Understanding (sustainable) consumption through Mass Observation


Contact Dr Lucie Middlemiss to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The Mass Observation Archive (http://www.massobs.org.uk/) contains a wealth of qualitative data about people’s daily lives. This archival material, including diary entries, responses to ‘directives’, and other personal documents is a fascinating opportunity to ask historical questions about this topical issue. These documents provide a record of change as it happened, and allow us to ask questions about people’s experience of that change. They also cover a number of topics interesting to environmental social scientists, including wellbeing, ethical consumption, and attitudes to environmental issues.

The precise direction of the research can be determined by the candidate, who needs to have a social science or humanities background and to be interested in working in an interdisciplinary field. The project is likely to have relevance to some of the big debates on sustainable consumption through this historical, and bottom-up data set, which will undoubtedly complicate some of the assumptions in this field. There may also be opportunities to engage with other archives with relevant materials, including the Marks and Spencer archive based at the University of Leeds.

The applicant should submit with their online study application a draft of the research proposal which would then be developed with the supervisor.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in the relevant subject area.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Understanding (sustainable) consumption through Mass Observation' as well as Dr Lucie Middlemiss as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e: apply-phd@see.leeds.ac.uk, t: +44 (0)113 343 1634.