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Researching everyday practices of health
My research contributes to contemporary and timely social science debates on everyday practices of health. Practices of health can be bodily, social, spatial, institutional and/or professional and involve a range of actors and geographical scales and may seek to produce healthier human-environment relationships through an array of activities that include care and healing, the prevention of illness or harm, and the cultivation of joy and hope.The practices of health that I have examined in my research to date range from individual bodily practices such as walking, cycling, and swimming, to community care of people with mental health issues, to the making of governmental health policies, to musical interventions in public spaces. My research interests reflect an overarching commitment to further our understanding of what it means to be well enough in the 21st century.
My approach is qualitative and often ethnographic, combining theoretical insights from geography, sociology and urban studies in order to critically interrogate contemporary landscapes and practices of health and wellbeing.
Within the larger scope of everyday practices of health I have established two key research lines on:
My work provides insight into how health-related meaning is attached to different landscapes through everyday practices such as walking, cycling, swimming and bathing, but also how societal and medical ideas about health in relation to green and blue landscapes have changed over time and how these evolving ideas are reflected in healthcare and public health policy and politics.
My research on music in urban space examines how individuals, artists, planners and policymakers enlist music in efforts to create more positive and inclusive common spaces. I seek to understand how music can play a role in creating healthier urban spaces that bring people together in ways that might help bridge social and spatial divisions.
The role of digital media technologies in everyday practices of health
In the coming years I am investigating how digital media technologies are impacting and re-configuring health-related engagements with our environments. The field of 'digital health' is now well established, but there is a great need to explore these technologies as being about more than information transmission and investigate how they are implicated in how we engage our environments in ways that impact on health and wellbeing.