Dr Maria Adams


Lecturer
PhD
+44 (0)1483 689674
09 AD 03

Biography

Research

Research interests

Supervision

Postgraduate research supervision

My teaching

My publications

Publications

This article examines the importance of intersectionality; and how this has been influential to analyzing my (the author’s) research journey as a Black Minority Ethnic (African and Asian descent) female researcher, using ethnographic approaches to collate data in three Scottish prisons. Intersectionality is a powerful tool to capture; and to interrogate the realities of fieldwork. It enables researchers to reflect on their social position, in response to the relational dynamics which occur in the field ( Bochner, 1997 ; Ellis & Bochner, 2006 ). Inspired by intersectional scholars, this paper will capture the nuances and complexities of the day to day realities in the field by exploring the importance of social identity. Furthermore, this paper will extend the discussion on social identity by analyzing the lived experiences and emotions occupied in certain spaces in the penal system; and how this has steered the narrative to collating data on the lived experiences of families of prisoners. This paper will capture the pleasantries, celebrations and complexities in conducting research in the waiting rooms of prisons by narrating on three themes: Power; Emotions in the field; and the Outsider within.
A Jones, J Blake, C Banks, M Adams, D Kelly, R Mannion, J Maben (2021)Speaking up about Bullying and Harassment in Healthcare: Reflections Following the Introduction of an Innovative “Speak Up” Role in NHS England, In: Connecting Healthcare Worker Well-Being, Patient Safety and Organisational Change125(3)pp. 145-161 Springer International Publishing
Healthcare organisations reap significant benefits when workers’ concerns are adequately listened and responded to, including improved patient safety, reduced costs and improved staff experience. Although many concerns are dealt with satisfactorily, compelling evidence suggests that problems of silence (where employees do not speak up) and deafness (where organisations do not hear concerns or act) remain pervasive worldwide. In the English National Health Service (NHS) the response to these problems includes numerous policy initiatives and the introduction in 2016 of the “Freedom to Speak Up Guardian” (FTSUG) role. This globally unique role is described as potentially leading to huge improvements in the way staff concerns are handled and responded to leading to improvements in organisational learning and patient safety. Following their introduction thousands of NHS staff have already spoken up via FTSUGs. The majority of FTSUGs time is spent on bullying and harassment concerns, rather than direct patient safety concerns, which appears to have confounded FTSUGs’ and others’ expectations. This chapter opens by describing the background to the development of the FTSUG role. We then outline the literature on bullying and harassment; its shocking prevalence within healthcare workplaces and the damaging consequences of bullying borne by organisations and individual staff and patients. We also discuss our analysis of semi-structured interviews (n = 87) undertaken with FTSUGs, which illustrates the realities of dealing with colleagues’ concerns about bullying and harassment and how these realities are often overlooked in national, regional and local workplace guidance and training materials currently available to support the implementation of the role.
Daniel McCarthy, Maria Adams (2019)Can family-prisoner relationships ever improve during incarceration? Examining the primary caregivers of incarcerated young men, In: British Journal of Criminology59(2)pp. 378-395 Oxford University Press (OUP)
How incarceration affects the lives of prisoners’ family members has received a growing level of interest amongst scholars during the past decade. The majority of research has pointed to the negative affects that incarceration wreaks on family lives. Yet, far less attention has been paid to the countervailing effects of incarceration, and in particular, cases where prisoner–family relations may improve during the sentence. Focusing on primary caregivers maintaining relations with young men in prison, we examine how and why these improvement dynamics exist, and consider what role incarceration may play in helping some families to rebuild relationships with prisoners in the restricted physical context of the prison.
Maria Adams, Daniel McCarthy (2019)Race and Parenting in the Context of Youth Incarceration, In: Ethnic and Racial Studies43(16)pp. 175-192 Taylor & Francis
This article examines the experiences of ethnic minority caregivers related to young men in prison. Focusing on how parenting was shaped through ethnic identity, we show that caregivers (especially mothers) developed a strong protectionist stance towards their children – a response partly conditioned by the pressures of crime and policing in their neighbourhoods. Reflections on parenting also encompassed specific forms of cultural shame, which were interpreted as responses to actual and perceived judgements about parenting competence. The role of faith as a means of coping with the ordeals of criminal justice contact were also identified. These findings are examined through the literature on race and parenting in explaining the consequences of crime and imprisonment in shaping family lives.
Daniel McCarthy, Maria Adams (2017)Visitation as Human 'Right' or Earned 'Privilege' for Prisoners?, In: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law39(4)pp. pp 403-416 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Prison visitation has been widely recognised as an important feature of a just and humane prison system, providing important benefits for prisoners and their family in maintaining ties. However, emphasis on maintaining prisoner–family ties over the sentence has remained a low priority for the prison service in England and Wales, with prison visits ideologically framed as a ‘privilege’ rather than a ‘right’ for prisoners. This paper contrasts England and Wales with Scotland where a diverging approach to supporting visitation and family contact has been implemented. In Scotland, a strong focus on human rights as a justification for these policies has occurred, in tandem with more palatable historical context of penal welfarism. This paper assesses differences between the two governmental approaches to prison visitation, situated in discussion of some of the broader resettlement outcomes which may be garnered via these policy responses.
Maria Adams, Noreen O'Meara, Daniel McCarthy The Joint Enterprise Appeals Project: a crucible for student empowerment and activism?, In: Student Empowerment in Higher Education Logos Verlag
Daniel McCarthy, Maria Adams (2017)"Yes, I can still parent. Until I die, he will always be my son": Parental responsibility in the wake of child incarceration, In: Punishment & Society21(1)pp. pp 89-106 Sage Publications
This paper examines what parental responsibility means when an adolescent child is sent to prison, where the traditional parenting relationship seemingly ends and parens patriae or penal control comes into full force. Paradoxically, we argue that even in these restricted spaces of contact, parenting continues, albeit in a form which runs into frequent tension with the care/control modalities of the prison itself. Our data further demonstrate the importance of addressing a constellation of social adversities experienced by caregivers, in conjunction with the collateral consequences of offending and incarceration. Data are drawn from interviews with primary caregivers with young men in prison (n=61).
Chris Holligan, Lucy Hanson, Gillian Henderson, Maria Adams (2014)The 'Care' of Children in Need in Contemporary Scotland The Role of Positivism and Performance Indicators in Official Imaginings of Childhood and Wellbeing, In: Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care13(1) CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection
Improving the wellbeing of children is an ambition of governments worldwide. This has led to increased activity to measure the implementation of policies intended to achieve this. In this paper, we argue that this is currently limited through the reliance on statistically-driven methods and that there needs to be a fundamental change in how policies are assessed. We examine this within the current policy context for vulnerable children in Scotland.
Daniel McCarthy, Maria Adams (2019)Assessing the deployment of informal support networks for mothers of incarcerated young men, In: European Journal of Criminology Sage Publications
The stigma and disruption caused by a close relative’s offending and imprisonment can impact heavily on the informal support networks that caregivers commonly utilise to cope with the aftermath of such events. In the study of family–prisoner relationships, scarce research has examined how caregivers draw on informal support networks and the extent to which these networks can facilitate various modes of support. This article focuses exclusively on mothers (n = 37) related to adolescent/young adult men in prison. We analyse who caregivers turn to after the offence, and the extent to which these networks operate as a means of delivering emotional (and sometimes material) support. Our conclusions raise questions about the informal support offered by family and friends, and offer suggestions on service responses to these issues.
Lucy Hanson, Chris Holligan, Maria Adams (2016)'Looked-after' young people's voices an actor-network theory analysis, In: Children's Geographies14(5)pp. 603-616 Taylor & Francis
This article offers an empirical case study of ways in which ‘looked-after’ young people responded in focus groups about taking part in a survey task. These research participants are deemed by the state as in need of protection. We demonstrate that despite their vulnerable status, they are immensely resilient and capable of contributing to debates about research participation. Through the application of actor-network theory, we outline conglomerations of actor-networks involved with the materiality of their agency.