Month: November 2013

Richard Swedberg begins his paper Thinking and Sociology by recognising that there may be “good reasons” why these two things are rarely discussed together. Though “all of us think” and “we all know the intensely private character of our thoughts”, these thoughts are fleeting and ephemeral when considered next to things that we say and things that we know. […]

Over the summer the BBC website had an interesting feature looking at the ‘patent trolls’ who proactively buy patents with the sole intention of suing people for their infringement. The introduction of these ‘non-practicing entities’ into the patent system is something novel, with an influx of ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘finance people’ having transformed the system into […]

The government has denied reports it is seeking a commitment from energy firms to hold their prices down until 2015. The companies told BBC News ministers were putting pressure on them to commit to a price freeze. But Treasury sources say this is not part of their plan – and they were looking instead at […]

One of the core questions addressed by my PhD has been what I’ve termed ‘the biographical dimensions of social change’ and the methodological implications of how personhood is conceptualised for how these theories are deployed in practice. I’ve argued that one of the (many) problems with the ‘individualization’ and ‘detraditionalization’ literature is that in the […]

What does ‘public sociology’ entail in a world of facebook, twitter, youtube, slideshare, soundcloud, pinterest and wordpress? What affordances and constraints do these tools entail for the task of “taking knowledge back to those from whom it came, making public issues out of private troubles, and thus regenerating sociology’s moral fibre”? What implications do these tools have […]

One final Roy Bhaskar snippet from the Formation of Critical Realism (Pg 64). This is a quote from Bhaskar about one thing that prompted a thought by me about a very different thing: In experimental activity it is our role as causal agents that is vital, not our role as thinkers, and that immediately gets […]

Just invoking materialism without specifying exactly what the sense is does not get you very far. It is often claimed that ideas and ideology have a material existence ultimately rooted in physical matter. But what is physical matter? If you go down one level of the stratification of nature you come to atoms that are […]

LAST CHANCE – BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2014 The nomination deadline for the 2014 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize is fast approaching. Nominations must be received in the BSA office by Friday, 6 December 2013. The prize will be awarded to the best first and sole authored book within the discipline of Sociology published between: 1 […]

This is a pre-print of a paper published in Psychology of Sexualities Review, Vol. 4, No. 1, Autumn 2013. A copy of the final article can be obtained here.  While asexuality is usually defined as ‘not experiencing sexual attraction’ amongst those who self-identify as asexual , the question ‘what is asexuality?’ immediately becomes more complex when […]

Social and Political Critique in the Age of Austerity A one day workshop at Keele University 10.30am-6pm, Wednesday 12th February, 2014 This one day workshop is devoted to the discussion of critical politics in the contemporary age of austerity.  Following the 2007 global economic crash, which led to a raft of government bank bail outs […]

One of my favourite academic blogs is Understanding Society. Written by Daniel Little, Chancellor for the University of Michigan-Dearborn, it covers an extraordinarily broad range of theoretical topics and sustains the rigour of serious academic writing while nonetheless being written in a relatively accessible way. I think it’s the best theory blog on the internet (by […]

The study of emotions within the field of education has been a growing area of study, which has highlighted how emotions are central to student’s learning and educational experiences both positive and negative and to the practice of education itself by teachers (Zymbylas 2007). Where education is often positioned as a rational and logical practice […]

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research  BISR Postgraduate Conference: Inside/Outside/In-Between: Perspectives on Space, Power and Subjectivities – CALL FOR PAPERS Friday 9th – Sunday 11th May 2014  Birkbeck, University of London Organisers Nelly Ali (Department of Geography, Environment and Development) Mayur Suresh (School of Law) Ceren Yalcin (Department of Psychosocial Studies) Confirmed Keynotes: Veena Das and Gail Lewis Overview Where are you? What […]

Free One Day Conference at Leicester Postgraduate Travel Bursaries available – please email Working with Paradata, Marginalia and Fieldnotes: The Centrality of By-Products of Social Research College Court Conference Centre University of Leicester January 14th 2014 Paradata, marginalia, fieldnotes and letters are all by-products of the process of social research which can add considerable […]