Author: Francesca Halstead

Interview with Dr George Baylon Radics, Associate Editor for Sociology Compass

Sociology Compass is delighted to welcome Dr George Baylon Radics as our new Associate Editor for the Crime & Deviance Section. Dr Radics is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. The Associate Editor role at Sociology Compass is to lead on the commissioning of state-of-the-art review articles under dedicated subject areas. We took the opportunity to talk to George about his research background and aims for the criminology section as he joins the...

So, what’s it like being Muslim in Academia? A case of oppressive institutions and Islamophobic landscapes.

In this blog, Maisha Islam tells us about her recent Sociology Compass publication where she and her co-author Arif Mahmud take readers on a journey to better understand the lived experiences of Muslim academics navigating through the terrains of UK academia. There is much to learn and get accustomed to as an early career researcher within academia. From the competitive world of publishing, to securing funding or research grants, teaching on numerous courses at a time, and supporting students sometimes...

School teachers’ perceptions of the bystanders’ role in school bullying

This particular piece of research was conducted with teachers employed in Finnish primary/lower and upper secondary schools. Ten in number were asked to unfold their perceptions of what role the bystanders play in school bullying. This text draws from their expertise to address a problem with several facets as, for example, it fuels other school problems as absenteeism. Many children choose absenteeism to avoid school because they are bullied there. Considering the long-lasting effects of bullying on victims, it is...

Well-being is a characteristic of companies – not just individual workers

Work-related well-being has garnered significant public attention since the onset of COVID-19. Discussions of remote work, flexible work, and the importance of work/life balance have received heightened consideration as people and organizations across the globe adapt to an unprecedented historical moment and begin reassessing how they want to work (and live). While simply discussing work-related well-being is a step in the right direction, popular and academic understandings of well-being in the workplace have room for improvement. This is because well-being...

Trans Children & Pathologisation in the UK

What happens when a society, backed by powerful institutions, media and majority culture designates a minority population as inherently disordered? When that categorisation and stigma is weaponised to legitimise abuse and discrimination? A new study highlights the legacy of one example of such pathologisation, focusing on transgender children in the UK. Introduction Across the globe, growing numbers of transgender (trans) children are being supported to live authentically in childhood. Global healthcare consensus now recognises trans identities, including in childhood, as...

Readiness for independent living of youth in residential childcare: A comparative study

Transition to adulthood has become an increasingly extended and complex period for young people, which is not usually completed until the late twenties in most European countries. However, for people who have been placed in alternative care during their childhood or adolescence after being separated from their families of origin, this process is especially difficult. In addition to their early adverse experiences (such as neglect, abuse, abandonment, etc.), they are usually forced to face a much more abrupt and compressed...

If you want to prevent accidents at work – then think about social, cultural or organizational aspects – before the individual.

Accidents at work are estimated to kill more than 380,000 workers worldwide every year (Concha-Barrientos et al., 2005; EU-OSHA, 2017). Although the risks of accidents at work have been reduced over the last about 30 years, the increased complexity and multidimensional characteristics of risk to workers have challenged the existing approaches to accident prevention. In recent years social, cultural and organizational aspects have become important additional perspectives included in accident prevention programs at work, and referred to as the “third...

A look beyond poverty – what role does economic support play in (re-)producing inequalities?

In countries of the global South, social relationships often function as channels for support essential for making a living. Studies that created a comprehensive overview of all forms of welfare benefits people have access to (for example Bevan 2004), acknowledged these forms of support as informal social protection. Informal as they do not follow a formal, written script and thus differ from the well-defined welfare provisions of governments. Instead, informal support is embedded in social relationships and can thus take...

Put to the test: For a new sociology of testing

A test can be defined as an orchestrated attempt to reveal an entity’s potentially unknown properties or capacities. A drug trial, a pregnancy test, and a planetary probe are all procedures designed to ascertain the properties of some entity. However, while tests and testing are well‐established social forms, their role in culture, economy, politics, and everyday life seems to be expanding. With smart city experimentation, randomized controlled trials in economic development, and apps to test your personality and the performance...

School Closures During COVID-19: Potential Impacts on Homeschooling Regulation

Life as we know it is rapidly changing in the current coronavirus pandemic. While many Americans are experiencing unprecedented financial hardship as unemployment rates are skyrocketing, others with relatively unaffected jobs are nonetheless worried about other aspects of this “new normal”: no handshakes, no large gatherings, and even moving freely about or visiting with loved ones is restricted. Many, of course, are also falling ill or losing family members and friends. Although some states are more affected than others, the...

No Time for Blind Optimism

The world is facing the most serious health catastrophe since 1918.  A global pandemic—one that many medical authorities warned would happen sooner or later—is here.  The coronavirus travels quietly, widely, and can have deadly consequences.  At this writing, well over 1.5 million people have been infected and close to 90,000 have died.  Compare this to the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003 which infected 8,098 people and killed 774 or the 2014 outbreak of the Ebola virus which infected 18,000 people and...

Money, markets and trade caused coronavirus pandemic

In recent weeks, the microscopic bundle of genes and proteins that comprises the Covid-19 coronavirus has been ascribed almost miraculous powers to infect huge and growing numbers of human bodies.  The media coverage of the outbreak  has ensured that few are unaware of the respiratory tract symptoms that the infection produces: symptoms that – in the case of the most vulnerable – can kill. However, this account has largely sidelined the social, economic and political environment that has contributed to...

‘Women of my age tend to drink’: Understanding how older Australian and Danish women negotiate the pleasures and risks of their alcohol use

When we think of risky drinking, typically we think of young people ‘binge drinking’, passing out on the footpath and generally looking a bit ‘messy’. The media reinforces the notion that drinking is primarily a problem among young people by regularly circulating stories and images of young people being drunk in public and causing problems either to themselves or bystanders. This emphasis on young people’s drinking is not surprising, particularly since they are more likely to drink in public places,...

Pregnancy and childbirth in prison

“I’ve got baggy tops, so I just always have to hide my bump, and like most people couldn’t recognise that I’m pregnant, so that’s a good thing”. With a prison population of approximately 9000 women in England, it is estimated that approximately 600 pregnancies and 100 births occur annually.  Despite there being an extensive literature on the sociology of reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth, there has been scarce qualitative research looking specifically at pregnant prisoners. Our recently published open access paper:...

Vaccine frictions – one rationality does not fit all

This blog piece highlights some points of my on-going multi-sited research project on HPV vaccination in Finland. The findings presented are based on my open access research article, What kind of ‘a girls’ thing’?, published in Sociology of Health and Illness. When you are vaccinated, you get protection against the cancer‐causing HP virus. On the front page of the Finnish HPV vaccination campaign site. That vaccine protects from papillomavirus (not directly even from cervical cancer), which is very effectively prevented...