Prof Sue Heath - Research
Sue Heath has long had a fascination with processes of household formation, with a particular interest in the domestic and housing transitions of young people as they move from youth to adulthood. She has recently been involved in two projects which reflect these interests, both part of the work programme of the ESRC Centre for Population Change. The first project focuses on the housing pathways of single young adults and the extent to which these are underpinned by family support. The second project has explored the impact of household and family formation on the (re)migration decisions of Polish migrants living in the UK, many of whom first moved to the UK whilst in their twenties.
From June 2013 Sue will be leading a new 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 funded by the ESRC which will explore four contrasting forms of communal living: 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.
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. In relation to the latter, Sue's interests have included gender and education, the pre-university gap year, and widening participation in higher education.