Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Celia Bernstein

Hello and welcome to my e-portfolio.

I am a fourth year, ESRC funded PhD student based at the Warwick Medical School's Division of Health Sciences.

Research interests

I am interested in the following research areas:

  • Disability and feminist theories/research (e.g. social oppression paradigms).
  • Medical sociology, including sociologies of health and illness, disability, pain, emotions and the body.
  • Lay perceptions of healthcare.
  • Intersections of gender, ethnicity, age, etc with health and disability-related themes.
  • Biographical narratives of disability and illness, including biographical theory and concepts.
  • Qualitative data and analysis.
  • Mixed methodologies.

Academic background

I graduated from the University of Sussex in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Sociology. During my second year at university, I became very interested in studying the sociology of health and illness and medical sociology. In particular, I was keen to explore the relationships existing between illness, the individual and wider society. Consequently, my undergraduate thesis utilised a quantitative research design to investigate potential gender differences among peoples' perceptions of their physical and mental health. Wishing to pursue my interests in health research further, I completed an ESRC-recognised MSc in Cross-Cultural and Comparative Research Methods (Sociology) from the University of Sussex. This degree provided me with necessary training in social research methods and vital preparation for undertaking a PhD in my chosen field of medical sociology. I completed my Master's dissertation on the ways in which the neurological condition dystonia is socially and culturally constructed. This work formed a platform for further developing my research ideas at PhD level.

PhD research

Project title: 'Investigating the role of healthcare in the construction of lay experts’ experience of physical disability: a qualitative interview study of dystonia patients in England.'

The study explores how patients and support group attendees living with the neurological condition dystonia experience and understand it. I am also investigating the role of treatment and healthcare in shaping individuals' experiential accounts. Very little research has been conducted into the social and emotional aspects of lay actors' experiences of dystonia and so I am delighted to be working on this project for my PhD. The study utilises group and individual interview data with forty-two adults with multiple types of dystonia. Two participants were recruited from hospitals and twenty-seven from local dystonia support groups. In addition, secondary analysis was conducted on twenty-one interviews with thirteen patients, originally recruited from a proof-of-concept study exploring the self-management of dystonia. The data are being thematically analysed for recurring patterns and relationships as well as deviant cases.

Other interests

In my spare time, I enjoy going to the theatre, attending museums and music recitals.

Personal photo

Celia Janine Bernstein

ESRC Doctoral Researcher

Social Science and Systems in Health

Division of Health Sciences

Warwick Medical School

University of Warwick





Dr Felicity Boardman

Professor Frances Griffiths