Author: Francesca Halstead

Politics of Categorization: Race and Blood

In a recent article for The New York Times, British journalist Rose George makes the case that the Red Cross needs to reassess its policy of desegregating blood based on race and ethnicity. She also argues that blood collection services need to develop initiatives to attract a more diverse pool of blood given the dearth of minority donors. George draws on the sympathetic case of a young child, Zainab, whose cancer treatment requires a rare form of blood common amongst...

Football is for hope, for joy, for peace, and for … trafficking?

Football gives hope to people across the globe, both young and old. Aspirations of being a professional football player signal an opportunity to change the socio-economic circumstances of not just an individual, but potentially a community for generations to come. Football gives joy to those who watch it and play an active role in following their favourite teams through the numerous ups and downs of professional sport. Football has also been used to bring peace to countries on the verge...

Marketing Children: Overcoding Indigenous Children with Colonial Happiness in the Child Welfare System

In 1964, the Today’s Child column began in the Toronto Telegram, written by Helen Allen at the behest of then-Deputy Minister of Welfare in Ontario, Dr. James Band. In 1972, the column moved to the Toronto Star. The Today’s Child ran weekly until 1982 and featured over 4,000 daily advertisements of children who were available for adoption. Each column would feature a photo of the child or multiple children and offer descriptions of each child’s appearance and disposition. A television...

Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy

Happy Friday everyone! Actually, when was the last time that you experienced pure happiness? Real unrestrained joy? Many of us, sadly, are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. During Mental Health Awareness Week recently, leading figures including Alastair Campbell bravely discussed their experiences of depression; raising awareness, with a view to generating a collective understanding of, and sympathy for, those experiencing mental health issues. So, the new book by Lynne Segal, Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy representing ‘a passionate call...

Sociologists should stop talking about social class

Once upon a time it meant something when we talked about social class.  The concept was useful in describing social inequalities, or predicting outcomes such as illness and premature death.  But the turn towards cultural and symbolic approaches to class in recent sociology has made ‘social class’ increasingly meaningless and empirically unhelpful.   For most of its history, sociology has explored the stratifications and inequalities it has observed among members of societies, most notably in terms of gender, race and...

Infant feeding and the need for sociology

Discussion of how mothers feed their babies is rarely out of the news. Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent reflects on the issues.  As we teach our students, the sociological imagination helps us to see the relatedness of private problems and public issues. Sociological work about feeding babies stands as an excellent example of the application of this point. Research about the public struggles over how babies are fed, and the struggles women...

Sociology Lens Editor’s unexpected reflections on the year so far

This time of year always brings me mixed emotions. Autumn is my favourite season and as a once upon a time student of the English Romantic Poets, I’ve always enjoyed the nostalgia of mists and mellow fruitfulness (1). The lowing sun still has its warm but heavy glow, the creeping light winds up the walls a little earlier every day, whilst the coming darkness slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the window-panes (2)  as we start to curl about the...

Interview: Ruth McAreavey on Rural Sociology

Dr Ruth McAreavey is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Newcastle University. Ruth’s research focuses on migration, particularly to regional and rural areas, and inequalities faced by migrants in the labour market and in other parts of everyday life. Ruth has published extensively on rural development, and her most recent book on New Immigration Destinations was published by Routledge in July 2017. Ruth will Chair the Scientific Committee at the next European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Congress in Trondheim, Norway,...

THE NHS: TO PROVIDE ALL PEOPLE

This article by Dr Catherine Will is originally published on the Cost of Living, a site is for all people interested in the politics, economics and sociology of health and health care. The ‘Cost of Living’ aims to provide a vibrant mix of topical comment pieces, analytical features, and contemporary reviews, related to health, medicine and health care. I offer a very contemporary comment this week, having come across this recent BBC programme for the 70th anniversary of the NHS, by...

Interview: Professor Diane Richardson on Sexuality and Citizenship

Diane Richardson is a Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University. Diane is internationally recognised for her work in the area of feminist and sociological study of sexuality and gender, including recent publication, Sexuality and Citizenship (Polity 2018). A central concern of this research is to understand how models of citizenship are constructed and deployed by marginalised groups as new democratic moments emerge. Diane’s research addresses interlinked themes including the relation between cultural and material aspects of recognition, as well as...

The Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness

Scholars in the field of medical sociology, and various related disciplines including the sociology of healthcare, mental illness and science and technology studies, will no doubt already be aware of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness. Founded just under 20 years ago, the Foundation owns the rights to the journal Sociology of Health and Illness, published by Wiley, and uses the royalties from this title to support academic work in this field, including research, teaching and wider...

Refugee Week 2018: Free Content Collection

Refugee week highlights the importance of sanctuary and the resulting benefits for refugees and host countries. UNHCR figures state: An unprecedented 65.6 million people globally are forcibly displaced. 22.5 million of those are refugees. Half of all refugees are children. In support of Refugee Week we have curated a research collection focused on refugee experiences, their integration, impact, protection and contribution. The collection is freely available to download during 2018. Browse the Research Collection In collaboration with a wide range...

The digitalisation of cities and housing: what will the future bring?

There is a lot of talk at the moment about the how digital technologies are or will impact on a variety of aspects of our lives, ranging from the nature of our work relations to urban life and housing. The ramifications of the impacts of digitalisation on our cities and in particular on housing have been the topic of a recent Housing Europe conference in Tallinn, Estonia. This article will draw out some of the broader themes discussed during this...

A Safer and More Just Society: Policy and Projections of the 1967 President’s Crime Commission Report

The past year marked the 50th anniversary of the report by the U.S. President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. The Commission, chaired by Nicholas Katzenbach, included 19 commissioners and featured now-famous criminologists Lloyd Ohlin (who served as an associate director of the Commission’s staff) and Alfred Blumstein, the staff-director of science and technology. The Commission’s goal was seemingly straightforward: to create recommendations for federal, state, and local governments that could lead to “a safer and more just...

LGBTQ+ Pride Month: Free Content Collection on Mental Health

To celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month we are delighted to provide free access to articles on the topic of Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ community. During the month of June you can access 40+ free articles across a range of topics to raise awareness and keep the conversation going. You can access the articles via the links below, or from the virtual issue landing page, here. Experiences and unmet needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people with cancer care: A systematic...

Interview: Lisa Garforth on Green Utopias: Environmental Hope Before and After Nature

Lisa Garforth is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Newcastle University. Her work explores green future visions, especially in fiction. Her recent book Green Utopias: Environmental Hope Before and After Nature (Polity 2018) examines the changing content and socio-cultural contexts of green utopias from post-war environmentalism to the challenge of the Anthropocene. What lead you to write your book, Green Utopias, and what are the major themes? I wanted to rethink environmental utopianism, not so much from the perspective of practical...