How would you explain your research?
My research looks at the way in which disability is reflected and represented in culture and how this impacts upon personal experiences, social understandings and policymaking. I am a fluent speaker of Mandarin and so I have a particular interest in how this happens in China, Taiwan and Asia more broadly.
How will your research affect the average person?
I work closely with charities, disabled persons' organisations and other organisations in China and my research findings are already helping to change the way in which disability is understood, talked about and represented there.
How does your research influence your teaching?
Disability, and identity and discrimination more broadly, form important parts of our curriculum, so I regularly teach theoretical approaches to disability to students at all levels. I always illustrate my teaching with examples from the UK and across the globe, which helps to further enhance the international flavour of our degrees.
What's been the greatest moment of your career so far?
I have been honoured to receive awards for my contribution to teaching and learning at two different universities. Being recognised by students and staff as a great teacher makes all that hard work worth it!
What's the biggest challenge in your field?
Improving awareness of disability, changing attitudes, and improving policy making, are all massive challenges, not just here in the UK, but around the world too. As students and academics we all have an important role to play in changing our societies for the better in this regard.
What advice would you give to someone considering an undergraduate degree in criminology, sociology, social policy or social work?
Criminology, sociology, social policy and social work degrees are all about gaining an in-depth understanding of the world we live in, its structures and its processes, its complexities and its simplicities. If you like the idea of exploring ways to explain phenomena, solve problems and make a difference, these are the degrees for you!