Edgework: taking risks for the fun of it

Español: persona que salto

Español: persona que salto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a very large literature on the sociology of risk-taking these days. Much of this writing focuses on risk as a negative concept, something dangerous or hazardous which must be avoided. One important aspect of risk-taking however, is the pleasures and emotional intensities some people may experience when voluntarily taking risks.

The work of Stephen Lyng using the concept of ‘edgework’ explores the reasons why people take risks as part of leisure activities. The concept of edgework incorporates the notion that voluntary risk-taking activities are about exploring the edges that exist along cultural boundaries. These boundaries may include those between sanity and insanity, consciousness and unconsciousness and life and death.

Edgework involves skilful practices combined with emotional intensity. But the emotional dimension of voluntary risk-taking is more complex than simply involving the desire to incite intense emotions. Emotions such as fear, excitement and anxiety are central to edgework, but so are their control. Mental toughness, the ability to master and control the fear that one is experiencing and keep calm so as to avoid physical harm or death, is an integral aspect of edgework. When risk-takers are able to exert mastery over emotions that are viewed as negative, they experience heightened feelings of control.

Smith (2005) gives the example of white-water kayaking, in which it is important to maintain control over fear so that the kayak will stay afloat and will be able navigate the hazards of the water it is traversing. Smith claims that it is the individual’s awareness of maintaining this control despite the almost overwhelming embodied sensations of fear and excitement, which produces the sense of elation that risk-takers seek.

Lyng and Matthews (2007) similarly note that what is deemed important for voluntary risk-takers is not to override fear but to acknowledge its presence and convert it into something that is sensually appealing. This involves an acceptance of fear combined with confidence that one can act skilfully to avoid accident or death. This combination of intense emotional arousal and focused attention leads to edgeworkers experience alterations in perception of time and space, feelings of hyerreality which leads to a sense of the experience as deeply authentic, as feeling truly alive. Edgeworkers commonly describe a sense of blurring of the boundaries between themselves and the technologies under their control (kayaks, climbing ropes, parachutes, racing cars, motor cycles and so on), so that they have a sense of ‘being one with their machines’.

Edgework can represent both a challenge to limits, everyday routines and social expectations, but paradoxically, may also be an expression of dominant institutional demands and imperatives. To be entrepreneurial in the business world, for example, people are expected to voluntarily take risks to increase productivity and profits. Thus there may be said to be a degree of synergy between the skills, competencies and symbolic resources engendered via participation in edgework practices and the demands of late modernity. Edgework is simultaneously part of efforts to transcend institutional imperatives in some contexts (dangerous leisure activities, for example) and in others a vital dimension of conforming to these imperatives. As Lyng (2005) notes, while these two sides of edgework may seem to be contradictory, they may also be viewed as complementary. The skills and expertise derived from leisure-based risk-taking practices may be employed to win success in the workplace.


Lyng, S. (2005) Edgework and the risk-taking experience. In Lyng, S. (ed), Edgework: The Sociology of Risk-Taking. New York: Routledge, pp. 17—49.

Lyng, S. and Matthews, R. (2007) Risk, edgework, and masculinities. In Hannah-Moffat, K. and O’Malley, P. (eds), Gendered Risks. Milton Park: Routledge-Cavendish, pp. 75—98.

Smith, C. (2005) Financial edgework: trading in market currents. In Lyng, S. (ed), Edgework: The Sociology of Risk-Taking. New York: Routledge, pp. 187—200.

New book: Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body

Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body is unlike any other sociological text on health and medicine. It combines perspectives drawn from a wide variety of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, social history, cultural geography, and media and cultural studies. The book explores the ways in which medicine and health care are sociocultural constructions, ranging from popular media and elite cultural representations of illness to the power dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship.

The Third Edition has been updated to cover new areas of interest, including:

– studies of space and place in relation to the body

– actor-network theory as it is applied in research related to medicine

– The internet and social media and how they contribute to lay health knowledge and patient support

– complementary and alternative medicine

– obesity and fat politics.

Contextualising introductions and discussion points in every chapter makes Medicine as Culture, Third Edition a rigorous yet accessible text for students.

SAGE: Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body: Third Edition: Deborah Lupton: 9781446208953.

New book: The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch

The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch

How did the past feel?

From the softest caress to the harshest blow, touch lies at the heart of our experience of the world. Now, for the first time, this deepest of senses is the subject of an extensive historical exploration. The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch fleshes out our understanding of the past with explorations of lived experiences of embodiment from the Middle Ages to modernity. This intimate and sensuous approach to history makes it possible to foreground the tactile foundations of Western culture–the ways in which feelings shaped society.

Constance Classen explores a variety of tactile realms including the feel of the medieval city; the tactile appeal of relics; the social histories of pain, pleasure, and affection; the bonds of touch between humans and animals; the strenuous excitement of sports such as wrestling and jousting; and the sensuous attractions of consumer culture. She delves into a range of vital issues, from the uses–and prohibitions–of touch in social interaction to the disciplining of the body by the modern state, from the changing feel of the urban landscape to the technologization of touch in modernity.

Through poignant descriptions of the healing power of a medieval king’s hand or the grueling conditions of a nineteenth-century prison, we find that history, far from being a dry and lifeless subject, touches us to the quick.

UI Press | Constance Classen | The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch.

Same sex couples and division of labour

English: A child holding a sign in support of ...

English: A child holding a sign in support of his lesbian mothers’ marriage outside the Mormon temple at New York City’s Lincoln Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There has been a lively debate in response to my piece in The Conversation on stay-at-home fathers (see previous post: Why aren’t there more stay-at-home dads?’).

One commentator wondered what the division of labour was in same-sex couples. This is a very interesting question. I have done a quick search of the literature and have found an article which reviews studies conducted on lesbian families. The author notes that compared with heterosexual couples, lesbian couples share more equally in childcare tasks and reported higher satisfaction levels with their domestic arrangements than did heterosexual couples (Foster, 2005)

Another study provides more detail. It reports the findings of an American study comparing families with heterosexual parents with adopted children, lesbian parents who had adopted children and lesbian parents who had children related biologically (Ciano-Boyce and Shelley-Cireci, 2003).

The study found that the lesbian couples were more equal in their parenting practices than were the heterosexual couples, and that lesbians with adopted children were the most egalitarian. Lesbian parents who were the biological mother and the adoptive mother of heterosexual couples performed more childcare tasks than their partners. They were also more sought after by the child when the child was feeling tired, ready for bed, hurt, hungry, afraid or cranky. In contrast, the child sought the non-biological lesbian mother and the adoptive father in heterosexual couples for rough-and-tumble play, reading and watching television.

In families with lesbian mothers and adopted children, although there was more of an equal division of labour, the child also tended to make a distinction between the mother who they sought for the more he nurturing-type of care and the other mother. This sometimes caused conflict in these couples related to the type of care each woman wished to provide to the child. The researchers explain this difference by suggesting that in these couples there is no ‘obvious’ mother to perform the more nurturing care, as there is in the other couples.

What this suggests is that biological lesbian mothers and adoptive heterosexual mothers take on similar roles which conform closely to dominant norms relating to mothering. The non-biological lesbian mother and the adoptive heterosexual father also adopt similar roles, with both taking an approach which conforms to the traditional ‘father’ model.


Claudia Ciano-Boyce and Lynn Shelley-Sireci (2003) Who is mommy tonight? Lesbian parenting issues. Journal of Homosexuality, 43(2), 1–13

Deborah Foster (2005) Why do children do so well in lesbian households? Research on lesbian parenting. Canadian Women’s Studies, 24(2/3), 51–6.

Why aren’t there more stay-at-home dads?

I have just published a piece in The Conversation about stay-at-home fathers and why they are still such a rare phenomenon. There was a big front-page story on the domestic arrangements of Australian actor Rachel Griffiths and her artist husband Andrew Taylor in last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. For the past ten years, Griffiths has been busy working on her television career in the US on such shows as Six Feet Under and Brothers & Sisters, while Taylor has been the primary carer of their three children.

In my article for The Conversation, I look at why Taylor’s staying at home to care for the couple’s children received front-age coverage. I discuss some sociological research that has looked at the experiences for both men and women when they have decided that the mother should be the primary breadwinner while the father stays at home.

Here is the link to the article: https://theconversation.edu.au/the-stay-at-home-dad-syndrome-why-do-rachel-griffiths-parenting-choices-make-news-7285

Pro-ana websites: celebrating and promoting the anorexic body

The Waiting Room / Anorexia Tableau

The Waiting Room / Anorexia Tableau (Photo credit: Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)

Several sociologists and anthropologists have started commenting on a particular worrying use of the internet – to celebrate and promote anorexia. Websites have appeared directed at people wanting to emulate the bodily practices and appearance of anorexics. They have been referred to as ‘pro-ana‘ (short for anorexic) websites. The term’ Ana’ is sometimes used in the websites as if were the name of a girl or woman, a friend perhaps of the individual who is seeking advice and help in her attempts to render herself thin and adopt ‘Ana’ as her supporter and mentor.

These websites, many of which have hundreds of followers, frequently include images of extremely thin women with conventionally beautiful faces, like models but even thinner. Some are celebrities at their very lowest body weights and looking particularly skeletal. These photos are captioned with approving comments, encouraging viewers to aspire to achieve such emaciation.

There are references on such sites to the ‘eating disorder community’ and the support that such sites offer their members. They are clearly directed at promoting the practices of anorexia nervosa and making members feel as if they are part of a broader community who share the same ideals of body wasting. The sites also refer to ‘thinspiration’, or inspiring others in the aim of ‘getting thin and staying thin’, as one pro-ana site put it. Varieties of diet pill, laxatives, diuretics and ways of stimulating metabolic rates are discussed, as are various workout and dietary regimes, fasting and purging methods and ways to ‘hide anorexia’.

According to one such website the pro-ana ‘creed’ includes such commandments as:  ‘If you aren’t thin you aren’t attractive’, ‘Being thin is more important than being healthy’ and ‘Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success’.

The latest issue of the journal Body & Society includes an examination of this phenomenon by Natalie Boero and CJ Pascoe.  As Boero and Pascoe note, such online communities provide a place for people engaging in stigmatised and proscribed body practices such as self-starvation and body wasting to come together and proclaim themselves as rebelling against mainstream negative concepts of anorexics. Participants in these sites position themselves as powerful and challenging of medical dogma, and as experts in the practices of anorexia.

Boero and Pasco focus in particular on the ways in which participants in these sites work to maintain an authentic community of people who are committed to the pro-ana lifestyle. They note that participants are wary of ‘wannarexics’, or people who are attracted to the ‘anorexic lifestyle’ or sense of community offered by these groups, but are viewed as not ‘authentically’ behaving as anorexics. Those who consider themselves ‘real’ pro-anas attempt to maintain group solidarity and keep out the wannarexics, often by being quite aggressive in their posts and positioning themselves as more knowledgeable about anorexia.

This is interesting research, showing how such communities operate to achieve distinctions between ‘authentic’ and ‘fake’ participants. In the case of pro ana sites, given their focus on the body and its proportions, to prove their authenticity, participants are asked to post photos of their bodies, their body weight, body measurements and BMI (body mass index) and food reports of their daily diets. These indicators are used to assess whether they are ‘true’ pro anas.

However what is not discussed in the Boero and Pascoe article is the ways in which some of the most popular pro ana sites are clearly commercial in their orientation. They include advertisements for diet pills and Chinese medicine products aimed at losing weight or sell ‘thinspiration’ manuals with tips on wasting. Some people have obviously spotted a market among the followers of the ‘pro-ana’ philosophy. On their websites they position themselves as pro anas, but then attempt to sell their wares to people accessing their website. It is surely here that the authenticity of pro ana community members needs to be called into question.

Further reading

Natalie Boero and CJ Pascoe (2012) Pro-anorexia communities and online interaction: bringing the pro-ana body online. Body & Society, 18(2), 27–57.

Nick Fox, Katie Ward and Alan O’Rourke (2005) Pro-anorexia, weight-loss drugs and the internet: an ‘anti-recovery’ explanatory model of anorexia. Sociology of Health & Illness, 27(7), 944–71.

Megan Warin (2009) Abject Relations: Everyday Worlds of Anorexia. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Animals as children, children as animals

A cat and dog, the two most popular animals ke...

I read a newspaper article recently that discussed the vast sums of money people are now spending on their pets. When once pets were put down with barely a thought if they developed a serious medical condition, their lives are now often extended by the kind of expensive surgery that humans have. They can  have hip or knee replacement operations, surgery for cancer and even drugs to treat separation anxiety. Many thousands of dollars are spent on these kinds of treatments.

Dogs and cats are also now commonly given human names. Once their monikers related to their appearance (Spot, Fluffy, Blackie) or were specific to their species (Rover, Fido and so on). Now there are Jeremys, Poppys, Ruperts and Emilys galore among the companion animal population.

Companion animals have become thought of for many people as ersatz family members and are treated as such: given clothes, special accessories, beds, gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Puppies attend ‘puppy preschool’ to be trained in compliant behaviour.

When pets are anthropomorphised in such a way, they are portrayed as babies or young children rather than as adult humans. Young children, for their part, are often portrayed as animalistic. Debates often appear on the web or in the letters columns of newspapers concerning what kinds of public spaces babies and young children should be allowed to occupy.

To give one example, a discussion in the online version of a newspaper last year concerned the issue of crying babies in aeroplanes. The discussion was sparked by the findings of a survey of Australian travellers which found that the vast majority voted for infants and young children and their parents to be segregated on overseas flights. An opinion piece in response to the survey argued that travellers should be tolerant of infant behaviour on planes and have empathy for their long-suffering parents. Hundreds of responses from readers to this piece were posted, many of which complained of the behaviour of children and criticised their parents for choosing to even bring them on the flight.

Other debates have concerned whether young children should be banned for cafes, and alternatively arguing that dogs should be allowed to accompany their owners to more cafes.

Underlying these debates are assumptions concerning the civility of these small humans, their inability to regulate their bodies and emotions, their propensity to annoy other patrons because they fail to measure up to adult standards of behaviour. The notion of the infant and young child as requiring taming like a wild animal is frequently expressed in such forums, and also in some texts on child-rearing. Child-rearing strategies are sometimes directly equated to those used to train domestic animals such as dogs. A popular Australian childcare book was entitled Toddler Taming, its title implying that very young children, like wild or uncontrolled animals, require ‘taming’.

Both animals and children are viewed as being closer to nature and further from the civilised body of adults as a consequence. This positive association of nature with the young child’s body draws upon the valued meanings of purity, authenticity and lack of artifice. However an alternative discourse of nature represents it as ‘bad’: as uncivilised, uncontrolled, wild and requiring domestication. The uncivilised young infant child is deemed to require training in bodily deportment to render them more fully human: manners, toilet training, sleep training, eating habits and other personal bodily habits are all taught as part of the civilising process (as outlined by Norbert Elias), to induct children into adult society and take on the status of the civilised adult.

It has been argued by some sociologists that in developed countries children are now considered more precious, more valuable, than at any other time of human history. Yet they also continue to be considered as inferior to adults, lacking appropriate decorum, spoiling adult spaces. When behaving well, they are adored — when misbehaving, they are reviled. They offend adult sensibilities concerning behaviour in public places. These reactions suggest a deep ambivalence towards young children in developed societies.

In the meantime, dogs and cats are also considered more precious and childlike, moving in their symbolic status from simply animals to beloved member of the family. Strangely, in some instances they have become viewed as more civilised, as more deserving of occupying adult space than are children.

Further reading:

Ulrich Beck and Elizabeth Beck-Gernsheim (1995) The Normal Chaos of Love. Cambridge: Polity.

Chris Jenks (1996) Childhood. London: Routledge.

John Knight (ed) (2005) Animals in Person: Cultural Perspectives of Human-Animal Intimacies. Berg.

Deborah Lupton (2012) Precious, pure, uncivilised, vulnerable: infant embodiment in the popular media. Available at http://hdl.handle.net/2123/8201.

Loving yourself in a fat-phobic society

The 2012 season of the Australian The Biggest Loser focused on the loneliness and despair endured by the contestants.  Not only were the contestants forced to expose their semi-naked bodies to the viewing audience as part of the ritual weighing-in process, they were also encouraged to bare their souls. Thus, for example, a promo for the series showed one of the male contestants sitting on a stool gesturing to his fat body and saying “Look at me – no-one loves this!” Another male contestant said, “I’m ready for love” and the words ‘Love yourself’ scrolled across the screen.

The episodes featured the now-familiar visuals of the contestants pushed to exercise hard, shown sweating, red-faced and out-of-breath, grimacing in pain, crying and losing their temper as the hard-bodied and hard-faced instructors shout at them to force them to persist. Scenes involving the temptation of the fat people were also part of this series. The contestants in one episode were faced with a room full of junk food and sweet treats – chocolates, cakes and the like — as a means of testing their self-control and ability to resist temptation.

The underlying meanings of this program are all too clear. Fat people are lonely, unloved, emotionally volatile and sad; they deserve punishing exercise routines and stringent diets as part of their weight-loss efforts; they are childish and need a stern authority figure to force them into proper weight-loss habits; they find their gluttonous desire for treats difficult to resist. The focus on love in this season combines two ideas: that fat people do not love themselves, or else they would not have allowed themselves to become fat, and that no-one else is sexually attracted to them because of their fat bodies. Such people are represented as objects both of pity and contempt.

Recent critiques in the social sciences and humanities have drawn attention to the ways in which obesity is represented in medical and popular culture. In response to massive publicity given to obesity in western countries, including Australia, new areas of study focused specifically on the social and cultural aspects of obesity have emerged, entitled variously ‘critical obesity studies’, ‘critical weight studies’ or ‘fat studies’. They refer to a ‘fat-phobic’ society, in which fat people are excoriated and humiliated for their size, where it is assumed that fatness is the direct result of greed and lack of self-control and that fat people are inevitably unattractive to others.

Members of the fat acceptance movement have engaged in political activism in the attempt to overcome this discrimination and to reclaim the term ‘fat’, which they prefer to the ‘o’ words – overweight and obese.

Some social scientists and nutritionists have examined the obesity science literature and argued that much of it is characterised by generalisations and speculations, and that the contention that overweight (as distinct from morbid obesity) automatically poses health risks has not been scientifically proven. It is further argued by these critics that continual attempts by fat people to lose weight can actually be negative to their health status if it involves extreme diets, being caught in a cycle of losing and gaining weight or poor dietary habits.

Partly as a response to this critical position, a movement called Health at Every Size has emerged which champions the idea that good health may be experienced at a range of body weights if attention is paid to regular exercise and eating healthy foods. From this perspective ‘loving yourself’ may well involve relinquishing the desire to lose a lot of weight and instead acknowledging that a healthy lifestyle may be achieved even if one does not conform to the cultural ideal of slenderness.

The critical position and the Health at Every Size movement raise important questions for how the public is educated about the health effects of overweight and obesity. In the meantime, programs such as The Biggest Loser continue to profit from perpetuating negative representations of fat people in a fat-phobic society and humiliating and punishing their contestants for their sin of being fat.

Further reading:

Fat Studies journal (http://www.tanf.co.uk/journals/UFTS)

Michael Gard and Jan Wright (2005) The Obesity Epidemic: Science, Morality and Ideology. London: Routledge.

Michael Gard (2011) The End of the Obesity Epidemic. London: Routledge.

Deborah Lupton (2012) Fat. London: Routledge (due for publication in September)

Attachment parenting or extreme parenting?

Last week I wrote a piece for ‘The Conversation’ discussion website (http://theconversation.edu.au) about the US edition of Time magazine, 21 May 2012, that featured a cover image of young, attractive woman breastfeeding her three-year-old son (http://theconversation.edu.au/time-2-extreme-parenting-time-magazine-style-7055). I looked at the various responses to this cover image on the internet. Many of these were from mothers themselves or from professional female commentators and bloggers.

What I found was interesting.  Some people were horrified at the idea that a boy who could be old enough to remember suckling from his mother’s breast will still be doing so. There were many claims that he would be humiliated when he grew older at being featured in such a controversial and public image. The notion that a child as old as three was still breastfeeding seemed abhorrent to some. Breastfeeding here becomes sexualised and bestowed with incestuous meanings, simply because the child is old enough ‘to remember’ gaining comfort and pleasure from his mother’s breast. The fact that his mother was slim, attractive, young, dressed in a hip manner in tight black jeans, and blonde, simply added to the sexualisation of the image.

Other commentators were relatively accepting of the breastfeeding, but took offence at the headline of the cover, which read ‘Are you Mom enough?’. These are fighting words, suggesting that women who do not engage in practices such as breastfeeding for years are not ‘good enough’ mothers. The words ‘Mom enough’ imply that there are gradations of ‘Momness’ (to use a rather clumsy neologism) and that ‘real Moms’ are those who engage in ‘extreme parenting’ . ‘Extreme parenting’ was a term also used on the front cover and in the detailed article published within about attachment parenting and one of its most prominent advocates, American paediatrician Dr Bill Sears.

In contrast to the deliberate provocation of the cover imagery and wording, I found the article quite well-balanced, looking at both the pros and cons of engaging in attachment parenting, which involves baby-wearing in slings and co-sleeping as well as extended breastfeeding and breastfeeding on demand. Sears argues that these practices, based on age-old customs still found in non-western societies, contribute to infants’ physical and psychological wellbeing. According to the article, more and more mothers are taking up his advice and engaging in attachment parenting practices.

Nonetheless, as case studies used in the article attest, attachment parenting (also ‘extreme parenting’ according to Time) can be extremely hard work for the mothers who adopt it. In fact, it clashes with the contemporary notion that both women and men are autonomous individuals, freely making choices about their lives and engaging actively in the workforce without constraint. Attachment parenting directly challenges these assumptions, because it counters the notion of the mother and the infant or child as autonomous subjects. Instead, it rests upon the assumption that the mother-child dyad is interembodied, that the boundaries between the two are blurred rather than distinct, and that the mother, instead of actively seeking to foster autonomy and independence in her child, will follow its cues and submit to its neediness for her bodily presence.

For people in contemporary western societies, these are highly challenging and confronting concepts. This perhaps explains the controversy over the cover image and the use of the term ‘extreme’ to describe attachment parenting.

For sociological studies on women’s experiences of attachment parenting, see the work of Charlotte Faircloth: http://kent.academia.edu/CharlotteFaircloth. For my own work on concepts of infants’ bodies, see Deborah Lupton (in press) ‘Infant embodiment and interembodiment: a review of sociocultural perspectives’, Childhood and Deborah Lupton (2012) Configuring Maternal, Preborn and Infant Embodiment. Sydney Health & Society Working Paper No. 2. Sydney: Sydney Health & Society Group, available at http://hdl.handle.net/2123/8363.

Where are all the sociology blogs?

When I was preparing to set up this blog, like a good sociologist I did some background research first. I checked what other sociological blogs were out there on the web. I found strangely few of them. The blog that was listed first was ‘The Everyday Sociology Blog’ (http://www.everydaysociologyblog.com), which looks quite interesting with various sociologists posting. Closer inspection, however, reveals that it is part of an academic publishing house’s publicity efforts. Nothing wrong with that, but I was also interested in reading independent sociological writings from academics working in the area.

Other sociology blogs I found were very specialised, had wound up or had a particular barrow to push. I came across one post by Jon Smajda, who writes about the sociology of technology. His post, entitled ‘Why don’t more sociologists blog’?, argues that sociologists are rather diffident about blogging.

According to Smajda, many sociologists are wary of new computer technologies and self-promotion. They are also unsure about reaching out to a wider audience beyond the narrow confines of their academic discipline and writing for a potentially larger, unknown audience (http://jon.smaja.com/2008/08/25/why-dont-more-sociologists-blog).

I personally think that an important part of being a sociologist is to attempt to convey your research findings and views on social issues to a general readership.

Of course, I may have entered the wrong search term (I used ‘sociology blogs’) and there may be dozens  of interesting sociology blogs out there that I have yet to explore. Some I have found include ‘Sociology in Focus’ (http://sociologyinfocus.com), which has some lively posts about popular culture, ‘The Grumpy Sociologist’ (love the name!), which focuses on sports, masculinities, popular culture and violence (http://thegrumpysociologist.blogspot.com), ‘Sociology for the People’ (http://sociologyforthepeople.wordpress.com) by an advocate of public sociology, ‘BodySpaceSociety’ (http://www.bodyspacesociety.eu), looking specifically at digital technologies and ‘Monclair SocioBlog’ (http://montclairsoci.blogspot.com.au), which covers a range of topics by several sociologists.

Welcome to my blog. Given my current interests in medicine and public health, risk, parenting culture and childhood, food and critical weight studies, I will probably be blogging most about these topics. But we’ll see what happens!

Addendum: Since writing this blog, I have discovered some other interesting sociological blogs. Check them out on my Blogroll (scroll down the right side of this page to find it). Also see my Pearltrees ‘Blogs I like‘ and Dave Purcell’s list of sociology and other social science blogs here.