Category: Topics

Creationism, anti-intellectualism and education

For decades academics, educators, and policy makers have butt heads with creationists (i.e. people who believe in intelligent design over evolution).  Evolution is incompatible with strict religious beliefs that God created the universe.  Religious families have historically contested education on evolution in classrooms, believing that their children are being fed false information that infringes on their religious practice. Longest and Uecker [1] have recently added to this conversation by illuminating the salience and importance of these beliefs.  The authors argue that...

Are Hope and Possibility Achievable in Prison?

  Following the publication of original article, Are Hope and Possibility Achievable in Prison?  lead author, Professor Alison Liebling, discussed her motivations for conducting the research, the findings and the ideas underpinning her approach.  This conversation with the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice’s Editor-in-Chief, Professor Ian Loader and the Governor of HMP Wayland, Sonja Walsh is available to watch in the above video. “Hope is everywhere … From the minute you get off the bus. They shake your hand and give you...

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...

Inequality and the Arts

There are currently 685 all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) registered in the UK Parliament on topics from Afghanistan to Zoroastrianism.[1] As the name suggests, they include representatives from the main political parties, and they span the House of Commons and the House of Lords. These groups meet informally to pursue their particular areas of interest, and they vary in their levels of activity. The APPG on Arts, Health and Wellbeing was set up by Lord Howarth of Newport in 2014, to...

Won’t somebody think of the children? Social democratic and neoliberal responses to ‘troubled families’ since 1945

When then Prime Minister David Cameron launched the Troubled Families Programme (TFP) in 2011 he claimed that ‘we’ve known for years that a relatively small number of families are the source of a large proportion of the problems in society’. He then outlined how his government would, in a radical new policy, ‘turn around’ the lives of the 120,000 so-called ‘troubles families’ by the end of the Parliamentary term. It did not work. In its official evaluation, the TFP was...

Children’s Lunchboxes and Social Class

As children’s lunchboxes travel between home to school and back again, so might concerns about good and bad parenting, and healthy and unhealthy diets. The way in which parents discuss lunchboxes in research studies can reveal a lot about parenting, social class and ways of feeding children outside the home. Government and school health initiatives that attempt to regulate lunch boxes are underpinned by particular norms of healthy eating and one of their unintended consequences is that children and their...

The Campbell Collaboration selects Wiley as new publishing partner

    John Wiley and Sons Inc. and the Campbell Collaboration are pleased to announce that the Campbell Library has selected Wiley as its publishing partner beginning in 2019. Campbell is the pre-eminent international network publishing high quality, transparent, reliable and policy-relevant evidence syntheses and maps in the social sectors to promote positive social and economic change by enabling evidence-based policy and practice. These systematic reviews and evidence maps are published in Campbell Systematic Reviews, a fully open access online...

“Exotic” Travel, Missionary Work, and Race

In November 2018, media outlets exploded with the story of John Allen Chau, a missionary from Washington State, who was killed following his attempts to contact an isolated tribe in the Andaman Sea.  Despite legal protection by the Indian government and persistent warnings from local fishermen, Chau approached the island via kayak, bible in hand.  Shortly after reaching the shore, Chau was killed by bow and arrow. Chau’s story quickly sparked public debate, particularly regarding missionary work and its boundaries [1]. ...

Honesty is the best policy in healthcare, but how to make it a reality?

In healthcare, as in all walks of life, things go wrong. However, the consequences of an activity going wrong in healthcare can be a matter of life or death. How a healthcare professional and their employer deals with an error is critical to maintain public trust and ensure that a mistake is not repeated. The tragic events of Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust and the Hyponatremia related deaths in Northern Ireland have bought into sharp relief the importance of professionals being open...

Australian cancer physicians on the use of high cost cancer medicines at the end of life

The use of high cost cancer medicines to treat patients at the end of life (EOL) has become a contentious issue in recent years—due primarily to growing concerns about the safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of these drugs in this clinical context. Evidence suggests that the use of high cost cancer medicines at the EOL is not cost effective; doesn’t improve overall survival when compared to palliative care; has a significant risk of serious side effects; and may reduce a...

The British Journal of Sociology: New Design Volume 70

As an editorial team we are keenly aware of the momentous changes that are taking place in the world of journal publishing, and fully intend to keep our own practices as a journal and as editors – everything from what we publish to how we review, and how quickly – under constant scrutiny in order to ensure that we stay as up to date and as relevant as we can be. So, it is with great pleasure that we announce...

Radicalization: Interview with Kevin McDonald

In his recent book, Radicalization (Polity, 2018) Kevin McDonald unpicks the term radicalization, showing that this term is little understood, and is problematic in that it does not articulate the very different experiences of those involved. New violent actors, whether they travelled to Syria or killed at home, range from former drug dealers and gang members, to students and professionals, schoolgirls, and mothers with young children. The book sets out to explore radicalization not as something done to people, but...

Gender and Contributions in Political Donations

Since the last presidential election, we have seen a rise in public coverage of female political involvement.  The Women’s March took center stage as women sought representation in public discourse and policy.  The #metoo movement, although initially founded offline roughly ten years ago by Tarana Burke, gained traction in 2018 as numerous women shared their experiences with sexual violence and prominent male figures became subjects of public scrutiny. Despite women’s critical involvement in such social movements, social science research has...

Children’s Experiences of Childcare in Australia

Our article, “Autonomy, Fairness and Active Relationships: Children’s Experiences of Well-being in Childcare” (Cooke et al., 2018), recently published in Children & Society, provides insight into how children view their care, in a context where policy makers and academics agree that children’s subjective well-being in childcare is important, but research on this topic is limited. While some studies have examined children’s experiences of specific childcare settings (e.g. Outside School Hours Care [OSHC], Early Childhood Education and Care [ECEC]), many families...

Social innovation in crisis-shaken villages

Villages are rarely seen as centers for innovation. However, empirical research shows evidence of innovative activities taking place even in crisis-shaken rural regions. Anika Noack and Tobias Federwisch consider three initiatives, which aim to overcome local problems with socially innovative ideas. In doing so, the authors reveal external impulses by intermediates as crucial for social innovation. The rural municipality of ‘Kremmen’ (an anonymised name for the municipality involved in the study) was once a flourishing tourist destination in the Eifel...

The Power in Writing a Good Note

Why study bureaucracy? Institutions and practices that we have tended to take for granted have recently been subjected to a new awareness and interest. For instance, Timothy Snyder, in his recent book On Tyranny (2017) argued for the importance of government institutions and their capacity to preserve the rule of law when faced with the rise and coming to power of authoritarian populist parties. Others, including key political scientists such as Francis Fukyama, Bo Rothstein, Paul DuGay add to this and point...