ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Imogen Bevan
University of Edinburgh
My PhD explored sugar consumption at a time when sugar has been vilified due to its links with (childhood) obesity. Rather than ask why people ‘fail’ to eat healthy diets, I undertook a 13-month ethnography in an Edinburgh neighbourhood to find out why sugar matters to people and how it mediates relationships with relatives, friends and the state. I found that sugar is central to social relationships, and can be thought about as a substance of kinship and relatedness (Carsten 1995), changing our understandings of what it means to be related in contemporary Scotland. Situated at the intersection of medical anthropology, anthropology of food and kinship studies, and informed by the recent emphasis on ethics and morality in anthropology, my research analysed the ethical dilemmas that sugar poses to those raising children.
Goals for the fellowship:
To generate academic, policy and social impact from my PhD research, by publishing articles in academic journals, holding workshops with policymakers and schools, and sharing my findings with the wider public through blogposts and media articles.
Advice for future applicants:
Ask friends and colleagues for feedback on your application. I’m immensely grateful to friends for pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.