PERSONAL SITE OF PROFESSOR BARRY JOHN GIBSON
Professor in Medical Sociology
A sociological life.
Professor Barry Gibson is one of the key sociologists working in the Oral and Dental complex. I contribute to research and debate in oral health and dentistry as well as to the sociology of health and illness more generally. My goal has always been to provide accessible sociology that is both pure and applied to the challenges of oral health and dentistry.
I work with grounded theory methodology, systems theory and more recently the theory of social practices. I am going to be using this website to blog and develop my research as I move into the second half of my career. What this site is for is to build a sociological biography but also to think out loud about the research I am doing and to provide support and resources for dentists and students.
I really do hope you like the posts and enjoy using the resources.
Articles, Books and Chapters
I have published in a wide variety of journals from applied sociology in dentistry through to pure sociological journals. You will find below references and background summaries to some of my most important papers as well as upcoming research.
ENTANGLED IDENTITIES AND PSYCHOTROPIC
This was my first fully recognised sociological paper. I was helped so much by Myfanwy Morgan, David Locker and my wife Kelly Gibson. Why? I was a rookie sociologist and a new Portadown lad trying to live in London. It was a huge ladder to climb and I definitely would not have managed it without them!
The paper itself reports on the challenge of identity work that recovering drug users have to go through when trying to come through rehabilitation. It is now quite widely cited. But really there are two great papers that now supercede this work in my view. These are:
Hughes, K., 2007. Migrating identities: The relational constitution of drug use and addiction. Sociology of Health & Illness, 29(5), pp.673-691.
Nettleton, S., Neale, J. and Pickering, L., 2013. ‘I just want to be normal’: An analysis of discourses of normality among recovering heroin users. Health:, 17(2), pp.174-190.
AS A LIFE COURSE
19th September 2018
This paper reports on the findings of a grounded theory analysis of interviews with 43 older people. The theory that is introduced articulates how the main concern of many older people was to keep their teeth into older age. The theory itself articulates how this was achieved by engagement with the oral and dental system.
The paper demonstrates that there is a life course politics. When people invest heavily in the oral and dental complex over many years attending dental practices, brushing and engaging in daily oral care practices they should be treated with dignity and respect in later life.
This paper is the first to provide an outline of the underlying theory and further papers are being developed exploring in detail various different aspects of the theory.
Gibson, B.J., Kettle, J.E., Robinson, P.G., Walls, A. and Warren, L., (2019) Oral care as a life course project: a qualitative grounded theory study. Gerodontology, 36(1), pp.8-17.
Where I teach
GRADUATE COURSE BDS
THE SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH AND ILLNESS
I have been teaching the sociology of health and illness, dental public health and the quality of patient care to Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students at the University of Sheffield's School of Clinical Dentistry for over 15 years now. I teach on the social determinants of health, the voice of children in oral and dental research as well as inequalities in oral health.
Yearly February to May
I teach the Sociology of Health and Illness to Masters in Public Health and Dental Public Health students in the School of Health and Related Research and the School of Clinical Dentistry at the University of Sheffield. In that module we discuss a range of topics including inequalities in health, the role of gender in health and the role of power and population health.