Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search
Back

Sinding Christina, Professor | Director of the School of Social Work

Biography

Christina Sinding is jointly appointed to the School of Social Work and the Department of Health, Aging and Society.

Chris has led several studies examining how people experience cancer and navigate cancer care systems. She has co-ordinated participatory research projects about lesbians’ experiences of cancer and cancer care, about the particular concerns of women diagnosed with cancer over the age of 70, and about barriers to cancer care for people who have a diagnosis of serious mental illness.

With an interdisciplinary research team and supported by a New Investigator award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Chris undertook a mixed-methods study exploring what lay people ask for and expect from care providers, and what providers are inclined and able to offer, in the context of public sector restructuring and prevailing discourses of responsibility, expertise and choice. This study asked ‘who gets what’ in cancer care both quantitatively (examining resource allocation as it varies by socioeconomic status) and qualitatively (looking into the often-subtle ways that disparities in access to resources actually come about, especially in relation to class privilege and disadvantage).

A second major focus of Chris's teaching and research has to do with the arts - how social work teachers, researchers and practitioners can draw on the arts to achieve insight, engagement, and social justice goals. With Catherine Graham in the School of the Arts she is co-Principal Investigator on the Transforming Stories, Driving Change project.

Drawing on a number of research-based drama projects she has written about the significance of arts practices as knowledge generation; described what it means for social science researchers to work collaboratively with artists and to create research representations that are genuinely accessible and engaging to lay people; and considered the effects of arts-based knowledge exchange initiatives on care providers (particularly the less obvious and less measurable 'outcomes'). She is especially interested in how art might serve as intervention in the narrowing and erasure of critical practices of care. 

Education

PhD, Social Science and Health Program, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, 2002

MA, Social Welfare Policy, School of Social Work, McMaster University, 1994

BA Hons, English Language and Literature, University of Western Ontario, 1989

Teaching

Recent Graduate Supervision

Doctorate (PhD) in Progress

Thinkable futures, permissible life: listening to talk about early transition for trans youth

Courses

Health Studies 4C03 - Representations of Health and Illness

Social Work 737 - Critical Approaches to Social Work Knowledge

Social Work 771 - Research for Social Change

Research

Books

Sinding, C., & Barnes, H. (2015). Social work artfully: Beyond borders and boundaries. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Gray, R., & Sinding, C. (2002).  Standing Ovation: Performing Social Science Research about Cancer, Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. 

Contribution to Books

Sinding, C. (2009). 'Nurses can't do it.  They have a hundred and ten patients': Health professionals’ working conditions and the experiences of informal caregivers. In J. Nelson, J. Gould & S. Keller-Olaman (Eds.), Cancer on the Margins: Method and Meaning in Participatory Research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 

Sinding, C., Gould, J., & Gray, R. (2009). Making a Difference with Research. In J. Nelson, J. Gould & S. Keller-Olaman (Eds.),Cancer on the Margins: Method and Meaning in Participatory Research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Sinding, C., Barnoff, L., Grassau, P., Odette, F., & McGillicuddy, P. (2009). The stories we tell: Processes and politics of representation. In J. Nelson, J. Gould & S. Keller-Olaman (Eds.), Cancer on the Margins: Method and Meaning in Participatory Research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Gould, J., Sinding, C., Mitchell, T. & Fitch, M. (2009). Listening for Echoes: How Social Location Matters in Women’s Experiences of Cancer Care. In J. Nelson, J. Gould & S. Keller-Olaman (Eds.), Cancer on the Margins: Method and Meaning in Participatory Research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Sinding, C. Gray, R., & Nisker, J.  (2008). Ethical issues and issues of ethics.  In J.G. Knowles and A.L. Cole (eds)  Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Social Science Research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Journal Articles

Kapiriri, L., Sinding, C., & Arnold, E. (2017). How do development assistance partners conceptualise and prioritise evidence in Priority Setting (PS) for health programmes relevant to low income countries? A qualitative study. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice,13(2), 255-273. doi:10.1332/174426416x14636037877986

Nouvet, E., Sinding, C., Graham, C., Vengris, J., Schormans, A. F., Fullwood, A., & Skeene, M. (2017). What are you (un)doing with that story? Qualitative Social Work: Research and Practice,1-16. doi:10.1177/1473325017735884

Sinding, C., & Zhou, Y. R. (2017). Intimacy, identity and relationship in the accounts of Chinese immigrants to Canada: The contribution of narrative analysis. Culture, Health & Sexuality,19(6), 653-666. doi:10.1080/13691058.2016.1271142

Sinding, C., Graham, C., Nouvet, E., & Vengris, J. (2016). Personal stories, public voices: Performance for public-making. InTensions Journal,(8).

Varcoe, C., Habib, S., Sinding, C., Fitch, M., Gullatte, M. M., & Cummings, G. G. (2015). Health disparities in cancer care: Exploring Canadian, American and international perspectives. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal,25(2), 73-81. doi:10.5737/236880762517381

Miller, P. A., Sinding, C., Griffith, L. E., Shannon, H. S., & Raina, P. (2014). Seniors narratives of asking (and not asking) for help after a fall: Implications for identity. Ageing and Society,36(02), 240-258. doi:10.1017/s0144686x14001123

Sinding, C., Warren, R., & Paton, C. (2014). Social work and the arts: Images at the intersection. Qualitative Social Work, 13(2), 23-38.

Hunt, M. R., Schwartz, L., Sinding, C., & Elit, L. (2014). The Ethics of Engaged Presence: A Framework for Health Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Development Work. Developing World Bioethics, 14 (1), 47-55.

Sinding, C., Watt, L., Miller, P., Silliker, J., Lawson, L., Kislinsky, C., et al. (2013). Stigmas and silos: Social workers’ accounts of care for people with serious mental illness and cancer. Social Work in Mental Health, 11(3), 288-309.

Miller, P., Sinding, C., McGillicuddy, P., Gould, J., Fitzpatrick-Lewis, D., Learn, L., et al. (online 2013). Disparities in Cancer Care: Perspectives from the Front Line. Palliative and Supportive Care.

Hunt, M. R., Sinding, C., & Schwartz, L. (2012). Tragic choices in humanitarian health work. Journal of Clinical Ethics, 23(4), 338-344.

Sinding, C., Aronson, J., McGillicuddy, P., & Rochon Ford, A. (2011). The right to be involved: Contexts and contradictions.Canadian Social Work Review, 28(1), 69-88.

Sinding, C., Miller, P., Hudak, P., Keller-Olaman, S., & Sussman, J. (2012). Of time and troubles: patient involvement and the production of health care disparities. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine 16(4), 400-417.

Sinding, C., Schwartz, L., & Hunt, M. (2011). Staging ethics: the promise and perils of research-based performance. Canadian Theatre Review, 146, 32-37.

Sinding, C., Hudak, P., Wiernikowski, J., Aronson, J., Miller, P., Gould, J., et al. (2010). "I like to be an informed person but…" Negotiating responsibility for treatment decisions in cancer care. Social Science & Medicine, 71(6), 1094-1101.

Sinding, C. (2010). Using Institutional Ethnography to Understand the Production of Health Care Disparities. Qualitative Health Research 20 (12), 1656-1663.

Schwartz, L., Sinding, C., Hunt, M., Elit, L., Redwood-Campbell, L., Adelson, N., et al. (2010). Ethics in humanitarian aid work: Learning from the narratives of humanitarian health workers. American Journal of Bioethics Primary Research, 1(3), 45-54. 

Sinding, C., Hudak, P., Wiernikowski, J., Aronson, J., Miller, P., Gould, J., Fitzpatrick-Lewis, D. (2010). "I like to be an informed person but…" Negotiating responsibility for treatment decisions in cancer care. Social Science & Medicine, 71, 1094-1101.

Sinding, C., Schwartz, L., Hunt, M., Redwood-Campbell, L., Elit, L., Ranford, J. (2010). "Playing God because you have to": Canadian health professionals' experiences of rationing care in humanitarian and development work. Public Health Ethics, 3 (2),147-156.

Sinding, C., & Wiernikowski, J.  (2009) Treatment Decision Making and Its Discontents.  Social Work in Health Care, 48 (6), 614 - 634.

Sinding, C., & Wiernikowski, J.  (2008).  Disruption foreclosed: Older women's cancer narratives.  Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 12(3), 389-411.