Previous Sociology Research Seminars
- Wednesday 1 November: Social networks and the impact of friendships on colleague feedback assessments for doctors (speaker: Sebastian Stevens, Health - University of Plymouth)
- Wednesday 29 November: Architecture, spatial violence, and social control at the intersections of urbanism and technology (speaker: Dr Nikolina Bobic, Architecture - University of Plymouth)
During Spring 2017, the Sociology Research Seminars were centred around the research strengths of the Sociology team, introducing and presenting the recent and ongoing research projects. Below is the keyword-focused outline of the meetings.
Wednesday 29 March
- Input 1: Dr Julie Parsons
Keywords: Structural inequalities and social exclusion; gender and class; families and everyday life; food and foodways; embodiment and obesity; health and illness; culture; resettlement; desistance; visual methods and participatory approaches to research.
- Input 2: Dr Roberto Kulpa
Keywords: gender and sexuality, queer studies; sexuality, nationalism and state; feminism and intersectionality; social identities; intimate relationships and friendship; the ideas of ‘West’, ‘Europe’, and the ‘Eastern Europe’; geopolitics of knowledge production; decolonial and post-colonial projects.
Wednesday 3 May
Keywords: the social and political thought of Hannah Arendt; social and political theory/philosophy of social science; cultural studies: truth, power, signification; critical discourse analysis; contradictions in regulatory and professional discourses; neoliberalism, dispossession and choice; governmentality, biopower and population control; surplus/superfluous populations.
- Input 2: Dr Lyvinia Rogers Elleschild
Keywords: Gender and sexualities; social Identities and social Inequalities; community Studies and youth policy; commodification of the body; sociology of emotions; life-course sociology; space, place, belonging and exclusion; oral history/story telling.
Wednesday 17 May (aka: ‘The Double Bill: Double the Sheaffs – Twice the Fun!’)
- Input 1: Professor Rod Sheaff
Keywords: health policy and policy implementation; evidence based practice; discourse and ideology; sociology of health, illness and organisations; organisational theory; the hollowed-out state and governance; mixed methods and realist evaluation.
Keywords: Health, illness, and health inequalities; dementia; personal privacy; organisational secrecy and whistleblowing; employment relationships and power; social identities and sense of self; labour movements and new social movements.Wednesday 26 April
- Guest presentation: We welcomed Dr Michael Skey, Loughborough University,
presenting on the issues of nationalism and globalisation in the 21st century
Keywords: nationalism, belonging, Europe, devolution, globalisation, multiculturalism, community cohesion.
TITLE: Why do nations matter? The struggle for belonging and security in an uncertain world
This presentation explores the reasons why national forms of identification and organisation (might) matter in the contemporary era. In the first part, recent research on everyday nationalism is combined with insights from micro-sociology and discursive psychology to highlight the importance of routine practices, institutional arrangements and symbolic systems in contributing to a relatively settled sense of identity, place and community. In the second, I use data from my own qualitative research among the ethnic majority in England (alongside insights from other regions) to explore the hierarchies of belonging that operate within a given national setting. Here, there is a particular focus on how members of the majority position themselves as the arbiters of national space and culture and, as a result, lay claim to key material and psychological benefits. In articulating such views, they also point to the (perceived) threats that certain minority groups represent to both their own status and the nation, which are often articulated in relation to the most banal incidents and objects.
In conclusion, it is argued that these insights may be used to offer a fresh perspective on current policy debates around national belonging, multiculturalism and community cohesion. At present, an undue emphasis on minorities (what they do, don't do or should do) has meant that little or no attention has been focused on the status of the majority; where are they situated? What are their interests and how are they articulated and justified? In foregrounding the discomfort and insecurity that many members of this group seem to feel, we can begin to unravel what is at stake for them at the current time. In unmasking the significance of different identity formations, we are also in a better position to understand how and why different social groups mobilise and, as a result, offer more practical solutions to some of the most entrenched social conflicts.
BIOGRAPHY: Michael Skey is a lecturer in communication and media at Loughborough University. He was previously a lecturer in media and cultural studies at University of East Anglia and has also taught sociology at UEL and University of Leicester. His research interests are in the areas of; national belonging, globalisation, sociology of everyday life, media events and rituals, mediatisation, sport and discourse theory. His monograph National Belonging & Everyday Life was the winner of the 2012 BSA/Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.