Sun, Sea, Sand and Silicone

In the UK
Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 1868

Project Administrator

About the Team

Principal Investigator

Ruth Holliday

Prof. Holliday’s research interests are primarily located in contemporary cultural theories of gender, sexuality, class, the body and popular culture. In particular, she is interested in ‘elective’ cosmetic surgery. She has published in Feminist Theory, Body and Society, Tourist Studies, Journal of Consumer Culture and Gender, Place and Culture (forthcoming) on the issue of cosmetic surgery in general and cosmetic surgery tourism in particular.


David Bell

Dr David Bell‘s interests span critical human geography and cultural studies, and include cultural policy, urban and rural cultures, consumption and lifestyle, science and technology, and sexuality. Often in his work he tries to bring these different interests into productive contact. He has published extensively on these areas and brings a detailed consideration of the spatial dynamics of cosmetic surgery tourism to the project.

Meredith Jones

Dr Meredith Jones is a media and cultural studies scholar. Her research is based around the intersections between culture and technology, gender, popular media studies and feminist theories of the body. One of the pioneers of Cosmetic Surgery Studies, Meredith is the author of “Skintight: An Anatomy of Cosmetic Surgery” (2008, Berg, Oxford) and “Cosmetic Surgery: A Feminist Primer” (2009, Ashgate, England & USA, with Cressida Heyes). She is currently working on a large international project about Cosmetic Surgery Tourism. Meredith is the co-founder (with award-winning designer Suzanne Boccalatte) of the innovative Trunk books series,

Elspeth Probyn

Prof Probyn’s work focuses on questions of identity, material, and cultural practices. She has theorized these through the grounded analyses of a wide-ranging set of areas: from eating, sex, emotions and affects, spatiality, and writing.

Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor

Dr Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor has undertaken extensive international research on sex tourism with a particular focus on female sex tourism. Her research and publications have focused on theoretical questions about the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, economic inequalities and patterns of exploitation in the global sex trade and migration.

Research Assistants

Olive Cheung

Olive received her doctorate in Sociology from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her PhD project explores diseases, violence and emotional risks in the context of sex work, analyzing women’s own accounts of risks. Her research interests include everyday politics, emotions, identity, gender, sexuality, body and cultures. She is currently based at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, University of Leeds, and is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant of the ESRC funded project “Sun, Sea, Sand and Silicone: aesthetic surgery tourism”. In paritcular, Olive has been investigating the experiences of Chinese patients travelling to South Korea for cosmetic procedures.

Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 4950

Ji Hyun Cho

Dr Ji-Hyun Cho received her PhD in the Sociology of Sport from Loughborough University, which investigated the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and its impact on Korean society (politics, economic, culture, society and sports). Her article “The socio-cultural legacy of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games” is published in Leisure Studies. She is currently working at the University of Leeds on the ESRC funded project ‘Sun, sea, sand and silicone: aesthetic surgery tourism in the UK and Australia’, specifically exploring the accounts of Korean cosmetic surgeons and patients.


Emily Hunter

Emily Hunter is a social geographer with interests in the nexus between culture, environment and social power.  Much of her work has been in community-level resource issues in mainland Southeast Asia. Her research has also included issues of access and disadvantage among social housing tenants in Australia.  She currently works at the University of Technology, Sydney on the ESRC funded project ‘Sun, sea, sand and silicone: aesthetic surgery tourism in the UK and Australia’. In particular Emily has been exploring the experiences of australian patients and agents and clinical staff in Thailand and Malaysia.

Tel: +61 2 9514 1654

Project Advisor

Laurence Vick

Laurence Vick qualified as a solicitor in 1981. He is head of Clinical Negligence and Partner with Michelmores LLP solicitors of Exeter London and Bristol, representing patients for nearly 30 years. He is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and Chartered Insurance Practitioner (1999). Laurence was joint lead solicitor representing the families whose children died or suffered brain damage at the Bristol paediatric cardiac unit, contributing to the 2001 Kennedy Report which brought about a sea change in the culture of surgical the UK.

He is also advisor for the NIHR study of medical tourism at the University of York. In recent years, he and his team of 16 lawyers have increasingly handled cases arising from cosmetic, orthopaedic, bariatric, and other forms of surgery carried out at overseas clinics.  His area of interest is the legal framework affecting the development of medical travel. Laurence has published an e-book (January 2013) covering some of the key legal issues surrounding medical tourism and the complications faced by medical tourists if their treatment goes wrong


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