Dr Emilie Whitaker


Emilie is a Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Salford and holds an Honorary Lectureship in Sociology at Cardiff University. Prior to her position at Salford, Emilie held a lectureship in Sociology at Cardiff University.

Emilie is an ethnographer sociologist interested in care, welfare, death and futures. An interdisciplinarian of a deviant nature, Emilie’s interests transgress the social sciences and humanities. She is a contributor to The Sociological Review Blog, and the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. She is a member of The Future Matters Collective, The British Sociological Association and the Social Policy Association.


Emilie’s teaching centres on critical approaches to social welfare policy and the sociology of everyday life.

She leads the final year module on childhood and families, contributes to qualitative methods teaching across the social sciences programme, the dissertation programme and the second year module on ideologies.

Research Interests

Emilie is an ethnographer sociologist interested in care, welfare, death and futures. She is interested in how alternative knowledges and narratives are constructed, enacted and challenged in everyday frontline encounters. Her work frequently involves an exploration of time, particularly understandings, visions and experiences of futures and endings. She is also interested in methodological innovation in ethnographic practices, writing and representation.

  • Ethnography
  • Interactionism
  • Sociology of everyday life
  • Futures
  • Critical Social Policy
  • Welfare
  • Death and Dying
  • Families
  • Children and Young People

Qualifications and Memberships

2006: History and Sociology (University of Warwick)

2008: Public Policy (University of London)

2015: PhD Social Policy (University of Birmingham)





Whitaker, E. (2015). 'The Cultural Contemplation Of Death By The Living: From Sequestration to the 'Cosmopolitan Aesthetic' Of Death And Dying', in: Tandy, C (ed.), Death And Anti-Death, Volume 13, Ria University Press, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Whitaker, E (2015). 'Beyond Black and Green: Children Visioneering the Future.', in: Collier, J (ed.), The Future of Social Epistemology: A Collective Vision, Rowman & Littlefield International, London, UK, pp.247-256.

Whitaker, E.(2015). 'Personalisation in children's social work: From family support to the ‘child’s budget’', Journal of Integrated Care, 23(5), pp.277-286.

Whitaker, E.M. (2014) ‘Beyond Black and Green: The New Dystopian Plains’, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 3 (5), pp. 67-72. http://wp.me/P1Bfg0-Y9

Postgraduate research

  • Ethnographic approaches to care and welfare
  • Commodification/marketisation of care
  • Alternative/innovative end of life/death studies
  • Studies on futures – specifically involving children and young people or with a focus on care (e.g. human/tech interaction)
  • Ethnographic studies of everyday life