I am Antonia (Toni) Wood and I have recently completed my Ph.D. titled: Challenging Occupational Norms: An Ethnographic Study of Female Prison Officers in a Women’s Prison.
Having gained a first class Honours degree in Criminology from Manchester Metropolitan University, I went on to gain further knowledge in the subject by completing the MRes in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at The University of Manchester. Following a successful application and interview I took the role of Graduate Teaching Assistant (now known as Graduate Teaching Student) and embarked on my PhD journey under the guidance of Dr Elaine Crawley and Dr Muzammil Quraishi at the University of Salford. In summary, my PhD thesis was based upon an ethnographic exploration of female prison officers in a women’s prison in the North-West of England. The findings make contributions to debates around staff-prisoner relationships, mental illness in prison and gendered empathy.
I have enjoyed the whole of my experience whilst at the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Science. The facilities were outstanding, modern and welcoming and I appreciated my own desk space where I could prepare materials for classes I was teaching, or presentations I was due to deliver or generally just be in the presence of other students in a similar position to myself. Many of the students I shared an office with were international and predominantly undertaking research in nursing subjects. This in itself was interesting and made for some good intellectual conversations whilst offering each other support for the expected assessments and internal evaluations that you are expected to pass as a Ph.D. student at the University of Salford.
Here I was given the opportunity to present my research at the schools Celebrating Postgraduate Research Days, and to date I have presented at three of them. They have always proved useful and I always appreciated the comments and feedback given from other academic staff in the school. Throughout this final stage of my Ph.D. journey I have had other opportunities to present my research and quite recently presented some of my findings to criminal justice practitioners at the Criminal Justice Showcase event organized by myself and the Salford Professional Development team.
During the last year I have started to move content from the SUCPS website of which I was co-ordinator to a new Criminal Justice Hub to allow staff from the department of Criminology and Sociology to have a platform to showcase their research. I have assisted in delivering a workshop to bring academic researchers together from the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences and from across the wider university. I am keen to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines and institutions in future research projects. My own research interests predominantly sit within the prison environment with a special interest in the health and wellbeing of both prisoners and prison officers. These areas fit comfortably with a number of disciplines in the school of NWSWSS, for instance mental health, learning disabilities, midwifery and dementia. Currently, I am developing an application for funding with colleagues from the department of Psychology and School of Law at the University of Salford to explore learning difficulties in two distinctly different prisons.
Throughout my time at the University of Salford I have been inspired by a number of colleagues and peers, and as a regular Tweeter I recently posted a photograph under the #InspireUoS of my current point of inspiration. My 13 year old son, who currently spends his life eating, sleeping and playing football (and constantly questions the nutritional value of meals I cook for him) has been given the opportunity to train with the Manchester City Football Academy U13 select team.
School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work & Social Sciences, University of Salford