Many researchers are excited about the potential social media offers for making an impact with their work. However 500 million tweets per day, 3 million blog posts per day and over a billion websites poses an obvious challenge: how can you ensure you are heard above the din? How can social media be used by busy researchers in an effective and efficient way?

This workshop offers a practical introduction to these challenges, exploring how to use social media to engage with groups beyond the academy and ensure the impact of research. The session will include an overview of key considerations and group discussion of practical problems. The focus throughout will be on practical and sustainable techniques to build ongoing relations with publics outside the academy.

At the end of the day, participants will have learnt about the opportunities and challenges posed by social media for researcher impact, as well as having designed a bespoke impact strategy relevant to their own projects. Participants also have the option of purchasing five hours of coaching via Skype to support the implementation of this strategy. This includes a free copy of Social Media for Academics.

Eventbrite - Making an Impact with Social Media

Mark Carrigan is a Digital Sociologist and Social Media Consultant. He is Digital Fellow at The Sociological Review and recently completed three years as Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Ontology at the University of Warwick. He is the author of Social Media for Academics, published by Sage in early 2016. This is the first book length guide to the use of social media within higher education and has been widely praised across a diverse range of reviews.

In recent years, calls for a reconsideration of critique, its place and value, have multiplied. The proposition that critique has run out of steam took on a new urgency with the vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. The doxa of progressive academia has found itself repudiated by these events, as conceptions of the social world universally assented to within the left-liberal academy have been revealed as phantasmic remainders from an older period of capitalist development.

This new journal calls for a reorientation of social theory towards the reality we now reluctantly confront. Regressive times call for a repressive social theory, attuned to the contracting horizons of public life and the death of progressive futures into which we once invested so much. Contributions for this inaugural issue might include:

  • Nationalist populism and the challenge it poses for democracy
  • The inadequacy of leftist critique in the face of reactionary class politics
  • The difficulty of persuading people they should listen us to when we say things
  • How irritating we find it when people don’t agree with the things we say
  • The professional anxieties lurking behind the twists and turns of our run-on sentences
  • The necessity that our words become more obscure and our run-on sentences longer to cope with the spiralling complexity of late neoliberalism
  • The value of critique as the temporal horizon of viable employment within the critical social sciences contracts
  • The performativity of criticality and how it no longer makes us feel better about the world or ourselves

At this stage, we invite titles and abstracts from potential contributors to the first issue. Final contributions should be between 8000 and 10000 words, articulated in a suitably dense and impenetrable style. Please e-mail TheFutureIsNotWhatItUsedToBe@Gmail.com to informally discuss a contribution.

Postmodernity. Second modernity. Network Society. Late modernity. Liquid modernity. Such concepts have dominated social thought in recent decades, with a bewildering array of claims about social change and its implications. But what do we mean by ‘social change’? How do we establish that such change is taking place? What does it mean to say that it is intensifying? These are some of the questions which the Social Morphogenesis project has sought to answer in the last five years, through an inquiry orientated around the speculative notion of ‘morphogenic society’.

In this launch event, contributors to the project discuss their work over the last five years and the questions it has addressed concerning social change. The day begins with an introductory lecture by the convenor of the project, Margaret S. Archer, before a series of thematic panels presenting different stands of the project. It concludes with a closing session in which participants share three issues the project raised for them, as well as a general discussion.

At the end of the day, there will be a wine reception to which all participants are invited. There will also be an opportunity to purchase discounted copies of the books from Springer.

Book here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/social-morphogenesis-five-years-of-inquiring-into-social-change-tickets-33813890256

Participants:
Ismael Al-Amoudi
Margaret S. Archer
Mark Carrigan
Pierpaolo Donati
Emmanuel Lazega
Andrea M. Maccarini
Jamie Morgan
Graham Scambler (Chair)

More speakers to be confirmed.

The Social Morphogenesis project was funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation through six years of support for the Centre for Social Ontology. This support was generously extended to enable this book launch.

Manchester Digital Laboratory
Thursday 8th June 2017
09.00-17.00

The Sociological Review Foundation is delighted to announce our forthcoming workshop using graphic novel methods to present social research.

We invite applications to take part in a Graphic Novel Workshop with Tony Lee. If your research involves incorporating graphic methods or you are simply interested in doing this to present future research, this workshop will be of interest to you.

Workshop Format
· Introduction on graphic novels: how the medium works, different genres, how they’ve changed and the design & production process
· Story telling through graphic novels: how to develop the story, what works and what doesn’t, constraints of the medium etc
· Delegates introduce their ideas for graphic novels and get feedback
· General discussion & advice about next steps

This event is FREE but places are limited to 25 people.

This event is brought to you by The Sociological Review Early Career Researcher Board. We welcome applications for this workshop from people in all stages of their careers. However, should we receive significantly more applications than available places – priority will be given to ECRs and PGRs.

Application deadline is 17.00 GMT, Monday 2nd May 2017. Please ensure to outline your research interests in the relevant section.

Apply here: https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/events/using-graphic-novels-to-communicate-your-research.html

The Sociological Review Annual Lecture 2017
Friday 28th April, 2017
Time: 5:45pm – 8:00pm, followed by wine reception

Location: Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

Cities and the Political Imagination
Keynote Speaker: Professor Rivke Jaffe
Responses by Professor Claire Alexander Dr. Emma Jackson

How can we recognize the political in the city? How might social scientists engage with forms of politics outside of established sites of research such as those associated with representative democracy or collective mobilizations? This presentation suggests that new perspectives on urban politics might be enabled by revisiting the connections between sociology and cultural studies, and specifically by combining long-term urban ethnography and cultural analysis. Reading forms of creative expression in relation to power struggles in and over urban space can direct our attention towards negotiations of authority and political belonging that are often overlooked within the social sciences. I explore the possibilities of such an approach by focusing on the idea of the political imagination, and in particular on how everyday practices are informed by imaginations of urban rule and citizenship. Expressive culture generates both analytical and normative frames, guiding everyday understandings of how power works, where and in whose hands it is concentrated, and whether we see this as just or unjust. Such frames can legitimize or delegitimize specific distributions of resources and risks, and can normalize or denaturalize specific structures of decision-making. Through a discussion of popular music (hiphop, reggae and dancehall) and visual culture, I consider how these forms of the imagination allow new political subjectivities and actions to emerge and consolidate.

Rivke Jaffe is Professor of Cities, Politics and Culture in the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses primarily on intersections of the urban and the political, and includes an interest in topics such as organized crime, popular culture and environmental pollution, drawing on fieldwork in Jamaica, Curaçao and Suriname. She is currently leading a major research program on public-private security assemblages in Kingston, Jerusalem, Miami, Nairobi and Recife, studying transformations in governance and citizenship in relation to hybrid forms of security provision. Her publications include Concrete Jungles: Urban Pollution and the Politics of Difference in the Caribbean (Oxford, 2016) and Introducing Urban Anthropology (with Anouk de Koning, Routledge, 2016).

This event is free, but registration is required. Click here to book now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cities-and-the-political-imagination-the-sociological-review-annual-lecture-2017-with-rivke-jaffe-tickets-31372245230

For general event and booking related queries, please contact: Jenny Thatcher (events@thesociologicalreview.com)

Isolation at the beginning of working lives 

As part of the @YouthLoneliness project (Twitter/Tumblr), we are interested to find out more about young people’s working lives, their casual employment, their experience of self-employment and their involvement in the ‘gig economy.’

The Co-op Movement (like the Trade Union movement) was a movement that brought people facing harsh conditions together in search of ways of improving lives. What networks of connection can we imagine that will do that today?

We are offering 3 workshops on Wednesdays 1.00pm to 3pm (with a Tuesday evening option too) in May based at the People’s History Museum and will be looking at archive material in the museum to inspire print making, documentary work and photography and ideas for today.

There is also the option for the same sessions to run on the preceding evenings at The Space, Great Ancoats Street, from 5.00-7.00pm.

The workshops will run on the following dates: May 3rd; May 17th; May 24th They will have the following format:

Workshop One: Starting a documentary process. Focussing on issues facing young people in employment and using the Museum archive to prompt ideas, this session will share learning about audio, photographic and video collection using a smartphone, all these things can be used to document youth employment over the following two weeks.

Workshop Two: This session will draw together what has been collected and involve the production of a multi-media, mixed art form, collage or mosaic piece based on the research done in the previous 2 weeks.

Workshop Three: A panel lead discussion and debate about isolation, loneliness and young people in the workplace.

To book your place, register here. Priority booking will be given to people aged between 16 and 25 but the events are open to all.

The Sociological Review Annual Lecture 2017

How can we recognize the political in the city? How might social scientists engage with forms of politics outside of established sites of research such as those associated with representative democracy or collective mobilizations?

This presentation suggests that new perspectives on urban politics might be enabled by revisiting the connections between sociology and cultural studies, and specifically by combining long-term urban ethnography and cultural analysis. Reading forms of creative expression in relation to power struggles in and over urban space can direct our attention towards negotiations of authority and political belonging that are often overlooked within the social sciences. I explore the possibilities of such an approach by focusing on the idea of the political imagination, and in particular on how everyday practices are informed by imaginations of urban rule and citizenship.

Expressive culture generates both analytical and normative frames, guiding everyday understandings of how power works, where and in whose hands it is concentrated, and whether we see this as just or unjust. Such frames can legitimize or delegitimize specific distributions of resources and risks, and can normalize or denaturalize specific structures of decision-making.

Through a discussion of popular music (hiphop, reggae and dancehall) and visual culture, I consider how these forms of the imagination allow new political subjectivities and actions to emerge and consolidate.

Time: 5:45pm – 9:00pm, Friday 28th April, 2017

Location: Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

Click here to book now

I’ve helped organise this session at IS4S 2017, see here for full application details:

DIGITAL NETIZENS AT THE CROSSROADS OF SHARING AND PRIVATISING

Organizers

SIG Emergent Systems, Information and Society (supported by the Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin and the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science) and the Institut für Design Science München

Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science, Vienna, Austria; Institut für Design Science München

José María Díaz Nafría, University of León, Spain; Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany; Institut für Design Science München

Call for papers

In 1997, a review was published of the development of the Net (“a new social institution, an electronic commons”) pushed by the Netizens, as Michael Hauben baptised them. These were people online who “understand the value of collective work and the communal aspects of public communications”, but who at that time were already challenged by “the increasing commercialization and privatization of the Net” (R. and M. Hauben: Netizens, On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet). The dynamics of capitalism itself has mixed up what seemed to be two kinds of poles with respect to the production of goods and services. Indeed, as Hardt and Negri observed, “producers increasingly require a high degree of freedom as well as open access to the common, especially in its social forms, such as communications networks, information banks, and cultural circuits” (Hardt and Negri: Commonwealth).

Two decades later, it’s time to ask: Where do we stand today? Which hopes have  come true? What setbacks do we need to report? And where are we heading? Are these dynamics of digital capitalism contributing to a new social order grounded on the commons?

We ask for one-page abstracts that are concerned with, but not restricted to, the following topics:

  • Dynamics of cultural, social, economic and political interaction in digital networks
  • Digital commons and co-operation vs. digital privatisation and commodification
  • New forms of participation and empowerment in the information society
  • Sharing, networking and self-exploitation
  • Prosumers, new DIY cultures  and consumerism
  • Hacking and capitalism
  • Work between freedom and necessity
  • Bubbles and rational vs. irrational discourse on social media
  • Cross-cultural comparison: methodological challenges and research paradigms
  • The influences of values on information societies (regarding intercultural and transcultural dimensions)
  • The representation of the Western information society in the Asian academic discourse

Invited speakers

Jens Alwood, Department of Applied Information Technology, University of Gothenburg
Fredrika Lagergren Wahlin, Department of Applied Information Technology, University of Gothenburg
Luca Rossi, IT University of Copenhagen
Christina Neumayer, IT University of Copenhagen

Programme committee

Mark Carrigan, Digital Fellow, The Sociological Review, UK
Christopher Coenen, Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany
José María Díaz Nafría, University of León, Spain; Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany; Institut für Design Science München
Klaus Fuchs-Kittowski, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Technik Berlin, Germany
Thomas Herdin, University of Salzburg, Austria
Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Vienna University of Technology; Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science, Vienna, Austria; Institut für Design Science München (Chair)
Rainer E. Zimmermann, Institut für Design Science München; Munich University of Applied Scienc

Abstract for my keynote at Public sociology and the role of the researcher: engagement, communication and academic activism

In the summer of 2011, David Cameron’s response to the English riots was to declare that “this is criminality pure and simple”.  In the summer of 2013, then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proclaimed that “this is not a time to commit sociology” after high profile anti-terrorism arrests.  Each of these statements was made within a specific political context but each also reflected a broader tendency: the narrowing of explanatory horizons within post-democratic political culture. Such a process has reached its apotheosis with the Presidency of Donald Trump, whose succesful hacking of the media system led him all the way to the Whitehouse where he now pursues a press strategy oriented around the twin poles of mendacity and Twitter.

In this talk I address the rapidly changing political context within which public sociology is pursued in order to ask: what does it mean to be a public sociologist in the era of @realDonaldTrump? Social media offers profound opportunities for public sociology, albeit in a way that should lead us to reflect critically upon established strategies and tactics. But social media poses equally profound challenges, both directly through the architecture of these privately owned platforms and indirectly through their implication in wider social  regression. These issues are complicated further by the changes underway within the academy, as well as the issues they raise for those seeking to work as scholar-activists while retaining a concern for their employability. My claim is that a reflexive practice of public sociology can both help us negotiate these changes and work collectively towards fostering resistance to them.

We invite essays exploring the future of sociology in its relationships with other cognate disciplines such as anthropology and geography. Echoing The Sociological Review’s Manifesto, we seek to encourage reflections on ‘what could be thought differently, and how that creates possibilities for what could and should be done next’. We are particularly interested in contributions from graduate and early career researchers working with novel theoretical and methodological approaches, oriented towards understanding emerging issues through an interdisciplinary lens.

The theme invites discussions that look at research objects from new angles or at research objects that have absconded from more conventional modes of inquiry. It encourages reflections that challenge taken for granted theoretical or methodological assumptions, hoping to draw essays that push the boundaries of sociology as a discipline and that open new avenues for creative and critical inquiries. Thinking about the future also asks that we think about the contributions that early career researchers are bringing to sociological disciplines, and the challenges they face in doing so.

One essay will be selected for the quality and the creativity of its argument. The prize awarded to this essay will be £500. The same criteria of quality and creativity will be used to select an additional 10 essays, which will be published by The Sociological Review on its Website, Blog, and through a specially prepared zine distributed by the end of 2017.

Participation is limited to early career researchers who are currently writing their thesis and those who were awarded their PhDs in the last 3 years. Submissions should not exceed 1200 words. The deadline to submit an essay is February 10th, 2017.

Essays should be submitted online through the following Google Form: https://goo.gl/forms/hqfwRfdUZbDkZZHp2

Questions regarding this call for essays can be sent to AH.Truong@gold.ac.uk.

30 November-2 December 2016, Leiden (Scheltema, Marktsteeg 1)

Conference organisers
Sarah de Rijcke, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University

Björn Hammarfelt, University of Borås, Sweden | Leiden University

Alex Rushforth, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University

Scientific committee

Mark Carrigan, University of Warwick

Tereza Stöckelová, Czech Academy of Sciences

Filip Vostal, Czech Academy of Sciences

Paul Wouters, Leiden University

Milena Kremakova, University of Warwick

From the 1980s onward, there has been an unprecedented growth of institutions and procedures for auditing and evaluating university research. Quantitative indicators are now widely used from the level of individual researchers to that of entire universities, serving to make academic activities more visible, accountable and amenable to university management and marketing. Further demands for accountability in academia can be related to general societal trends described under the heading of the audit society (Power 1997), and the evaluation society (Dahler-Larsen 2011). As part of broader transformations in research governance, indicators on publications and citations are now permeating academia: from global university rankings to journal-level bibliometrics such as the journal impact factor and individual measures like the h-index. Yet, it is only recently that considerable interest has been directed towards the effects that these measures might have on work practices and knowledge production (c.f. de Rijcke et al. 2015), and the role they might be playing in accelerating academic life more generally (c.f. Vostal 2016).

The Accelerated Academy draws together a number of cross-disciplinary conversations about the effects that acceleration towards metric forms of evaluation is having upon research, and the implications this holds for living and working in contemporary academia (Felt et al. 2009). Building on the successful maiden edition of the Accelerated Academy series in Prague in 2015, this year’s Leiden conference will be especially focussed towards the following questions:

What does acceleration mean in different research contexts?

What are the implications of digitally mediated measurement and tools for quantifying scholarly performance?

What are the knowledge gaps regarding the effects of metrics on scientific quality and societal relevance of research?

How can we harness the positive and minimize the adverse effects of performance measurement in universities?

Keynote Speakers

Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna) – Valuing time: Temporalities, regimes of worth and changing research cultures

How are the temporal reorderings of contemporary academic research cultures related to (e)valuative practices? This is the core question addressed in my key note. It will start from the diagnosis that many of the critiques and doubts raised about the quality and efficiency of our research systems have been frequently addressed through profoundly restructuring the temporal dimensions of academic lives, work, knowledge production and management. From there the presentation will invite a reflection on the effects of this re-timing of academic research environments and how it in turn supports and stabilizes specific valuation practices. It will invite to look beyond phenomena of acceleration and engage with the wider phenomenon of politics of time at work in academia. Looking into one exemplary field where we can observe chronopolitics at work, the talk will focus on the complex relations of temporalities and indicators (as one expression of worth).

Peter Dahler-Larsen (University of Copenhagen) – The Evaluation Society and Academia

In the evaluation society, evaluation machinery and infrastructure connect measurements and objects across time and space in unprecedented ways. Evaluation contributes to contingency and acceleration. The effects upon research and research quality are complex, including, potentially, the reconfiguration of the very meaning of research, relations among colleagues, the definitions of research fields, and relations between research and society. The impact of evaluation upon research is difficult to interpret. Our interpretations rest on assumptions. This key note offers three perspectives, roughly described as “the metrological perspective”, “the political perspective”, and the “constructivist perspective”. Each perspective is characterized by distinct assumptions, issues of interest, and orientations regarding what needs to be done.

We’ve recently had some cancellations for the forthcoming event, The Practice of Public Sociology: Sociological Review Early Career Event. 

If you would like one of these places, please registered here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-practice-of-public-sociology-sociological-review-early-career-event-tickets-28652394082 
The Practice of Public Sociology

Manchester Digital Laboratory, November 24th, Manchester

For over a decade public sociology has been a mainstream topic of discussion within the discipline. While practiced prior to the 2004 address by Michael Burawoy to the American Sociological Association, its identification and elaboration on an intellectual level was crucial to its popularisation. But is it possible that the voluminous literature that emerged in the years following has left us with a public sociology that is overly-discursive? While undoubtedly important, is there a risk that theorising about public sociology gets in the way of its practice? This event organised by The Sociological Review’s Early Career Forum takes as its starting point David Mellor’s 2011 argument that “we don’t need to debate public sociology anymore; we need to get good at it“. We invite early career researchers who share this aim to join us for a day of workshops, discussion and debate about how we can collectively improve our practice of public sociology. 

Speakers

Maddie Breeze, Queen Margaret University

Mark Carrigan, The Sociological Review

Ipek Demir, University of Leicester

Lambros Fatsis, University of Southampton

Ruth Pearce, University of Warwick

Workshops

Working With Community Groups Dan Silver, Social Action & Research Foundation and Alex Albert, University of Manchester

Theorising Public Sociology, Lambros Fatsis, University of Southampton

Social Media and Public Sociology, Mark Carrigan, The Sociological Review

Teaching Public Sociology, Maddie Breeze and Karl Johnson, Queen Margaret University

Writing Clearly for a Public Audience Simon Makin, Science Journalist

Working with Photo Archives, Ben Kyneswood, Photo Mining

Resistance in Higher Education, Res-Sisters

Friday September 23rd at the University of Warwick, 9:30am to 6:00pm

The culture and organisation of knowledge production are undergoing dramatic transformations.

Neo-managerialist models for the management of research and teaching, the expansion of audit and academic rankings, and the recasting of universities as service providers and students as consumers are just several of the main features of the ongoing marketisation of science, higher education and academia. Further important structural changes include the casualisation of academic labour and the “acceleration” of academic life.

These transformations concern the mathematical, natural and social sciences and humanities in equal measure, if perhaps in different ways. The careers, working lives and identities of scholars, researchers and higher education teachers are all affected.

In this symposium, we bring together international and UK-based scholars who study science, higher education and academia. We focus on a particular aspect of neoliberal academia, namely its anxiety-inducing environment – not as an object in itself, but as a symptom of what Ros Gill called “the hidden injuries of neoliberal academia” and of the need for meaningful change. We will discuss what is happening to the work, careers, lives, identities and epistemic communities of scientists, while the scientific institutions are changing.

We invite everyone interested in issues of work, labour and employment in the sciences and academia – scholars, students, practitioners, administrators – to join the symposium and take part in the discussions.

Speakers:

Liz Morrish – Metrics, Performance Management and the Anxious University
With responses by Gurminder K. Bhambra & Maria Ivancheva

Maggie O’Neill – Pace, Space and Well-Being: Containing Anxiety in the University
With responses by Vik Loveday & TBC

Filip Vostal – Beyond the dichotomy of slow and fast academia: On temporal multidimensionality of science
With responses by Mark Carrigan & Milena Kremakova

Each speaker will talk for thirty minutes, with responses of fifteen minutes each, before an hour’s open discussion.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/symposium-anxiety-and-work-in-the-accelerated-academy-tickets-26830825722

Co-edited by Mark Carrigan and William Housley

Social media is conventionally located within a commercial narrative that theorises an array of emerging ‘disruptive technologies’ that includes big data, additive manufacture and robotics. These and related technologies are underpinned by computational developments that are networked, distributed, digital and data driven. It has been argued that these technologies not only disrupt markets; but also wider social and economic relations and organization. These include social institutions such as the family, work, health care delivery, education, relationships and the ‘self’. But how do we separate the hype from the reality while nonetheless recognising how powerful this rhetoric is on a purely discursive level? What social futures are potentially shaped by social media and how can we talk about them in a way that emphasises our capacity to shape them collectively?

Social media is one of the first waves of digital disruptive technologies whose mass global take-up via multiple platforms is still being assessed and understood, as a social force in it’s own right. Standardly, ‘social media as data’ has provided a plethora of studies and projects that have examined the big and broad social data opportunities provided by the social media for understanding populations on the move ‘in real time’. In some cases this has led certain commentators to enthusiastically claim that the analysis of social media as data offers opportunities for prediction and the forecasting of behavior at the population level although this rhetoric is not without it’s skeptics and critics. Is this a plausible vision of the future? Is it a desirable one? Can we see a longstanding impulse towards addressing social problems finally having the necessary techniques and capacities to achieve its potential? Or are we witnessing a potentially authoritarian turn in which social engineering can operate with an unprecedented degree of granularity?

Furthermore, these methodological opportunities and oracular imaginaries are being accompanied by an ‘ontological velocity’ generated by the social and economic implications of social media as data, practice and a globalizing networked communicative force that is shaping being and becoming in the digital age. A key issue here is the relationship between social media, society, time and the ‘future making’ capacities and affordances of these and allied technologies. Yet little work has been carried out on the temporal ramifications of social media (and other disruptive technologies) in relation to emerging digital ‘timescapes’. To this extent the study of the relationship between social media and society remains under-conceptualized especially in relation to our understanding of late modernity at the beginning of the 21st century. The relationship between social media and the social generation of risk, it’s contributions to new digital timescapes and the trajectory of the self and identity alongside empirical concerns is sociological work in waiting. How does social media complicate or perhaps confirm existing theories of social change? Or is such epochal thinking itself a problem, ripe to be deployed by social media corporations apt at marketing their own ‘disruptive’ capacity?

For this special issue of Discover Society we  welcome short articles (1500 words) that relate to the above and the following topics:

  • Social Media, Timescapes and Futures
  • Social Media, Prediction and Critical Data Imaginaries
  • Visioneering, ‘Futures’ and Social Media
  • Tracing Emerging Technologies in the Digital Agora
  • The Future of Social Networks: Social Organization, Data and Engineering
  • Computational Politics and the challenges facing Democracy
  • Social Media and the Transformation of Everyday Life
  • Digital Afterlives? Social Media, Time, Traces and Accountability
  • Digital Social Science and Social Futures

Please see the Discover Society website for more details about formatting requirements. Articles should be accessible for a general audience, as well as accompanied by a suitable royalty-free image for publication and suggested tweets for @DiscoverSoc.

Timeline for contributions:

September 30th: Confirmed intention to submit with title & brief description

November 20th: Delivery of final article, with image and tweets

December 20th: Return of any requested edits and revisions

January 4th: Publication of the special issue

Contact details: Mark Carrigan (mark@markcarrigan.net) and William Housley (housleyw@cardiff.ac.uk)

BSA Sociologists outside Academia, in collaboration with Sage Publishing Ltd and the Sociological Imagination

Practical Sociology: Agenda for Action

A half-day workshop

British Psychological Society meeting rooms, Tabernacle St
London EC2A 4UE

Monday 17 October 2016, 12.30 – 4.30pm

How come – at least in the UK –you don’t come across people with ‘sociologist’ in their job title working in industry, business, the civil service, or pretty much anywhere outside academia or independent research organisations?

Sociologists seem to all reside in universities, unlike psychologists and economists, who have colonised many kinds of workplaces.

Most sociologists believe our subject is essential for understanding the world around us, or to resolve contemporary problems, from gender violence to climate change.  We have the concepts (like ‘cultural capital’, ‘intersectionality) and the theories (social mobility, moral panic).  But where are the practical sociologists?

So what would it take to establish a ‘practical sociology’ in the UK and elsewhere, with sociologists employed to use sociology concepts and models to address problems in industry, business, government, education or health?  This half-day workshop aims to establish an agenda for practical sociology.

The workshop will explore pressing questions about how a practical sociology may apply its expertise, skills and knowledge to problems at work or in the community.

  • What has prevented the emergence of practical sociology in the UK?
  • What are the core knowledge and models that are needed to solve the problems that organisations, businesses and the public sector face?
  • What kinds of skills would be needed to work as a practical sociologist?
  • How would a practical sociology career pan out?

This workshop will be of interest to sociologists and others who are keen to see the application of sociological concepts, models and theories in practical settings in the public, private and third sectors.  Please come along and help us set an agenda for developing practical sociology.

Registration

Book online at http://portal.britsoc.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT10571

BSA Members £5; Non-members £8; BSA Concessionary members and full-time students £3.

Tea and coffee will be provided: please bring your lunch.

Friday September 23rd at the University of Warwick, 9:30am to 6:00pm

The culture and organisation of knowledge production are undergoing dramatic transformations.

Neo-managerialist models for the management of research and teaching, the expansion of audit and academic rankings, and the recasting of universities as service providers and students as consumers are just several of the main features of the ongoing marketisation of science, higher education and academia. Further important structural changes include the casualisation of academic labour and the “acceleration” of academic life.

These transformations concern the mathematical, natural and social sciences and humanities in equal measure, if perhaps in different ways. The careers, working lives and identities of scholars, researchers and higher education teachers are all affected.

In this symposium, we bring together international and UK-based scholars who study science, higher education and academia. We focus on a particular aspect of neoliberal academia, namely its anxiety-inducing environment – not as an object in itself, but as a symptom of what Ros Gill called “the hidden injuries of neoliberal academia” and of the need for meaningful change. We will discuss what is happening to the work, careers, lives, identities and epistemic communities of scientists, while the scientific institutions are changing.

We invite everyone interested in issues of work, labour and employment in the sciences and academia – scholars, students, practitioners, administrators – to join the symposium and take part in the discussions.

Speakers:

Liz Morrish – Metrics, Performance Management and the Anxious University
With responses by Gurminder K. Bhambra & Maria Ivancheva

Maggie O’Neill – Pace, Space and Well-Being: Containing Anxiety in the University
With responses by Vik Loveday & TBC

Filip Vostal – Beyond the dichotomy of slow and fast academia: On temporal multidimensionality of science
With responses by Mark Carrigan & Milena Kremakova

Each speaker will talk for thirty minutes, with responses of fifteen minutes each, before an hour’s open discussion.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/symposium-anxiety-and-work-in-the-accelerated-academy-tickets-26830825722

November 30th t0 December 3rd 2016, Leiden University

From the 1980s onward, there has been an unprecedented growth of institutions and procedures for auditing and evaluating university research. Quantitative indicators are now widely used from the level of individual researchers to that of entire universities, serving to make academic activities more visible, accountable and amenable to university management and marketing. Further demands for accountability in academia can be related to general societal trends described under the heading of the audit society (Power 1997), and the evaluation society (Dahler-Larsen 2011). As part of broader transformations in research governance, indicators on publications and citations are now permeating academia: from global university rankings to journal-level bibliometrics such as the journal impact factor and individual measures like the h-index. Yet, it is only recently that considerable interest has been directed towards the effects that these measures might have on work practices and knowledge production (c.f. de Rijcke et al. 2015), and the role they might be playing in accelerating academic life more generally (c.f. Vostal 2016).

The Accelerated Academy draws together a number of cross-disciplinary conversations about the effects that acceleration towards metric forms of evaluation is having upon research, and the implications this holds for living and working in contemporary academia (Felt et al. 2009). Building on the successful maiden edition of the Accelerated Academy series in Prague in 2015, this year’s Leiden conference will be especially focussed towards the following questions:

  • What does acceleration mean in different research contexts?
  • What are the implications of digitally mediated measurement and tools for quantifying scholarly performance?
  • What are the knowledge gaps regarding the effects of metrics on scientific quality and societal relevance of research?
  • How can we harness the positive and minimize the adverse effects of performance measurement in universities?

Confirmed keynote speakers include Peter Dahler-Larsen (University of Copenhagen), Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna) and Michael Power (LSE).

We invite submissions for presentations of around 20 minutes. The deadline for submitting abstracts will be August 31st 2016. Please send two pages or 800 words describing your contribution including a short biographical note to: a.e.reyes.elizondo@cwts.leidenuniv.nl.

Conference organisers

Sarah de Rijcke, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University
Björn Hammarfelt, University of Borås, Sweden | Leiden University
Alex Rushforth, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University

Scientific committee

Mark Carrigan, University of Warwick
Tereza Stöckelová, Czech Academy of Sciences
Filip Vostal, Czech Academy of Sciences
Paul Wouters, Leiden University
Milena Kremakova, University of Warwick

Event registration will be free of charge. In addition, a limited number of travel and accommodation support bursaries will be made available for researchers especially inhibited by the costs of travel. Please contact the conference manager Andrea Reyes Elizondo  for more information.