Skip to main content


Photo of Dr Hannah Farrimond

Dr Hannah Farrimond

BA, BSc, MSc, Dr

Senior Lecturer (Sociology)


01392 725128

Byrne House FF16

I have two areas of focus at present a) developing a sociology of legal addictions (smoking/vaping, alcohol, pharmaceuticals); also exploring how psychedelics and cannabis are changing the legal/illegal boundaries and b) developing a process model of stigma change, to explain the emergence and evolution of stigmas over time. These two intersect: I have examined the stigma of smoking/vaping, alcohol, sleeping medications, alongside non-drug stigmas such as around Covid-19 and Long Covid. The ultimate aim is to develop a historically and contextually sensitive theory of stigma change which can illuminate if and how stigma can be disrupted.

Current projects include:

  • Developing theories of stigma emergence and change, esp focused on intensity and temporality
  • The lineage, variation and strength of Covid-19 stigma
  • Cultural understandings of legal addictions (e-cigarettes/vaping, alcohol cultures)
  • Identifying pharmaceutical cultures over time 
  • Healthy ageing and addiction
  • Questioning the role of stigma in public health

Member of: Society for Study of Addiction, International Sociological Association, International Journal of Drug Policy Journal Board.

Papers full text on ResearchGate, AcademicEdu and the Open Repository at Exeter

Twitter: @FarrimondH

Publications (since 2016)

Farrimond, H. and Michael, M. (in press) How stigma assemblages emerge and mutate: The case of Long Covid stigma, Recalibrating stigma: Sociological perspectives in health and illness, Eds O. Williams, A. Chandler, T. Spratt and G. Thomas, Policy Press (Open Access).

Farrimond, H., Smith, G., Boyd, K., Fleicher, D. (in press) ‘Don’t take a clipboard and try not to get sat on’: The ethics and practice of data collection as female researchers in a male dominated night-time economy (NTE). Eds K. Hughes, J. Hughes. F* Ups in Social Research: SAGE, London.

Farrimond, H. (in press) Covid-19 & shame: Political emotions & public health in the UK by Cooper, Dolezal, L., and Rose, A. LSE Book Review.

Farrimond, H. (2023) Stigma mutation: Tracking lineage, variation and strength in Covid-19 stigma. Sociological Research Online 28 (1): 171-188. (Open Access)

Estrada Jaramillo, A.L., Michael, M. and Farrimond, H. (2022). Absence, Multiplicity and the Boundaries of Research? Reflections on Online Asynchronous Focus Groups. Qualitative Research.( Open Access)

Wilkinson, K., Boyd, K., Pearson, M, Farrimond, H., Lang, I.A., Fleisher, D, Poole, A., Ralph, N., Rappert, B. (2022) Making sense of evidence, in (Ed) Translational Criminology in Policing, 64-68.

Toller, L. & Farrimond, H. (2021) The unpredictable body, identity and disclosure: Identifying the strategies of chronically ill students at university, Disability Studies Quarterly. (Open Access)

Farrimond, H. (2021) New pandemics, old politics by De Waal, LSE Book Review

Smith, G. & Farrimond, H. (2019) Active ageing, emotional care and the threat of stigma: Identity management in older adults using sleeping medication long-term, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 23 (3): 255-272. 

Farrimond, H. & Abraham, C. (2018) Developing e-cigarette friendly smoking cessation services in England: staff perspectives, Harm Reduction Journal, 15 (1): 38. (open access)

Farrimond, H., Boyd, K. & Fleischer, D. (2018) Reconfiguring the violent encounter? Preloading, security staff and breathalyser use in the night-time economy. International Journal of Drug Policy, 56: 108-115.

Boyd, K., Farrimond, H., and Ralph, N. (2018) The impact of breathalysers on violence and attitudes in the Night-Time Economy, European Journal of Criminology (in press).

Farrimond, H. (2017) A typology of vaping: Identifying beliefs, motivations for use, identity and political interest amongst e-cigarette users, International Journal of Drug Policy, 48: 81-90.

Farrimond, H. (2017) The ethics of research, The Bera/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research, Eds: Dominic Wyse, Emma Smith, Larry E. Suter and Neil Selwyn. SAGE Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Wilkinson, K., Boyd, K., Pearson, M., Farrimond, H., Lang, I.A., Fleischer, D., Poole. A., Ralph, N., and Rappert, B. (2017) Making sense of evidence: Using research training to promote organisational change. Police Practice and Research.

Farrimond. H. (2016) E-cigarette regulation and policy: UK vapers' perspectives, Addiction, 111 (6): 1077-1083.

Carrieri, D., Farrimond, H., Kelly, S.E. and Turnpenny, P.D. (2016) Families dealing with the uncertainty of genetic disorders: the case of Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Sociology of Health and Illness, 38(5):753-67


ESRC IAA Project Co-creation Award, '#RU2Drunk? Evaluation of the roll-out of a breathalyser initiative to reduce alcohol-related violence in the South West, July-Dec '16, PI Hannah Farrimond and Katharine  Boyd, Collaborators Devon and Cornwall/Dorset Police Strategic Alliance, £19, 787.

Reframing stop smoking services in response to e-cigarette use: An exploratory stakeholder study', Cancer Research UK, PI Dr Hannah Farrimond, Collaborator Prof. Charles Abraham, 18 months, start March 2016, £43,000.

Police Knowledge Fund ExPERT (Exeter Policing, Evidence and Research Translation) Project, Start date Sept 2015, 18 months, Co-I, £249,450.

Q-Step Centre for Quantitative Methods at the University of Exeter (£1.2 million), start 2014 for five years, Academic Lead for SPA department

Research group links

Research interests

Covid-19 and stigma: Change over time

Extending my previous thinking about stigma, I have been tracking Covid-19 stigma over time. Some trends can be discerned. For example, familiar from previous epidemics, we can see the identification and projection of difference onto ‘Others’. Covid stigma is created, for example, through the pejorative labelling of the virus (e.g. the Chinese virus), projecting ‘disgusting’ or conspiracy origin stories onto whole ‘carrier’ groups, and blaming those returning home as ‘infecting from outside’. Counter-stigmatizing trends are also visible. Public figures, such as the actor Tom Hanks, followed by politicians, sportspeople and the royal family, have disclosed their corona status. In doing so, high status groups in the West may have converted ‘testing positive’ into shared rather than shamed behaviour. However, international divergence is already observed. As moral discourses concerning risk, controllability and blame intensify or die down, Covid-19 stigma changes over time. In particular new form are emerging, such as the stigmatisation of Long Covid. 


My non-Covid-19 research continues to focus on a) legal addictions and their social meanings, especially alcohol, tobacco/vaping and pharmaceuticals and b) stigma, particularly how it transforms/changes over time, and the stigma of addictions including the role of public health in challenging or perpetuating stigma. I have developed a theory of stigma mutation which can be used to understand emergent stigma through three dimensions a) lineage b) variation and c) strength. I am currently working through a series of case-studies of stigma (on alcohol, smoking/vaping, psychedelics, as well as Covid/Long Covid) to further refine the theory, particularly in relation to existence of stigma assemblages and their temporality.


Research supervision


I am interested in supervising PhD's in the following areas:

  • Social practices of legal drug use esp smoking/vaping, alcohol and pharmaceuticals
  • Addiction in relation to legal and illegal drug use
  • Stigma theory
  • Medicalization/pharmaceuticalization
  • Qualitative/mixed methods/Q-methodology

Completed PhDs

2016-2022 Rosanna Mead, Meaningful music in Dementia Care: Anchoring within Transient Situations.

2016-2020 Georgia Smith, 1 + 3 ESRC studentship, 'The Long Night: Framing Sleeping Medication Use in Later Life'

2015-2018. Hazel O'Brien, 'Being Mormon in Ireland: An ethnographic study of two Mormon communities in Ireland' 

2008-2011 Daniele Carrieri, 'Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1): Patients and Families Experiences and Health Care System Management of a Complex Genetic Syndrome’

Examined PhDs

2020 (external) Daniel Erku, University of Queensland, Australia 'Exploring the role of health professionals in communicating health messages about nicotine vaping products to smokers: A multiple methods approach'

2015 (internal) David Wyatt

2013 (internal) Louise Bezuidenhout

2012 (internal) Sally Wasmuth

Current PhDs

Louise Toller, 1 + 3 ESRC studentship, Social constructions of a liminal condition (M.E.) in young people. 

Courtney Buckler 1 + 3 ESRC studentship. Evidence-based medicine as an ideological tool in psychiatric discourse.

Ana Lucia Estrada Jamarillo, The logics of care in congenital syphilis in Western Colombia, Colombian Government/UK collaborative funding

Margaret Chirgwin. Why are UK doctors leaving medical practice prematurely (i.e. before retirement age)?

External impact and engagement

ESRC IAA Project Co-creation Award, '#RU2Drunk? Evaluation of the roll-out of a breathalyser initiative to reduce alcohol-related violence in the South West, July-Dec '16, PI Hannah Farrimond and Katharine  Boyd, Collaborators Devon and Cornwall/Dorset Police Strategic Alliance, £19, 787.


My PhD in Psychology on 'Smoking Identities in Higher and Lower Socio-economic Groups in the UK' was awarded in 2007 by UCL. I then joined the University of Exeter as a research associate at EGENIS (Exeter Centre for the Study of Life Sciences), moving to a lecturer (2016), then senior lecturer post (2018). 

 Edit profile