Month: April 2014

  • The Psychosocial Imagination

    I really wish I could go to this but unfortunately it clashes with something I can’t get out of. I’ve wanted to engage more seriously with psychosocial studies for ages: THE PSYCHOSOCIAL IMAGINATION A symposium to celebrate the launch of The Association for Psychosocial Studies Friday 13 June 2014 10.30am – 6.30pm at The British […]

  • The academic blogosphere, scholarly craft and the end of ‘pluralistic ignorance’

    One of many useful discussions in Howard Becker’s Writing for Social Scientists concerns ‘pluralistic ignorance”. He argues that this social psychological effect manifests itself in academia in relation to writing. Academic writing is a private and isolated endeavour, in which adversity (rejections by journals, lacerating criticism, endless requests for revision) are dealt with in isolation. The […]

  • How many online accounts do you have?

    The process of trying to rationalise mine over the last few days has left me newly aware of how outdated the username and password system is. With a lot of effort I’ve managed to get it down to 55 accounts with their own username and password, as well as a few that use Twitter or Google ID […]

  • In defence of ontology

    Any social researcher has a finite set of beliefs, whether implicit or explicit, concerning the properties of the phenomena they’re investigating. Give the manifold ways in which these beliefs can influence the investigation, it’s valuable to work towards rendering them in a maximally consistent and explicit way. The absence of this doesn’t mean that good social […]

  • What is progress in social theory?

    At last year’s International Association for Critical Realism conference, I saw perhaps the most impressive conference presentation I’d witnessed in my five or six years of going to conferences regularly. Jamie Morgan demolished the notion of ‘norm circles’ offered by Dave Elder-Vass and he did so in a way which made a whole host of important meta-theoretical […]

  • Foucauldian analysis and the mystification of elites

    In a recent review of The Reflexive Imperative*, Jonathon Joseph describes subjects “being encouraged to become active citizens and consumers who must make the right life choices based on acquiring the appropriate skills and information, making informed choices about risk activities, taking responsibility for their welfare and well-being and drawing on the appropriate resources (and social capital) […]

  • Griselda Pollock, “Is Feminism a Bad Memory or a Virtual Future?”, Warwick, May 12

    The Centre for the Study of Women and Gender of the University of Warwick is delighted to invite you to its 2014 Annual Lecture. The lecture is free to attend (no registration required) and open to all. Monday, May 12th, 2014, from 5.00 to 7.00 Ramphal Building, room 1.13 PROFESSOR GRISELDA POLLOCK (University of Leeds) Is Feminism a Bad […]

  • The Faux Underdogs of the Digital Economy

    As helpfully pointed out by Mark Ware (see comments) Springer actually has nothing to do with Axel Springer AG. So there’s two points here (the faux underdogs and the profits in scholarly publishing) which aren’t really connected in the way that I thought they were:  I’ve just been reading a provocative article by Mathias Döpfner, CEO […]

  • The Public Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (part 2)

    This is the second in a series of posts about the public sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. I wrote yesterday about his arguments concerning globalisation and social movements. This provides the political context in relation to which he saw a scholarship with commitment as important. In this post I’m going to discuss what he saw this as entailing […]

  • Bourdieu meets Marx, Gramsci, Fanon, Freire, Beauvoir and Mills (in Burawoy’s imagination)

    I came across this interesting project by Michael Burawoy earlier. He conceives of a whole series of imagined ‘meetings’ between Bourdieu and leading political thinkers, elaborating his own understanding of Bourdieu’s work by considering its relationship with important intellectual trends. I’ve only looked through the Mills one so far but these do look very interesting and […]

  • The Public Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (part 1)

    The thing I like most about Bourdieu is his conception of public sociology. It seems clear to me that Bourdieu was a public sociologist, though others are less certain about this and I suspect it’s not a term he would have chosen to use himself. For a whole host of reasons, I’ve never been massively interested in much of Bourdieu’s […]

  • The Semiotics of Academic E-mail Signatures

    I feel slightly ridiculous about this fact but I’ve spent the last twenty minutes agonising over how to change my e-mail signature. For a long time I’ve had a pretty simple and self-explanatory e-mail signature: e-mail: twitter: @mark_carrigan web: But I’m also in the middle of doing lots of e-mailing as a research associate (in the […]

  • Caring in Crisis? Communications and Public Reactions to Humanitarian Crises and International Development Causes

    Birkbeck Institute for Social Research  Caring in Crisis? Communications and Public Reactions to Humanitarian Crises and International Development Causes Saturday 7th June 2014  9.30am – 5pm  Room B33, Birkbeck Main Building (Torrington Square) We are delighted to announce that the renowned moral philosopher Professor Peter Singer will be presenting the keynote at theCaring in Crisis colloquium sponsored by Birkbeck Institute […]

  • “I told ’em you will grow to be something tenacious and exalted, you are mighty, you are gracious, you are lauded”

    Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts; Poolside; 0 for 1 and don’t forget spoons twiceLukewarm folgers; mold on his moonpieRooms in his home that dissipate into fruit fliesSuicide lane wide load ride looting in the wake of an amicable marooningMy duty go from moving in packs to sharing food with a cat. [To Moms:] “it’s me, I accidentally sawed […]

  • PhD Workshop: What’s the Point of Ontology?

    What’s the Point of Ontology? PhD Workshop at the University of Warwick 18th June 2014, 10am – 5:30pm Ontology can often prove a contested and confusing issue within social research. Everyone has an ontology, explicit or otherwise, but the process of drawing this out and thinking through its implications for research can often be a […]

  • Why you should blog and tweet about your research

    I just received an update from Altmetric about one of the publications I’m tracking. I think it’s a good paper but its relative visibility online obviously stems from my own tendency to blog and tweet about it. Early adopters will inevitably gain more rewards in this respect but I’m nonetheless convinced that everyone should blog […]

  • The Importance of Disappointment

    Why disappointment? In common usage, and in the dictionary, we talk about disappointment as what happens, what we feel, when something we expect, intend, or hope for or desire does not materialise. One of the difficulties of living in our world is that it is perhaps increasingly less clear exactly what we might expect or […]

  • An Invitation to DIY Sociology #1

    For the last few months I’ve been playing with the idea of DIY Sociology, largely as a result of my dissatisfaction with professional associations. The intuition underlying this is that the institutional forms of academic life are not immutable, arising in a particular context and changing as that context changes, so that a relational reflexivity about […]

  • Women’s Spaces and Feminist Politics: one day conference at QMUL

     16 May 2014 Time: 9:30am – 5:00pm Venue: Room 126, School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London E1 4NS You are invited to a one-day conference organized by London Women and Planning Forum, Rooms of our Own and Women’s Studies without Walls. This one-day conference will explore the role of women’s spaces in feminist politics, focusing […]

  • The Privacy of Public Sociology

    I’ve spent the last couple of hours compiling a reading list for the book project about public sociology I’m planning. I’ve been using Albert Tzeng’s invaluable resource on Sociological Imagination as a starting point, extending it through google scholar and supplemented by the notes I’ve been intermittently taking over the last year. It’s astonishing quite how much of this […]