Updates from October, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Mark 3:18 pm on October 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Streets, Tweets,   

    Tweets and the Streets: an interview with Paolo Gerbaudo about social media and contemporary activism 

    I did a podcast earlier this week with Paolo Gerbaudo about his new book Tweets and the Streets. I’m going to properly edit it and post on Sociological Imagination but for a couple of reasons (I’m in the middle of moving SI between hosts & I’m rethinking the branding/editing of my podcasts) it will be a few weeks. But since it was such an interesting conversation I thought I’d post it online before then.

    Tweets and the Streets

  • Mark 12:09 pm on October 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Computer assisted qualitative data analysis software, , , ,   

    Using NVivo: a one day crash course for qualitative researchers 

    Friday, 30 November 2012 from 09:30 to 18:00 (PST)
    Manchester Digital Laboratory, Manchester, United Kingdom

    Suitable for complete beginners or those who need a refresher, this intensive one day course will cover all the core functionality of NVivo:

    • An overview of the software
    • Managing and importing your data
    • Coding strategies and techniques
    • Analysing visual and multimedia data
    • Using memos effectively
    • Using annotations and see also links
    • Relationships and models
    • Querying your data
    • Managing the complexity of your project

    Eventbrite - Using NVivo: a one day crash course for qualitative researchers

    All participants will receive an electronic resource pack which covers the material from the course and provides guidance on continuing to develop proficiency with the software. To take part you will need a laptop with NVivo installed. A 30 day free trial of NVivo 10 is available from the QSR website.

    To keep costs down lunch is not included. But the venue is in the heart of Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter and is surrounded by excellent cafes and bars. There will also be LOTS of tea and coffee.

    If you are a wheelchair user and are interested in this training event, please contact me and I’ll try to arrange a session which can accomodate you.

    Mark Carrigan has taught NVivo extensively at the University of Warwick and acted as a NVivo trainer and consultant for the EU FP7 funded MYPLACE project. For more information see his website. Testimonials are available online here. Please feel free to get in touch via e-mail or twitter if you have any questions.

  • Mark 8:18 am on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    A Jubilee of a Different Kind: Celebrating Diane Abbott’s 25 years as an MP 

    Fri 26th Oct, 10-7pm, Goldsmiths, University of London 

    A Jubilee of a Different Kind: Celebrating Diane Abbott’s 25 years as an MP

    Celebrating, honouring, reflecting on 25 years of the UK’s first black female MP, Diane Abbott

    To celebrate Diane’s achievements, Dr Deirdre Osborne from Goldsmiths’ Department of Theatre and Performance has organised a series of discussions, readings, live performance and panel debates to examine how positively modern Britain’s migratory heritage has transformed the nation, covering journalism, education, politics and the arts.

    In 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever elected to the British Parliament. She has since built a distinguished career as a parliamentarian, broadcaster and commentator.

    A number of influential public figures will take part in the day, including journalists Moira Stuart and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Herman Lord Ouseley and Ken Livingstone, Patricia Janet, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, author Malorie Blackman and film director John Akomfrah.


  • Mark 2:06 pm on October 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    An interview I did about asexuality 

    Why the interest in asexuality? Were people around not surprised about your interest and research into asexuality? Is it ok for us to ask about your sexual orientation?

    I became interested in asexuality because I met a couple of asexual people socially and, I now realise in common with pretty much all non-asexual people, I simply didn’t ‘get’ it. I didn’t understand what they were telling me when they said they were asexual. It was in the process of talking to them and coming to understand what asexuality was that I became interested in the subject academically. It was intriguing in its own right (I’m a sociologist with a background in philosophy who’s interested in identity & self-understanding) but it also called into question many taken for granted assumptions within the academic study of sexuality.

    What do you think is the impact of an online community like AVEN on the redefining of the term ‘asexual’? Most people by hearing the word ‘asexual’ will immediately assume that you don’t have sex and that there is a reason why you don’t have sex (illness, old age, lack of hormones, not being attractive enough, …).

    One of the most striking findings from my research was the extent to which it is seemingly a near universal experience for asexual individuals to make these assumptions, at least briefly, about themselves prior to discovering the asexual community. As I’ve gone on with my research, I’ve become extremely interested in how people aren’t asexual react to asexuality and what this reveals about the cultural attitudes towards sex and sexuality which have become dominant in the last few centuries. As you say most people immediately respond with these assumptions and, I’d argue, underlying them is one core idea: that sexual attraction is universal (everyone has it) and uniform (it’s basically the same thing for everyone even if, say, it’s directed at the same rather than the opposite sex) such that any apparent deviations from this norm have to be explained away as, well, deviations i.e. if you don’t experience sexual attraction then there must be something wrong with you. Once you bring it out into the open, it seems an obviously questionable assumption but until the recent visibility of asexuality it simply wasn’t out in the open.

    What sort of feelings did you have while doing your research? Was it a revelation or did a lot of things make sense? Like for example the idea of romantic and sexual orientation being distinct, or the assumption that someone’s sexual behavior or non-behavior is the same as their sexual orientation.

    The distinction between sexual and romantic attraction was a big eye-opener for me personally and one which, in retrospect, explained all sorts of tangled personal webs I had tied myself in as a teenager and young adult. It’s one of those concepts which, once you think through the distinction, seems self-evident and yet most people don’t draw the distinction, which is extremely interesting in and of itself.

    Do you see asexuality as a sexual orientation or a lack of sexual orientation?

    On a philosophical level I find the idea of ‘sexual orientation’ immensely questionable. But as a researcher I can see why the concept is used (though I don’t use it myself) and, in terms of sexual politics, I think it’s a useful term in many ways for the asexual community to use. With that caveat I’d say that, in terms of how the concept is usually defined,  asexuality is a sexual orientation, though I think applying it to asexuality rapidly entails the conclusion that the concept needs to be stretched if not abandoned e.g. the extent to which ‘sexual orientation’ is bound up with quite restrictive understandings of gender and attraction.

    Did the diversity within the asexual community surprise you? Since it is an umbrella term for those who don’t/occasionally/only when certain aspects are fulfilled – experience sexual attraction. Some are sexual active, others aren’t. Some have romantic relationships and others have no interest as such.  Do you see a similar diversity within the sexual community? Is it ok to say that every asexual individual experiences his/hers asexuality in his/hers unique way, just like sexuals do?

    This is what really fascinated me about the data I collected. In my ex life as a political philosopher, I was very interested in the concepts of commonality and difference and how they relate to each other. I rapidly found that behind the ‘umbrella term’ there was a great deal of difference within the asexual community but, in a way I found rather confusing initially, the process of articulating the way members differed (e.g. whether they were averse to sex or neutral, whether they experience romantic attraction or not, the genders towards whom they experienced romantic attraction etc) actually seemed to affirm what they had in common. I think there is a similar diversity within the sexual community but that, unlike with the asexual community, it’s often not talked about. When we express things about ourselves, we draw on the categories that are available to us within our culture. The conversations that took place within the asexual community literally brought into being new categories in terms of which individuals could express things about themselves. Whereas in contrast the categories sexual people have to draw upon are much more restrictive. Something which has become blindingly, sometimes frustratingly, obvious to me in the 4 years I’ve been researching asexuality. On a more positive note though, I think asexual visbility leads sexual people to think more reflectively about their own sexuality. So in a way asexuals can help provoke these conversations just by talking to those who aren’t asexual about themselves.

    • asexualsexologist 2:07 pm on October 28, 2012 Permalink

      You rudely posted this on the morning of my sister’s wedding, I’m just now getting back around to sharing it, had meant to tell you how great I thought this was last week but read it from my phone while rummaging around in my closet (who needs to pick out an outfit *before* the wedding, that’s so… predictable).. I can’t believe it’s been a week and no one else has commented? Pardon me while I share this everywhere 🙂

    • Mark 9:13 am on October 30, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks 🙂 I’m wishing I’d answered more of their questions now. They sent a *lot* of questions.

  • Mark 11:15 am on October 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    CfP BSA Theory Group biennial conference 

    Race, Migration, Citizenship: Postcolonial and Decolonial Perspectives

    Against the backdrop of decolonisation, a global economic boom was accompanied by tightened border controls, ever more punitive asylum regimes and limited access to citizenship. Immigration from former colonies to former metropoles has been limited in the postcolonial period as racialised discourses have set the West in opposition to an alien ‘rest’. Now, in this ‘age of austerity’, the strength of the old powers is weakening as other parts of the world, the so called ‘BRICs’, grow in strength. Yet the old racial hierarchies appear stubbornly resonant within Europe and the white settler colonies, and other hierarchies, for example around caste, are increasingly coming to the fore in other countries. Foregrounding postcolonial and decolonial perspectives, this conference will provide a forum in which to discuss the context for emerging patterns of exclusion, for asking what the conditions for political equality might be, and for posing the question “what has ‘race’ got to do with migration and citizenship?” among many others.

    Abstracts of no more than 200 words are welcomed from across the social scences and humanities. There will be 7 streams at the conference, listed below. Please identify clearly which stream you would like to be included in when submitting an abstract.

    1. Race, Racism, and Prejudice
    2. Racial and Colonial Institutional Orders
    3. Modernity/Coloniality and Global (In)justice
    4. Asylum after Empire
    5. Cosmopolitan Citizens and Multicultural Societies: The New Crisis of Europe
    6. Europe and Africa. Citizenship and the Legacies of Colonialism
    7. Diaspora, Colonialism & Postcolonialism

    Further details about the streams can be found here: http://rmcconference.wordpress.com/streams

    Send your abstracts to rrmc2013@live.co.uk

    Deadline for abstracts: 14th December 2012

  • Mark 11:10 am on October 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    BSA Regional Postgraduate & Early Career Researcher Event: ‘Ways to Enhance Your CV’ 

    BSA Regional Postgraduate & Early Career Researcher Event:

    ‘Ways to Enhance Your CV’

    Wednesday 12th December 2012, 11am-3pm

    Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET

    Hosted by Dr Pam Lowe, Head of Sociology & Senior Lecturer: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lss/staff-directory/lowep/

    & assisted by senior colleagues from the Sociology & Social Policy Dept, Aston University, & BSA Postgraduate Co-convenor/represenatives

    Agenda: (subject to change)

    11:00 – 11:15       Registration & Welcome
    11:15 – 12:00       Writing for publication
    12:00 – 12:45       Beginning teaching
    12:45 – 13:00       Lunch
    13:00 – 14:00       Working with the Media
    14:00 – 14:45       ‘CV clinic’ (please bring a copy of your CV)

    14:45 – 15:00       Reflections on the Day

    Registration £10 for BSA Members or £15 Non-Members

    Refreshments & Lunch Provided

    Places are limited. Please reserve a place via the BSA Events Team

     Tel: 0191 383 0839 or email: events@britsoc.org.uk

  • Mark 9:06 am on October 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Early Career Theorists’ Symposium call for abstracts 

    BSA Theory Study Group: Early Career Theorists’ Symposium

    2nd April, 2013, Kings College, London

    Call for Abstracts

    The Early Career Theorists’ Symposium is a special one-day symposium for up-and-coming theorists, organized by the Theory Study Group of the British Sociological Association. This symposium aims to bring together sociologists at a relatively early stage in their careers who work on theory or are engaged in original theoretical work as part of their on-going research. We invite early-career sociologists, across all research areas, to submit abstracts. Submissions from advanced PhD students are also welcome.

    Professors Mike Savage, Celia Lury, and John Holmwood will comment on the presentations.

    Complete information for submitting the abstract will consist of:

    (1) name and contact information of the author (including career stage, e.g. PhD student, post-doc, early career academic);

    (2) title of your presentation;

    (3) a 500-word abstract of the presentation;

    (4) three or more keywords descriptive of the presentation.

    To encourage a wide range of submissions, we have not pre-specified a theme for the conference. Instead, papers will be grouped into sessions based on emergent themes.

    Please send submissions to the organizers: Dr Gurminder K Bhambra, University of Warwick (G.K.Bhambra@warwick.ac.uk) and Dr Monika Krause, Goldsmiths College, (m.krause@gold.ac.uk).

    The deadline for submission is 1st November 2012.

    Invitations to present will be extended by 15th November. Please plan to share a full paper by 10th March, 2013. Registration for the event will be free for BSA members or for anyone already registered for the BSA annual conference; there will be a charge of £20 for all other attendees.

    This event is timed to coincide with the BSA annual conference and is a supplement to it in terms of providing a dedicated space for early career theorists to meet and discuss their research. For more information about the BSA annual conference and to also submit an abstract to the main conference, see here: http://www.britsoc.co.uk/events/bsa-annual-conference.aspx

  • Mark 9:05 pm on October 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    FREE Software Planning Seminar, 9th November, Birmingham University 

    Choosing the right software for your qualitative and mixed-methods analysis

    Choosing the appropriate analysis software package is an important part of planning any qualitative or mixed method research project. There are a range of options available, but it is not always easy to visualise exactly what a package offers when exploring it for the first time yourself.

    The CAQDAS Networking Project website provides a range of materials that highlight important considerations in the decision-making process.This seminar builds on this information, discussing the issues to a more advanced level. The range of products are described and compared, their methodological benefits and weaknesses appraised, practical utility and illustrated using data from a range of research studies.

    Topics covered include: Handling ‘data’: data organisation – Closeness to data – Output/reporting – Coding and alternative ways of handling analysis – Complex interrogation of data – Expressing ideas in visual ways – Transportation of projects – Team work logistics.

    The seminar is structured in such a way as to foster discussion and debate and participants are encouraged to come along with questions to generate discussion during the seminar about their project and its requirements.

    Places are FREE but must be booked. For more information and to book a place see here 

  • Mark 7:45 am on October 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Nefarious – merchant of souls Wednesday 7 November 

    Coventry Feminists and Coventry University presents
    Nefarious: Merchant of Souls

    On Wednesday 7th November Coventry University & Coventry Feminist will host a screening of Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, a hard-hitting documentary that exposes the disturbing trends in modern sex slavery. From the very first scene, Nefarious ushers you into the nightmare of sex slavery that hundreds of thousands experience daily. You’ll see where slaves are sold (often in developed, affluent countries), where they work, and where they are confined. You’ll hear first-hand interviews with real victims and traffickers, along with expert analysis from international humanitarian leaders.

    The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with leading experts in Human Trafficking, after which there will be time for questions from the audience.

    Speakers confirmed include:

    Glynn Rankin – Former Deputy Head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre. Currently a Member of the EU Group of Experts on Trafficking.

    Dr. Simon Massey  – Senior Lecturer, International Studies and Social Science at Coventry University. Founder member of the Research and Education Forum, the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre.

    Dr. Rino Coluccello  – Senior Lecturer, Department of International Studies and Social Science at

    Coventry University. Researched on the human trade between Africa/Middle East and Europe.

    Olufunke Aluko-Daniels  – PhD student Coventry University currently writing a thesis on Human Trafficking in Nigeria.

    This is a free event hosted by Coventry University, in association with Coventry Feminists. All are welcome to attend.

    Date: Wednesday 7th November

    Time: 6 – 9pm (doors open at 5:30pm)

    Location: Humber lecture theatre (GEG31), George Eliot building, Coventry University

    For directions see Campus Map

  • Mark 4:39 pm on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    FWSA 2013 Conf: Mapping Feminist Movement, Moments and Mobilisations 

    The Lady Doth Protest: Mapping Feminist Movement, Moments, and Mobilisations

    Biennial FWSA Conference

    21-23 June 2013, University of Nottingham

    Keynote Speakers:

    Professor Nadje Al-Ali (SOAS, University of London)

    Professor Diane Elson (University of Essex)

    Dr Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths University)

    The Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (FWSA) is pleased to announce details of its 2013 conference, ‘The Lady Doth Protest: Mapping Feminist Movements, Moments, and Mobilisations’ that will be held from 21 – 23rd June 2013 at the University of Nottingham, UK.

    Full details of our Call for Papers can be found in the attached poster. We welcome the submission of abstracts for panel proposals by 15th October 2012 and for individual papers by 30 October 2012 via email to conf2013@fwsa.org.uk

    Full details of the conference can be found on our conference website: http://www.fwsaconference.co.uk

    If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact the conference organising team: Trishima Mitra-Kahn, Claire O’Callaghan, and Srila Roy.

  • Mark 4:26 pm on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Wikipedia for Researchers – Free Workshops at the British Library 

    Friday 16th November, 14:00-15:00, British Library Conference Centre, Eliot Room

    This 1 hour bite-size talk will provide an introduction to Wikipedia and its community. Andrew will introduce ways Wikipedia can be used by researchers, as well as discussing research done using Wikipedia as a subject.

    Friday 23rd November, 14:00-16:00, British Library Conference Centre, Eliot Room

    This 2 hour workshop will involve a short general introduction to the Wikipedia projects and a discussion of how they are created and developed, followed by a more in-depth practical session involving learning the basics of editing and engaging with other contributors.
    Please bring a laptop; there is wireless internet access, but computers are not provided.

    Places are free but limited, so please book your place soon to avoid disappointment by emailing claire.packham@bl.uk, specifying which of the sessions you wish to attend.

  • Mark 4:18 pm on October 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    “You ask for what one should be keyed up?” 

    “You ask for what one should be keyed up? My god, for long weekends in the country, and snow and the feel of an idea and New York streets early in the morning and late at night and the camera eye always working whether you want or not and yes by god how the earth feels when it’s been ploughed deep and the new chartreuse wall in the study and wine before dinner and if you can afford it Irish whiskey afterwards and sawdust in your pants cuff and sometimes at evening the dusky pink sky to the northwest, and the books to read never touched and all that stuff the Greeks wrote about and have you ever read Macaulay’s speeches to hear the English language? And to revise your mode of talk and what you talk about and yes by god the world of music which we just now discover and there’s still hot jazz and getting a car out of the mud when nobody else can. That’s what the hell to get keyed up about’”

    By permission of the estate of C. W. Mills. Photo by Yaroslava.

  • Mark 2:00 pm on October 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , daniel pink, free agent nation,   

    Free Agent Nation OR what precarity looks like for the winners 

    Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, makes being a ‘free agent’ sound pretty great. But then as a former political insider at the heart of the Democratic machine in the 90s and more latterly a business guru and best selling author, it seems likely that his experiences of being a free agent have been, well, pretty great.

    But my point is not to attack the concept. After a number of years as a self-styled ‘freelance sociologist’, albeit not an enormously well paid one, I have long seen the attraction of the model of work Pink so appealingly describes. However it’s in that self same capacity qua sociologist that I can’t help but recognise the duality of this ‘freedom’ and how emblematic it is of the ambivalent nature of life in late capitalism. As Zygmunt Bauman has argued in his work on globalization, mobility is the condition of those at the very top and the very bottom. The global elite slip free of national constraints, circulating the globe in cosmopolitan splender as they lead their strange dance with similarly mobile global capital. Meanwhile those at the bottom are equally mobile, as the struggle for shelter and sustenance inculcates the frantic mobility of the migrant.

    Likewise the free agent nation might be great for some, as they escape the deadening bonds of sedentary bureaucracy  and fashion a protean occupational self beyond the constraints which bind others. But for most others, it’s a life of insecurity and risk, an increasingly vicious cycle of unemployment, underemployment and fixed term contracts. Perhaps Pink’s book would benefit from a new subtitle? Free Agent Nation: what precarity looks like for the winners.

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