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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 the University of Western Sydney.

Deborah is the author of 15 books and over 150 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 & Society, Journal of Sociology, Fat Studies, Digital Health, 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)

Recent Publications

Authored Books

  • 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) (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. (in press) 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. New York: New York University Press.
  • 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

  • Lupton, D. (2015) Digital companion species and eating data: implications for theorising digital data-human assemblages. Big Data & Society, online before print DOI: 10.1177/2053951715619947
  • Lupton, D. (2015) Towards critical health studies: reflections on two decades of research in Health and the way forward. Health, online before print
  • Michael, M. and Lupton, D.  (2015) Toward a manifesto for 'a public understanding of big data'. Public Understanding of Science, online before print
  • 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. 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 eight ARC grants, three Commonwealth AIDS Research Committee grants, one National Heart Foundation grant and three NH&MRC grants.


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

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

Current Projects

Deborah’s current research projects are investigating the following topics:

  • digital sociology (completing a book of this title for Routledge);
  • medical diagnosis apps (with Annemarie Jutel, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand);
  • big pharma, big data and medical apps (with Annemarie Jutel, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Mary Ebeling, Drexel University, USA);
  • sexuality and reproductive health apps;
  • the use of digital technologies by people working in infectious disease management and control (with Mike Michael, University of Sydney);
  • public understanding of big data (with Mike Michael, University of Sydney);
  • the quantified self phenomenon;
  • big data in medicine and healthcare;
  • the digital surveillance of children and the unborn;
  • responses to sensor-based technologies by artists and designers.