Category Archives: Public Health

Fully Funded ESRC NWSSDTP CASE PhD Studentship





Situating Everyday First Aid: Social Practices and Settings of Incidents and Help

We have a call open for applications for a three year, fully funded, ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) CASE PhD studentship working in collaboration with the British Red Cross and beginning in October 2018.

Deadline for applications is 9th February 2018.

The project investigates the social organisation of first aid. The research will focus on the social and institutional settings within which first aid ‘incidents’ occur and how these settings influence the kinds of ‘responses’ and forms of help that follow.

The aim is to provide a better understanding of accidents, risks, and harms by positioning first aid incidents not as random events but as embedded in the spatial and temporal ordering of social practices and social life. Further understanding of the social organisation of help will put the Red Cross and others in a better position to promote first aid skills, to help save more lives, and reduce harm.


Dr Stanley Blue, Professor Elizabeth Shove (Department of Sociology, Lancaster University), and Penny Newell (Education Research, British Red Cross).

For details on eligibility and how to apply, click here.

For further information about the project, click here.


Seminar for Anthropology of Health at Durham


Durham Cathedral from the River Wear on the way back to the train station.

Last week, I gave a talk to the Anthropology of Health Research Group at Durham University on theories of practice and public health.

The beginning of the talk was based on our article in Critical Public Health, tracing some ideas from The Dynamics of Social Practice (2012) and using the example of smoking. Then I extended some of these arguments to talk about the temporal organisation and material arrangements that have underpinned changing ways of eating in the UK over the last 50 years. The slides from my talk are here.

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A great lunch with students in the Physical Activity Lab. Photo from Ben Kasstan @kasstanb

It was great to meet the community of PhD students in the Physical Activity Lab, to find out about all their interesting, and to discuss the significance of shifting research in health towards social practices.

Publication: Health and Place


A new special issue in Health and Place on Exercise and Environment and edited by Russell Hitchings and Alan Latham will be published shortly. I have an article in this issue which is available online now here. (An open access version of the accepted manuscript is available here.)

The article is based on empirical work that I conducted while doing my doctoral research, which was, in part, on the establishment and maintenance of habits and routines.