Ruth McManus

Associate ProfessorRuth McManus

Sociology Postgraduate Coordinator
Elsie Locke Building 309

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

I have developed and established three strands of research. In the Death studies strand I have undertaken groundbreaking, externally funded research on poverty and funerals in New Zealand, and have published various innovative articles and a path-breaking monograph in this area. My most recent research on bio-cremation synthesises my interest in sustainability issues with new technologically advanced forms of body dissolution.

This research development links to my second research strand, which is a concern with social issues that involve people's engagement with their built environment and local resources. This includes my externally funded grants on water use in Christchurch (City of Flows) and the effects of the Christchurch earthquake in terms of experiences of socio-spatial disruption and adjustment (Stories of Movement and Womens' Voices Project), also my editorial work on Disaster sociology.

Both these research strands complement a longstanding engagement with policy debates and initiatives especially when they impact upon people's quality of life.

One other strand is my concern to invest and participate in furthering the discipline of sociology through research on teaching in the discipline.

Recent Publications

  • McManus R. (2021) Sustainability through adversity? The impact of the earthquake on the greening of death. Lincoln University, Canterbury, NZ: SAANZ annual conference, 25 Nov 2021.
  • McManus R. (2021) Sustainabiity through adversity? The impact of the Canterbury Earthquakes on the Greening of Death. In Matthewman S; Uekusa S; Glavovic B (Ed.), A Decade of Disaster Experience in Christchurch (Ōtautahi), New Zealand: Critical Disaster Studies PerspectivesPalgrave/Springer.
  • McManus R. (2020) The Sustainable Dead: Seeds of cultural syncretism in body disposal. e-conference hosted by York St John University: Death And Culture III 2020, 3-4 Sep 2020.
  • McManus R. (2019) Chapter one: Introduction. In McManus R; Cornwall J; Raudon S (Ed.), Death Down Under: Twenty-first Century Dying, Death, Disposal and Memorialisation in the Antipodes: 1-8. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.
  • McManus R., Blake D. and Johnston D. (2019) The penguin and the wahine: shipwrecks, resilience, and popular culture. In Teodorescu A; Jacobsen MH (Ed.), Death in Contemporary Popular Culture: 65-80. London: Routledge.