Category: Social Theory

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...

British Journal of Sociology Best Paper Prize 2018: Gabriel Abend, ‘Outline of a Sociology of Decisionism’

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 British Journal of Sociology (BJS) Best Paper Prize, awarded to what we consider to be the best – most significant, provocative, intriguing, exciting, thought provoking – piece published in the journal over a two-year period running from our March 2017 issue to the December 2018 issue. This year’s prize goes to Gabriel Abend, Professor of Sociology at University of Lucerne and Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University, for 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...

BJS Annual Lecture: From “Having” to “Being”: self-worth and the current crisis of American society, by Michèle Lamont

On Thursday 25th October 2018, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Department of Sociology hosted its annual British Journal of Sociology  (BJS) public lecture. The lecture, by Professor Michèle Lamont from Harvard University was entitled, From “Having” to “Being”: self-worth and the current crisis of American society. The lecture focused on diagnosing the challenges of neoliberal American society: the pitfalls of the American dream across classes, hardened group boundaries, and the need to invent new narratives of hope.  The lecture...

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...

Highlights from the ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 15-21 July 2018

The XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology is taking place this week, 15-21 July 2018. The Conference theme is Power, Violence and Justice, a topic that could not be more relevant for the global landscape in 2018. With over 5,000 delegates attending from across the globe, the congress opened with a vibrant and rousing performance by the Red Urban Project, Wasauking First Nation dancers and musicians. Professor Myrna Dawson, President-Elect of the Canadian Sociological Association began the addresses...

Celebrating the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, 15-21 July 2018

The XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology is taking place 15-21 July 2018, in Toronto Canada. The theme of the congress is Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities and aims to focus on how scholars, researchers, policy makers, professionals and activists across the disciplines can contribute to our understanding of power, violence and justice. To celebrate this diverse, multidisciplinary Congress, we are pleased to bring together a collection of content from journals across the social sciences, including sociology,...

Free Content Collection: Feminism and Politics

Explore ideas behind feminist political theory, social policy, and feminist thought in this curated article collection. Drawn from the social sciences, the research will help you discover more about the strive for equality, from the gender pay gap to shaping literacy and education. All articles are freely available for you to read and share until 30 September 2018. Highlights Include  On the problems and possibilities of feminist solidarity: The Women’s March one year on  Bridging the enduring gender gap in...

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...

The Dock on Trial: Courtroom Design and the Presumption of Innocence

A recent article in the Journal of Law and Society examines the place of the criminal dock in courtroom design. Courtrooms may appear to embody immemorial tradition, an impression reinforced by the use of arcane rituals and archaic costumes. On closer inspection, however, courtroom designs can be seen to respond to contemporary influences – pressures of time and budgets, changing attitudes to human rights, security fears, and the interests of professional groups. Where different participants sit in the criminal courtroom...

Development and Human Rights

In the last decade of the 20th century, development thinking shifted from a growth oriented model to the concept of human development as a process of enhancing human capabilities. This paradigmatic shift, articulated in the writings of Amartya Sen, moves beyond growth of income and captures the quality of growth in terms of social and human development and the meaningful participation of, and fair distribution of benefits for all concerned. The United Nations took up this approach with the Human...