Author: Francesca Halstead

Solid Foundations? Towards a Historical Sociology of Prison Building Programmes in England and Wales, 1959–2015

Between 1959 and 2015 the UK government embarked upon five major phases of prison building in England and Wales. Drawing upon detailed archival research, this article offers a historical sociology of prison building programmes. It traces the evolution of prison building as a public policy concern and documents how this key site of penal policy making was interpreted, and contested, by policy actors who were themselves embedded within deep institutional structures of power and meaning. It argues that prison building...

‘Cloud chasers’ and ‘substitutes’: e-cigarettes, vaping subcultures and vaper identities

The social meaning of e-cigarettes and vaping involves a vaping subculture, ideas about health through harm reduction, pleasure and community, as well as addiction and stigma. Some use e-cigarettes to quit smoking; others thrive in the flavoured clouds. In addition, there is a ‘split vision’ of health and stigma in the perceptions of vaping where the vaper identities are constantly negotiated. The use of e-cigarettes has increased and moved beyond a cessation-only practice, were vaping has started to serve social,...

Effects of trauma‐informed approaches in schools: A systematic review

This is a Plain Language Summary of an Open Access Systematic Review published in Campbell Systematic Reviews originally published on 17 July 2019 The review in brief Despite growing support and increased rate of which trauma‐informed approaches are being promoted and implemented in schools, evidence to support this approach is lacking. What is this review about? Exposure to different types of trauma have been associated with varying types and complexity of adverse outcomes, including adverse effects on cognitive functioning, attention,...

Of bodies and burkinis: institutional Islamophobia, Islamic dress and the colonial condition

The image accompanying this piece was taken last month in France. The image is of a poster that was displayed on the wall of a beach front café, set against the backdrop of armed troops parading the beach front. The overwhelming impression of the poster is the bust of Marianne, her flowing locks said to represent the freedom of the French Republic. She dominates the image, exemplary of what it means to be a woman in France.  The poster is...

Interview with Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, new Editors in Chief of Criminology & Public Policy

Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, new Editors in Chief of Criminology & Public Policy 1. Congratulations on being appointed the new editors of Criminology & Public Policy (CPP). As you begin your term, what is your broad vision for the future of the journal? We are thrilled to be selected as the new editors of Criminology & Public Policy and intend to continue the excellent work of the outgoing editors Professors Bill Bales and Dan Nagin in making CPP one...

Individualized funding interventions to improve health and social care outcomes for people with a disability: A mixed‐methods systematic review

This is a plain language summary of an Open Access Systematic Review published in Campbell Systematic Reviews. It is also available as a PDF in English and Spanish on The Campbell Collaboration website. What is the aim of this review? This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of individualized funding on a range of health and social care outcomes. It also presents evidence on the experiences of people with a disability, their paid and unpaid supports and implementation successes and...

Call for Editor(s): International Migration

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Wiley invite applications for the editorship of International Migration. The journal is a refereed, scientific journal on migration issues as analyzed by demographers, geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and other social scientists from all parts of the world. It covers the entire field of policy relevance in international migration, giving attention not only to a breadth of topics reflective of policy concerns, but also attention to coverage of all regions of the world. Issues...

In the digital ‘culture war’, left wing politics must capture online spaces – not just try to regulate them

It is tempting to see in contemporary digital political communication nothing more than too many people, saying too much, too loudly. Or, as Plato put it when complaining of the Athenian Assembly, people ‘shouting or hammering their disapproval and approval, grossly exaggerated in either case, of the things that are said and done’. That temptation is to be avoided. Our choice is not between acquiescence to elite authority on the one hand, and acceptance of our cacophonous public sphere on...

The “Meat Paradox”, Culture, and Beyond

Cultural sociologists have repeatedly sought a model to explain how culture motivates action. Ann Swidler famously introduced the “cultural toolkit”: an individual’s collection of cultural scripts from which they can draw upon in various contexts.  More recently, cultural sociologists have used theories from cognitive science to explain how actions are driven by the interaction between cognition and the individual’s environment. These models emphasize that individuals’ choices are never purely made out of free will; rather, they are a product of...

Sexed up online: Instagram influencers, harassment, and the changing nature of work

Kylie Jenner is estimated to earn $1 million per sponsored online post. Scrolling through her Instagram feed shows plenty of examples of how lucrative – and sexualized – the online attention economy has become. From poolside parties and bikinis, to fast cars and crop tops, and from motherhood to makeup tips, branded products are peppered among the mix of idealized selfies, professional headshots, and candid (or made to seem candid) snaps. Jenner is touted as the highest paid influencer on...

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 signals 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...