Everyday ethics in a pandemic: exploring (re)negotiated practices within households that include children with obesity

Led by Meredith Hawking


Meredith’s study of households with children with obesity will help us to understand how people’s beliefs and actions about being ‘good’ and doing the ‘right’ thing affect their conversations, decisions and routines in the home.

Concerned with ordinary ethics, Meredith will consider the different ways, or practices, of ‘doing’ health and happiness.  This will include a focus on weight, but will also include all the other ways of ‘doing good’ and ‘being good’ that families care about.   The research will take into account the external pressures households have faced during the pandemic that influence decisions and actions about health.

Meredith will spend a year with twelve diverse families and households in East London. She will use a variety of methods to understand the daily practices and priorities of parents/carers and children:

  • online interviews and a focus group with parents/carers
  • ‘walk through’ videos of the household
  • voice notes for parents/carers to record their reflections and thoughts about the decisions they have to make throughout a normal day
  • children’s drawings of their household and their favourite activities

Meredith will pay attention to practices, moments of decision, conversation and compromise, and descriptions of daily activities in people’s accounts. Meredith’s research will identify new ways for helping households with children in their journey towards a healthier weight for the future. This in turn will inform local childhood obesity strategies in East London.

funded by nihr - White
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