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Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives

Dr Becky Tipper

Honorary Fellow

Email: rebecca.tipper@manchester.ac.uk

Research interests

My interests lie in the sociology of everyday life and relationships, spanning human-animal engagements; kin and family relations; children’s everyday experiences; and social relations in suburban and domestic space.

Biography

My first degree was in Psychology (University of St Andrews, 1999) and I later completed an MA in Social Research (University of Leeds, 2003) where I specialized in disability studies and qualitative methodology. Between 2004 and 2007, I worked as Research Associate on the Children Creating Kinship project at the universities of Leeds and Manchester (an ESRC-funded project led by Prof Jennifer Mason and Dr Jennifer Flowerdew). This qualitative study explored how children aged 7-12 practiced and reflected on their relationships with family and kin, and in particular, how they defined ‘relatedness.’ I completed my PhD at The University of Manchester in 2012, entitled ‘Creaturely Encounters: an ethnographic study of human-animal relations in a British suburban neighbourhood’ (funded by an ESRC Quota Award and supervised by Prof Jennifer Mason and Prof Carol Smart).

Taking a suburban neighbourhood as the site for an ethnographic case study, I explored how people experienced and reflected on everyday engagements with a range of animals - including garden wildlife, creatures resident in local parks, neighbourhood pets and household pests. I explored how such creaturely encounters were part of the everyday life of this neighbourhood, tracing the ways that animals enabled/troubled/intersected human relationships as well as asking how far the suburban neighbourhood might be understood as a site of ‘more-than-human’ sociality.

I also examined how key concepts and debates in human-animal studies (issues of animal personhood and anthropomorphism; human empathy and compassion for creatures; questions of how to conceptualize interspecies relationships) played out in this particular everyday context.

Publications