Professor David M Evans

PhD, MSc Econ, BSc Econ

  • BS8 1SD

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Research interests

My research explores the role of material and cultural practices in processes of economic organisation and social change. Put another way, I am motivated by a concern with how economic phenomena can be understood through recourse to social science perspectives (principally Sociology, Geography, STS and Organisation Studies) that lie outside orthodox approaches to economic analysis. Partly this is a matter of looking to different explanations of economic activity; partly this is matter of confronting the realities and consequences of economic life. My interests therefore relate to the co-ordination of disparate economic actors, how economic behaviour is shaped through particular associations and alignments, and the organisation or distribution of responsibilities across these heterogeneous actors.

These core theoretical concerns are typically operationalised via an interest in how firms, consumers and organisations enact and respond to sustainability challenges. Empirically, much of my research has focused on the agro-food sector but I have also explored materials (for example plastics, textiles), resources (for example energy, water), and issues of waste and disposal. More recently, my long-standing interests in technologies and market devices have evolved to encompass a more explicit emphasis on digitalisation, particular as it relates to consumption and socio-digital futures. I typically work ethnographically although the vast majority of my research involves collaboration with colleagues from a range of methodological and disciplinary – including the natural and physical sciences – backgrounds. When I do work and write alone, I tend to focus on theoretical contributions to the study of consumption and material culture.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Cabot Institute Food Security Research
  • Consumption
  • Material culture
  • Food and agriculture
  • Heterodox economics
  • Sustainability
  • Waste

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