Tuesday 1 December 2015

Civil Celebrancy and Me 3 | Making Connections

It’s been a while since my last blog entry – apologies.

I’ll carry on where I left off. . .  

I feel privileged that my career as an academic and my engagement with sociology has taken place during a time when more space has opened up for auto/biographical reflection. Since the first British Sociological Association (BSA) Auto/Biography Study Group Conference which took place on my birthday in 1991 I have felt that my work, and that of similar others, has been valued and validated. Being part of a group that encourages creativity and experimentation and shares so much laughter and so many tears is fortune indeed.

With reference to more recent learning experiences a significant and lasting legacy of my UK SOC training is how the experience of becoming a Civil Celebrant helped me to make connections with and draw on and further develop skills acquired within my sociological undertakings and also my work as a nursery nurse (my first career). All of these occupations are people focused, are creative and require imagination. Civil Celebrancy as an auto/biographical practice involves learning about and from the people whose lives are central to the ceremonies concerned. I’m too much of a sociologist to think of this opportunity, this life course development as natural and inevitable but I feel fortunate, yet again, that my life experiences and life chances have come together in this way.

Over the last 25 years my academic research interests have been varied (to include not least experiences of human reproduction, non/parenthood, travel and transport and working and learning in higher education). Throughout I’ve been interested in loss, grief and bereavement; originally with specific reference to perinatal loss, and more recently loss across the lifecourse and the associated concern with continuing bonds and lasting legacies and influences.

Three weeks ago I was lucky to attend (and present) at another BSA study group event – the Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group (DDB) annual symposium – where the focus was on Methodology: Researching Death, Dying and Bereavement. Following a stimulating day I decided to join The Association for the Study of Death and Society.  I’m anticipating that my education will continue. If you are interested in any of the organisations/groups mentioned here, maybe in terms of your own education:
Association for the Study of Death in Society LOGO