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Lisa Smyth

Dr. Lisa Smyth - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Lisa Smyth

Dr Lisa Smyth

Senior Lecturer

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3251

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the normative, interactive and emotional quality of social status, with a particular focus on gender and families. My most recent book, The Demands of Motherhood: Agents, Roles and Recognition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), returns to neglected sociological questions concerning the connections between agency and normative complexity, through the neo-pragmatist interpretation it offers of the recognition dynamics shaping this deeply contested and emotionally fraught role.

My previous book, Abortion and Nation: The Politics of Reproduction in Contemporary Ireland (Ashgate 2005), analysed the significance and changing character of a gendered politics of national identity over three decades of intense moral conflict. 

I have also published papers on the social politics of breastfeeding, abortion and sexeducation, and am currently working on the significance of maternal situations as sites of civility, sectarianism and social change in Belfast's divided inner city.


I am interested in supervising PhD theses in the fields of social status, norms and emotions, particularly in relation to gender and family life.



Public Engagement

Research featured on BBC Radio 4, Thinking Allowed: Maternal Situations: Sectarianism and Civility in a Divided City.


LSE EUROPP Blog: Ireland's latest abortion scandal shows the country still suffers from a policy vacuum over the issue


Other Activities

Member of ESRC's Peer Review College

External Examiner, MA Women's Studies, University College Cork.



Sociological Imagination (Level 1)

Social Norms, Roles and Identities (Level 3 option)

Researching Emotions in Social Life (Masters)


I also contribute to the following:

Understanding Society (Level 1)

Contemporary Society and Social Inequalities (Level 2)


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Frequent Journals

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 28505