Gender research themes

UWE has considerable strengths in research focused on gender and gender-related issues and featured strongly in the RAE 2008 submissions across UWE, notably in the following areas:

  • Business and Management Studies
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies Education
  • Law
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Politics
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Town and Country Planning

There are already a number of gender research themes identifiable at UWE, with additional themes expected to emerge in the future.

Current thematic areas are:

Gender, sexualities and culture

The Gender and Culture Research Group, based in the Department of Culture, Media and Drama, is engaged in a broad range of research and media activities on gender and culture, and connected issues of sexuality, ethnicity, class, nation and sexuality.

The work of the group is wide ranging and includes studies in:

  • film and television texts and genres
  • feminist theory and screen/visual cultures
  • new technological forms (e.g. computer games, digital television and video)
  • audience and production practices around different media forms.

English is also a key area and includes research around:

  • women's writing, Gothic, gender and the body
  • older women in fiction, ageism and the 'spinster' detective in crime writing
  • popular culture, embodiment and Heideggarian phenomenology
  • socio-politics of modern drama in relation to 'queer theory', gender, sexuality, race and class
  • performance of gender in genres including theatre, opera and photography
  • popular women dramatists 1930-1960
  • LGBTQ research including media representations of lesbian and gay parenting, sexuality and dress, and representations of civil partnerships.

See Gender, sexualities and culture research members

Gendered health and embodiment

Members of the Gendered health and embodiment group, have research expertise in the following areas:

  • gendered bioeconomy - including gendered dimensions of tissue exchange within reproductive medicine and regenerative medicine
  • feminist analysis of practices within contemporary life sciences and biomedicine
  • young women and appearance issues
  • critical feminist analyses of eating disorders and associated interventions
  • gendered subjectivity, embodiment and body-management practices
  • issues of well-being, mental health and health care
  • sexual health and sexual health care
  • gender and health, class and illness narratives

See Gendered health and embodiment research members

Gender, education and employment

In the Centre for Employment Studies Research (CESR), gender studies researchers are conducting research into aspects of women’s employment, their working lives and gender in organisations.

Specific interests include:

  • women's self-employment in 'old' and 'new economy' service occupations
  • female part-time managers in the knowledge-based economy
  • networks, career mobility and work-life balance
  • gender dimensions of the experience of work
  • representation at work
  • social equality and justice
  • social change and comparative labour relations

Other members associated with the theme of Gender, education and employment, have been involved in researching the following:

  • gendered identities and gendered talk in the multinational workplace
  • gender and equality issues at work in France and Britain
  • gender skills and equality issues in education and the workplace
  • women’s geographical work
  • sexuality and gender in organisations and management discourse
  • equality and employment issues faced by young women from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • gender issues in primary schools and historical perspectives on gender in education
  • gendered power and leadership using arts based action inquiry
  • implementation of gender equality legislation in public services.
See Gender, education and employment research members

Gendered space and spatial planning

This thematic area encompasses research into women and the built environment in terms of 'gender and planning', women's 'different' architectural needs, and the role of gender mainstreaming in achieving urban policy and design that meets women's needs.

A variety of individual projects are underway and include research into:

  • work on diversity in the architectural profession
  • architectural design for those with disabilities
  • public toilet provision and design
  • encouraging women into the civil engineering profession
  • investigating the position of women in construction, planning, architecture, surveying and civil engineering
  • space and anti-social and criminalized behaviour to investigate domestic abuse in relation to space.
See Gendered space and spacial planning research members


Masculinities is a key focus of researchers across several departments within UWE and includes research projects on:

  • languages on men and emotion talk in relation to illness
  • education on boys’ education
  • masculinities and health in prison contexts
  • male rape
  • gay male subjectivities and representations of queer space.
See Masculinities research members

Gender, citizenship and political participation

Human rights and gender are a key focus of work by researchers in Law, Politics, Philosophy and Sociology. The group mainly focuses on theoretical issues covering:

  • philosophical foundations of rights
  • the implications of human embodiment for human rights law theory
  • enlightenment philosophy and feminist theory
  • womens social rights and trafficking
  • citizenship, migration and gender.

See Gender, citizenship and political participation research members

Women's history and gender history

The West of England and South Wales Women's History Network was established in 1993 at UWE. Since its creation, it has encouraged research and stimulated interest in women's history and gender history in the south west of Britain.

The more recent incorporation of "South Wales" into the title of the Network reflects the increasing involvement of members from that part of the region.

Specialist areas of interest of this group include:

  • the suffragette movement
  • marriage and singleness
  • gender and caring
  • cultural histories of private life
  • sexual behaviour in post-war Britain
  • early twentieth century suffrage movements.
See Women's history and gender history research members