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The Sociological Review Blog

Following the success of our themed blogs in 2020, this year The Sociological Review’s online content will continue to be themed each month. We’re now open to ideas for content connecting with the themes listed, with guidance for submission below. We particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers, as well as those established in their field.

Themes for 2021

January – Annual Break

February – Migrations
Deadline for initial pitch: December 22nd 2020
Deadline for submission: January 8th 2021
As sociologists how are we to make sense of the existence of state boundaries, their manifestation, and impact on social life? Journeys of migration have always and continue to be geo-politically complex and individually and collectively subjective. Notions of permanence or belonging, both physically and mentally cannot be easily located, and there continues to be a need for renewed precision and understanding of lives lived within and beyond boundaries of national citizenship. This month we are inviting sociological reflections on migrations, boundaries and belongings.

Books for review: Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant identities in a Globalized World by Tahseen Shams, and Deporting Black Britons by Luke De Nora.

March – Art and Representation
Deadline for initial pitch: January 20th 2021
Deadline for submission: February 3rd 2021
Sociological studies of art production, display, and commodification have revealed a great deal about one way in which social groups make sense of themselves and their relationship with others. Recent controversies in art markets, museums and galleries remind us of the fundamentally political nature of representation. We would very much like to hear from those working to illuminate the social life of art objects, and the sets of political and economic arrangements that exist around and through them.

Books for review: Culture is bad for you: Inequality in the cultural and creative industries by Orian Brook, Dave O’Brien and Mark Taylor.

April – Class
Deadline for initial pitch: February 19th 2021
Deadline for submission: 5th March 2021
Class is a fundamental category of sociological analysis, but its actual deployment in research is often somewhat imprecise. For April’s monthly theme, we would like to hear from sociologists and others exploring social class in a range of contexts, adding precision to this crucial concept in the process, and to hear about the ways in which class analysis is being used to reveal material and symbolic divisions and solidarities.

Books for review: Living Against Austerity by Emma Craddock, and Austerity, Women and the Role of the State by Vicki Dabrowski.

May – Digital Social Life
Deadline for initial pitch: March 19th 2021
Deadline for submission: April 6th 2021
In a dynamic digital social world, sociological thinking has an important role to play, sharpening inquiries into the very large numbers of connections and communications fostered online, which often further blur distinctions between the public and the private. Sociologists continue to explore the theoretical and empirical manifestations of new forms of data extractions, which exist alongside the ways in which emerging technologies and platforms influence social formations and identities. For this theme, we are keen to hear from researchers exploring – in both theoretical and empirical ways – the digital as a site of ‘social life’.

Books for review: The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain by Francesca Sobande, and Sonic Intimacy: Reggae Sound Systems, Jungle Pirate Radio and Grime YouTube Music Videos by Malcolm James.

June – Sociological Theories
Deadline for initial pitch: April 20th 2021
Deadline for submission: May 4th 2021
Theory occupies a somewhat ambivalent place within contemporary sociology. Despite being a crucial element of ‘the sociological imagination’ (to coin a phrase), theory is often associated with histories of ideas, and with abstracted, reflected analysis rather than as a crucial part of critical interrogations of the social world. In June we will be focusing attention on sociological theories, with a particular focus on how theory can animate sets of practices and empirical sites of inquiry.

Books for review: Decolonising Sociology by Ali Meghji.

July – Climate Justice
Deadline for initial pitch: May 20th 2021
Deadline for submission: June 3rd 2021
Climate Justice is a term applied to human-centered approaches that address climate crises as including broadened sets of civil rights issues, with far-reaching implications beyond the environmental, directly understood. For this month, we hope to receive work that considers dimensions of climate justice – and the global disparities highlighted by the crisis – from distinctly sociological perspectives.

Books for review: The Anthropocene in Global Media: Neutralizing the Risk by Leslie Sklair.

August – Film and Television
Deadline for initial pitch: June 21st 2021
Deadline for submission: June 28th 2021
There is so much potential in sociological engagements with film and television. Thinking about the way social life is represented, how information is communicated through the media, and the connections and disconnections they afford, this month we hope to receive a lively selection of theoretical and empirical analyses of film and television, and are open to exploring non-textual ways of doing such.

Books for review: tbc

September – New Solidarities
Deadline for initial pitch: July 20th 2021
Deadline for submission: August 3rd 2021
The contemporary context is one in which new forms of solidarity are being forged, precisely in response to the collective threats and potential alienations that in many ways can be seen to characterise modern social life. This month, we would like to hear about hopeful and collective projects, of radical care and social kindnesses, and forms of organisation that have set out to create and mobilise solidarities of different kinds. What can sociology contribute to our understanding of such interventions?

Books for review: tbc

October – Generations
Deadline for pitch: August 20th 2021
Deadline for draft: September 3rd 2021
In recent years, we have witnessed a great deal of public discourse emerge around the notion of generational divides. Whether that be boomers, millennials or Gen Z, oftentimes generational waves become entangled with political explanations for social change. We are interested to hear from sociologists and others who are not taking for granted these categories, but who are exploring the ways in which generations provide framings for politicised accounts of the social world.

Books for review: tbc

November – Methods and Methodologies
Deadline for pitch: September 20th 2021
Deadline for draft: October 4th 2021
Methods are so fundamental to the sociological enterprise that each year we set aside one of our monthly themes to this crucial area. Far from being a set of abstracted or technical methods, methods and methodological reflections imply critical approaches to the sets of issues at hand. For this month, we hope to be surprised by the creative ways methods have been deployed in a range of studies, helping to illuminate parts of social life that are often rendered opaque.

Books for review: Problem Spaces: How and Why Methodology Matters by Celia Lury.

December – PGR open call
Deadline for initial pitch: October 20th 2021
Deadline for submission: November 3rd 2021
At The Sociological Review we are committed to opening up spaces to hear about new currents in research, which serve to refresh and reconfigure the sociological enterprise. With this in mind, each year we have an ‘Open Call’ for postgraduate researchers to tell us about their research. Against this backdrop, we look forward to publishing a topically diverse set of inquiries and reflections.

Books for review: tbc

Guidance for Submission to the Blog

Please email your initial pitch to Priya.Sharma@TheSociologicalReview.com by the deadline for your chosen theme. Your pitch will be considered by our Digital Editor in relation to other content we have planned for that month.

We’re looking for strong, original ideas grounded in sociological thinking that can be encapsulated in a single blog post of 1000-1500 words, or equivalent (if you will not be using text). We do not want to receive summaries of your research, but specific, interesting angles you can pull from it, which will hold their own in a standalone piece.

Pitches don’t need to take a particular form (you can write or audio-record your ideas and there’s no required word count but please be concise). They should include:

  • Your core argument.
  • The central ‘hook’ of your proposed blog: perhaps a specific quote, event, incident, a central question that sprang from your data, or something surprising that’s come out of your work.
  • The sociologist/s that give context to your argument, on whom you’d draw in your proposed blog.
  • Please include a short biography with your pitch.

All of our blog pitches and posts currently need to be received in English, but we welcome submissions from those using English as an additional language and will provide support to those who may need assistance adjusting their work in written English to a publishable standard.

If you are submitting audio or visual work for consideration for the blog, if you have one, please also send an example of your work in this area . If you are submitting content in visual or audio form, please include a note on how this could be made accessible to those who are blind, partially sighted and/or D/deaf.

Our manifesto provides direction for those wishing to submit to TSR Journal. Similarly, at the blog, we seek contributors who: 1) see sociology as an intelligent way of understanding what is happening in the world; 2) contribute to an ethos in which reflection and critique are aimed at opening up issues for action and debate rather than closing them down; 3) actually want to read each other’s work, so as to be informed by the various bodies of writing circulating in the name of sociology and its cognate disciplines. We understand that sociological thinking does not just take place in sociology.

We will let you know if we would like to see a draft of your proposed piece as soon as possible after each deadline. Please note that an invitation to send a draft is not a guarantee of publication; a further process of review takes place after the submission of your blog.

Social Media

Each month’s theme will also inform what we share on our social media platforms. If you would like to share articles, reading lists, art works, films or other media on these themes, please get in touch via Social Media.

Book Reviews and Sociological Fiction

In addition to blogs, we’ll be publishing material in visual, audio, and written form (as well as continuing with our Book Reviews and Sociological Fiction, both of which are very important to us).

We welcome proposals for book reviews in connection with our themes, reviews of books written in non-English languages, and reviews of sociological fiction and film. Books for review are listed with each theme above. If you are interested in reviewing one of these books for our digital themes or would like to suggest a title for review please get in touch with our reviews editor at: reviews@thesociologicalreview.com. Don’t forget to say why you want to review the selected title and how it connects to your own work and expertise. Our reviews are usually around 1,000 words and are published online.

Information on submitting to the ongoing Sociological Fiction series can be found here.

Image Maker-in-Residence

In addition to these spaces, each month, our Instagram account will showcase ‘Image-Makers in Residence’, whose work illuminates something uniquely visual about each theme. We would be happy to host existing work, or give support for the production of new work, and we will discuss how to frame and introduce your residency with you. We have no predetermined ideas of what this content might look like, nor whether or not the practitioners consider themselves sociologists. If your work has a visual element and is related to our themes, or if you would like to inform us of someone else’s work, please email [Laura.Harris@TheSociologicalReview.com] by the given deadline for the relevant theme below.

Please note, the guidance above applies to the blog. All details about the process of submitting to The Sociological Review journal can be found here.

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