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Lupton, Prof. Deborah


Centenary Research Professor, Communication
Faculty of Arts & Design

Bldg, Floor & Room: 9, C9
Telephone: (02) 6201 2826
Facsimile: (02) 6201 5034


Deborah Lupton joined the university in early 2014 as a Centenary Research Professor associated with the News & Media Research Centre in the Faculty of Arts & Design. Her research and teaching is multidisciplinary, incorporating sociology, media and communication and cultural studies. Deborah has previously held academic appointments at the University of Sydney, Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, the co-convenor of the national Digital Data & Society Consortium, and the director of the Smart Technology Living Lab at UC.

Deborah is the author/co-author of 16 books, editor/co-editor of six edited books, and has published over 170 journal articles and book chapters on topics including the social and cultural dimensions of: medicine and public health; risk; the body; parenting cultures; digital sociology; food; obesity politics; and the emotions. She is an advocate of using social media for academic research and engagement, including Twitter (@DALupton) and her blog This Sociological Life. Deborah was one of the founding co-editors of the journal Health, and currently serves on that journal's editorial board, as well as those of the journals Health, Risk & SocietyJournal of Sociology, Digital Health, Social Theory & Health, Health Sociology Review, Societies and Big Data & Society.

Areas of Teaching

  • Deborah is available to supervise honours and postgraduate students in any area related to her research interests.

Research Interests

  • Critical digital health studies;
  • big data cultures;
  • surveillance society and digital technologies;
  • the digitisation of children;
  • the use of digital technologies in academia;
  • social analysis of sensor-based and wearable technologies;
  • media, risk, health and medicine.

Qualifications Obtained

  • Bachelor of Arts (sociology and anthropology), Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Letters (sociology), Australian National University
  • Master of Public Health (University of Sydney)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (University of Sydney)

Research Profiles


Recent Publications

Authored Books

  • Lupton, D. (2018). Fat (revised 2nd edition). London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Digital Health:Critical Perspectives. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) The Quantified Self: A Sociology of Self-Tracking. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Digital Sociology. London: Routledge
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Fat. London: Routledge (part of the Shortcuts series).
  • Lupton, D. (2013) The Social Worlds of the Unborn. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan (part of the Palgrave Pivot series).
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Risk (revised 2nd edition). London: Routledge
  • Lupton, D. (2012) Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body (revised 3rd edition). London: Sage.

Edited Books

  • Lupton, D. (editor) (2017) Self-Tracking, Health and Medicine: Sociological Perspectives. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D., Mewburn, I. and Thomson, P. (2017) The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (editor) (2016) Digitised Health, Medicine and Risk. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (editor) (2015) Beyond Techno-Utopia: Critical Approaches to Digital Health Technologies. Basel: MDPI Books.
  • Lupton, D. (editor) (2013) The Unborn Human (part of the Living Books about Life series). Open Humanities Press (digital book).

Book Chapters

  • Lupton, D. and Smith, GJD. (2018) ‘A much better person’: the agential capacities of self-tracking practices. In Ajana, B. (ed), Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices. London: Emerald Publishing, 57-75.
  • Lupton, D. (2018) 3D printing technologies: a third wave perspective. In Michael Filimowicz, M. and Tzankova, V. (eds), New Directions in Third Wave HCI (Volume 1, Technologies). Springer: London, 89-104.
  • Lupton, D. (2018) Lively data, social fitness and biovalue: the intersections of health self-tracking and social media. In Burgess, J., Marwick, A. and Poell, T. (eds), The Sage Handbook of Social Media. London: Sage
  • Lupton, D. (2018) Digital health and health care. In Scambler, G., Sociology as Applied to Health and Medicine, 2nd edition. Houndmills: Palgrave
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Cooking, eating, uploading: digital food cultures. In LeBesco, K. and Naccarato, P. (eds), The Handbook of Food and Popular Culture. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Lupton, D. and Turner, B. (2017) ‘Both fascinating and disturbing’: consumer responses to 3D printed food and implications for food activism’. In Schneider, T., Eli, K., Dolan, C. and Ulijaszek, S. (eds), Digital Food Activism. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D., Mewburn, I. and Thomson, P. (2017) The digital academic: identities, contexts and politics. In Lupton, D., Mewburn, I. and Thomson, P. (eds), The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education. London: Routledge
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Digital bodies. In Silke, M., Andrews, D. and Thorpe, H. (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Personal data practices in the age of lively data. In Daniels, J., Gregory, K. and McMillan Cottom, T. (eds), Digital Sociologies. London: Policy Press.
  • Lupton, D. (2017) 3D printed self replicas: personal digital data made solid. In McGillivray, D, Carnicelli, S. and McPherson, G. (eds), Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives. London: Routledge.
  • Gard, M. and Lupton, D. (2017) Digital health goes to school: digitising children's bodies in health and physical education. In Taylor, E. and Rooney, T. (eds), Surveillance Futures: Social and Ethical Implications of New Technologies for Children and Young People. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) 'Mastering your fertility': the digitised reproductive citizen. McCosker, A., Vivienne, S. and Johns, A. (eds), Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest and Culture, to be published by Rowman and Littlefield, London.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Digital health technologies and digital data: new ways of monitoring, measuring and commodifying human bodies. In Olleros, F. X. and Zhegu, M. (eds), Research Handbook of Digital Transformations. New York: Edward Elgar.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Digitized health promotion:  risk and personal responsibility for health in the Web 2.0 era. In Davis, J. and Gonzalez, A. M. (eds), To Fix or To Heal: Patient Care, Public Health, and the Limits of Biomedicine. New York: New York University Press.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Digital risk society. In Zinn, J., Burgess, A. and Alemanno, A. (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Risk Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) You are your data: self-tracking practices and concepts of data. In Selke, Stefan (ed.), Lifelogging: Digital Self-Tracking: Between Disruptive Technology and Cultural Change. Zurich: Springer.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Digital sociology. In Germov, J. and Poole, M. (eds), Public Sociology: An Introduction to Australian Society,  3rd edition. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin.
  • Lupton, D.  (2015) Donna Haraway: the digital cyborg assemblage and the new digital health technologies. In Collyer, F. (ed), The Palgrave Handbook of Social Theory in Health, Illness and Medicine. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) Unborn assemblages: shifting configurations of embryonic and foetal embodiment. In Nash, M. (ed), Reframing Reproduction: Conceiving Gendered Experiences. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) The reproductive citizen: motherhood and health education. In Fitzpatrick, K. and Tinning, R. (eds), Health Education: Critical Perspectives. London: Routledge, pp. 48—60.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Introduction: conceptualising and configuring the unborn human. In Lupton, D. (ed), The Unborn Human. London: Open Humanities Press (digital book).

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • Pedersen, S. and Lupton, D. (2018) ‘What are you feeling right now?’ Communities of maternal feeling on Mumsnet.  Emotion, Space & Society, 26, 57-63.
  • Lupton, D. and Turner, B. (2018) ‘I can’t get past the fact that it is printed: consumer attitudes to 3D printed food’. Food, Culture and Society, online ahead of print: doi: org/10.1080/15528014.2018.1451044
  • Lupton, D. (2018) How do data come to matter? Living and becoming with personal data. Big Data & Society, 5(2), online, available at
  • Lupton, D. and Maslen, S. (2018) The more-than-human sensorium: sensory engagements with digital health technologies. The Senses and Society, 13(2), 190—202.
  • Salmela, T., Valtonen, A. and Lupton, D. (2018) The affective circle of harassment and enchantment: reflections on the ŌURA ring as an intimate research device.Qualitative Inquiry, online ahead of print,
  • Lupton, D. (2018) ‘I just want it to be done, done, done!’ Food tracking apps, affects and agential capacities. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, 2, online, available at
  • Lupton, D., Pink, S., Heyes Labond and Sumartojo, S. (2018) Personal data contexts, data sense and self-tracking cycling. International Journal of Communication, 11, available online at
  • Lupton, D. (2017) ‘Download to delicious’: promissory themes and sociotechnical imaginaries in coverage of 3D printed food in online news sources. Futures, 93, 44-53.
  • Lupton, D. (2018) Towards design sociology. Sociology Compass, 12(1), online, available at
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Digital health now and in the future: findings from a participatory design stakeholder workshop. Digital Health, 3, online, available at
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Feeling your data: touch and making sense of personal digital data. New Media & Society, 19(10), 1599-1614
  • Lupton, D. (2017) ‘It just gives me a bit of peace of mind’: Australian women’s use of digital media for pregnancy and early motherhood. Societies, 7(3), online, available at
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Digital media and body weight, shape and size: an introduction and review. Fat Studies, 6(2), 119-134
  • Lupton, D. (2017) How does digital health feel? Towards research on the affective atmospheres of digital health technologies. Digital Health ,3, online, available at
  • Lupton, D. and Maslen, S. (2017) Telemedicine and the senses: a review. Sociology of Health & Illness, 39(8), 1557-1571.
  • Lupton, D. and Michael, M. (2017) ‘Depends on who’s got the data’: public understandings of personal digital dataveillance. Surveillance and Society, 15(2), 254—268.
  • Lupton, D. and Michael, M. (2017) For me, the biggest benefit is being ahead of the game’: the use of social media in health work. Social Media + Society, 3(2), online, available at
  • Lupton, D. and Williamson, B. (2017) The datafied child: the dataveillance of children and implications for their rights. New Media & Society, 19(5), 780—794.
  • Pink, S., Sumartojo, S., Lupton, D. and Heyes Labond, C. (2017) Mundane data: the routines, contingencies and accomplishments of digital living. Big Data & Society, 4(1), online, available at
  • Pink, S., Sumartojo, S., Lupton, D. and Heyes Labond, C. (2017) Empathetic technologies: digital materiality and video ethnography. Visual Studies, 32(4), 371-381.
  • Thomas, G., Lupton, D. and Pedersen, S. (2017) ‘The appy for a happy pappy’: expectant fatherhood and pregnancy apps. Journal of Gender Studies, online ahead of print: doi:10.1080/09589236.2017.1301813
  • Sumartojo, S., Pink, S., Lupton, D. and Heyes Labond, C. (2016) The affective intensities of datafied space. Emotion, Space and Society, 21, 33—40.
  • Thomas, G.M. and Lupton, D. (2016) Threats and thrills: pregnancy apps, risk and consumption. Health, Risk & Society, 17(7-8), 495—509.
  • Lupton, D., Pedersen, S. and Thomas, G.M. (2016) Parenting and digital media: from the early web to contemporary digital society. Sociology Compass, 10(8), 730-743.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) The diverse domains of quantified selves: self-tracking modes and dataveillance. Economy & Society, 45(1), 101-122.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Digital companion species and eating data: implications for theorising digital data-human assemblages. Big Data & Society, 3(1), online, available at
  • Lupton, D. and Pedersen, S. (2016) An Australian survey of women's use of pregnancy and parenting apps. Women and Birth, 29, 368-375
  • Pedersen, S. and Lupton, D. (2016) 'What are you feeling right now?' Communities of maternal feeling on Mumsnet. Emotion, Space & Society, online ahead of print:
  • Lupton, D. (2016) The use and value of digital media information for pregnancy and early motherhood: a focus group study.  BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16(171), online, available at
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Towards critical health studies: reflections on two decades of research in Health and the way forward. Health, 20(1), 49—61.
  • Michael, M. and Lupton, D.  (2016) Toward a manifesto for 'a public understanding of big data'. Public Understanding of Science, 25(1), 104—116.
  • Lupton, D. and Thomas, G.M.  (2015) Playing pregnancy: the ludification and gamification of expectant motherhood in smartphone apps. M/C, 18(5), available at
  • Jutel, A. and Lupton, D. (2015) Digitizing diagnosis: a review of smartphone and computer applications in the diagnostic process. Diagnosis, online first, doi: 10.1515/dx-2014-0068.
  • Lupton, D. and Jutel, A. (2015) 'It's like having a physician in your pocket!' A critical analysis of self-diagnosis smartphone apps. Social Science & Medicine, 133, 128—135.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Fabricated data bodies: reflections on 3D printed digital body objects in medical and health domains. Social Theory & Health, 13(2), 99—115.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Data assemblages, sentient schools and digitised HPE (response to Gard). Sport, Education and Society, 20(1), 122—32.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) The pedagogy of disgust: ethical, moral and political implications of using disgust in public health campaigns. Critical Public Health, 25(1), 4—14.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Health promotion in the digital era: a critical commentary. Health Promotion International, 30(1), 174—83.
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Quantified sex: a critical analysis of sexual and reproductive self-tracking apps. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 17(4), 440—53.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) Critical perspectives on digital health technologies. Sociology Compass, 8(12), 1344—59.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) Apps as artefacts: towards a critical sociological perspective on health and medical apps. Societies, 4, 606—22.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) The commodification of patient opinion: the digital patient experience economy in the age of big data. Sociology of Health & Illness, 36(6), 856—69.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) 'How do you measure up?' Assumptions about 'obesity' and health-related behaviors in 'obesity' prevention campaigns. Fat Studies, 3(1), 32—44.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) Precious, pure, uncivilised, vulnerable: infant embodiment in the Australian popular media. Children & Society, 28(5), 341—51.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) The digitally engaged patient: self-monitoring and self-care in the digital health era.  Social Theory & Health, 11 (3), 256—70.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Quantifying the body: monitoring, performing and configuring health in the age of mHealth technologies. Critical Public Health, 23(4), 393-403.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Understanding the human machine. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 32(4), 25—30.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Risk and emotion: towards an alternative theoretical perspective. Health, Risk & Society, 15(8), 634—47.
  • Lupton, D. and Schmied, V. (2013) Splitting bodies/selves: women's concepts of embodiment at the moment of birth.  Sociology of Health & Illness, 35(6), 828—41.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Infant embodiment and interembodiment: a review of sociocultural perspectives. Childhood, 20(1), 37—50.
  • Lupton, D.  (2013) 'It's a terrible thing when your children are sick': motherhood and home healthcare work. Health Sociology Review, 22(3), 234—42.
  • Lupton, D. (2012) 'Precious cargo': Foetal subjects and reproductive citizenship. Critical Public Health, 22(3), 329—40.
  • Lupton, D. (2012) M-health and health promotion: the digital cyborg and surveillance society. Social Theory & Health, 10(3), 229—34.

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers

  • Lupton, D. (2014) Self-tracking cultures: towards a sociology of personal informatics. Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (OzCHI) 2014 conference proceedings, ACM Publishers.
  • Lupton, D. (2013) Digital sociology: beyond the digital to the sociological. In The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference 2013 Proceedings: Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations. Edited by Osbaldiston, N., Strong, C. and Forbes-Mewett, H. Melbourne: TASA.

Other academic publications

  • Lupton, D. (in press) Purity and danger. In Ritzer, G. (ed), The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd edition. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Lupton, D. (2018) 3D printing. In Ritzer, G. (ed), The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd edition. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. Available at
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Editorial: Self-tracking, health and medicine. Health Sociology Review, 26(1), 1—5.
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Editorial: Towards sensory studies of digital health. Digital Health, 3, online, available at
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Editorial: Digitised health, medicine and risk. Health, Risk & Society, 17(7-8), 473—76.
  • Lupton, D. (2016) Foreword: Lively data, lively data and lively leisure studies. Leisure Studies, 35(6), 709—711.
  • Lupton, D. and Pedersen, S. (2015) 'What is Happening with Your Body and Your Baby': Australian Women's Use of Pregnancy and Parenting Apps. News and Media Research Centre, University of Canberra.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) Editorial: Beyond techno-utopia: critical approaches to digital health technologies. Societies, 4(4), 706—11.
  • Lupton, D. (2014) Risk. In Cockerham, W., Dingwall, R. and Quah, S. (eds), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society. New York: Blackwell, pp. 2067—71.
  • Lupton, D. (2012) (editor) Food, nutrition and body weight. Sociology of Health & Illness, Virtual Special Issue 8. Available at


Over her career Deborah has been the recipient as chief investigator of nine ARC Discovery Project grants, three Commonwealth AIDS Research Committee grants, one National Heart Foundation grant, three NH&MRC grants, one Wellcome Trust Fund grant (UK) and one Swedish Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences grant.


Nominee, Women with Heart Awards, Heart Foundation ACT, 2017

Shortlisted for the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize, 2017 (for The Quantified Self)

Elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2017

Commendation, University of Canberra Excellence in Research Awards (Social Sciences) 2017

Nominee, University of Canberra Excellence in Supervision of Higher Degree by Research Students Awards, 2017

Allen Lane Prize for most read book review in philosophy, LSE Review of Books Awards, 2013.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award, Charles Sturt University, 2000.

Current Projects

2015-2018 Australian Research Council Discovery Grants Awarded for the project ‘Small technology, big data and the business of young people’s health: an international investigation of the digitisation of school health and physical education’ (second chief investigator with Associate Professor Michael Gard, University of Queensland, Dr Deana Leahy, Monash University and Dr Carolyn Pluim, Northern Illinois University)

2016-2018 The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences Awarded for the project ‘Self-tracking and automatised bodies’ to fund an international network (with Associate Professor Martin Berg (co-ordinator), Malmo University, Sweden, Associate Professor Vaike Fors and Christopher Martin, all of Halmstad University, Sweden, Professor Tom O’Dell, Lund University, Sweden, Professor Sarah Pink, RMIT University, Dr Minna Ruckenstein, Dr Mika Pantzar, both of the University of Helsinki, Finland)

2017-2018 Wellcome Trust Grant (UK) Awarded for the project ‘The digital health generation: the impact of healthy lifestyle technologies on young people’s learning identities and health practices’ (third chief investigator with Associate Professor Emma Rich, University of Bath, UK and Professor Andy Miah, University of Salford, UK)

2016-2018: Australian Women and Digital Health (first chief investigator, with Dr Sarah Maslen, University of Canberra)

2018: App Power (sole investigator)

2018: Young Australians and Digital Health (sole investigator)

2018: Data/Selves: Living with Personal Digital Data (sole investigator)

2018: Facebook and Trust (sole investigator)