Brunel University ESRC-Funded Loneliness Studies Seminar Series

In August 2014, the Economics and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) awarded a grant to Professor Christina Victor (Department of Clinical Sciences) to run a seminar series entitled New perspectives on loneliness: developing theory, methodology and evidence for practice.

Professor Victor, Vice-Dean of Research in the College of Health and Life Sciences and a member of the Healthy Ageing theme in the Institute for Environment, Health and Societies, secured the grant in collaboration with Dr Mary Pat Sullivan (Department of Clinical Sciences) and Dr Michal Thomas (University of Kent) who is a graduate of our MA social work programme and subsequently undertook an ESRC funded PhD at Cardiff.

At a value of £29,864, the grant is to cover a series of workshops which are intended to develop, explore, theorise and codify existing knowledge and understandings of theexperiences of loneliness across a range of populations (older people, young adults, the childless, LGBT people) and places (rural locations, 'group' settings such as care homes or university residences and retirement communities).

The series of seminars, which will start in the New Year, will bring together established international academics, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners to explore questions such as:

What do we know about loneliness and what are the knowledge gaps?

What are the key theoretical frameworks that can help us understand loneliness?

How can perspectives from the arts and humanities contribute to our understanding of loneliness?

How do different populations understand and define loneliness?

Which populations and places have been neglected in loneliness research?

What are the key issues that need to be addressed in future policy, practice and research?


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