I am a Senior Lecturer and Head of Discipline in the School of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University. As a social psychologist, my academic interests broadly lie in the study of identity and subjectivities within contemporary landscapes. I am particularly interested in gender and how gendered identifications become located within relations of power. I have studied these issues in relation two broad areas – sexual harassment and digital cultures. With respect to the former, my work has been concerned with understandings of sexual harassment that have currency in current cultural contexts and how these shape identities and sexual relationships. Through this work, I have been commissioned as a UK parliamentary consultant for several years, working on gendered working relationships and respect and dignity in organisational settings. My work on digital cultures has focused on women’s curation of self and relationships on-line. I am particularly interested in identity curation via posted digital photography. More specifically, my research has focused on women’s sense-making around their own posting of selfies and family photography on social media platforms. In relation to this work, I set up a research group called Networking Families, which includes partners from other UK universities, which focuses on the role of the digital in family relationships. My academic interest in gendered relationships has facilitated the long-standing involvement I have had in the Psychology of Women Section of the British Psychological Society which has included, for example, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Psychology of Women Section Review.
My academic interests centre around the relationship between subjectivity, identity and culture. In particular, I am interested in how gendered identities become shaped and located within relations of power in contemporary contexts. These broad interests underpin my research engagements with two areas of interest - sexual harassment and digital cultures.
My most recent work on sexual harassment is concerned with intersectional victim politics arising from the galvanisation of the #MeToo movement in 2017. I have been specifically interested in how neoliberalism, (post) feminism and other relevant cultural understandings are implicated in the complex trajectory of sexual harassment as a social problem over several decades.
Over the last few years, I have also been interested in the curation of self and identities online, particularly through posted digital photography. This work stemmed from a concern around how young women in particular were routinely pathologised in popular discourse for engaging in the well-established and ubiquitous practice of selfie-taking. This pathologisation has extended more recently to parents, particularly mothers, who post family pictures online. My research in this area does not presuppose pathologisation in order to explicate both the complexity of online relational dynamics and the interplay between normative femininities and the digital self.
Lazard, L. (2020, November). Sexual Harassment, psychology and feminism: #MeToo, victim politics and predators in neoliberal times. Palgrave MacMillian.
Lazard, L. & Capdevila, R. (2020). She's so vain? A Q study of selfies and the curation of an online self. New media & Society, DOI: 10.1177/1461444820919335.
Capdevila, R. & Lazard, L. (2020). The big picture: using visual methods to explore online photo sharing and gender in digital space. In: Reavey P (ed.) A Handbook of Visual Methods in Psychology. London: Routledge.
Harrison, V., Moore, D. & Lazard, L. (2020). Supporting perinatal anxiety in the digital age; a qualitative exploration of stressors and support strategies. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 20(1), article no. 363.
Lazard, L., Capdevila, R., Dann, C., Locke, A and Roper, S. (2019). Sharenting: Pride, affect and the day to day politics of digital mothering. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(4), DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12443.
A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.
I am currently a module team member of Investigating Psychology 1 (DE300). Previous to this, I have been part of the postgraduate production team for the module Evaluating Psychology: Research and Practice DD803. I have also contributed to the production of undergraduate modules Investigating Psychology 2 (DE200) and Investigating Psychology 3 (DE300).
I am currently supervising four PhD students and I welcome enquiries from students who wish to study for a PhD. My areas of interest are primarily concerned with gender, equality, intersectionality, violence, parenting and digital lives. I mainly supervise qualitative or mixed method projects.
Selected Teaching Publications
L Lazard, ‘How do we make sense of the social world? Categorisation and attribution’ in Capdevila, R. Dixon, J. & Briggs, G. Investigating Psychology 2: From social to Cognitive (eds) (2015) Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp327-364. ISBN: 978-1-7800-7855-7.
P Stenner and L Lazard ‘Why use text-based qualitative methodologies? The phenomenology and social construction of jealousy’ in H Ness, H Kaye and P Stenner (eds) (2016) Investigating Psychology 3, Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp 299-388. ISBN: 9-781473-002968.
Lazard, L. & McAvoy, J. (2017). Doing reflexivity in psychological research – What’s the point? What’s the practice? Qualitative Research in Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2017.1400144.
My scholarly work on sexual harassment has led to impact work with UK parliament. I was invited to give a keynote address in the House of Commons on ‘Effecting Positive change in Climates of Uncertainty’ in 2018 and ran workshops designed to raise awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. Since then, I have continued to act as a parliamentary consultant on these issues. My research on gender and violence has informed articles I have written for The Conversation (a global online news provider) which has had significant reach (over 305,000 readers). One article was subsequently republished in both national and international broadsheets including The Independent. With respect to impact and engagement work around digital cultures, I have produced an OU mini documentary on selfie-posting online and have recently appeared on the BBC documentary Inside Out to talk about social media influencers. Together with colleagues from the newly established Networking Families Research group, I have written articles on parental posting for The Conversation which have been translated for international audiences. Based on this work, I successfully co-applied to the British Psychological Society’s prestigious Research Seminar Competition for the Locating gendered relationships in digital space series (Young women’s digital lives, Digital mothering, and Digital families) which brought together academics, charities and interested members of the public.