Bethany Simmonds

Dr, PhD in the Sociology of Ageing and Physical Activity in Rural Spaces; PGCLTHE; BSc. Sociology (hons)

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
20122021

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Additional information

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of sociology of ageing, risk and/or health. Either exploring embodied ageing experiences in relation to intersecting identities (gender, ethnicity, 'dis'ability and risk), or macro analyses of neoliberalised health and the welfare state, precarity/risk, feminist ethics of care, or necropolitical analyses of ageing/death in health and social care systems.  

Research interests

I am a sociologist of ageing interested in the intersections of risk and later life. I explore these intersections by examining the interactions between global, national, and individual level analyses, exploring how (embodied) experiences are produced by discursive and institutional change, contingent on the spaces older people are located in.

My doctoral research centred on the corporeal, emotional and social experience of ageing and physical activity in rural spaces. My post-doctoral research has developed my interests of ageing and health. I developed this corpus of work into a monograph entitled: Ageing and the Crisis in Health and Social Care; which examines the impact of globalisation, neoliberalism, Austerity policies and ageism on health and social care systems in the UK, Sweden and Germany, published in November 2021 by Policy Press as part of their Global Challenges in Ageing Series. 

The book begins with an examination of how broad structural and discursive trends, such as neoliberalism and globalisation, have influenced the financing and provision of health and social care for older people in countries located in the Global North, including Germany, Sweden, and the UK. It then goes onto discuss the impact that privatisation, ‘choice’ and competition has had on the welfare state, including how declining social protections have impacted upon employment practices. Three in-depth UK case studies (active ageing, pre-emergency care, and end of life care) provide insight into individuals' (both older people and health care workers) experiences of navigating the risky, fragmented and complex health and social care system. Then the subsequent contemporary challenges, such as COVID-19 (first, second and third waves), and government responses are discussed. Finally, the book ends by showcasing examples of innovative care solutions that have been trialled in the UK, and what broader cultural and political changes are necessary to provide a more sustainable and dignified health and social care system for older people.

Currently, I am developing some of the themes which emerged from my recent book linked to risk, including moving towards a feminist ethics of care instead of necropolitical state decision-making of ageing/death in health and social care systems; intersections between disablism and ageism in the Covid-19 pandemic; and exploring the use of the concept of ‘precarity capitalism’ to galvanise intergenerational grievances around climate justice. In relation to internal and external collaborations, I have been appointed to the Centre for Excellence in Rural Health Research steering committee at the University of Aberystwyth, become an affiliated member of The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and a member of the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR). Finally, I have recently been voted onto the editing board of Sociological Research Online and invited to apply as visiting fellowship at the Centre of Death and Society (CDAS) at the University of Bath, to lead the field and develop the intersection between ageing/gerontology and the end of life.

Responsibilities

My role as Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences is to lead and develop the new Sociology programme launched in 2019. 

Profile

I am a sociologist of ageing interested in the intersections of risk and later life. I explore this intersection by examining the interactions between global, national, and individual level analyses, exploring how (embodied) experiences are produced by discursive and institutional change, contingent on the spaces older people are located in. I joined as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University in September 2022 to lead the Sociology Programme, prior to this I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth (2016-2022) where I was awarded a Themes, Research and Innovation Fund (TRIF) Strategic Fellowship in Health and Wellbeing in 2018. Preceding this I was employed as a Research Associate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Bristol where I researched topics including, falling and fracturing, delays to older people being discharged from hospital, and end of life interventions (2011-2016). From 2007 to 2010, I worked as an Assistant Lecturer in Sports Sociology at the University of Chichester whilst completing my PhD in the sociology of ageing, physical activity and rurality at Southampton University. This was after completing my BSc in Sociology (hons) from the University of Bath in 2005, and being appointed to Research Assistant at the University of Plymouth, where I worked on numerous projects for the Social Research and Regeneration Unit. 

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 13 - Climate Action

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