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Gambling and Families : Practices and Processes (Advert Ref: RDF18/SSL/CASEY)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr E Casey
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This project focuses on the connections between gambling and households. As a consistently popular and institutionalised form of behaviour, gambling has received surprisingly little attention from sociologists. In particular, there is only very limited research on the impacts of gambling on the family. This PhD will seek to develop existing research on the socio-economic impacts of gambling by producing empirical data on the everyday practices and routines of gambling within households. The project will offer new insights into the socio-economic context of gambling and will draw on a growing body of academic and policy research which has begun to interrogate the subjective practices and experiences of gamblers. In particular, it will consider how structural inequalities and practices of self-hood around gender, race and class impact on gambling practices and decisions. The PhD student will become part of a growing community of policy-led research which works to highlight and interrogate the importance of targeted prevention and education techniques around gambling. Previous research has demonstrated the possibility that vulnerability to gambling-related harms might be concentrated in particular household types. This PhD will draw on this by adopting sociological theoretical approaches in order to examine routines and practices of gambling within families; routes in and out of problem and ‘at risk’ gambling; and the impact of gambling on intimacies and interpersonal relationships.

It is anticipated that the project will produce both an analysis of secondary data sources, including data collected for an ESRC funded project led by the supervisor and held at Mass Observation Archive and Gambling Commission data, and also a unique qualitative data set of gamblers and their families. Data will be collected using the novel Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method, which offers innovative ways of exploring complex familial relationships and wider interpersonal networks, and will be analysed using a ‘reflexive’ approach which the project supervisor has already made extensive use of. The PhD student will be encouraged to develop his/her own critical approach to the data and to offer a strongly reflexive account of the research approach, in-line with feminist methodological techniques.

The project will be supervised by Dr Emma Casey, a leading authority on the sociology of gambling and consumer societies, who has authored many journal articles and book chapters on the topic, including a sole-authored book Women, Pleasure and the Gambling Experience shortlisted for the BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize. The project intersects with a range of previously funded projects where Emma has been Principal Investigator, including a project on gender and gambling funded by The Gambling Commission, and a high profile ESRC funded project on gambling and households, in conjunction with Mass Observation Archive. Emma is currently writing another ESRC bid with Professor Gerda Reith (Glasgow) and Dr Mark Ramsden (Cambridge) who are world authorities in the socio-impacts of gambling and inequalities. It is anticipated that the successful PhD candidate would produce research findings which will complement this on-going work, and that s/he will benefit from the significant policy, academic and user organisation networks of the principal supervisor.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 28 January 2018
Start Date: 1 October 2018

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers

Funding Notes

The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2017/18, this is £14,553 pa) and fees


Recent publications and current/planned bidding by supervisors relevant to this project:

Bid to ESRC (2017-2018) Gambling on the Breadline: Mapping Gambling and Deprivation (ESRC)
2011-2013; funding received from ESRC Gambling and Households: New Gambling Directive at Mass Observation Archive RES-000-22-4314
Casey, E. (2017) Getting Your Money for Nothing: Narratives of Self and Value in Women’s ‘at-home’ Gambling Practices in ‘Problem Gambling in Women’ Routledge: London
Casey, E. (2014) ‘Mass Gambling’ from 1947 to 2011: Controversies and Pathologies in ‘Sociological Research Online’ 19(3)
Casey, E. and Hubble, N. (eds.) (2014) ‘Mass Observation as Method’. Special edited volume of Sociological Research Online. 2014, Vol. 19: Issue 3
Casey, E. and Taylor, Y. (2014) Intimacies, Families and Practices of Consumption in ‘Families, Relationships and Societies’ Vol. 3: 13(1), pp. 131-133

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