skip to content

Sociology Research


Dr Robbie Duschinsky is Head of the Applied Social Science Group within the Primary Care Unit and Director of Studies in Sociology at Sidney Sussex College. His two major research interests are the development and contexts of mental illness, and the use of qualitative methods within primary care research. He has also published on the sociology of childhood and the family. 

Before joining Cambridge as University Lecturer in 2015, Robbie was Research Lead and a Reader in the Department of Social Work & Communities, Northumbria University.

Research Interests

Robbie’s research interests focus on mental health, children and families, and the contexts of healthcare.

He is Principal Investigator on three projects:
1) a study of child attachment and health, including applications of attachment theory in clinical and welfare interventions, supported by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and funds from the Newton Trust;

2) a NIHR-School of Primary Care Research grant (with Carole Gardner) for study of coping strategies for managing distress among patients with non-communicative disease and their carers;

3) an Alborada-Caprex grant (with Eric Awich Ochen) for study of adolescent wellbeing, resilience and social integration in rural Uganda.

Among other projects, Robbie is also leading the qualitative component of an NIHR-funded trial of a behavioural weight management programme for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes (PI, Amy Ahern).

With colleagues, he has edited six books and journal special issues, and he is co-author of a book on social work practice. Robbie is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gender Studies.



Robbie is the convener for the Medical and Veterinary Science 1A paper Social Context of Health and Illness for first-year medical students. The paper aims to engage students’ curiosity regarding the role of social factors within the course of disease and treatment, and to introduce ethical and legal questions that arise for the medical profession. Robbie also contributes teaching within the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences, including teaching for undergraduate sociology and psychology papers and on the MPhil in Sociology.

Graduate supervision availability and interests:
Robbie has supervised to completion four doctoral projects and nine MA/MPhil dissertations. He would welcome enquiries from prospective Doctoral and MPhil students for projects drawing on social science approaches for the study of mental health, especially within primary care. He also welcomes students interested in attachment theory and research.

Key Publications - Books

Duschinsky, R., Schnall, S., & Weiss, D. H. (Eds.). (2017). Purity and Danger Now: New Perspectives. London: Routledge

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Reijman, S., Foster, S., & Duschinsky, R. (2018). The infant disorganised attachment classification: “Patterning within the disturbance of coherence”. Social Science & Medicine, 200, 52-58. 

Duschinsky, R. (2018). Disorganization, fear and and attachment: working towards clarification. Infant Mental Health 39(10), 17-29 

Duschinsky, R., & Paddison, C. (2018). “The final arbiter of everything”: a genealogy of concern with patient experience in Britain. Social Theory & Health, 16(1), 94-110. 

Granqvist, P., Sroufe, L. A., Dozier, M., Hesse, E., Steele, M., van Ijzendoorn, M., ... & Duschinsky, R. (2017). Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers. Attachment & human development, 19(6), 534-558. 

Duschinsky, R., Greco, M. & Solomon, J. (2015) ‘The Politics of Attachment’ Theory, Culture & Society, available on Early View

Duschinsky, R. & Wilson, E. eds. (2015) Engaging with the Work of Lauren Berlant, special issue of the International Journal of Politics, Culture & Society, Volume 28, Issue 3.

Duschinsky, R. & Brown, D.-M. (2015) ‘Place and Defilement’ Space & Culture, 18(3): 243-256

Job Title:
University Lecturer in Social Sciences, Director of Studies in Sociology, Sidney Sussex College
Contact Information: