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Gareth Thomas

Dr Gareth Thomas

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 70945
Glamorgan Building, Room 2.35, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Media commentator


I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences. I am a sociologist interested in disability, medicine, health/illness, and reproduction. My PhD was an ethnography of screening for Down's syndrome in two UK prenatal clinics. This research forms the basis of my first monograph Down's Syndrome Screening and Reproductive Politics: Care, Choice, and Disability in the Prenatal Clinic (2017, see here). I have also co-authored, with Dikaios Sakellariou, the edited collection Disability, Normalcy, and the Everyday (2018, see here).

I am Associate Editor of the journal New Genetics and Society, an editorial board member of the journal Sociology of Health and Illness, and co-founder and co-convenor of the Medicine, Science and Culture Research Group (MeSC) and Cardiff Interdisciplinary Network on Disability (CIND) at Cardiff University.














Book sections



  • Sakellariou, D. and Thomas, G. 2016. Disability and everyday worlds. Presented at: 76th annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada, 29 March- 2 April 2016.





My broad research interests are disability, medicine, health/illness, and reproduction.

I was employed as a Research Associate on the ESRC-funded 'Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement' project (February 2014-May 2015). This involved working collaboratively with academics, artists, and community organisers/members to map young peoples' experiences of health and wellbeing, regulation, and place. In June 2015, I was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Canberra where I carried out a study with Professor Deborah Lupton on pregnancy and parenting 'apps'.

In 2018, I was awarded a small grant from The Sociological Review as part of their Kick Start Grant scheme. This work explored how parents of disabled children reflected upon their lives within a context of both austerity and a growing presence of positive disability imaginaries enacted through popular media.

In 2022, I was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for the project 'A World of Indifference? Living with Learning Disability in the UK' (grant MCFSS22\220015). The project is based on a qualitative study exploring how adults with learning disability cultivate alternate, and affirmative, identities which celebrate and recognise their worth and humanity. It begins in January 2023 and ends in December 2023.

I have also recently been undertaking a study on older people's involvement in walking football.


In the last few years, I have convened and taught on the modules 'Contemporary Inequalities', 'Sociology of Stigma', 'Live Theory', and 'Advanced Concepts in Contemporary Sociology'. I have also taught on various other undergraduate and postgraduate modules including 'Introduction to Sociology', 'Social Research Methods', 'Ethnography', 'Digital Society', and 'Community, Sustainable Health, and Wellbeing'. I also taught for several years in the Cardiff University School of Medicine, where I introduced undergraduate medical students to key ideas located within the sociology of health, medicine, and illness.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Previous Appointments

  • Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University, 2019-
  • Lecturer, Cardiff University, 2015-2019
  • Research Associate, Cardiff University, 2014-2015
  • Ph.D. Sociology, Cardiff University, 2010-2014
  • M.Sc. Social Science Research Methods (Distinction), Cardiff University, 2009-2010
  • Econ Sociology (First Class Honours), Cardiff University, 2006-2009