University Welcomes New Professor of Psychology and Social Change

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The University of Worcester this week welcomed Professor Elizabeth Peel to its institute of Health and Society.

Professor Peel joins the University as Professor of Psychology and Social Change and brings a record of substantial research and achievement in a broad range of related topics.

Professor David Green, the University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Peel to the University. She is a first-class researcher and university educator. Her work at the University will contribute much to such crucial areas as tackling dementia, helping those suffering diabetes and promoting inclusion.”

Professor Peel explains: “My background is in critical social psychology and critical health psychology. I’m primarily interested in two things – one is challenging psychology as a discipline and focusing on marginalised groups and the other is trying to affect positive social change for marginalised and vulnerable groups through my research.

“There have been two main themes within my research to date. One is around marginalised sexualities – people who occupy non-heterosexual sexual identities – and looking at how discrimination operates and affects people’s everyday lives, relationships and families.”

Professor Peel continues: “The other is patients’ experiences of chronic illness in later life, especially with type 2 diabetes, and how they manage and come to terms with their condition.”

In recent years, Professor Peel has also conducted research into dementia – specifically looking at the experience of carers and how they communicate with people living with dementia, with the ultimate aim of improving the way in which people with dementia are communicated with and about.

The University of Worcester is home to the influential Association for Dementia Studies and Professor Peel says she is looking forward to working alongside the association and with other colleagues from across the University to both continue and develop her research.

“I’ve already met with Professor Dawn Brooker, her team and other key members of the University’s Institute of Health and Society and we’ve talked about different ways that we can work together,” she says.

“There is boundless scope for research into what has traditionally been an under-funded area. The University of Worcester has some fantastic links, so I am very excited about continuing my dementia and critical psychological research here.”