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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

1. Critical analysis of gendered social roles, in relation to family life;
2. Studies of the emotional quality of social politics , including abortion, breastfeeding, and motherhood;
3. Interactionist analyses of emotions, roles and social change.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research focuses on norms, emotions and long-term social change, with an emphasis on gender, reproduction and family life. I have worked specifically on the social politics of abortion and motherhood. I am currently developing a monograph on Ireland's liberalization. My previous 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 this contested and emotionally fraught role.

Abortion and Nation: The Politics of Reproduction in Contemporary Ireland (Ashgate 2005, Routledge 2016), analysed the changing gendered politics of nationhood over three decades of intense moral conflict. 

I am interested in supervising PhD work on normative conflicts and change in relation to moral politics and family life.


Sociological Imagination (Level 1)

Norms and Social Change (Level 3 option)

Inequality and Emotions (Masters)


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


Dive into the research topics where Lisa Smyth is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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