Research Student Profile – Katie Ward

Katie Ward

PhD Student: Katie Ward, Department of Culture (Linguistics)
Supervisors: Dr Angela Smith, Dr Mike Pearce

Thesis: The Lived Experiences of Transgender People in North East England.

Transgender people are increasingly visible in today’s mass media, however overall attitudes towards gender variance are still hostile. Sensationalised tabloid stories overshadow positive representations of trans people and skew opinions of the general public. The North East of England has a burgeoning trans community but is still associated with being a traditional area of interdependent mining communities. Despite this growing scene and a significant number of trans organisations, the individual experiences of trans people have not been documented.
The aim of the research is to provide a rich picture of the real lived experiences of transgender people in the North East of England; and to investigate how they self-identify through the use of language and interaction. Through interviews with trans people and media texts, I will draw out and explore medical and media ideologies in conjunction with regional identity. This will enable me to investigate how trans people develop their identities and explore their experiences of being trans in the North East.

Key Themes/ Concepts: Critical Discourse Analysis, Gender, Identity, Narrative, Membership Categorisation Analysis, Sexuality, Performativity, Ideology.


Montgomery, C. and Ward, K. (2009). Perspectives on collaborative research between staff and students: the ‘Charvas and Chorbas’ project. Emerge Journal, 1, pp 26-31.


Ward, K. (2015) Avoiding the ‘Other’: Collecting Spoken Data from Transgender Participants. Presented at Newcastle Critical Discourse Group PhD Symposium, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 13 May 2015 (Unpublished).

Montgomery, C., Ward, K., and Bertram, L. (2008) Constructing Youth Identities with Charvas and Chorbas and Engaging Students in Research with Staff. Presented at Teenagers in the 21st Century: Researching Youth Cultures, Leeds Trinity University, 10-12 July 2008.

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