Dr Jenny Douglas is passionate about the health and wellbeing of black women as evidenced through her research and public engagement. She has a PhD in Women’s Studies and completed her doctoral thesis on cigarette smoking and identity among African-Caribbean young women in contemporary British society. This research brought together two divergent research traditions: medical public health and health promotion approaches with sociological approaches to researching cigarette smoking. This interdisciplinary research approach brings together sociology, public health and women’s studies. Her commitment to comparative approaches finds expression not only in working across disciplinary and national boundaries, but also across theoretical and methodological traditions. Her research is both varied and wide ranging spanning 30 years on issues of race, health, gender and ethnicity. The key theme unifying her research and activism is intersectionality – exploring how ‘race’, class and gender affect particular aspects of African - Caribbean women’s health.
Jenny Douglas established and chairs the Black Women’s Health and Wellbeing Research Network. (www.open.ac.uk/black-womens-health-and-wellbeing) and her ambition is to establish a research institute on the health and wellbeing of black women. She is a contributing author to 'Inside the Ivory Tower'.
Jenny Douglas is a Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at the Open University. She has a PhD in Women’s Studies from the University of York, an MA in Sociological Research in Health Care from the University of Warwick, an MSc in Environmental Pollution Control from the University of Leeds and a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Virology from the University of Warwick. She is module lead of the K311 – ‘Promoting Public Health’, is an honorary member of the Faculty of Public Health and is a director of the UK Public Health Register.
Jenny is a Research Affiliate of the Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA.
Jenny’s research has concentrated on changing policy, practice and approaches to research in health promotion and public health. She has published widely on public health, health promotion and black women’s health. She is a member of the African-Caribbean Women’s Mobility and Self-fashioning in Post-diaspora Contexts Network (Post-diaspora Network) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The network consists of twelve scholars from the UK, North America and the Caribbean, who come together to investigate how globalisation might work for African-Caribbean women migrants, even while acknowledging and addressing its exclusions and the production of inequalities.
Health promotion and public health theory, practice and research; sociology of health and illness; ethnicity, ‘race’ and gender; health policy, international health policy, gender and health, global public health; intersectionality and health.
Jenny is member of the African-Caribbean Women’s Mobility and Self-fashioning in Post-diaspora Contexts Network (Post-diaspora Network) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Member of the Caribbean Studies Association.
Research Affiliate of the Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
Visiting Scholar in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA.
Member of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)
Member of the African-Caribbean Women’s Mobility and Self-fashioning in Post-diaspora Contexts Network (Post-diaspora Network)
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Co-investigator||10/Jan/2014||30/Jun/2016||Milton Keynes Council|
Background The Lakes estate in Bletchley was built between 1968 and 1975 and by the time of this project many properties required refurbishment. Parts of the estate, comprising council-owned properties, were refurbished by Milton Keynes Council to create whole house efficiency through works to roofs, windows, doors, cladding and boiler replacements as required. At the same time, the public health team wanted to plan interventions based on the estate’s health needs, and information gathered form the effects of the refurbishments was to inform this planning. The OU team was required to: • Help to identify a purposive sample of households to represent a range of households on the estate. • Carry out a qualitative assessment of health and wellbeing, including people’s views about their housing and its impact upon their health, among a sample of households on the estate whose properties were to undergo refurbishment from early 2014. • Ascertain people’s needs and wants in relation to public health support services and improvements, and their preferences for delivery of these services. • Assess the extent of community capacity and social capital among Lakes estate residents. • Help to identify and then train and support volunteers from the estate to act as interviewers. • Revisit the households to undertake qualitative re-assessment of their health and wellbeing once the renovation works were complete, at least sic months after the completion of work to learn about the longer-term impact. • Report regularly to the reference group and produce reports on findings and recommendations at each stage. The research We aimed for a purposive sample of around 50 households, working with the public health team to to ensure representation from the different communities/social and ethnic groups/family structures living on the estate, as far as possible. We developed a semi-structured questionnaire to use with the households within face-to-face interviews in their homes, drawing on well established qualitative survey questions where possible to ensure that the validity of the questionnaire was commensurate with other comparable tools. The focus was on whole households, involving children as well as adults in groups interviews, where appropriate. We worked through the neighbourhood regeneration and neighbourhood engagement teams already working with residents of the Lakes estate who managed relationships with residents during the refurbishment. The timing of the research meant that stage one (baseline) interviews were carried out by the contracted OU team, but for the second stage (follow-up interviews), a small team of residents from the Lakes estate was recruited, trained and supported to take part in the interviews. They were paid and worked in pairs, usually comprising one academic and one community researcher.