Dr Becky Tipper
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.
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.
- Tipper, B (2016) 'On Cats and Contradictions: Mourning animal death in an English community' in M DeMello (ed) Mourning Animals. Michigan State University Press.
- Mason, J and Tipper, B (2014) 'Children as Family Members.' Chapter 9 in G Melton, A Ben-Arieh, J Cashmore, G Goodman, and N Worley (Eds), The SAGE Handbook of Child Research. London, Sage.
- Tipper, B (2013) 'Moments of Being and Ordinary Human-Animal Encounters.' Virginia Woolf Miscellany (Special Issue on Woolf and Animals), 84: 14-16.
- Tipper, B (2011) 'Pets and Personal Life' Chapter in May, V (Ed) Sociology of Personal Life. Basingstoke, Palgrave.
- Tipper, B (2011) 'A dog who I know quite well: everyday relationships between children and animals' Children's Geographies, 9(2): 145-165.
- Mason, J and Tipper, B (2008) 'Being Related: How children define and create kinship' Childhood, 15 (4): 441-460.
- Mason, J and Tipper, B (2008) ‘Children and the Making of Kinship Configurations’ in Widmer, E and Jallinoja, R (Eds) Beyond the Nuclear Family: Families in a Configurational Perspective (Population, Family and Society vol. 9). Bern: Peter Lang.