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Gareth Williams Rememberance

I sit down with a heavy heart and with great sadness to write of the death of my friend Gareth Williams.  I first encountered Gareth when I was cutting my teeth in medical sociology; now a distant memory and long before he was aware of me.  Each year a diverse and ragtag band of medical sociologists would make their way to York for the annual BSA medical sociology conference and Gareth would always be there; sun tanned and relaxed and...

What the Greatest Generation Knows about Technology that You Don’t

In 2015, Anthropologist Veronica Kirin took a solo trip of 12,000 miles through 40 states in America to interview our oldest living citizens, ranging from 75 to 106 years old, about the changes they’ve seen during their lifetimes. The resulting book, “Stories of Elders,” documents nearly 8,435 years of life lived and roots our technological evolution in history. In this interview, we discuss her findings and why she was the one to do this research. What were the common themes...

What not to watch: #MeToo and contemporary popular culture

In light of #MeToo, one of issues I have found myself thinking about on a daily basis is how to come to a decision as to whether or not a piece of culture is irredeemably tainted by the involvement of men accused of abuses and if I, as an ethical subject, should continue to consume them. The most significant factor in assessing whether or not to consume a piece work in which so-called ‘bad men’ feature prominently is individual experience....

‘Hokianga Says No to Deep Sea Oil’: Revisiting Environmental Protest in New Zealand

In August 2015, around 120 people gathered outside New Zealand’s Northland Regional Council. They protested against closed-door briefings by Statoil on proposals to drill for oil, displaying placards and banners (such as ‘Hokianga Says No to Deep Sea Oil’), singing songs and chanting their call for exploration licenses to be revoked. This action was one of a number that took place around New Zealand after 2011, when the National Party led government (2008-2017) pursued offshore oil exploration within its drive...

Highlights from the American Sociological Association Conference, ‘Feeling Race’, Philadelphia, 11-14 August 2018

This year’s American Sociological Association (ASA) conference was held in Philadelphia, on the theme ‘Feeling Race’. I attended in my role as Research Editor for the journal Sociology of Health & Illness (SHI), to network with Medical Sociologists and encourage awareness of SHI as a place to publish their work. I was excited to visit this city and had been told to do two things (work activities aside!) whilst I was there: run up the ‘Rocky Steps’ and eat a Philly...

Us too! Why it’s time to give female death by suicide some serious sociological attention!

The #MeToo campaign has had many consequences, one of which is a welcome and long overdue look at the devastating consequences of female sexual assault on the lives of women. One recent study has highlighted the long term consequences of these events on the victims by demonstrating that around 80% of women who are assaulted go on to suffer from mental health problems (see The Guardian). There are many other distressing aspects to the recent revelations but one that I...

Looking after farmers as well as the land: research with farmers in North Yorkshire’s Cornfield Flowers Project

Do farmers derive any personal benefit and well-being from their Agricultural Environmental Schemes (AES) work? Being a volunteer grower and seed guardian for North Yorkshire’s Cornfield Flowers Project (CFP) made me aware of how this project functioned differently from other, mainstream AES. The CFP capitalises upon farmers’ personal interest in arable flowers [1] Participating farmers are not paid for the work, do not sign contracts, and are not obliged to adhere to prescriptive cultivations methods imposed by an external agency. Unlike...

Highlights from the ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 15-21 July 2018

The XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology is taking place this week, 15-21 July 2018. The Conference theme is Power, Violence and Justice, a topic that could not be more relevant for the global landscape in 2018. With over 5,000 delegates attending from across the globe, the congress opened with a vibrant and rousing performance by the Red Urban Project, Wasauking First Nation dancers and musicians. Professor Myrna Dawson, President-Elect of the Canadian Sociological Association began the addresses...

Celebrating the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 15-21 July 2018

The XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology is taking place 15-21 July 2018, in Toronto Canada. The theme of the congress is Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities and aims to focus on how scholars, researchers, policy makers, professionals and activists across the disciplines can contribute to our understanding of power, violence and justice. To celebrate this diverse, multidisciplinary Congress, we are pleased to bring together a collection of content from journals across the social sciences, including sociology,...

Free Content Collection: Feminism and Politics

Explore ideas behind feminist political theory, social policy, and feminist thought in this curated article collection. Drawn from the social sciences, the research will help you discover more about the strive for equality, from the gender pay gap to shaping literacy and education. All articles are freely available for you to read and share until 30 September 2018. Highlights Include  On the problems and possibilities of feminist solidarity: The Women’s March one year on  Bridging the enduring gender gap in...

The rise of single households in the European Union and the impact on housing

In 2015,for the first time, there were significantly more single-households in the European Union than any other household type. As such, living alone has become the most common way of living across the EU. But why is this important? The rise of single living has important implications, not only on the number and the type of homes needed but also on the provision of housing-related services, including health or social care. The rise of single-households also creates new or different...

What Responses to Charlottesville Revealed About America

On the night of August 11th, white nationalists held a torch-lit pride parade through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. They were met with counter-protests, and the demonstrations descended into a melee. The next morning, these same organizers held a “Unite the Right” rally in Emancipation Park, centered on a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that had been scheduled for removal. Once again, battle lines were drawn, and a fight ensued. This time, the white nationalists were driven...

Undisciplined Methods for Research and Engagement

A two-day intensive research methods workshop on ‘Undisciplined Methods for research and engagement’ took place on 31st May and 1st June at the University of Brighton, UK. The aim was to explore approaches to research that might challenge established or ‘disciplinary’ methods used in the social sciences and humanities, providing a space for deep reflection on ways of generating and representing knowledge through practical experiences. We did this through listening and sharing, drawing on walls, doing physical theatre exercises, nonsense...

An enduring genetic imaginary?

  In a speech celebrating the completion of the Human Genome Project, Bill Clinton, then president of the US, gave voice to the great expectations for genomic science, claiming it would ‘revolutionise the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases’ (see https://www.genome.gov/10001356/). Yet emerging work on the sociology of the new genetics was already starting to raise questions about the desirability and implications of these developments.  One influential commentator, Abby Lippman, 1991, 1992) coined the term...

“Digital Sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research”. Noortje Marres on how digital technology contributes to sociology.

Noortje Marres is the author of 2017 book, Digital Sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research, a critical new overview and assessment of the key concepts, methods and understandings that currently inform the development of specifically digital forms of social enquiry. In conversation with Francesca Halstead, Noortje discusses the key arguments in her book, how she came to write it, and how digital technology contributes to sociology research and practice. What is Digital Sociology? Digital Sociology came into usage as a...

The company you keep: Is socialising with higher-status people bad for mental health?

Is socializing with higher-status people good or bad for mental health? A recent study of the same title starts with this question. People often believe that socializing with higher-status alters is beneficial by leading to access valuable resources. It seems true that individuals are able to obtain useful information and resources if they know people in higher positions, by providing useful resources that the individuals could have not accessed without such relationships. However, it is also probable that socializing with higher-status alters...