Updates from May, 2016 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Mark 6:59 am on May 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The Invention of Lifestyle 

    An interesting snippet from pg 150 of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success:

    When first used by psychologist Alfred Adler in 1929, lifestyle referred to strategies people used to avoid dealing with problems or uncomfortable situations. The word was repurposed in the 1960s to mean something akin to “way of living.” In 1967 a new magazine called Avant Garde promised to explore the “life-style” of the “mad mod scene,” and the journalist Gloria Steinem used the hyphenated version of the word in an article for The New York Times. Within a decade, advertisers and consumers understood the term as a catchall that suggested social class, taste, and apparent wealth.

  • Mark 8:17 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    What Donald Trump’s business strategies suggest about his presidency  

    I just came across this snippet on pg 128 of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success. It’s hard not to wonder if this is what the presidential contest will herald, after the extremism of the primaries.

    By proposing something that might seem threatening or outrageous, he staked out a position that would allow him to seem flexible and reasonable as he negotiated his way to his actual goal.

  • Mark 5:31 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , immersion, ,   

    “The second I walk through those doors, all my problems go away. The second I leave them, my problems are back” 

    In Grayson Perry’s All Man, the artist interviews an MMA fighter in the north-east of England who describes the joy he takes in fighting:

    The second I walk through them doors to the second I walk out, it’s heaven in here. It’s heaven. All your problems go away. The second you walk out the door, they’re back. Your problems are back.

    This is an experience that fascinates me: immersion in a task, the contraction of temporal horizons, opens up the possibilities of profound pleasures (those intrinsic to the activity at hand) and distance from sources of worry and anxiety (the deliberations sparked by the broader context of your life).

    This is what I describe generically as triaging: something that can be deliberately embraced, inculcated as a pragmatic response to a context or as some combination of the two. The overarching aim of my current book is to develop a moral psychology of triaging, grounded in an analysis of the socio-cultural conditions of digital capitalism.

  • Mark 3:47 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Omnifocus for Academics 

    I’ve been a devoted user of Omnifocus for going on five years. At this point, I struggle to imagine how I could work without it, as I’m so utterly reliant on it to transform the hyperactive clutter within my mind into an ordered archive outside of it. But it’s hard to use. It took me well over a year to get to grips with it. It’s also hard to explain. If you’re nonetheless instinctively curious about it, you should read this great introduction offered by the Thesis Whisperer:

    My background in architecture offices has given me a range of time and project management skills that are helpful in my second career as an academic. I think I’m pretty good at working multiple projects with complex dependencies, but moving into a management role at ANU has pushed me to my limit.

    For years I’ve been using a simple to-do list system based on Cal Newport’s “How to be a straight A student”. I’ve been coping using this simple pen and paper method (just), but in January I hit crisis point. Two valued staff members left within a couple of months and I temporarily added their work to my already over burdened to-do list. My friend and extreme productivity guru Dr Jason Downs listened to my whingeing and suggested Omnifocus2. I’ll admit that I was initially skeptical. I’ve tried many project management tools, such as Producteev, Freedcamp andTrello , but, after an initial period of enthusiasm, I abandoned each one. Like being on a strict diet, complying with the digital tool made me feel … constricted.

    Jason told me Omnifocus2 was different because it is built around the famous ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD) by David Allen. This interested me. I read Getting Things Done years ago and implemented a few of the suggestions to great effect. For example, the folders on my hard drive relate to what I do: administration, writing, researching, teaching, supervising, blogging. My email has a similarly lean file structure, as you can see in the image below. While I have folders for automated feeds, the vast majority of emails end up in one folder called “archive”. If I need to find an email from a person, I just use the search function.


  • Mark 3:01 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    A partial defence of Gawker’s prurience: the necessity of scrutinising #DigitalElites 

    This is an important though contentious article by Morozov, reflecting on the recent revelation that Peter Thiel was secretly funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker. While the much maligned company has regularly descended into prurience, they’ve provided a vital service by critically scrutinising the personal lives of digital elites & we need to resist the mobilisation of anger over their excesses into an attack on any organisation that dares invade the privacy of the increasingly well entrenched elites that run technology. In fact, this is Gawker’s own defence of their practice, as much as they’re seen as being deeply vacuous.

    Gawker’s relationship with Silicon Valley, though, is more complicated for the sole reason that, when it comes to the behaviour of its own executives, the personal is also the political. Gawker has been producing coverage of the tech industry that is as lurid as it is important, subjecting the likes of Thiel to the scrutiny that they no longer receive elsewhere.

    Consider what Gawker’s readers might have learned over the years. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, tells us that if we have something to hide, maybe we shouldn’t be doing it in the first place; he himself prefers to live in a luxury building without a doorman – so that no one can see him come and go. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants us to practise openness and radical transparency; he himself purchases neighbouring houses to get as much privacy as possible. Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky likes to boast that he is a typical Airbnb host; well, perhaps too typical – for a while, he was renting his house without obtaining the necessary legal permit.

    Silicon Valley’s elites hate such intrusion into their personal lives. Had they worked for any other industry, their concerns would be justified. But they work for an industry that tries to convince us that privacy does not matter and that transparency and deregulation are the way to go. Since they do not lead by example, why shouldn’t their hypocrisy be exposed?

    If tech elites are so concerned about privacy, they can start backing initiatives such as the right to be forgotten. Why can’t Thiel – a backer of the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual gathering of the world’s dissidents where the Human Rights Foundation awards the Václav Havel international prize for creative dissent – help us to make sure that embarrassing content, taken out of context and now enjoying worldwide circulation thanks to social networks and search engines, is easier to manage?


    Incidentally, there’s an interesting suggestion here that Mark Zuckerberg’s concern to reassure publishers and cement developing relationships could lead him into conflict with Thiel, who’s a member of Facebook’s board:

    Facebook is used by more than 1 billion people every day, but as it has moved from personal content toward what the company refers to as “public content,” it has moved huge audiences to publishers — and become responsible for a significant share of many publishers’ traffic. Its influence is so vast that many such publishers (including BuzzFeed) have agreed to host their articles directly on Facebook’s servers via the Instant Articles product. That outsized influence on how people all across the world are informed is why a major firestorm ensued after curators of its Trending column were accused of bias. After that episode, Zuckerberg said the company had a trust problem with conservatives that it needed to address. His vote on Thiel will send another message about how he sees publishers.


  • Mark 2:41 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cash reserves, , investment, , , ,   

    The infrastructural ambitions of technology companies 

    Given the cash reserves (see below) and/or capacity to raise investment of each of these companies, as well as the practical challenge they face in expanding their markets, it seems likely these nascent infrastructural ambitions will only grow and grow:

    Facebook and Microsoft are going underwater.

    The two technology companies announced on Thursday they are to install an undersea cable from the east coast of the US to Spain to help speed up their global internet services.

    Fast connectivity is particularly important to Facebook, which wants to encourage users across the world to broadcast live video and meet in virtual reality. Both activities can consume vast amounts of bandwidth.

    The project marks yet another example where technology companies are assuming roles traditionally left to public utilities or the government, and until now undersea cables have traditionally been laid by telecommunications incumbents. Meanwhile, Google continues to expand Fiber, its high-speed internet program, Amazon.com effectively is building its own postal service, Uber is attempting to replace regulated cab companies and Facebook is bringing wireless internet to Africa.


  • Mark 2:27 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Strategic distraction as a tool of political control on the Chinese internet 

    The paper by Gary King this reports on sounds like a must read:

    What the research showed was a degree of subtlety and sophistication undreamed of in western coverage of Chinese online censorship. In essence, King et al suggested that almost everything we think we know about the Chinese internet is wrong. For one thing, its users do not cower nervously behind the “great firewall”. On the contrary: online debate and discourse in China is as raucous, untamed and virulent as it is here. And yet the government devotes massive resources (200,000-plus people) to watching and censoring the network. So what are they doing? Answer: censoring some predictable stuff (pornography, Falun Gong, Tiananmen, etc); but much of what we would regard as “political” discourse (criticism of local communist party officials, for example) remains apparently unrestricted. There is, however, one type of discourse that isruthlessly and efficiently suppressed: any kind of social media post that could conceivably lead to collective mobilisation – to people on the streets. And this applies even to posts that are favourable to the government!

  • Mark 2:16 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Surveillance and the Public Sphere: confronting a democratic dilemma 

    A broad and enlightening talk from Oscar Gandy, one of the foundational figures in Surveillance Studies, with a great response by Louise Amoore:

  • Mark 2:11 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: air bnb, , , , , ,   

    How do Americans define the sharing economy? 

    Given how much time and energy has gone into constructing the notion of the ‘sharing economy’, these findings are fascinating. I would have assumed awareness of the term to be much higher and for established brands to dominate the explanations offered by respondents, something which was apparently not the case.


  • Mark 10:54 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fame, , ,   

    Fame and the content eco-system 

    In Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, there’s an interesting reflection on pg 46 about Trump’s first experience of being in a newspaper:

    In his third year at the academy he earned a headline in the local paper—“ Trump Wins Game for NYMA”—and the experience was almost electrifying. “It felt good seeing my name in print,” he said fifty years later. “How many people are in print? Nobody’s in print. It was the first time I was ever in the newspaper. I thought it was amazing.” This first brush with fame could be seen as the spark of a fire that would eventually light all of Trump’s life. The notice in the paper made him real, and heroic to people who weren’t even at the game. Fame also established that Donald Trump was a special boy. His deep appreciation for the experience shows that he understood that a great many people wanted fame but almost all of them fail to achieve it.

    This highlights an interesting relationship between the psychological pay off of fame and the media conditions within which it becomes possible. Contrast this to our contemporary content eco-system: is internet celebrity devalued because everyone can immediately publish in the way that only the richest and most powerful can get themselves in newspapers? 

    No, because the distinctions change as the infrastructure does – now the challenge is being ‘heard above the din’ rather than the simple fact of appearing in a publicly recorded way.

  • Mark 10:54 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , photography, sontag,   

    The Blizzard of Photography 

    I just came across this brief reference in Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success which makes me think it’s important to read Sontag to develop my case about digital distraction. From pg 63:

    Susan Sontag would observe in On Photography that inexpensive photos, produced by the hundreds, created a record that allowed an unprecedented level of self-examination—she called it “self surveillance”—that discouraged spontaneous human expression and encouraged posing and playacting. People were generally too busy to devote much time to considering how they were affected by the media bombardment and simply absorbed it or reacted as best they could.

    On pg 113, he also references Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism. A fascinating book I now plan to return to in order to help me develop my current project:

    In his 1979 book, The Culture of Narcissism, Lasch described an America in which people accepted that one’s image, whether it was transmitted on television or in a family photo album, was a vital source of identity and power. At the same time, people felt alienated by their work in large corporations and life in sprawling suburbs. Taken together, these developments made vast numbers of people feel dissatisfied and determined to relieve their anxieties through the development of an appealing image for others to see, complete with the possessions and experiences—fancy vacations captured in snapshots—others could admire.

    • Martha Bell 9:27 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      Regarding Sontag’s reference self-surveillance through endless (self)photography, can we see this in similar terms to obsessing with looking in the mirror…an older form of (self)distraction especially constructing femininity. I think you should pursue Sontag.

    • Mark 1:24 pm on June 3, 2016 Permalink

      I’m convinced!

  • Mark 4:14 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , competitive individualism, , , , , , , ,   

    Varoufakis on contemporary capitalism’s preposterous reversal of the truth 

    This isn’t a new idea but I’ve rarely encountered it expressed so concisely:

    The idea that individuals create wealth and that all governments do is come along and tax them is what Varoufakis calls “a preposterous reversal of the truth”.

    “There is an amazing myth in our enterprise culture that wealth is created individually and then appropriated by the state to be distributed.

    “We are conceptualising what is happening in society as if we are an archipelago of Robinson Crusoes, everybody on an island, creating our own thing individually and then a boat comes along and collects it and redistributes it. It’s not true. We are not individual producers, we produce things collectively.”

    He points to an iPhone.

    “This machine, inside of it, contains technologies that were created collectively. Not only through collaboration but a lot of public funding. Every single technology in there was created by government grant.”


    • Dave Ashelman 2:17 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      There is a great book by Mariana Mazzucato (2015) entitled “The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths.” She’s an Italian Marxist Economist who makes the same case, both with the iPhone and other innovations. Her larger (and compelling) argument is that there has been no true innovation without state involvement and investment. It’s a good read.

    • Mark 2:19 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      look forward to it, I bought it on Kindle a while ago but haven’t got round to it yet

  • Mark 9:45 am on May 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Donald Trump as an Attentional Entrepeneur 

    From Donald Trump: The Pursuit of Success, pg 13 – one who constantly seeks out new ways to make claims upon attention and diligently measures and assesses the success of these innovations:

    For decades, no one has made a more insistent claim on the nation’s attention than this man. Trump begins each day with a sheaf of papers detailing where and how often his name has been mentioned in the global press. The reports are typically too numerous for him to actually read, but the weight of the pages gives his sensitive ego a measure of his importance on any given day. This need to be noticed, and his drive to satisfy it, has made him a singular figure worthy of close inspection.

    • lenandlar 11:09 am on May 27, 2016 Permalink

      Mark, a sheaf of paper not a list. I wonder if he had a library with entries for each day.

    • Mark 1:30 pm on May 27, 2016 Permalink

      which he retires to with a scotch at night to celebrate the joy that is Donald J Trump?

    • lenandlar 3:10 pm on May 27, 2016 Permalink

      That’s the good life man. Can you imagine it. Who knows what else he retires in the evening with to enjoy his dailies

  • Mark 9:27 am on May 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , success, ,   

    ‘Intelligence’ as an explanatory concept  

    I’m working on a paper with Tom Brock at the moment in which we’re trying to unpack the contemporary meaning that ‘intelligence’ holds in political and economic discourse. ‘Intelligence’ is something invoked in the same way that ‘merit’ and ‘will’ have been previously. For instance, see this extract from Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success pg 5:

    In 1914 preacher/ author William Woodbridge posed the question of the day: “What is it that the upper ten possesses that the under ten thousand does not possess?” His book, That Something, revolved around an encounter between a fictional beggar and a financier who gives the beggar his business card and says the beggar doesn’t need food but rather “that something” that all successful men have. Inspired, the young beggar discovers the value of “Faith, Confidence, Power, Ambition…” and, finally, the power of his own will, which is “the talisman of success.” It is the will of the soul, writes Woodbridge, that explains why a few men are destined to be carried “on our muscle” like men upon horses.

    What these concepts have in common is that they are explanations masquerading as descriptions. They impute characteristics to the successful which implicitly explain their success but in a vacuously circular way. They are overloaded because they reduce a complex interplay of factors to a singular characteristic that explains someone’s ‘success’: in doing so they become cultural placeholders that stitch together an ultimately untenable individualistic world view. These explanations of success can only work by imbuing quasi-magical capacities, something which we are arguing can be seen in their representation on film and TV. 

    As the author above notes, these overloaded concepts often get invoked by elites to explain (and thus justify their status). From pg 5-6:

    While the masses sought to divine the secrets of success—willpower? personality? faith? confidence?—some at the top came to believe their success was either divinely distributed or a matter of superior morals. John D. Rockefeller claimed, “God gave me my money.” When J. P. Morgan was questioned about his empire, which was built in large measure through stock manipulation, he said its source was “character.”

    • TGJBrock 4:19 pm on May 28, 2016 Permalink

      After watching “Look Who’s Back”, I was thinking about Weber’s definition of ‘charisma’, which he links to discussions of authority and power:

      “[A] certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader […] How the quality in question would be ultimately judged from an ethical, aesthetic, or other such point of view is naturally indifferent for the purpose of definition.”

      Weber argues that charismatic authority lasts because the leader is seen as infallible and any action against them would be perceived as a crime against the state. This help these leaders to develop a ‘cult of personality’, which is not something they necessarily intended. Their power becomes legitimised on the basis of these exceptional qualities, which further inspires loyalty and obedience from followers. What is unshakable about any given charismatic leader is their belief in the goal(s) that they have set. Should this be faulted, and support will quickly fade.

      What I think is missing from this is what you indicate above. That structural advantages are often unacknowledged or written off as chance, rather than providing the resources needed to secure such platforms, and thereby voice one’s beliefs. I once interviewed the founder of one of the most successful gaming networks on YouTube – the YOGCAST. He was telling me how his success was down to the ‘character’ of him and his co-stars. This was despite the huge financial support that he secured early on, which helped him turn help turn a tiny radio show into a regularly scheduled Internet programme. Reminds me of what R.K. Merton calls The Matthew Effect: For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have adebdance: but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer when the model of success is built around early intervention and subsequent attempts to monopolise the market.

    • Mark 3:21 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      I think the first section of the paper is basically sketched out 🙂

  • Mark 9:42 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Funding third-party lawsuits as a tool of defensive elites 

    This thought-provoking Vox article suggests a disturbing trend:

    Olson argues that if you went back a century or two and talked to British or American legal scholars, “they’d say of course these things would be used by the rich and powerful if you allowed them.” Under doctrines called champerty and maintenance, the law used to bar unrelated third parties from paying someone else to engage in litigation and financing a lawsuit in exchange for a share of the damages.

    But states have loosened these laws over the past 50 years, in part because lawyers began to see easy access to the courts as being in the public interest. This was driven in part by the rise of public interest litigation — think, for example, of an environmental group finding a third-party plaintiff to sue a company to stop an environmentally sensitive development project.

    “Awards are constantly being given to projects in which some wealthy person decides that someone needs to be sued, finds someone who has standing as a plaintiff, and generously funds their litigation,” Olson says.


  • Mark 2:20 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , commensurability, CVs, , lists,   

    Against lists of academic publications 

    Are these necessary? A conversation I had last week while I was travelling made me think that I should go back to including one on my website, lest someone quickly scanning it (who might, for example, want to hire me to do some consultancy) doesn’t take me seriously as a scholar. But ten minutes of preparing such a list provoked such a feeling of existential turgidity in me that I couldn’t bring myself to continue.

    What does the omnipresence of these lists say about academic subjectivity? There’s a commensurability inherent to lists which has moral psychological implications. Individual projects, each one of which we might well have been inspired and tested by, get reduced to items of equal status on a numbered list. Lists flatten moral experience, reducing what matters into what is counted. I really hate numbered lists.

    Unless someone convinces me that I’m really shooting myself in the foot, I hereby commit to avoiding using them wherever possible. I think I have a pretty impressive publications list for someone 2 years out of a PhD, with the partial exception that there’s a lot of edited books and chapters, as well as an absence of any publications in ‘high impact’ journals. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, but the process of performing that proudness through a numbered list is totally deadening.

    In fact I’m increasingly tempted to delete all the static content from my website, reducing it to a blog with many categories and instead just put the focus on things that I’m wilfully doing, rather than feeling the need to awkwardly freeze and represent those streams of activity in order to construct a professional narrative. Would this be a bad idea? Thoughts appreciated.

    • Steve Fuller (@ProfSteveFuller) 8:46 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink

      At one level, I know what you mean. I have in fact fallen behind by about six months in updating my CV, which now runs to over sixty pages. The thought of updating it does fill me with existential turgidity. But I see the exercise as self-archiving, which you may find useful in later years to figure out where certain persistent themes in your own thought first arose and subsequently developed. Strange as it may sound, once you’ve written enough stuff, it’s easy to forget what you’ve done — and it may be important to recall so you don’t reinvent your own wheels! I’m not too fussed about the numbering. That’s just a way to locate specific items more easily

    • E 8:57 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink

      1. I agree.
      2. I know what you mean.
      3. Lists of three are quite nice, though.
      4. I hadn’t even noticed numbered lists before you mentioned them!
      5. I think a blog of many categories is definitely the way to go, especially if those categories can be listed and numbered.

    • Mark 8:58 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink

      that’s interesting steve & the self-archiving theme resonates with me a lot. that’s in a nutshell why I find myself so dependent on my blogging.

      does a lot depend on motivation? I found myself doing it earlier with the quite clear sense of “must convince potential clients of my academic credentials” and found that compilation activity immensely soul-numbing.

    • Mark 9:00 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink

      But numbered lists are EVERYWHERE. There’s a non-public category structure to my blog which is for my own benefit – wondering if I should just make this public & let people infer what I’m doing that way, if they’re sufficiently interested, rather than trying to narrativise and list it instead.

    • Ruth 11:38 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink

      Ten Articles by Dr Mark Carrigan you NEED to read.
      You’ll never guess #8!

    • Fabian 11:54 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink

      I think using a list could be useful, but more as an index to help clients navigate your expertise and experience rather than as a ledger of academic capital. For example, you could build and list and hyperlink each item to a page displaying your reflections, skills utilised, and social significance of the projects behind the papers. The initial list would be more usefully categorised by research interest/area rather than chronologically. Numbered lists (especially chronological ones) are bland, but I think listing itself can still be a useful tool for helping potential clients to navigate your expertise. I think your “Projects” page would be a good place for such a listing. Organising publications by the research interests gives me the impression that the research papers/chapters are an instance of a larger pool of thought.

      I’ve written pieces across the sociology of ethics, work/life balance, higher education policy, ageing workforces, political economy, and the everyday discourse of “the neoliberal”. Without an explanation of my broader interest in the sociology of knowledge, my work in these areas might seem a little arbitrary and spasmodic. I think the form of the list can be appropriated to help others find value in the academic beyond accumulated research capital.

    • Jonathan O'Donnell 12:49 am on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      Do you mean your Google Scholar profile?

      Personally, I’m never going to find your work on your site. I’m going to find it via Google Stalker. Seeing that you have a profile makes me happy – I can see all your work in one place; I can see changes over time; I can reach out and see the other people who have used your work; I can subscribe to updates. All good.

      I’m not interested in seeing what you are working on, in isolation from everybody else (ie on your site). I want to see it in context with the work that everybody else is doing on that topic (ie the literature).

      If I am going to look at your site, it is probably via an RSS reader, not via the site itself.

      But then I’m not going to hire you, just cite you. So I’m probably not your primary audience.

      Can’t you just link to your GS profile, or automagically suck it in and style it?

    • Mark 2:21 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      that’s a great idea, thanks. do you know if there’s a plug in for it? I’ll ask on twitter as well.

    • Mark 2:22 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      Ten is not Buzzfeedy enough. It should be 7, or 23 or 41.

    • Mark 2:22 pm on May 30, 2016 Permalink

      Hi Fabian, I think you’re right and it’s made me wonder if perhaps I’m just being weirdly lazy actually….

  • Mark 2:01 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The Fragile Movements of Late Modernity 

    I’m really pleased this paper has been published. It got to well over 17,000 words at one point, prompting me to realise that I was actually starting a book, which I’m now a good year into planning and writing:

    Social movements often make an important contribution to the normative order within social life but how are their dynamics changing under conditions of social morphogenesis? It is clear that the emergence and normalisation of social media entail affordances for mobilisation that have important implications for social movements. However there is little agreement upon precisely what these implications are and whether they can or should be evaluated in general terms. This chapters takes a novel approach to this question, exploring the technological dimensions of social morphogenesis and their consequences for the ‘distracted people’ who comprise social movements. Using the relational realist theory developed by Margaret Archer and Pierpaolo Donati, I offer a novel account of the constitution of social movements that invites us to ask questions about the emergence and durability of new movements that are obscured by alternative theoretical approaches which fail to recognise both the emergent and relational constitution of collectives.


    • richmoth 4:35 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink

      Hi Mark, I’ve been writing about social movements in mental health recently and would be very interested to read this chapter. Would it be possible to send me a copy? Many thanks Rich

      Sent from my iPhone


  • Mark 1:13 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social science fiction, ,   

    Sociology and Fiction: a @thesocreview Special Feature 

    I think this is come out really well. Get in touch if you’d like to contribute something further:


  • Mark 1:10 pm on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: academic capital, , , , ,   

    A special @thesocreview feature on the rise of the Superstar Professor 

    I’m really pleased with this special feature I just finished for The Sociological Review’s website:

    I’ll be following up with a podcast with Peter Walsh next month.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc