David Baruffati




Research title: Getting Under the Skin: An urban ethnography exploring the links between deprivation and health across two socioeconomically contrasting Glasgow communities

Research Summary

Research Topic

Getting Under the Skin': An ethnography exploring the links between deprivation and health within a working-class community in Glasgow

Research Interests

  • Health Inequalities
  • Class
  • Gender


Glasgow’s population suffers a number of unfavourable health outcomes. Across Scotland, and the UK, Glasgow’s population has come to consistently stand out as that with the highest mortality rates and the lowest life expectancy. Health inequalities are particularly stark. Furthermore, it has ‘unexplained excess mortality’, whereby mortality rates remain significantly higher than the similar, post-industrial UK cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Belfast following statistical controls for deprivation (Walsh et al, 2016). It has been suggested that this excess may, in part, be attributable to the 'lived experience' of deprivation in Glasgow being more extreme and damaging to health, with such differences stemming from processes and mechanisms immeasurable by the proxy quantitative measures typically used in analyses (George, 2010; Walsh et al, 2016). Within this context, this thesis undertakes an in-depth, qualitative ethnography of two geographically proximal but socioeconomically contrasting areas in Glasgow to further understanding of the processes by which the ‘lived experience’ of men living across these areas comes to ‘get under the skin’ to contribute to the wide inequalities in health outcomes across these populations.


Baruffati, D.; Mackenzie, M.; Walsh, D. & Whyte, B. (in press). Sick city in a sick country. In: K. Kintrea & R. Madgin (Eds). Transforming Glasgow. Bristol: Policy Press.


External supervisors

  • Gerry McCartney


Sponsor / Funder

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (3+1) (Urban Studies Pathway)



  • Graduate Teaching Assistant:  Introduction to Social Theory for Researchers [PGT SPS5036] (University of Glasgow)
  • Tutor: Introduction to Social Theory for Researchers [PGT SPS5036] (University of Glasgow)
  • Guest Lecturer: ‘Food Aid & The Welfare State’, for Housing, Inequality & Society (URBAN5095)


  • Graduate Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Social Theory for Researchers [PGT SPS5036] (University of Glasgow)
  • Tutor: ‘The Sociology of Race, Racism & Ethnicity’ for Widening Participation Summer School (University of Glasgow)