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“But isn’t that what the psychologists do?”: the dangers of disciplinary boundary work

To respond to this particular crisis of measure, economics and psychology are being forcibly re-married. Behavioural and experimental economics have their earliest origins in game theory in the 1940s, which allowed economists and psychologists to compare normative rational choice-making—that is, according to neo-classical economics—with empirical choice-making, as observed under laboratory […]

3 tips for managing institutional, project and group twitter feeds in #HigherEd

In the last few years I’ve jointly or solely managed a whole range of twitter feeds – including @sociowarwick, @bsatheory, @bsapgform, @bsadigitalsoc, @lsepoliticsblog, @bsarealism, @digital_change, @soc_imagination, @asexstudies, @dis_of_dissent, @warwicksocsci and probably some others that I’ve forgotten about. Along the way I’ve learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Given […]

Rethinking the craft of social research

It is still the case that most social scientists view the research encounter as an interface between an observer and the observed, producing either quantitative or qualitative data. Equally, the dissemination of research findings are confined to conventional paper forms of publishing, and research excellence is measured and audited through […]

What does Twitter have to offer academics?

What’s the point of Twitter? Twitter has an image problem. It first penetrated the public consciousness in a way which has left it defined by celebrities and, particularly for academics, this is unattractive. However the academic twittersphere (for lack of a better term) is a relatively self-enclosed ecosystem. While you’ll undoubtedly find […]

What is ‘academic blogging’?

This question has been on my mind a lot this week. Largely because it occurred to me that I have yet to encounter a non-trivial answer to it. Sure, it’s easy to say academic blogging is blogging by academics. But what does this really tell us? Martin Weller has an interesting discussion along these lines […]

A Realist Approach to Semiotics

Semiosis is multi-functional (Jakobson 1990; Halliday 1994). It is simultaneously referential (or propositional, or ideational), social-relational (or interpersonal), and expressive. Thus, in the Habermasian terms introduced earlier, semiosis raises validity claims of truth, appropriateness and truthfulness/sincerity. Though it should hardly need saying, we insist on the importance of all three, including, contra Saussureans, the role […]

Social Theory and Fragmentation

Sociology seems to produce a number of co-existing and mutually exclusive (semi) paradigms which continually split and re-form in different combinations. Those who are committed to the idea of the necessity of a ‘theoretical core’ frequently argue that such a situation represents a moment of synthesis, a moment that requires […]

Emotions and Reflexivity

Archer’s account has recently been subject to criticism for allegedly marginalising the role of emotion in reflexivity (Burkitt 2012, Holmes 2010). Though largely stemming from reading her recent work in isolation, such that the elaborate account of the emotions given in Archer (2000) is ignored, the form the critique takes raises […]