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Dr Paula Singleton


About Dr Paula Singleton

Paula Singleton is a critical psychologist with specialist expertise in qualitative methods, and phenomenology in particular. She has carried out research with a community drugs treatment service and collaborated with Stanford University on a study of a rare pregnancy complication.

Before coming to academia, Paula was a retail manager, ran a writers’ centre for the Arvon Foundation, was an NHS complaints officer and worked for the General Medical Council. Her Ph.D. was a critical psychology study of masculinities, considering men’s experience of cosmetic surgery to have unwanted breast tissue (gynecomastia) removed. Both this and her research on pregnancy complications drew on online discussion board data and she has also worked face to face with drug users in treatment.

Paula uses qualitative approaches to research, especially considering how people make sense of their everyday experiences, in phenomenological and narrative forms. She has a special interest in media text studies; it is vital to look at the cultural constructions (discourses) which surround us every day and often go unnoticed, and yet some of these are incredibly problematic for non-dominant identities. Paula has also offered qualitative research design guidance to the Leeds Primary Care Mental Health Service, and is used to working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Paula’s work on peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a rare pregnancy complication which can be fatal, was used to inform a clinician toolkit which will save women's lives: https://www.cmqcc.org/resources-tool-kits/toolkits. Dr Christine Morton from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative approached Paula for her expertise in online data collection and analysis, and they collaborated to generate descriptions of women's harrowing PPCM experiences - see Dekker, Morton, Singleton & Lyndon 2016, full reference below.

Paula's most recent work (forthcoming in "Feminism and Psychology") is about experiences of running workshops wherein people remodel fashion dolls into those which better reflect their experiences of body problems and social issues. See examples of some of these dolls.

Current Teaching

Paula supervises many undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on matters such as representations in media texts and gendered aspects of experience. If you would like to discuss potential doctoral study topics, please contact Paula.

Research Interests

In all of her work Paula strives to demystify power and its components, one of which is the production of masculinity and masculine behaviour. She believes that it is essential to highlight and critique the workings of ideology in everyday life. All of her work is based around these central ideas.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (7)

Conference contributions (2)

  • SINGLETON P; FAWKNER H; WHITE A; FOSTER S (2010) The road to surgery for gynecomastia: what can health professionals learn from men's experiences? Bristol University 22/06/2010.
  • SINGLETON P; FAWKNER H; WHITE A; FOSTER S (2008) "Bruises heal but moobs last forever": men's experience of cosmetic surgery for gynecomastia University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 02/09/2008.

Conference proceedings (1)

  • SINGLETON P; FAWKNER H; WHITE AK; FOSTER S (2010) "I can't believe I'm talking about this with strangers on the net": men talk online about breast surgery. In: Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section (QMiP) Annual Conference . Nottingham: , pp. .
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