I joined the OU in September 2009 after having been a student and/or academic in universities in Canada, Spain and the UK. I completed my first degree in Political Science & Psychology at the University of Toronto in Canada followed by a diploma in Hispanic Studies from the University of Barcelona in Spain. I came to the UK in 1994 to pursue a PhD in Psychology at the University of Reading. My thesis investigated women’s accounts of single-issue social movements. Since then, I have lectured at the University of Reading and the University of Northampton before coming to the OU.
My academic work and my engagement with psychology as a discipline are informed by an enduring commitment to social justice which resonates well the OU mission. My research focuses on gender in digital spaces. My teaching is currently focused on the first two of the core psychology modules offered by the university. I served as Director of Research for the School of Psychology and Counselling from 2016 to 2019.
I have been an active member of a number of professional societies in my discipline, including the British Psychological Society (BPS) which I joined as a postgraduate. I currently sit on the Research Board as well as being Chair-elect of the Psychology of Women & Equalities Section (POWES). I am a member of the Association of Women in Psychology, the International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP), the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). I served as co-chair (with Rhoda Unger, Brandeis University, USA) for an American Psychological Association (APA) Division 35 Task force on Feminist and Political Psychology.
I have been on the editorial board of the international journal Feminism & Psychology since 2001. In 2013, I became co-editor along with Catriona Macleod (Rhodes University, South Africa) and Jeanne Marecek (Swarthmore College, USA). F&P was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by The Committee on the Women in Psychology of the APA on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. It recognised the leadership of the editorial team for “encouraging, supporting and showcasing cutting edge transformative feminist theory and research”.
My research focus is social media and gendered spaces. This includes research from how young women make sense of themselves and curate their identity online through the use of selfies to mothering on and offline and practices such as ‘sharenting’. I take a critical feminist and poststructuralist approach to my research with a theoretical focus on the construction and transgression of discursive boundaries around identity - in particular political and gender identities. Moreover, I am interested in the role and politics of methodology in psychology and how these impact on minoritary groups.
I am currently involved in three projects.
Roper, S. & Capdevila, R., (in press) Hapless, helpless, hopeless: An analysis of stepmothers’ talk about their (male) partners. Feminism & Psychology.
Lazard, L., Capdevila, R., Dann, C., Locke, A. & Roper, A. (2019) Sharenting: Pride, affect and the day-to-day politics of digital mothering. Social & Personal Psychology Compass; e12443. https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12443
Capdevila, R., Hubbard, K. & Donnelly, L. (2019) Standing still whilst ‘looking back and moving forwards’: the personal accounts of POWS members in the here and now. Psychology of Women & Equalities Section Review
Stenner, P., & Capdevila, R. (2019) Q methodology. SAGE Research Methods Foundations
Capdevila, R. & McAvoy, J.M. (2016) Psychological theory, research, methodology and feminist critiques. In Naples, N.A. (ed) Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Wiley-Blackwell.
Capdevila, R., Dixon, J. & Briggs, G. (eds.) (2015) Investigating psychology 2: (Volumes 1 -3) Milton Keynes: The Open University.
Capdevila, R. (2015) Negotiating health, mothering and ‘choice’. Psicologia della Salute, 1: 9-29.
Roper, S., Capdevila, R., Lazard, L. & Roberts, A. (2015) How is this feminist again? Q as a feminist methodology. Psychology of Women Section Review, 17: 3-12
Capdevila, R. & Lazard, L. (2015) Psychology of Women. In Parker, I. (ed) Handbook of Critical Psychology. London: Routledge.
Johnson, S. & Capdevila, R. (2014) That’s just what’s expected of you … so you do it’: Mothers discussions around choice and the MMR vaccination. Psychology & Health. Online first, 1-16.
Rutherford, A., Capdevila, R., Undurti, V. & Palmary, I. (2011) (eds.) Handbook of International Perspectives on Feminism. Book Series: International and Cultural Psychology. New York: Springer.
Lazard, L., Capdevila, R. & Roberts, A. (2011) Methodological pluralism in theory and in practice: the case for Q in the community. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 8(2), 140-150.
Articles in The Conversation
Lazard, L., Capdevila, R., Dann, C., Locke, A. & Roper, S. (9 March, 2018) Sharenting: why mothers post about their children on social media. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/uk
Capdevila, R. & Lazard, L. (12 April, 2017) Selfie culture isn’t the root of all evil. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/uk
Capdevila, R. & Lazard, L. (7 March, 2017) International Women’s Day: yes, we still need to protest this shit. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/uk
For full listing a repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.
I am currently chair of DE100 Investigating Psychology 1, the introductory core module for the Psychology qualification and one of the largest modules at the OU. I am also on the module team, and was production chair for, the level two core module DE200 Investigating Psychology 2 for which I also produced an open access online resource that maps the history of psychology through people, contexts, perspectives and methods. You can access the resource at open.edu/openlearn/chip