School of Health in Social Science

Amy Chandler

Narrative, embodiment, and (mental) health

Amy Chandler

My research uses qualitative methods to investigate accounts and experiences relating broadly to ‘mental’ health, but focusing mainly on the substantive issues of self-harm/suicide and addictions. I have a particular interest in embodiment, critically engaging with approaches to understanding health/illness which continue to emphasise a(n imaginary) separation between mind and body.

In my current role as Chancellors’ Fellow in Health, through Arts, Design and Humanities, I am establishing new research in the following areas: creative approaches to understanding and responding to self-harm; emotion, inequalities and suicide; gender, violence and mental health. As a sociologist, I am interested in enrolling creative-relational approaches to studying the ways that individual accounts and understandings of health are intimately bound up with broader social structures and cultural contexts.

Past work has drawn on narrative methodologies to explore accounts of embodiment in the practice of self-injury. Much of this work can be found in my monograph, Self-injury, Medicine and Society: Authentic Bodies, which was awarded the Philip Abrams Memorial Prize in 2017. [web link here]


Full profile

Reflexivity and personal experience in mental health research

A symposium funded by the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and illness, 2016