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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Hester Hockin-Boyers, BSc., MPhil.

Personal web page

Contact Hester Hockin-Boyers (email at


I am a PhD student in both the Department of Sociology and the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University. I have completed the Certificate in Social Research Methods at Durham University, an MPhil in Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge, and have a BSc (first class) in Sociology at London School of Economics and Political Science. My PhD is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Field of Study

My doctoral research seeks to explore female weightlifting as a mode of recovery from eating disorders. Within online spaces and on social media, women within weightlifting subcultures frequently share their experiences of using strength training to overcome issues relating to disordered eating, body image, and mental health. This research will qualitatively engage with these communities, in order to understand how this physical activity can contribute to health and well-being among women with a history of eating disorders.

Research Interests

  • Embodiment
  • Gender
  • Physical Activity and Sport
  • Feminist Theory
  • Body Image


  • Sport, Culture & Society - Seminar Tutor (2017/18, 2018/19) 
  • Sport, Crime and Deviance - Seminar Tutor (2018/19) & Guest Lecturer (2018/19)
  • Physical Activity and Health Psychology - Guest Lecturer (2018/19)


Conference Paper

  • Hockin-Boyers, H. (2018), From risk to recovery? Exploring the intersections of disordered eating, bodybuilding and mental health, Competing in the Dark. Open University.
  • Hockin-Boyers, H. (2018), Gendered embodiment, stability and change: Amateur bodybuilding among women in recovery from eating disorders, Appearance Matters 8. Bath.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Is supervised by