Dr Kay Inckle

 I have always been passionate about sociology which transforms thinking and practice and which contributes to social change and social justice. My sociological interests emerge from my experiences in the wider community. For example, my work in understanding and responding to self-harm from user-led and harm-reduction perspectives emerged from the years I spent working with psychiatric service-users and young people in care. I was convinced there had to be an alternative to the medical model which seemed to do little more than condemn people to a life-time of stigmatising labels and an endless cycle of hospitalisations and often unwanted medication. After completing my PhD and post-doctoral research I ran a consultancy company (In the Republic of Ireland) where I specialised in delivering training around self-injury to health and social care professionals.

 I also work in the fields of disability studies, gender and sexuality, body/embodiment, and research methods and ethics. For me, it is essential that research is meaningful and beneficial to those who participate in it and/or are affected by it. I am therefore interested in furthering the use of creative research methods – which may involve arts-based practices or unconventional ways of conducting and disseminating research. Creative methods ensure that research is accessible to diverse audiences and thereby impacts across social sectors. I have experimented with ethnographic fiction, sociopoetics, visual methods and performance ethnography to this end. I am currently exploring the use of ethnodrama as a means of disseminating and evaluating research about the experiences of people with disabilities.

I have taught on a range of undergraduate programmes in sociology and applied social sciences leading courses such as the sociology of health and illness, gender studies, culture and identities, sociology and the body. At masters level I have taught qualitative research methods, research ethics, disability research methods, and I also devised specialist elements on MSc programmes in Mental Health and Social Work in understanding and responding to self-injury.

I moved to London in 2014 and I love its vibrancy and diversity. I am also very happy to be at the LSE – particularly since twenty four years ago, much to my subsequent regret, I turned down the opportunity to pursue my undergraduate degree in sociology at LSE. It is therefore very rewarding all these years later to have the opportunity to correct that decision and to finally find myself on the sociology programme at LSE – albeit this time from the teaching rather than student capacity!

Selected publications


Forthcoming: Safe with Self-Injury: A Practical Guide to Understanding, Responding and Risk-Reduction, Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books

2010: Flesh Wounds? New Ways of Understanding Self-Injury Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books

2007: Writing on the Body? Thinking Through Gendered Embodiment and Marked Flesh. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing


Peer Reviewed Academic Journal Articles

In Press: Debilitating Times: Compulsory Ablebodiedness and White Privilege in Theory and Practice, Feminist Review, special edition on ‘Debility and Frailty’

2015: Promises, Promises… Lessons in Research Ethics from the Belfast Project and ‘The Rape Tape’ Case, Sociological Research Online 20(1),6   http://www.socresonline.org.uk/20/1/6.html

2014: Strong and Silent: Men, Masculinity and Self-Injury, Men & Masculinities 17(1): 3-21

2014: A Lame Argument: Profoundly Disabled Embodiment as Critical Gender Politics, Disability & Society 29(3-4): 338-401

2012: with Amy Callaghan Psychotherapy or Cyberbabble? A Mixed Methods Study into Online Emotional Support, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling 40(3): 261-278

2011: The First Cut is the Deepest: A Harm-Reduction Approach to Self-Injury, Social Work in Mental Health 9(5): 364-378

2011: Scarred for Life: Women’s Creative Self-Journeys through Stigmatised Embodiment, Somatechnics 1(2): 315-333

2010: At the Cutting Edge: Creative and Holistic Responses to Self-Injury, Creative Nursing 16(4): 160-165

2010: Telling Tales? Using Ethnographic Fiction to Speak Embodied ‘Truth’, Qualitative Research 10(1): 27-47

2008: Policing the Body: A Conversation from the Edge of Normative Femininity, Auto/Biography Yearbook 2007: 75-94

2007: Carved in Flesh? Inscribing Body, Identity and Desire, The Journal of Lesbian Studies 11(1-2): 233-242



2012:  An Evaluation of Shine: Self-Harm Interagency Network. Derry/Londonderry: Zest: Healing the Hurt Ltd and Northern Ireland Public Health Authority


Book Chapters

Forthcoming 2016: Physical Words: Scars, Tattoos and the Memotic Body, in D. Davidson (ed) The Tattoo Project: Visual Culture and the Digital Archive.  Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press

2014: with A. Sparkes and J. Brighton Disabled Sporting Bodies as Sexual Beings: Reflections and Challenges, in J.  Hagreaves and E. Anderson (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender & Sexuality. London: Routledge.

2012: Embodying Diversity: Pedagogies of Transformation, in Y. Taylor (ed) Educational Diversity: The Subject of Difference and Different Subjects. London and NY: Palgrave

2010: Bent: Non-Normative Embodiment as Lived Intersectionality, in Y. Taylor, S. Hines and M. Casey (eds) Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality. London: Palgrave MacMillan

2009: Embodying Lesbian History? The Shifting Borders of Corporeal Identity Politics, in M. McAuliffe & S. Tiernan (eds) Sapphists, Sexologists & Sexualities: Lesbian Histories Vol II. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

2008: Cultural History of Menstruation, in V. Pitts (ed) The Cultural Encyclopaedia of the Body. Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press.

2008: Tattoos, in V. Pitts (ed) The Cultural Encyclopaedia of the Body. Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press 


K Inckle