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).