Living and looking for lavatories

Lauren White 150pxLauren White, a student at the ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, was joint winner of Making Sense of Society, the ESRC’s writing competition 2017 in partnership with SAGE Publishing. This is her winning essay.


It may be a turn of the stomach, a nervous flutter, a morning coffee or a sudden, unpredictable rush. You may look for a sign, if you are lucky enough to live in a society where they are readily available. There may or may not be a queue, often depending on the room of your gender. You may look for disabled access, whether you are in a wheelchair or whether you have an invisible illness. You may select a space based on who is there or your perception of the cleanliness. For some, it is an unwritten rule that one cannot go next to another person relieving themselves. What are you looking for? Continue reading