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Maria do Mar Pereira

Associate Professor

Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender

Room: E0.19 (Social Sciences Building)

Telephone: +44 (0) 24765 74742
Fax: +44 (0) 24765 23497

Pronouns: she/her
Please note that "Pereira" is my surname and "Maria do Mar" is my first name.



Maria do Mar is a feminist ethnographer with a background in Sociology and a commitment to interdisciplinary, and socially engaged, research and teaching. In 2014, she received the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry's Worldwide Award for Best Qualitative Book in Spanish or Portuguese (2010-2014), in recognition of 'outstanding and ground-breaking scholarship which expands not only the boundaries of academic thinking, but also the limits of our social and political imagination, enabling us to reimagine and change society'. In 2017 she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize, in recognition of her 'achievement as an outstanding researcher whose work has already attracted international attention and whose future career is exceptionally promising'. In 2018, she received the Feminist Studies Association Prize for Best Book of the Year.

She joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick in September 2013, after working as a Lecturer at the University of Leeds, as an LSE Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Gender Research (GEXcel) at the University of Örebro (Sweden). She has received several awards for her teaching, including an LSE Teaching Award (2010), a Student Education Fellowship (2012) and an Award for Most Inspirational Teaching of the Year (2013), both at the University of Leeds, as well as an Award for Inspirational Leadership at the University of Warwick (2018).

Alongside her academic work, she maintains an active involvement in feminist movements at local and international, grassroots and policy levels, having been a member of the executive committee of various Portuguese and European non-governmental organisations. She is an Expert Advisor to the Portuguese Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, and her impact work in Portugal received a Warwick award for Excellence in International Impact (2023). At Warwick, she co-led a team that received an Excellence in Gender Equality Award (2022) for their 'outstanding contribution to building more inclusive environments and experiences at the University of Warwick'.



Maria do Mar’s most well-known research project, funded by FCT, is an longitudinal ethnographic study of how academics discursively and institutionally demarcate the boundaries of ‘proper’ scholarly knowledge. She is particularly interested in examining how scholarship in women's, gender, feminist studies (WGFS) gets positioned vis-à-vis those boundaries. The project brings together feminist epistemology, Michel Foucault’s work and debates in science and technology studies (STS), and uses Portugal as a case study. It analyses these epistemic demarcations through a combination of qualitative methods, including participant observation in a range of sites of academic work and sociability, interviews and archival research. The main publication emerging from this project is the book Power, Knowledge and Feminist Scholarship: an Ethnography of Academia, published by Routledge.

Through this epistemologically-grounded ethnographic study, Maria do Mar has proposed an innovative framework for the study of negotiations of what she calls the “epistemic status” of WGFS, i.e. the degree to which, and terms in which, WGFS knowledge claims are recognised as fulfilling the requisite criteria to be considered credible and authoritative. Her mapping of these negotiations has made valuable contributions to our understanding of the nature and effects of epistemic hierarchies of disciplines and countries, the relationship between epistemic boundary-work and contemporary changes in the political economy of science and higher education, and power relations within academic institutions and communities.

Maria do Mar has also conducted research on the negotiation of gender and sexuality among children and young people in schools, for which she received the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry's Worldwide Award for Best Qualitative Book in Spanish or Portuguese (2010 - 2014). For more on this work, click here.

She has also written, for example, on feminist methodologies and pedagogies, contemporary transformations in higher education and science policy in Europe, gender equality policy, men’s discourses about masculinity and fatherhood, and issues of language difference and translation in social science research.


Key Publications

The list below contains only a selection of publications. To see a full list of Maria do Mar's publications, click here.


This book received the FWSA Book Prize 2018 and was shortlisted for the BSA / BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed Prize for Ethnography 2018. It was successfully nominated by Routledge to receive a Knowledge Unlatched award (2019), enabling the book to be made Open Access. This means the book is available to all in full for free hereLink opens in a new window.
For reviews of the book in English, see Maddie Breeze in Women's Studies International Forum, Rachel O'Neill in Feminist Theory, Isabelle Hertner and Katherine Twamley in The British Journal of Sociology, Daniel Cardoso in Feminist Encounters, Alison Bartlett in Outskirts, Lena Weber in Gender a výzkum, Lenka Vráblíková in Czech Sociological Review, and Mona Mannevuo in NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research. For reviews of the book in other languages, see Ana Oliveira in ex aequo (in Portuguese).
The book has received significant and widespread media coverage across several Portuguese newspapers, magazines and television and radio stations, including Público, Observador, and TSF.
For an interview with Maria do Mar (in Portuguese), where she summarises some findings from the book, click here.

The book was awarded the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry's Worldwide Award for Best Qualitative Book in Spanish or Portuguese (2010 - 2014), in recognition of 'outstanding and ground-breaking scholarship which expands not only the boundaries of academic thinking, but also the limits of our social and political imagination, enabling us to reimagine and change society'.

For reviews (in Portuguese) of this book, see João Manuel de Oliveira in Revista Estudos Feministas and Sofia Santos in ex aequo.

The book received significant and widespread media coverage across several Portuguese newspapers, magazines and radio stations, including Antena 1, Ciência Hoje, Expresso, Público, P3, Diário de Notícias, Mais Educativa, Time Out – Lisboa, and Visão. It was also featured as the headline cover story for Destak, the Portuguese equivalent of the Metro.

For University of Warwick press releases on this, see here and here. For interviews with Maria do Mar (in Portuguese), where she summarises the key findings from the book, click here (radio) and here (TV).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Pereira, Maria do Mar (2013), “Women’s and Gender Studies” in Mary Evans and Carolyn Williams (eds.), Gender: The Key Concepts, London: Routledge.

Policy Reports



Maria do Mar is passionate about teaching, and is committed to emancipatory, student-centred and research-based education, inspired by critical and feminist pedagogies.

Maria do Mar's modules at Warwick have included SO116: Sociology of Gender; SO249: Becoming Yourself: The Construction of the Self in Contemporary Western Societies; Producing Feminist Research: PhD and ECR Workshop; IL902: Ways of Knowing: Gender, Bodies, Power; and SO9B0: Feminist Theory and Epistemology - Debates and Dilemmas.

She also regularly guest lectures on gender studies and feminist theory and epistemology at undergraduate and postgraduate level at universities in Portugal, Finland, Belgium, Croatia, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

In 2010, she was awarded an LSE Teaching Award, in recognition of excellence in postgraduate teaching. In 2013, she was awarded a Student Education Fellowship (USEF) and the Award for Most Inspirational Teaching of the Year, both at the University of Leeds.

As part of her USEF, Maria do Mar worked with three students (Anna Colgan, Eleanor Broadbent and Freya Potter) to create an innovative web-based platform providing resources and support on Using Archives to Teach GenderLink opens in a new window. You can read more about the project hereLink opens in a new window.

She has also contributed to the design and teaching of international summer schools in gender studies, such as the European Union-funded intensive graduate programme “Practising Interdisciplinarity in European Gender Studies”, hosted by Radboud University – Nijmegen (2008). She has (co-)authored a series of conference papers and articles on these and other teaching initiatives (see list here).

Maria do Mar is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and has been involved in pedagogical review and innovation internationally, having contributed to the drafting of the European Tuning Reference Points for the design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in Gender Studies (2010).

Maria do Mar is regularly invited by national and international professional associations to deliver training sessions for PhD students and Early-Career Scholars in Gender Studies. For recordings of some of these sessions, see below:


PhD Supervision

Maria do Mar has significant experience of undergraduate and postgraduate supervision on a range of topics in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, and is passionate about research-based learning and supporting students and emerging scholars as they develop their own ideas and projects.

She is keen to work with doctoral candidates, visiting PhD students and visiting postdoctoral scholars studying gender, sexuality, science and technology studies, feminist theory and epistemology, feminist methodologies, ethnographic methods, youth and childhood, schools and higher education, feminist pedagogy, feminist movements and activism, and the institutionalisation of women’s and gender studies.

She is also able to provide supervision in Portuguese and expertise on Portuguese-speaking contexts (particularly Portugal and Brazil) to students and visiting scholars coming from, or working on, Lusophone (i.e. Portuguese-speaking) countries.

If you are interested in discussing PhD supervision, please get in touch with Maria do Mar via email on m dot d dot m dot pereira at warwick dot ac dot uk, sending details of your research interests and proposed topic of study.

Maria do Mar is currently supervising the following PhD projects:

  • Nick Cherryman (with Cath Lambert): Form and bodies in drag performance
  • Rohini Sen (with Jayan Nayar)
  • Carys Hill (with Cath Lambert)
  • Mara Silva Hope (with Nickie Charles)

Past PhD students include:

  • Dr Ruth Pearce (with Deborah Lynn Steinberg): "(Im)possible Patients? Negotiating discourses of trans health in the UK"
  • Dr Emma Beckett (with Deborah Lynn Steinberg): "Sub-cultural Paradoxes: Women Tattoo Artists Negotiating Gender, Capital, Labour and Resistance"
  • Dr Elizabeth Ablett (with Nickie Charles): "Practising politics and negotiating identities: Exploring (re)productions of, and challenges to, inequalities in English local politics"
  • Dr Sara Bamdad (with Caroline Wright and Deborah Lynn Steinberg): "The Everyday Life of Gender, Religion and Medicine: an Ethnography of an Infertility Treatment Clinic in Iran"
  • Dr Demet Gülçiçek (with Nickie Charles): "«Ghosts do not Exist, but Nations do»: Articulations of Gender, Modernisation and Nationalism in Ottoman Muslim Women's Writing"
  • Dr Sarah Handyside (with Cath Lambert): "Virtual Potentialities: Teenagers' Stories about Social Media"
  • Dr Marcel Obst (with Sivamohan Valluvan and Cath Lambert): "Nature, Nationalism and Affect in Spanish Anti-Gender Narratives"
  • Dr Romain Chenet (with Briony Jones and Caroline Wright): "Pursuing Transformation in Post-2015 Development Policy Discourse"
  • dipbuk Panchal (with John Solomos)


Media and Impact

Maria do Mar has been interviewed for Portuguese and UK print, radio and television media on a range of themes, including:

  • gender inequality
  • children and young people
  • the negotiation of gender and sexuality in schools
  • the representation of gender in the media
  • feminist activism and social movements in Portugal and the UK
  • the impacts of the financial crisis and of austerity policies on women and young people in Portugal and the UK
  • the London riots of August 2011

For examples of these interviews, see BBC (online media, in English), TVI (television, in Portuguese), SIC (television, in Portuguese), Público (print media, in Portuguese), Expresso (print media, in Portuguese), Antena 1 (radio, in Portuguese), and Réforme (print media, in French). For longer interviews with Maria do Mar, see the podcasts Ainda Não: Sociologia e Utopia (in Portuguese) and Sociology Staffroom (in English).

She was recognised by Ciência Viva in 2021 as one of the leading Portuguese women in science. She is featured in the documentary film and TV series Mulheres do Meu País (2020), directed by Raquel Freire and commissioned by RTP to portray the diverse experiences of women in contemporary Portugal.

She is regularly invited to act as expert advisor to national and international bodies, including the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the Portuguese Parliament, and the Portuguese National Federation of Youth Associations. In 2017, she became an official Expert Advisor to the Portuguese Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality. Her impact work in Portugal received a Warwick award for Excellence in International Impact (2023)


Other Professional Activities

Maria do Mar holds a PhD in Gender from the Gender Institute at LSE, and a BSc (Distinction) in Sociology from the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL, Portugal). She was an editor of the journal Feminist Theory and sits on the International Advisory Board of the journal Etnográfica. She was also a member of the Executive Comittee of the Portuguese Women's Studies Association, and coordinated e-APEM, the association's network of students and early career scholars.

She was one of the founders and conveners of the “Sexuality and Gender” Thematic Section of the Portuguese Sociological Association, a co-founder and member of the Portuguese Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Centre (ISCSP - Universidade Técnica de Lisboa; Portugal), an associate researcher at the Women’s Studies Research Group (CEMRI - Universidade Aberta; Portugal), and a member of the Advisory Board of the Portuguese Feminist University.

Maria do Mar has been actively involved in several European Gender Studies networks, including GenderAct: Academic Cultures and Transformation in European Gender Studies (funded by the Swedish Riksbanken Jubileumsfonds), ATHENA: Advanced Thematic Network in European Gender Studies (funded by the European Commission) and Atgender.

She has presented over 100 papers at national and international conferences, and is regularly invited to act as a keynote speaker.


Photo of Maria do Mar Pereira


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Book cover

“A brilliant and original book, brimming with ideas, insights and integrity. [It] gives us both a nuanced engagement with contemporary Women's, Gender and Feminist Studies, and a compelling ethnography of academia as it becomes disfigured by brutal regimes of performativity. [Pereira's] intelligence and intellectual generosity shine through on every page. A hugely important contribution.” (Rosalind Gill)
"This volume was “a gift”. Rigorously researched, clearly and powerfully argued. Maria do Mar Pereira’s volume on feminist scholarship and its position within the academy is, without a doubt, urgently needed as an insight into the fraught world of the field. The book was wonderfully written and thoroughly engaging – the mix of theory, fieldwork and frank discussion made the topic engrossing." (FWSA Prize Judge)
Winner of the FWSA Book Prize 2018

Fazendo Genero no Recreio

“[Maria do Mar Pereira’s Doing Gender in the Playground] is a ground-breaking and pioneering book which will have a lasting impact in the fields [of sociology and gender studies]” (João Manuel de Oliveira, 2013)

Winner of the ICQI Award for Best Qualitative Book in Spanish/Portuguese (2014)