Dr Sara Louise Wheeler

BA PhD Liverpool

Dr Sara Louise Wheeler
Lecturer in Social Policy (Welsh medium)
01248 388223
Room 204, Neuadd Ogwen


I took up my current post as a lecturer in September 2015, having previously joined the school of social sciences as a researcher on a WISERD civil society project. My current research includes a project with Public Health Wales, exploring the connections between a sense of cultural belonging and health. Other research interests include explorations of Deaf identities, Welsh identities, onomastics (names and naming), and the use of auto/biographical methodologies to explore lived experiences. I am a member of the British Sociological Association’s Auto/ Biography study group and I regularly present at their biannual conferences.

Before coming to work at Bangor University, I have previously held positions at the universities of Chester, Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores. I am also currently a Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndŵr University. My PhD research explored doctor-patient communication and medically unexplained symptoms in the primary care milieu. I have also previously worked on a variety of research projects in the sphere of health and illness, including: habilitation for children and young people with a vision impairment; a feasibility study of CAM therapies for cancer-related insomnia; effective management of type-1 diabetes in adolescents; and behavioural epidemiology and the management of the night-time economy.

Prior to my career in academia I worked in the field of equality and diversity and also a variety of childcare and education-related roles in bilingual settings, including Catalonia and the Basque country. I also worked for nine years as an Independent Public Appointments Assessor for the Welsh Government. I therefore have a variety of research interests relating to health, disability, minority languages, devolution, and equality and diversity.

I am originally from Wrecsam and I am a fluent Welsh speaker. I am involved in a variety of civic participation activities in and around my home town and I have a plethora of related research interests. I also have a particular interest in the dialect and historical context of my paternal family’s village of Rhosllannerchrugog and I am currently conducting some research relating to this. I am also from a Deafhearing family and my civic participation interests encompass this phenomenon.

I live in a small village in the Wirral peninsular and many of my personal interests relate to rural life and wildlife.


I am currently working on a project with Public Health Wales, exploring the connections between a sense of cultural belonging and health. Drawing on international research, we will be exploring this phenomenon in a Welsh context, including issues relating to the Welsh language and cultural identity. Included in this research will be an appreciation of Welsh community and cooperative initiatives.

My other current research interests are in the following fields:

  1. Qualitative research: epistemological anarchism, methodological pluralism, complexity theory & bricolage; reflexivity; writing as a method of enquiry; life writing; autoethnography, duoethnography, netnography and ethnography; performative social science; poetics; detailed and multiple case studies; the narrative approach; conversation analysis and discourse analysis; transdisciplinarity. 
  2. Identity, belonging, community, nationalism, devolution, language and culture, every-day life, particularly in the Welsh context and in relation to multicultural extended families. 
  3. Health and illness, particularly: mental health, resilience, burn out, psychosocial issues, somatisation and well-being; addiction, dependence and recreational use of alcohol and other substances; medical education; special educational needs and disability; autism and dyslexia; equality and diversity. 
  4. Deaf studies, including: Deafhearing family life; Deafhood; signed languages, BSL and sign-singing (sign language to music); research relating to identity/ ethnicity of Deaf communities worldwide; plural identity research in relation to Deaf community, especially Deaf Welsh Identity; research relating to particular conditions such as tinnitus, Waardenburg syndrome and varying degrees of associated hearing loss; assistive technologies and innovation; genetic counselling. 
  5. Navigation of the early career trajectory and exploration of these experiences and narratives using a variety of reflexive approaches.


(Pre-2009: published under my maiden name Sara Edwards; post-2009: Sara Louise Wheeler):


Please visit the publications page of Sara Wheeler to view recent publications.

(Pre-2009: published under my maiden name Sara Edwards; post-2009: Sara Louise Wheeler):


Master’s by research: Melen Hâf Lloyd – an auto/ethnographic project exploring lived experiences of cochlear implants.

I also supervise undergraduate dissertation students in the second and third year of study.


SCP-1006: Materion Iechyd & Lles (Year 1, semester 1&2, 20 credits)

SCU-1001: Ymchwil Cymdeithasol (Year 1, semester 1&2, 20 credits)

SCU-2001: Dulliau Ymchwil (Year 2, semester 1, 20 credits)

SCS-2011: Cymdeithaseg Iechyd (Year 2, semester 2, 20 credits)

Other activities

Professional membership   

2014 - current   BSA Auto/ Biography study group
2002 - current   British Sociological Association (BSA)

Civic participation

2012 - current   Sign-singing member, Wrexham singing hands
2009 - current   Committee member & columnist, Y Clawdd, Wrecsam                                       
2010 - 2011      Literature committee member, Welsh National Eisteddfod, Wrecsam
2002 - 2004      Volunteer, Sahir House (Multicultural HIV support & information centre)

Academic editorial 

2006 - 2010      Editorial Team Member, Medical Sociology Online Journal                         
2002 - 2007      Editorial Board Member, ‘Network’, British Sociological Association