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Dr Sophie Zadeh
Dr Sophie Zadeh profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education

Sophie Zadeh is an Associate Professor of Social Psychology at the Social Research Institute. She completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge. She was previously Wellcome Trust Research Associate at the Centre for Family Research; Junior Research Fellow in Social Psychology at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge; and Fellow in Social and Cultural Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Research Groups
Research Summary

Sophie's research focusses on non-normative families and identities in social psychological perspective. Her scholarship is broadly based around three main lines of enquiry: families created using assisted reproduction (sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy); children’s perspectives in different family forms; and the role of research in addressing pressing social and political issues, and fostering social change. Her research on single mothers was instrumental in informing the UK Government’s proposals to change the law to give single men and women legal parentage of their children born through surrogacy (in effect as of January 2019), and her article in Human Reproduction on adolescents’ perspectives was recently used as evidence in the Law Commission review of the law on surrogacy (published June 2019).

Sophie is currently working on two projects. The first is a study of donor-conceived young adults designed in consultation with DC Network, the first and now largest community-based network in the UK for donor conception families. This project is funded by an ESRC New Investigator Award (2020-2023). The second is an international study of planned single father families, for which Sophie is continuing her collaboration with Professor Susan Golombok and her team at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge.

In 2017, together with Professor Ivana Marková (University of Stirling) and Professor Tania Zittoun (Université de Neuchâtel) Sophie initiated an international study group on dialogical theory in psychology. The group, who share interests in sociocultural and community psychology, published their first special issue in Culture & Psychology earlier this year on the subject of dialogical single case studies.

Sophie's first monograph, on single mothers and single fathers 'by choice', is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Teaching Summary
Sophie is the Deputy Programme Lead for the BSc Social Sciences programme. She leads the core second-year module Social Psychology and delivers guest lectures for Political Sociology (second-year module), Families and Society (second-year module), and Social Psychology and Social Justice (third-year module). Sophie is also a guest lecturer on modules based at the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences and the Institute for Women's Health. Outside of UCL, Sophie teaches on the intersections between social psychology and family diversity for the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, where she is an Affiliated Lecturer.

Sophie welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral students on the following research topics:

  • Family diversity
  • (Assisted) reproduction
  • Children's perspectives
  • Single parenthood
  • Gender diversity
  • Sociocultural psychology (especially social representations) 
  • Qualitative methods

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