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Dr Sonya Sharma
27-28 Woburn Square
Dr Sonya Sharma profile picture
  • Lecturer in Sociology
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education

Before completing a PhD in Women's Studies at Lancaster University, I did outreach work, supporting families and young people from various socio-economic backgrounds in the city of Vancouver, Canada. I then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on projects that examined the negotiation of religious, spiritual, and cultural plurality in healthcare at Trinity Western University, and investigated Canadian families' food practices, a project led by scholars at the University of British Columbia and Dalhousie University. Soon after, I worked with colleagues at Durham, Derby and Chester Universities exploring young people's religious identities at English universities.

Prior to joining UCL, I was Associate Professor of Sociology at Kingston University. A highlight of my work there was collaborating with staff and students from sociology and the visual and performing arts to explore critical understandings of race and ethnicity. For this work, my colleagues and I were national finalists for a HEA Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence. 

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

My research has taken an interdisciplinary and feminist approach to investigating religion, spirituality, and inequalities in healthcare settings. This has resulted in the recently co-authored book Prayer as Transgression? The Social Relations of Prayer in Healthcare Settings (McGill-Queen's University Press 2020). 

Gender and religion and women's changing faith lives have also been longstanding areas of interest. My research has examined women, sexuality and church life, gender and career progression in Theology and Religious Studies, sisters' lateral influence on faith practices in families, and gender in the work of women healthcare chaplains. 

My current research explores two areas with collaborators based in Canada and the UK: religion, gender, and racialization in the work of healthcare chaplains and a participatory scoping review of arts-based spiritual care practices in healthcare contexts. 

Other activities:

-Co-editor of the Book Series, Bloomsbury Studies in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality (with Dawn Llewellyn and Sian Hawthorne)

-Editorial Board member of Women's Studies International Forum

-Editorial Board member of Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics

Academic Background
2007   PhD, Women's Studies University of Lancaster
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