Chris is one of the founding ISCHP members. She is currently Treasurer and has also been Chair. Currently, she is a Professor in the School of Psychology at Massey University in New Zealand–considered the cradle of critical health psychology. She co-leads the Health and Ageing Research Team, who has been conducting a longitudinal study of ageing, following older New Zealanders and their quality of life since 2006. In this Career File, Chris shares how she got to be where she is today.
Searching for open access pictures of menopausal women generates photographs of mainly anxious expressions. Broadly speaking, from this snapshot of instant culture the menopause is often defined by frowny faces; definitely not sexy. This bad mood stereotype might be countered by evidence of non-frowny women on TV programmes, in films and other forms of mass visual culture; except here we note an absence. The 2015 Ofcom report1 on the BBC highlighted that women over the age of 55 were seen less frequently and more negatively than males of the same age. In the top 100 grossing US films of 20172there were 33 female leads or co-leads of which only five were over the age of 45. The erasure of mid-life woman from everyday screen cultures is echoed in newspapers and even museum collections. This invisibility linked to silence about experiences and haphazard information sources renders menopause as a taboo subject.
Brett Scholz is a research fellow in the Medical School at
The Australian National University. His work is concerned with consumer
leadership in health services and systems, and the allyship that non-consumers
can engage in to create opportunities for consumer leadership. He is one of the
co-editors of ISCHP’s podcast The Operative Word. He can never say no
to a cup of tea.
John Cromby, in his book Feeling Bodies: Embodying Psychologymakes a strong argument for developing an embodied psychology – ‘one that takes seriously the observation that absolutely all experience depends upon our living bodies for its very character, as well as its mere possibility’ (Cromby, 2015: 7).
As someone who has a severely damaged and dysfunctional body
I feel strongly that we critical health psychologists need to take a lot more
notice of people’s lived experience of their bodies. At times, I think, we get
so deeply embroiled in fascinating analyses of, for example, the misuse of
power, and the need for social justice (to mention just two of our preoccupations)
we fail to take account of the fundamental materiality of being human. But it isn’t that simple, as I explain here.
Dr Tracy Morison moved to Aotearoa (New Zealand) two and a half years ago to join the critical health psychology team at Massey University. She now teaches health promotion and critical social psychology and is also a research associate of the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction research programme at Rhodes University, South Africa. Find out more about Tracy’s academic journey in this Career File.
How did you embark on a career in academia? What was it that prompted this decision? I didn’t decide to become an academic; I think academia slowly drew me in! In retrospect, I think I was always destined for the academy. I loved learning as a child and was, according to my peers, a ‘boffin’ (as they called Academic achievers then). When I was in grade 4, I I wrote a composition saying I wanted to be ‘an author’ when I grew up. Then, some years later, I explained that I wanted to be a researcher on my honours application. I think academe has allowed me to combine both of these. My love of language led me to qualitative research and in my postgrad years, I also discovered the rewards of teaching and mentoring. So here I am! Continue reading →