Dr Jenelle Clarke is a post-doctoral research fellow based within the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham. As a medical sociologist, she works within the field of microsociology and emotions. Her research involves the exploration of everyday experiences of delivering and receiving health care, applying sociological theory to improvement sciences, and improving coproduced healthcare initiatives. Jenelle is leading an ethnographic project on integrated mental health and social care funded by The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute (Sept 2020 – May 2024). The project looks at improvement initiatives within integrated mental health and social teams, specifically children and adolescent and older people services. The aim of the research is to improve services through improving interpersonal relationships. As part of this project, Jenelle is developing a novel measure of emotional energy, a concept derived from interaction ritual theory, that will assess the emotional climate of teams.
Prior the THIS project, Jenelle was a co-investigator and research fellow on a NIHR funded grant, ‘Healthcare Leadership with Political Astuteness (HeLPA): a qualitative study of how service leaders understand and mediate the ‘politics and power’ of major health system change’, looking at the organisational politics involved in major health system change. She also has experience of working within the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands to understand how health research initiatives are coproduced and implemented within clinical practice, particularly looking at emotional and relational inclusivity in coproduction. Jenelle has been involved in research work related to therapeutic environments and initiatives to improve social care services.
Her doctoral work, funded by the ESRC, was completed in 2015 at the University of Nottingham. This narrative ethnography, ‘Where the Change Is: everyday interaction rituals of therapeutic communities’, was concerned with how, and whether, everyday social interactions facilitate personal change within therapeutic communities. Though the lens of interaction ritual chain theory, the study investigated participants’ understanding of the role of community during their personal change process and analysed participants’ experience of daily life in community. In 2014, Jenelle was awarded the Andrew Hendry Prize at the University of Nottingham for accomplishment in doctoral research and contributions to the postgraduate community.
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