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Think Tank Watch

Business organisation the Institute of Directors (IoD) has called for collective bargaining to be scrapped for teachers and NHS staff. They are among a set of proposals the trades unions have described as a “Thatcherite fantasy world”. The IoD put a series of recommendations to government to cut red tape […]

Marriage

“And for some there was a sense that they wanted others to witness their vows not simply as a statement of love or of politics, but in order to make real or tangible what had hitherto been private promises. It was as if making public their commitment meant that there […]

Dave Elder-Vass on Normativity

Although only a single chapter of this book deals explicitly with normativity, it is a credit to Elder-Vass that much of the book either supports or proceeds from his arguments about norms. In this post I will only engage with this one chapter but it’s worth noting that the book […]

Domain Analysis (draft #2)

This is a second attempt to visually represent the ontology I’m working within in my PhD research.  One of my key aims is to try and offer an emergent account of psychobiography, able to capture the complex multidimensional causality which shapes a particular person’s unfolding biographical trajectory. The top half […]

The self to itself

In his Emotion in Social Life Derek Layder (2004: 13) argues that there are three main objects which individuals seek to control through the exercise of their agency: “the self as object of its own control, other people and the individual’s current life situation”. Through an understanding of our own characteristics […]

Why I like blogs

Blogs are often seen as a somewhat unglamorous medium. Witness BBC journalist Andrew Marr’s dismissal of bloggers at the Cheltenham Literary Festival last year:  “A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting.” However in conversations […]

Orthorexia Nervosa?

Eating disorder charities are reporting a rise in the number of people who suffer from a condition known as orthorexia nervosa – which derives from the Greek word meaning ‘right’ or ‘correct’. Unlike anorexia, orthorexia is not recognised as a medical term but instead classed as a mental health condition […]

The Sex Drive Hypothesis

Characteristically, the scientist confronts a complex interaction system – in this case, an interaction between man and opium. He observes a change in the system – the man falls asleep. The scientist then explains the change by giving a name to a fictitious ’cause’, located in one or other component […]

Biological Determinism

Young chimps play make-believe games in which they pretend that a favourite stick is a baby for nurturing and even putting to bed, according to a 14-year study of the animals in Uganda. Biologists watched the chimps in the forests of Kibale National Park in Uganda and found intriguing differences in […]

Commonality and Difference

Lada Adamic, a researcher at HP Labs, studied the users of an online student centre at Stanford called Club Nexus and found that two students were likely to be friends if their interests overlapped, and that the likelihood rose if the shared interests were more specific. (Two people who like […]

Solitude and Interiority

The historians taught us long ago that the King was never left alone. But, in fact, until the end of the seventeeth century, nobody was ever left alone. The density of social life made isolation virtually impossible, and people who managed to shut themselves up in a room for some […]

Welcome to my new blog. For a number of years now I’ve had a personal blog and a research blog but as my PhD has progressed they have got increasingly neglected. The former went into decline because I started to find it much more fun to turn what would be […]