PhD Student Profile


Claire Davey

PhD Student

School: Creative Arts and Industries

Campus: Canterbury


Biographical note

Claire is a full-time PhD scholarship student and recipient of the University Research Scholarship at Canterbury Christ Church University. Prior to re-entering education, Claire spent a decade working as a broker whilst juggling postgraduate studies. She has a MA (Dist.) in Gender, Sexuality & Culture and a BA (1st Class) in History from Birkbeck College, University of London and University of Bristol respectively.  
Claire is a passionate advocate for feminism, leading Fawcett South Kent, her local chapter of the UK’s leading women’s rights charity, Fawcett Society. She also identifies as sober, having given up alcohol in February 2018, and is active within the sober community and drinking studies research networks.  

PhD Research Topic

'An Ethnographic study of women’s negotiations of non-drinking practices and identities in non-traditional treatment paths.' 

Research outline

This project will research women’s experiences of entering sobriety through non-traditional treatment paths. The current online sober communities are spaces that women have predominantly created and participated in. This research seeks to understand women’s participation in these spaces and their negotiations of the non-drinking practices and identities that they have adopted. In doing so, I aim to understand how their sober identities co-exist with other identities, such as feminism, sexuality and gender. Understanding the links between women’s sobriety and identities could help to create awareness and understanding of sobriety a positive, stigma-free, lifestyle choice, and ultimately mitigate the harm caused by the increasingly dangerous drinking practices of young women in the UK. 
This research project will address the following questions: 

  1.  How is the identity of sobriety performed and how does this intersect with other dimensions of women’s identities, i.e. femininity, sexuality and gender?  
  2. To what extent is queer feminism employed by women to negotiate non-drinking practices? 
  3.  To what extent can the online sober community be interpreted as a cohesive, singular community? 


Supervisory Team

  • Professor Shane Blackman (First Supervisor) 
  • Dr.Ruth Sanz Sabido (Chair) 



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Last edited: 12/01/2021 10:42:00