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Health, Policy and Social Inclusion

About Health, policy and social inclusion

We tend to link health to formal and institutional healthcare, but wellbeing is conditioned by social circumstances, relationships and interactions in everyday settings. This became evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, calling for adaptations to behaviours and practices in non-medical, social encounters.

In the Department of Sociology and Criminology we study the impact of the pandemic in Higher Education in the effort to formulate institutional solutions, raise understanding and influence policy.

We also explore health behaviours and the use of digital technologies in shaping them in order to promote health literacy. Finally, we specialise in researching health and wellbeing in marginalised and ethnic minority communities, looking at long-term and life-limiting conditions, as well as end-of-life care experiences.

Mural of a nurse called Melanie in Manchester. Painted by Pete Barber, original photograph by Johannah Churchill.

Our collaborators

Our theoretical work informs health policy and practice. For example, we have collaborated with Public Health England on the production of a toolkit on community development in end-of-life care and organised stakeholder consultation to influence policy on community volunteering.

Our approach

We take a multi-faceted approach to the development of knowledge on health for policy and practice. We carry out qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research, and favour participatory research designs that involve public engagement and consultation in processes that identify needs and solutions to health problems.

We aim to promote cohesion and social inclusion, factors known to positively influence health and wellbeing. Our approach has been evidenced to advance clarity and understanding on a range of issues that affect under-represented and under-served groups and communities, from perceptions of Alzheimer’s ethnic minority patients in care settings, to complex end-of-life care relationships in the community.

Research areas

  • Health and Higher Education
  • End-of-life care and Compassionate Communities
  • Long-term illness, Alzheimer’s and ethnic minority communities
  • Coloniality and healthcare.

Loss, grief and coloniality in end-of-life care

Aliki Karapliagkou is researching health, policy and community wellbeing. She focuses upon grief, bereavement and end-of-life care experiences. Key within her research has been an interest in social vulnerability and precarity among marginalised and historically dispossessed communities that experience loss in contradictory terms. The aim is to highlight coloniality - patterns of power that emanate in colonialism - in healthcare relationships and academic understandings of grief. Such insights are used to promote inclusion in services and compassionate health interactions in society.

Aliki’s gaze has now turned towards grief and bereavement in Bradford during the post-Covid-19 pandemic period. Emphasis is placed upon the use of digital technologies in facilitating healthcare, as well as unconventional mourning practices conducive to cohesion and wellbeing.

Please keep your distance poster from Transport for London.

Research theme members