Skip to main content

Sociology: Research


The Liveable Lives Study

The Liveable Lives study is funded by the JRF as part of a wider programme of work on Risk, Trust and Relationships. It is co-directed by Dr Julie Brownlie (Sociology) and the National Centre for Social Research. This research is about everyday acts and relationships of help and support that exist outside our households and closest family relationships and the role that these can play in allowing us to lead ‘liveable’ lives. It highlights the contrast between the unremarkable, mundane form that such acts often take and the very significant difference they can make. Drawing on sociological work on emotions, narrative, reflexivity and practices, it explores the ways in which the experience of help, support and ‘kindness’ is shaped by social context, biography and relationships. It seeks to untangle some of the complexity around how such acts and relationships come to happen (or not) and how they develop over time. And it asks what might make them more common or sustainable within our lives and communities.