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Shrinking worlds? Young women’s experiences of austerity and loneliness

Project Description

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2020/21 Academic Year.

In 2018 the UK government launched the first strategy for tackling loneliness, arguing that connected communities are healthier communities. This strategy has been criticized for the way in which it depoliticizes loneliness, and for failing to fully consider the structural conditions that can both produce and exacerbate experiences of loneliness. This project consists of interviews with young women in Britain, aged 18-30, living on low or no pay, and who are experiencing feelings of loneliness. The research examines how gender shapes experiences of loneliness, and explores how austerity has resulted in cuts to some of the vital social infrastructures that are integral to young women’s sense of community and connection. Ultimately then the research will highlight how loneliness is a feminist issue.

Skills Required

Experience of conducting qualitative research, experience of working with marginalized groups, a commitment to public social science.

Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 4.00pm on 23rd January 2020. The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at: http://southcoastdtp.ac.uk/apply/

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above. For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

Funding Notes

Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £15009 (2019/20 UKRI rate), plus payment of all programme fees. Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found at View Website.

Funding is for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students). Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at View Website).

Residential Eligibility

We are able to recruit a limited number of overseas and EU students in Economics or Advanced Quantitative Methods. In all other areas, students must be considered as UK resident.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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