past decade has identified a trend in which feminist values are given support while feminists themselves are constructed negatively. It is argued that the incorporation of feminist values into the mainstream and simultaneous rejection of those associated with the ‘movement’ itself can be understood through analysing related discursi...
Chapter
Relating to clothes is a fundamental experience in the lives of most Western women. Even when choice is fraught with ambivalence, clothing matters. From considerations about dressing for success, to worries about weight, through to investing particular articles of clothing with meaning bordering on the sacred, what we wear speaks volumes about pers...