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The substitute socialisation of the marine corp

From J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, pg 173-174: The Marine Corps assumes maximum ignorance from its enlisted folks. It assumes that no one taught you anything about physical fitness, personal hygiene, or personal finances. I took mandatory classes about balancing a checkbook, saving, and investing. When I came home from boot […]

some thoughts on responsibility

At an event in Liverpool last week, I was asked by Steve Fuller about what I understood responsibility to mean in a sociological sense. He was sceptical that I could support claims of responsibility given my understanding of human agency as situationally performative but biographically continuous. In essence I understood him to be asking: do […]

The concept of social institution

In this very useful paper Dave Elder-Vass observes that the concept of ‘social institution’ is almost as diverse as that of ‘social structure’: The concept of social institution is almost as diverse in its referents as the concept of social structure. The Collins Dictionary of Sociology, for example, begins its […]

Cats vs racoons

I see my cat act in a similar way when a local stray comes to steal her food. She acts aggressively towards the other cat but has no idea what to do when the other cat completely fails to respond, having no interest in performing territoriality but only in acquiring […]

Against ‘norm circles’

Dave Elder-Vass (2010: 122) argues that normativity should be understood as a result of ‘norm circles’ which “have emergent causal powers to influence their members, by virtue of the ways in which those members interact in them”. These powers are founded on the commitment which members of the circle have […]

Being Human and Social Normativity

In my last two posts on Being Human I discussed Archer’s account of emotions as commentaries on human concerns and her analysis of natural, practical and social affectivity. In this post I’ll explore her understanding of social normativity in greater detail before moving onto a discussion of the transition from first-order emotionality to second-order emotionality in a […]

“Oh there are other people just like me? I’m not so weird after all”: the internet, social change and social integration

I’ve been preoccupied recently by parallels I keep observing between common features of asexual biographies and those of other groups who share a common trait. In the case of asexuality this ‘common trait’ is not experiencing sexual attraction. Exactly what this entails about the individual’s experience and what, in turn, this experience has […]