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PhD Funding for the Sociology of Bridge

I’m delighted to say that the new research partnership of EBED (English Bridge Education and Development), all the UK Bridge Unions and the University of Stirling have provided funding for a 3 year PhD Studentship (fees plus living expenses). The title of the first ever PhD in the Sociology of Bridge is: Bridging the Gap: An Exploration of Transitions in Play through the Lifecourse.

The formal advert will be out by the end of next week (on jobs.ac.uk and Find a PhD), meanwhile please spread the word (further info below) as we are looking for a PhD candidate ideally with a masters, or a good undergraduate degree, preferably within the social sciences. No knowledge of bridge is required, and a UK or EU student are eligible to apply. International students can also apply, but would have to make up the difference between EU and international fees. If you know of someone who might be interested ask them to contact me – s.v.punch@stir.ac.uk

The Sociology of Bridge is a new field of study. Bridge is one of the world’s most widely played, stimulating and challenging card games that requires skill, concentration and practice. Understanding what drives individuals to take up bridge and what keeps people playing across the lifecourse is at the heart of this PhD studentship. Bridge provides a contemporary example to understand the role of a mind sport in developing social well-being through community participation at different ages.

Key research aims are:

To understand why people play bridge and the motivations for taking up the game

To explore the potential of bridge to contribute to building intergenerational relationships 

To investigate the ways in which players’ bridge journeys vary over the lifecourse.

This study of pathways into (and out of) bridge will include a comparison of gender and age across the lifecourse in order to examine differences between cohorts and generational changes over time. Methods will include focus group interviews with children and young people who play bridge at school or university; focus group interviews with adults who have learnt to play but have not transitioned to playing more regularly in a bridge club and in-depth ‘life history’ interviews with bridge players across the life course.

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