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Mark

The Quest for Normativity: Challenges and New Directions in Social Research

Civic Sociology aims to be a forum for the cultivation of normative inquiry within the discipline, and to offer a space for the many conversations that different ethical turns have spurred. In order to contribute to this vision, this call for papers invites contributions from across the social sciences and humanities that address questions related to the challenges and opportunities derived from these different normative turns. It also welcomes papers that reflect on the history of ethical reflection within social research, and on the possible futures opened by different forms of ethical engagement in the social sciences.

Tilting within myself

Even if I don’t see it again—nor ever feel it I know it is—and that if once it hailed me it ever does— And so it is myself I want to turn in that direction not as towards a place, but it was a tilting within myself, as one turns […]

Higher education and the individualization of COVID-19

What’s going to happen in UK universities in September? This piece from Jim Dickinson seems plausible about the possible intersection between ‘learning to live with the virus’ (in other words the individualization of the problem once the vaccine programme is mostly or entirely complete) and the ‘migration event’ which takes place at the start of each academic year.

The sociology of networked harassment

This fascinating and important paper by Alice Marwick develops a theory of morally motivated network harassment to explain the pervasive dynamics of online abuse we can see on social platforms, beyond what she terms the dyadic harassment which can equally be seen in face-to-face settings and the normalised harassment in which certain forms of behaviour become common in particular online spaces. Her proposal is that we understand these distributed forms of harassment in terms of:

The reification of social change

There’s a lovely expression in this newsletter describing how pop-futurist Alvin Toffler reifies ‘change’ “into an autonomous abstraction, something that appears to cause itself, with consequences society must then adjust to”. It’s worth reflecting on quite how mainstream this move has become, particularly with regards to a centrism which sees […]

The political economy of Bidenism

There’s an excellent piece in the NLR by Cedric Durand putting Biden’s apparent left turn into historical context. My initial assumption was that Biden was doing what Starmer promised to do i.e. rebuilding his party by brokering a coalition between the left and the centre, built around the most popular […]