Essays

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Essays

Brexit and the Failure of Pre-emptive Reconciliation: A study of the General Data Protection Regulation

By Daniel Neyland and Sveta Milyaeva Introduction As Britain faces up to a post European Union future, commentators and politicians compete and sometimes struggle to explain the result of the referendum. Against a backdrop of warnings of the detrimental effect of an exit from the IMF[1] and World Bank[2], opinion polls too close to call […]

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Big Data Sociology: Preparing for the Brave New World

By Hamish Robertson and Joanne Travaglia The emergence of the big data paradigm has taken place over centuries of development, emerging from a variety of pioneering uses into what we now call the information sciences. In addition to its theoretical and technical implications, big data clearly has growing implications for individuals and societies. The current representation of big […]

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Reorienting Sociology: Disruption and Digital Technology

By William Housley Reorienting sociology is a phrase that builds on the endless ‘turns’ that prefigured the current phase of defining the discipline. It is a navigational frame and needs to be treated with caution, lest it be applied with unreflexive haste. The recent explosion of interest in the emerging contours of digital society and new […]

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On the Poverty of Student Choice

By Jamie Woodcock and Alberto Toscano After the previous White Paper, ‘Students at the Heart of the System’, which accompanied an increase of tuition fees to £9,000 a year, higher education is now faced with a new White Paper, whose title has a strangely 1990s ring to it: ‘Success as a Knowledge Economy’. When the […]

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The Humanities in an Age of Impact

By Kelli Barr and Samantha Langsdale Special Section on the Future of Research Governance How do the humanities stand today? Even a brief survey of recent news regarding the changing landscape of the humanities reveals a noticeable “crisis motif”. The humanities are clearly on the defensive against closures and budget cuts made in the name of […]

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Swimming Upstream: Sociology Beyond Description

By Nicholas Gane In this special series for The Sociological Review website, innovative sociologists reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing the discipline today. In thefifth essay, Nicholas Gane, Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, reflects on the alleged failure of Sociology to address the causes of the financial crisis.  On the eve of the […]

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On Doing Words With Things: Citizens, Claims and Digital Acts

By Evelyn Ruppert In this special series for The Sociological Review website, innovative sociologists reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing the discipline today. In the third essay, Evelyn Ruppert, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, considers the questions which the internet poses for political subjectivity and the challenge this raises for Digital Sociology. Who is […]

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Committing Sociology: Defending the Public University

By Gurminder K Bhambra In this special series for The Sociological Review website, innovative sociologists reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing the discipline today. In the fifth essay, Gurminder K. Bhambra, Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, places the attack upon the public university in historical context, arguing that the intellectual and political vitality of […]

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Are We Seeing the Closing of Sociology’s Mind?

By Les Back In this special series for The Sociological Review website, innovative sociologists reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing the discipline today. In the second essay, Les Back, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, highlights the dangers posed to Sociology by the narrow criteria through which ‘impact’ is measured. He argues that we risk a […]

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Zygmunt Bauman

Ask Not What You Can Do for Ethnomethodology

By Robin Smith Since the 1960s, various sociologists and philosophers have taken it upon themselves to describe what ethnomethodology is, what ethnomethodologists should study, and what ethnomethodologists should learn from sociology’s professional troubles. In 1973, Zygmunt Bauman took his turn. As others have noted, there are various flaws in Bauman’s account and the article contains a number […]

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The Future of Intimacy: Love, Sex and other Life Projects

By Nathan Emmerich Earlier this year the UK High Court rejected an appeal from Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld to be allowed to have a civil partnership. Whilst this opposite sex couple could get married – something that is now available to same sex couples in England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland – they and, it […]

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Defining and Challenging New Nationalism

By Sivamohan Valluvan Brexit represented the formal consolidation of a new electoral coalition in the UK: middle-income conservatives as dotted across the green shires and provincial towns of England hitched to huge swathes of previously Labour voting working-class Britain. Much ink has been accordingly spilt trying to account for the different motivations and socio-economic circumstances […]

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Robert King Merton as Prodigy

By Alan Sica This article is part of our Past and Present series, in which current scholars look back at earlier works published in the journal. Robert K. Merton once remarked on the difference between scholastic interpretation and heuristic value in assessing sociology’s classical thinkers. His influential essay ‘Puritanism, Pietism and Science’ (PPS), showed just […]

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A Salute to the ‘Exegetical Giddens’: Durkheim scholar

By Matt Dawson This article is part of our Past and present series, in which current scholars look back at earlier works published in the journal. There is an old joke, once given an outing in The Sociological Review (SR), that there must be more than one Anthony Giddens. How else to explain the publishing phenomenon that […]

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Zygmunt Bauman

Bauman? On Ethnomethodology?

By Phillip Brooker I would like to acknowledge, with great thanks, the Manchester Ethnomethodology/Wittgenstein reading group, and especially Wil Coleman, Alex Dennis and Wes Sharrock who willingly spent a session indulging me in discussing the article in question. The expert insight they have offered has been hugely appreciated, and I hope the piece that follows […]

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