Month: December 2011

Steve Fuller on the Future of the University Stephen Turner on Normativity Simon Williams on the Sociology of Sleep Dave Elder-Vass on the Causal Power of Social Structures Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley on the prospects for UK Education Catherine Coveney on Cognitive Enhancement and Modafinil Social Theory and the Politics of Austerity Public Universities […]

Since the death of Kim Jong-il, the world’s media has been voyeuristically fixated on the scenes of public mourning gripping North Korea. As a sociologist, I’ve found some of this footage fascinating. So too the way in which these scenes of extreme public mourning are frequently being framed, at least by the UK media. But […]

After years of intending to read John Bowlby, I’ve finally got round to it and I’m very impressed. He formulated attachement theory as an attempt to affect a paradigm shift (in a very self-consciously Kuhnian fashion) within psychiatric research and therapeutic practice. I won’t bother outlining the theory (the Wiki link above is excellent) because my […]

“Spotlight on Asexuality Studies” was a groundbreaking event hosted by the Identity Repertoires/Mind the Gap research group in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK.  Academics, activists, community members, therapists and students gathered in the university library and online to discuss contemporary asexual research, with papers presented both in-person and from the […]

I’m someone who is far from sympathetic to postmodernism, seeing it as, at best, mildly interesting observations couched in a silly insular language and, at worst, reactionary attitudes presenting themselves as radical intellectual chic. Yet I find it difficult to watch a video like the one below and not feel compelled to go running back […]

I just came across a fascinating passage from a lecture given by Carl Rogers, founder of person centered therapy, about the personal and intellectual biography which led him to his life’s work. In it he describes an experience as a graduate student at a seminary which had a profound impact on the direction of his […]

My chapter outline for the book I’m planning for this research project: Late Capitalism and A/Sexual Culture Introduction Part 1 The History of Asexuality The Asexual Community Asexual Experience The Sexual Assumption Sexual Culture Part 2 The Sociology of Intimate Life 1949 – 1979 The Sociology of Intimate Life Life 1980 – 1997 The Sociology […]

Most of us see ourselves as living in a sexually liberated age. Having thrown off the shackles of prejudice and prudishness, we believe ours is an enlightened culture where we tolerate sexual difference and value sexual choice. Yet are we as well adjusted about sex as we tend to think we are? Drawing on my […]

Restructuring economic and social relations around the temporal value of efficiency has the effect of making all relations instrumental to productive outputs. Everything and the activity of every being becomes a means to optimize productive potential. But would we ever really treat someone we really care for in an efficient manner? Would we express our […]

Dewey has as his target two pathologies. The first sets the state against the public, and is attributed to liberal individualism and its arguments for the minimum state. The second is attributed to the conditions of modern corporate capitalism in which there appears to be an ‘eclipse of the public’ brought about by the dominance of […]

This research project is an extension of my research on asexuality, particularly the notion of the sexual assumption this had led me to. I take this to be the habitual cognitive category which, as an empirical claim, asexual individuals regularly encounter in the dispositional reactions and the reflective judgements of peers, friends, family and others. […]

However, changing the psyche is a complex task and some academics may be experiencing extreme degrees of abjection, the symptoms of which might be characterised as a desire to please, workaholism, over-competitiveness and an inability to recognise one’s own agency. For such abjects we set the following tasks: • Challenge ourselves about why/how we have […]

We turn now to the psychic realm. We have argued above and elsewhere (Boden and Epstein, 2006; Boden et al., 2009) that regimes of neoliberal control in universities are constitutive of governmentality – that building the neoliberal university involves putting in place structures that govern the academic soul (Rose, 1999). This is imperative given the […]

University resources, including staff, now constitute a means of knowledge production and, as such, universities have become committed to their efficient allocation and utilisation to maximise returns. The university, as Woolf (1977 [1929]) noted, is a physical space that is far from costless, driving universities to efficient usage. This has a number of consequences. First, […]

Historically, in the West, they have been associated with the academy. Universities have a tradition of privileging certain categories of people by providing them with the place and space in which they could develop the intra- and inter-psychic freedom to exercise defiant imagination, either collectively or in isolation. This is academic freedom. Having this freedom […]