Dr Ruth Beresford

Dr Ruth Beresford BA (Hons), MA, PhD

Research Associate


I am a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics. In my role, I support research projects from across the Department's disciplines, particularly in Sociology, Politics, Social Policy and Social Psychology.

I have been awarded the Sheffield Hallam University Early Career and Innovation Fellowship for 2021/22 during which time I will be developing my research in the fields of sexual harassment; women’s sexualities and sexual lives; and qualitative and participatory research methodologies. 


I joined Sheffield Hallam University as a Research Associate in December 2018. Prior to this I was studying full-time for my ESRC funded PhD which explored women's experiences of pornography using participatory research methods. I was awarded my PhD from the University of Sheffield in June 2020. I have an MA in Social Research Methods and a BA in History and Politics, both from the University of Sheffield.

My research interests include the sociological study of sex, sexuality and pornography. I am also interested in social research methods, and in particular the methods to have emerged from Feminist, Disability Studies and Participatory research paradigms.

I am currently conducting research into women’s lived experiences of pornography and their perspectives on how pornography should be covered in Sex and Relationship Education (SRE). 


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts


Journal articles

Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Lawson, K., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (2023). Physiotherapy for fibromyalgia: a phenomenological study of patients’ experiences. Journal of Pain Management, 15 (4). https://novapublishers.com/shop/volume-15-issue-4-2022-journal-of-pain-management/

Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Lawson, K., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (2023). Remote care for chronic pain: A qualitative evaluation with managers, practitioners and patients. Journal of Pain Management, 15 (4). https://novapublishers.com/shop/volume-15-issue-4-2022-journal-of-pain-management/

Hirst, J., Pickles, J., Kenny, M., Beresford, R., & Froggatt, C. (2022). A qualitative exploration of perceptions of anal sex: implications for sex education and sexual health services in England. Culture, Health and Sexuality. http://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2022.2037020

Reynolds, J., Ogden, M., & Beresford, R. (2021). Conceptualising and constructing ‘diversity’ through experiences of public and patient involvement in health research. Research Involvement and Engagement, 7. http://doi.org/10.1186/s40900-021-00296-9

Reynolds, J., & Beresford, R. (2020). “An Active, Productive Life”: Narratives of, and Through, Participation in Public and Patient Involvement in Health Research. Qualitative Health Research. http://doi.org/10.1177/1049732320961053


Jeffery, R., Beresford, R., Thomas, P., Etherington, D., & Jones, M. (2024). Challenging Sexual Harassment in Low Paid & Precarious Hospitality Work. Sheffield Hallam University.

Reynolds, J., Ogden, M., & Beresford, R. (2021). "Something quite special"? Understanding PPI experiences over time, and in the context of health research systems. Sheffield Hallam University.

Thomas, P., Etherington, D., Jeffery, R., Beresford, R., Beel, D., & Jones, M. (2020). Tackling Labour Market Injustice and Organising Workers: The View from a Northern Heartland. Sheffield TUC. https://lowpaysheffield.com/

Other activities


I was awarded funding by the British Sociological Association (BSA) on two occasions to organise and host a conference:

Designing and Undertaking Participatory Research: Practical Issues, Successes and Challenges
BSA Early Career Forum Event, Sheffield Hallam University, 9th December 2020

Sex in Society: Bringing Together Sociological Research on Sexual Culture, Sexual Practice and Sexual Consumption
BSA Regional Postgraduate Event, The University of Sheffield, 3rd March 2018

Recent Presentations

Sorry the Wi-Fi keeps cutting out! Finding new ways to connect with each other and do feminist and participatory research when working remotely.
Ruth Beresford
BSA Annual Conference, Online Conference, 14th April 2021

Precarity is the Pandemic: Sheffield, and the Predictable Consequences of a Lack of Bargaining Power.
Bob Jeffery, Peter Thomas and Ruth Beresford
BSA Annual Conference, Online Conference, 13th April 2021

Other Activities

Member of the UKRI ECR Forum

Postgraduate supervision

Chloe Froggatt: A Qualitative Exploration of Women’s Sexual Expression

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