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Staff Profile

Dr Eeva Sointu

Associate Professor: Sociology

I am a sociologist and I am fascinated by bodies, identities, and power. I am interested in embodied practices, bodily processes, and products used to embellish, invigorate, and manage bodies and selves. Intersecting identities and enduring inequalities are central to my thinking.


My teaching draws on my research into therapeutic thinking, complementary and alternative medicines, wellbeing, affect and emotion, medical education, inequalities, and the gendered body.

I teach on the following modules: 

  • Gender, Body, Power
  • Health, Illness and Society
  • Social Research Methods I
  • Sociology of Everyday life. 


I study configurations of power, legitimacy and meaning in the domains of health, wellbeing, and medicine. I consider identities and shifting social values as central to understanding medical work and health seeking, but also the ways in which bodies and health practices are evaluated and represented. I am captivated by the ways in which gendered bodies are represented, as well as experienced.

Publications and Conferences


Sointu, E. (2012) Theorizing Complementary and Alternative Medicines: Wellbeing, Self, Class, Gender, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, UK, New York, USA.

Journal articles

Sointu, E. and Hill, D. W. (2020) Trump Therapy: Personal Identity, Political Trauma and the Contradictions of Therapeutic Practice, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 1-17.
Sointu, E. (2019) Challenges and a Super Power: How Medical Students Understand and Would Improve Health in Neoliberal Time, Critical Sociology, online first, November 13 2019.
Sointu, E. (2017) ‘Good’ patient / ‘bad’ patient: clinical learning and the entrenching of inequality, Sociology of Health and Illness, 39, 1, 63-77.
Sointu, E. (2016) Discourse, affect and affliction, The Sociological Review, 64, 312–328.
Sointu, E. (2013) Complementary and alternative medicines, embodied subjectivity and experiences of healing, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 17, 5, 439-454.
Sointu, E. (2011) Detraditionalization, Gender, and Alternative and Complementary Medicines, Sociology of Health and Illness, 33, 3, 356-371.
Sointu, E. and Woodhead, L. (2008) Spirituality, Gender, and Expressive Selfhood, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47, 2, 259-276.
Sointu, E. (2006) Healing bodies, feeling bodies: embodiment and alternative and complementary health practices, Social Theory and Health 4, 3, 203-220.
Sointu, E. (2006) Recognition and the creation of wellbeing, Sociology 40, 3, 493-510.
Sointu, E. (2006) The search for wellbeing in alternative and complementary health practices, Sociology of Health and Illness 28, 3, 330-349.
Sointu, E. (2005) The rise of an ideal: tracing changing discourses of wellbeing, The Sociological Review 53, 2, 255-274.

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