Sarah Riley

Dr Sarah Riley
Reader in Psychology
Aberystwyth University

Focus area of practical/ clinical work/ research

I am a Reader in Psychology at Aberystwyth University, Wales and an interdisciplinary researcher who draws on psychology, sociology, cultural and media studies to understand the person in context. My work focuses on identity issues around gender, embodiment, health, youth culture and citizenship. Thereby, I use a range of qualitative methods including discourse analysis, visual and participatory methods. I have been funded by H2020, ESRC, British Academy and charities. Current work focuses on how people are making sense of themselves and their bodies within the context of neoliberalism and postfeminism. I lead the Department of Psychology’s Critical Social Psychology at Aberystwyth research group.

Publications/ Projects/ Activities

Ensslin, A., Skains, L., Riley, S., Mackiewicz, A., Haran, J., Halliwell, E. 2016. Exploring digital fiction as a tool for teenage body image bibliotherapy. Digital Creativity 27 (3) pp. 177-195.

Evans, A. & Riley, S. (2014). Technologies of Sexiness: Sex, Identity and Consumption. New York: Oxford University Press, USA.

Riley, S.C.E., Burns, M., Frith, H. & Markula, P. (Eds). (2008). Critical bodies: Representations, Practices and Identities of Weight and Body Management. London: Palgrave/ MacMillan.

Riley, S., Evans, A. & Robson, M. (forthcoming). Postfeminism and Health. London: Routledge.

Riley, S., Evans, A. & Mackiewicz, A. (2016). It’s just between girls: Negotiating the postfeminist gaze in women’s ‘looking talk’. Feminism & Psychology, 26 (1), 94-113.

Riley, S., Rodham, K. & Gavin, J. (2009). Doing weight: Pro-ana and recovery identities in cyberspace. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 19, 348-359.

Sullivan, C., Gibson, S. & Riley, S. (2012). Doing Your Qualitative Psychology Project. London: Sage.

Motivation/ Inspiration/ Mission

I am interested in applying critical psychology principles to understanding body image and how we make sense of our bodies. I seek to explore the impact of dominant discourses of bodies and health on how people can think and experience themselves and others. Applying these critical psychology principles can help us challenge the discourses that reduce our capacities to act and gives us directions for more liberated ways of being.

Contact details

Dr Sarah Riley, Department of Psychology, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 1JG

Twitter: @sarahrileybrown