Julia Twigg

Professor of Social Policy and Sociology

My research focuses on embodiment and age. Over the last decade I have been engaged in a series of research projects exploring the role of dress in the constitution of age. The first of these, funded by ESRC, looked at women and dress, and was published as Fashion and Age: Dress, the Body and Later Life (Bloomsbury). The second, undertaken with Dr Christina Buse and funded by ESRC, explored the role of dress in supporting the embodied personhood of people with dementia. The third, funded by Leverhulme Trust, extends the analysis to older men. All three studies are concerned with the ways in which dress and age intersect, and the role of the concrete materiality of clothing in the expression of social identities.

My work is part of the growing interest in the cultural constitution of later years, exemplified in the rise of cultural gerontology. With Wendy Martin I edited The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology published in 2015.

My earlier work addressed issues of health and social care. I have argued for the recognition of carework as a form of bodywork, and have written about The Body in Health and Social Care (Palgrave).


My first degree was in History from the University of Durham followed by MSc and PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics.

I joined the teaching department at Kent in 1996. Previously I had been in the Social Policy department of the University of Hull. My earlier social policy career was in two research units: Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of York, and Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at University of Kent.

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