Gabija Didziokaite

  • Junior Researcher
  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences Program group Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV, Amsterdam, REC BC

Gabija is a PhD candidate at Loughborough University Social Sciences Department. Her current work looks at practices of self-tracking, more specifically at use of calorie counting and diet tracking app MyFitnessPal. Using qualitative methodology is looking at intersections between food, health, technology and identity trying to understand how people use self-tracking technologies and how this practice affects their choices and self. Gabija holds MSc (Research) in Social Sciences from University of Amsterdam, and BA in Sociology from the University of Warwick. More broadly her research interests are biomedicine, medical technologies, food and health, and body and embodiment.

Research

The off-label use of stimulants for cognitive enhancement has stirred intense debates in media and academia that questioned the safety, efficacy and moral implications of the practice. Nonetheless, little attention is paid to the opinions of people involved in the practice and to similar practices encompassing other substances. Moreover, little research on the topic is done outside the US. In order to complement the discussion, through in-depth interviews Gabija explored how young people in Lithuania who engage in pharmaceutical enhancement of working and studying experience and perceive the practice. By analysing on the stories of the participants she showed that the practice can be understood as substance instrumentalisation, where substances, ranging from vitamins to drugs, are purposefully employed as tools helping to achieve goals.

Gabija's work was partly carried out in the frame of the Chemical Youth project grand tour in the Netherlands.