Category: Political & Economic Sociology

LSE Sociology Public Lecture: Professor Marion Fourcade on Ordinal Citizenship

The 2019 annual British Journal of Sociology Public Lecture will take place on Friday 25th October, 6.30pm to 8.00pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics and Political Science. Chaired by Professor Nigel Dodd, this year’s speaker is Professor Marion Fourcade from University of California at Berkeley, on the topic of Ordinal Citizenship: “The expansion of social citizenship in the 20th century mitigated the brute effects of economic inequality in people’s lives. The institutionalization of...

Rethinking Old Authoritarianisms

Following World War II, sociologists became particularly interested in collective behavior, or what was sometimes referred to as the “psychology of the crowd”.  Fueled by their disbelief of the spread of Nazism and authoritarianism, these scholars sought to understand how collectives could come to widely uphold authoritarian tendencies-even if they had never previously engaged in similar political activity.  These early studies largely focused on individual psychology, comparing crowd behavior to a contagion that spreads and possesses otherwise harmless people.  This...

‘Seeing What is Invisible in Plain Sight’: How Effective Is the New Law on Coercive Control?

In early 2013, Rob Titchener, a tall, dark and handsome dairy farmer, arrived in Ambridge and started an affair with Helen Archer. And so began the controversial story line of the usually staid and very popular BBC Radio Four drama, ‘The Archers’, that ‘gripped the UK’ for three and a half years. The portrayal of Rob’s torturous coercive and controlling persecution of Helen culminated in a thrilling Sunday night ‘special episode’ in September 2016, as the programme was extended to an hour for...

Is there a long-term impact of social background on graduates’ careers?

It is a well-known finding that children’s social background affects their educational attainment. But does parental background still matter for attaining a more prestigious job after graduating from university? In a recently published article, we examined graduates’ occupational trajectories to identify a potential long-term impact of social background on individuals’ working careers. We argued that the influence of family background on graduates’ careers might vary across the life course, and it is, therefore, important to take into account changes across...

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...

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...

First People Lost: New Statistics Show Alarming Patterns in Indigenous Death Rates in Canada

  The Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has wrapped up its hearings and is scheduled to deliver its final report early next month. The Inquiry examines some of the most extreme outcomes of violence and marginalization of Indigenous women and girls, however the factors affecting their livelihood and life expectancy extends beyond these extreme outcomes and recent research suggests there may not be cause for optimism unless there is systemic change. A research study...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Assembling wool and grounding globalization

In our recently published paper in Sociologia Ruralis, ‘Unravelling the global wool assemblage: researching place and production networks in the global countryside’ [1] we demonstrated the utility of assemblage thinking for revealing how globalization works through specific grounded relations and connections between places; remaking those places in the process. Despite being the subject of critique from various theoretical angles for decades, globalization is still frequently deployed as a top-down metaconcept to describe many of the processes and tendencies seen in the...

Making Sense of Brexit: Interview with Victor J. Seidler

Victor Jeleniewski Seidler is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology, at Goldsmiths University of London. His research interests include social theory and philosophy; Marxism and critical theory; moral theory; masculinity and sexual politics, and he has written on social theory, ethics and gender, particularly in relation to men and masculinities. In recent years his writing and research have focused on the cultural memory of particular events, including 9/11 and 7/7, and the ways they might challenge traditional social and...