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BA, MSc, PhD
Department of Social Sciences
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483764
Tina Miller is a Professor of Sociology. Her research and teaching interests include motherhood and fatherhood transitions, constructions of gender and identities, masculinities, reproductive health, narratives, qualitative research methods and
ethics and she regularly publishes in these areas. Tina has lived and worked in the Solomon Islands and Bangladesh as well as Oxford and has a particular interest in cultural dimensions and the situated nature of everyday experiences. Tina has been
engaged as an expert advisor by the World Health Organisation (Geneva), think tanks and political parties in the UK, most recently giving evidence to the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee hearing on Fathers in the Workplace (March, 2018).
She has presented her work in many countries, including Chile, Australia, India and Argentina. She regularly participates in TV and radio programmes in relation to her research and publications on motherhood, fatherhood and managing paid work and
care in contemporary family lives.
Tina was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship in 2015, which focused on the topic of 'Managing modern family lives: public understandings and everyday practises of caring and paid work'. Her CUP monongraph based on the findings
from this project was published in August 2017 (Making Sense of Parenthood:Caring, Gender and Family Lives). Tina is currently undertaking a new research project on 'Transition to First Time Motherhood: A New Generation', which uses the qualitative longitudinal research design from her original study undertaken on this topic a generation ago.
Tina is currently supervising PhD students who are working in the following areas:
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This paper examines men’s experiences of fertility/infertility against a backdrop of changing understandings of men’s role in society and medical possibilities. It presents findings from two qualitative research projects on men’s experiences of engagement with reproductive health services as they sought to become fathers and anticipate impending fatherhood. The findings from both projects provide insights into men’s experiences of (in)fertility and their engagement with services set against cultural ideals of masculinity. Discussions of reproduction have historically focused most centrally upon women’s bodies and maternal processes, leaving little space for consideration of men’s experiences and perspectives. While women’s experiences of infertility/fertility have been characterized in relation to productive or faulty biological processes, male infertility has been largely invisible and male fertility typically assumed. This context provides a difficult terrain for men in which to contemplate the potential of not being able to father a child. The findings discussed in this paper illuminate the ways in which men talk about and make sense of their reproductive journeys. In doing so, it challenges current understandings of masculinity and reproductive bodies and highlights the need to rethink how men are treated in reproductive spheres and how services to men are delivered.
This paper examines the results of two interview studies that explored men’s experiences of fertility and infertility against a backdrop of changing understandings of men’s role in society and rapidly changing medical possibilities. It draws together two separate qualitative research projects that explored men’s experiences of seeking to become fathers. One followed men as they became fathers for the first time, the other was a study of men’s experiences of infertility. The findings from both projects are analysed to provide insights into men’s experiences of fertility and infertility and their engagement with health services, set against current social and cultural ideas of masculinity. Before the advent of fertility treatment, discussions of reproduction focused almost exclusively on the woman’s body. Pregnancy and childbirth was women’s business. There was little consideration of men’s experiences and perspectives. Although male factor infertility is now a leading cause of couples seeking treatment, the focus remains the woman. As assisted reproduction treatment has developed over the last half-century, most social and psychological research has explored the woman’s perspective. The findings discussed in this paper illuminate the ways in which men try and make sense of their own successful or unsuccessful reproductive journeys. In doing so it challenges current understandings of masculinity and reproductive bodies. It also highlights how we need to perhaps rethink how men are treated in reproductive spheres and how services to men are delivered.
Informed consent is a concept which attempts to capture and convey what is regarded as the appropriate relationship between researcher and research participant. Definitions have traditionally emphasised respect for autonomy and the right to self-determination of the individual. However, the meaning of informed consent and the values on which it is based are grounded in society and the practicalities of social relationships. As society changes, so too do the meaning and practice of informed consent. In this paper, we trace the ways in which the meaning and practice of informed consent has changed over the last 35 years with reference to four qualitative studies of parenting and children in the UK which we have undertaken at different points in our research careers. We focus in particular on the shifting boundaries between the professional and personal, and changing expressions of agency and power in a context of heightened perceptions of risk in everyday life. We also discuss developments in information and communication technologies as a factor in changing both the formal requirements for and the situated practicalities of obtaining informed consent. We conclude by considering the implications for informed consent of both increasing bureaucratic regulation and increasingly sophisticated information and communication technologies and suggest strategies for rethinking and managing ‘consent’ in qualitative research practice.