Prof Sue Heath - Research
Sue Heath has long had a fascination with processes of household formation, with a particular interest in young adults' domestic and housing transitions. Sue is currently leading an ESRC-funded project which extends her interests in households, housing and home beyond the life stage of youth. 'Under the same roof: the everyday relational practices of contemporary communal living' is a 30 month project (May 2013-Nov 2015) which is exploring people's experiences of four contrasting forms of communal living across the lifecourse: shared households, private lodging arrangements, small housing cooperatives, and cohousing projects. The research aims to advance understandings of living arrangements involving non-kin and to illuminate the practical possibilities and limits of different forms of communal living in the context of ongoing shifts in housing provision and household formation. Dr Gemma Edwards (also at Manchester) and Dr Katherine Davies (University of Sheffield) are co-investigators, and Dr Rachel Scicluna is the Research Associate on the project based in the Morgan Centre at Manchester.
Sue has recently been involved in two other projects which explore themes relating to households, housing and home, both as part of the work programme of the ESRC Centre for Population Change, of which she was formerly a Co-Director. The first project focused on the housing pathways of single young adults and the extent to which these are underpinned by family support, whilst the second project explored the impact of household and family formation on the (re)migration decisions of Polish migrants living in the UK. Details of papers arising from these two projects are listed under Sue's 'publications' tab.
Sue also has longstanding interests in research methodology and the sociology of education. In relation to the former, she is particularly interested in research ethics and the methodological challenges of researching youth. Reflecting these interests, she is a member of the International Advisory Board and Ethics Sub-Committee of the EU FP7 'MYPLACE' project (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy And Civic Engagement). In relation to the latter, Sue's interests have included gender and education, the pre-university gap year, and widening participation in higher education.