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My research has focused on ageing, ethnic and cultural diversity, health, and quality of life. I am also interested in generational research and recently founded the Inter-generational Research Group which is located within the Centre for Applied Childhood Studies.
This qualitative research project examined midlife womens experiences of health and beauty regimes across ethnic diversity. The research focused on how ethnic and cultural identity influenced womens perceptions of their bodies as they grew older. It includes discussion of; perceptions and experiences of the ageing body, menopause, health, the construction of midlife identities.
This research was funded by the ESRC (grant as part of its Growing older programme. It took place at the University Of York. The research team included Professor Mary Maynard, Professor Haleh Afshar, Dr Sharon Wray and Dr Myfanwy Franks.The main aim of the study was to identify what older able-bodied women from differing ethnic groups prioritise in terms of quality of life and successful ageing and the implications of this for policy practice. Interviews and focus groups were held with 150 women, aged between the ages of 60 and 75 years, from a variety of African Caribbean, Asian, Polish and white non-migrant groups.
The research focused on the later life experiences of older South Asian migrant women living in the North of England. A main aim was to examine the cumulative impact of life-course inequalities on their current quality of life.
Wray, S (2012) ‘This is your life you have to live with the memories: Older migrant womens reflections on living with the past’ The International Journal of Aging in Society , 1 (3), pp. 35-48. ISSN 2160-1909
Wray, S. and Bartholomew, M. (2012) ‘Issues of insiderness and outsiderness in two qualitative research projects with older African Caribbean women in the UK’. In: Current Issues in Sociology: Work and Minorities. Athens, Greece: Athens Institute for Education and Research. pp. 141-154. ISBN 9789609549776
Wray, S (2011) ‘This Is Your Life You Have to Live with the Memories: Older UK Migrant Womens Reflections on Living with the Past’. In: Aging and Society Interdisciplinary Conference 2011, 8th - 9th November 2011, Berkeley, California, USA
Wray, S (2011) ‘This is Your Life You Have to Live with the Memories: Older Pakistani and Indian Migrant Womens Reflections on Living with the Past’. In: British Society of Gerontology 40th Annual Conference, 5th - 7th July 2011, Plymouth, UK
Wray, S (2011) ‘This is your life you have to live with the memories': Older Pakistani and Indian migrant women's reflections on living with the past’. In: Understanding the Social World Conference 2011, 13th - 15th July 2011, University of Huddersfield
Wray, S (2010) ‘Public health promotion discourse: experiences of ethnically diverse women’. In: Women and Exercise: The Body, Health and Consumerism. London: Routledge. . ISBN 9780415871204
Wray, S. and Bartholomew, M. (2010) ‘Some reflections on outsider and insider identities in ethnic and migrant qualitative research ’ Migration Letters , 7 (1), pp. 7-16. ISSN 1741-8984
Wray, S (2010) ‘South Asian women growing older: Social capital and life-course inequalities’. In: BSA Annual Conference 2010 - Inequalities & Social Justice, 7th - 9th April 2010, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Deery, R. and Wray, S. (2009) ‘'The hardest leap': acceptance of diverse body size in midwifery’ Practising Midwife , 12 (10), pp. 14-16. ISSN 1461-3123
Wray, S (2009) ‘Interrogating the Insider Outsider Binary in Qualitative Research: Insider, Outsider or Both?’. In: 9th Conference of the European Sociological Association: European Society or European Societies?, 2nd - 5th September 2009, Lisbon, Portugal
Wray, S (2009) ‘The Influence of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity on Women's Embodied Experiences of Ageing’. In: BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group Conference: Body Work in Health and Social Care, 6th September 2009, London, UK
Deery, R. and Wray, S. (2008) ‘Theorising Obesity: Women, Biomedicine & Health’. In: Fat Studies in the UK , 2nd May 2008, York, UK
Afshar, H., Franks, M., Maynard, M. and Wray, S. (2008) Women in later life: exploring race and ethnicity . Berkshire, UK: Open University Press/McGraw Hill . ISBN 9780335215263
Wray, S. and Deery, R. (2008) ‘The medicalization of body size and women's healthcare’ Health Care for Women International , 29 (3), pp. 227-243. ISSN 0739-9332
Wray, S (2008) ‘Exercise, health and well-being: the experiences of midlife women from diverse ethnic backgrounds’. In: Research seminar, University of Brighton, 3rd March 2008, Brighton, UK
Wray, S (2007) ‘Exercise regimes and well being: The experiences of midlife women from diverse ethnic backgrounds’. In: 4th World Congress of Sociology of Sport (in conjunction with the International Sport History Association) "Sport in a Global World; Past, Present & Future", August 2007, Copenhagen, Denmark
Wray, S (2007) ‘Health, Exercise, and Well-Being: The Experiences of Midlife Women from Diverse Ethnic Backgrounds’ Social Theory & Health , 5 (2), pp. 126-144. ISSN 1477-8211
Wray, S (2007) ‘To what extent does ethnic and cultural diversity influence women's experiences of growing older?’. In: Families, Life Course and Generations Research Centre Seminar, 22 February 2007, Leeds
Wray, S (2007) ‘To what extent do ethnic & cultural diversity influence womens experiences of growing older?’. In: Age & Gender, Ikaantyminen ja Sukupuoli edited collection. : The Age Institute. pp. 1-13. ISBN 978958529255x
Wray, S (2007) ‘Women making sense of mid-life: ethnic and cultural diversity ’ Journal of aging studies , 21 (1), pp. 31-42. ISSN 0890-4065
Wray, S (2006) ‘The influence of migratory experiences on the health and well being of older women’. In: British Society of Gerontology 35th Annual Meeting, The Ageing Jigsaw: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Old Age, 7th - 9th September 2006, University of Wales
Wray, S (2006) ‘How does physical activity contribute to the health and well being of older women from diverse ethnic backgrounds?’. In: 2nd World Ageing & Generations Congress, 27th - 29th September 2006, Switzerland
Wray, S. and Bartholomew, M. (2006) ‘Older African Caribbean women: the influence of migration on experiences of health and well-being in later life ’ Research Policy and Planning , 24 (2), pp. 103-119. ISSN 0264-519X
Wray, S (2006) ‘CHD in African and Caribbean origin populations: the challenges ahead and the strategies for action’. In: British Heart Foundation seminar, June 2006, London, UK
Wray, S (2005) ‘What Constitutes Good Health? The perceptions and experiences of older African Caribbean women’. In: Inclusion and Exclusion 2005 Exploring the Messages for Policy and Practice of Research on Racism and Ethnicity, 9th November 2005, London, UK
Wray, S (2005) ‘Difference and inequality: How can sociology transform the lives of older women? ’. In: Challenging Orthodoxy: The Public Function of Sociology? Departmental Centenary Conference, 8th - 9th September 2005, University of Liverpool
Afshar, H., Maynard, M., Franks, M. and Wray, S. (2005) Empowerment and disempowerment: a comparative study of afro-caribbean, asian and white British women in their third age ESRC
Wray, S (2005) ‘Researching across ethnic diversity’. In: Leeds Metropolitan University Seminar, March 2005, Leeds, UK
Wray, S (2005) ‘Making sense of mid-life: Women, ethnicity and culture’. In: The British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 23rd March 2005, University of York
Wray, S. and Deery, R. (2004) ‘'Fatness' as an embodied expression of oppression in the health care setting’. In: The British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 2224 March 2004 , University of York
Wray, S (2004) ‘What constitutes agency and empowerment for women in later life? Toward the development of a culturally sensitive theoretical framework to examine ageing ’ The sociological review , 52 (1), pp. 22-38. ISSN 0038-0261
Wray, S (2003) ‘Connecting agency, ethnicity and ageing’ Sociological research online , 8 (4). ISSN 1360-7804
Wray, S (2003) ‘Women growing older: agency, ethnicity and culture ’ Sociology: The journal of the British Sociological Association , 37 (3), pp. 511-528. ISSN 0038-0385
Long, J. and Wray, S. (2003) ‘It depends who you are: on asking difficult questions in leisure research ’ Loisir et Societe , 26 (1), pp. 169-182. ISSN 0705-3436
Wray, S. and Latham , N. (2003) ‘Connecting health and ethnic identity: The impact of ethnic and cultural diversity on womens health during mid life’. In: 6th Conference of the European Sociological Association Ageing Societies, New Sociology, 23rd - 26th September, Murcia, Spain
Wray, S (2002) ‘What constitutes agency and empowerment for women in later life? Towards the development of a culturally sensitive theoretical framework with which to examine ageing’. In: The British Sociological Association Conference: Reshaping the Social, April 2002, Leicester, UK
Afshar, H., Franks, M., Maynard, M. and Wray, S. (2002) ‘Gender ethnicity and empowerment in later life ’ Quality in ageing - Policy, practice and research , 3 (1), pp. 27-33. ISSN 1471-7794
Afshar, H., Maynard, M., Franks, M. and Wray, S. (2002) ‘Issues of ethnicity in researching older women’ Growing older: the ESRC research programme on extending quality of life (4), pp. 8-9.
Wray, S (2001) ‘Connecting ethnicity, gender and physicality: Muslim Pakistani women, physical activity and health’. In: Gender and sport: a reader. London: Routledge. pp. 127-140. ISBN 9780415259521
Afshar, H., Franks, M., Maynard, M. and Wray, S. (2001) ‘Empowerment, disempowerment and quality of life for older women’ Generations Review: Journal of the british Society of Gerontology , 11 (4), pp. 12-13. ISSN 0965-2000
Wray, S (2001) ‘Reconceptualizing later life: women, agency and resistance’. In: DSA Women and Development Conference, May 2001, York, UK
Wray, S (2001) ‘Towards an Inclusive Feminist Political Agenda: Connecting Different Spaces and Knowledge Claims’. In: Jordanian Womens Contemporary Issues International Conference, March 2001, University of Jordan
Wray, S (1999) ‘Rethinking methodology: Taking account of difference and diversity in the research process’. In: The British Sociological Association Conference: For Sociology, April 1999, Glasgow, UK
2009-2010: Associate Editor; Sociology Journal of the British Sociological Association.