Much is made of the persistent structures of inequality that determine the production and distribution of goods and services across the world, but less is known about the inequalities of global academic knowledge production, and even a smaller amount about the nature of the publication industry upon which this production process depends. Reflecting on an international study of academic publishing that has been framed within the lens of Southern theory, this article explores some of the issues facing those who work and publish in the global South, and offers an analysis of several of the mechanisms that assist to maintain the inequalities of the knowledge system. The focus then moves to an examination of some recent developments in academic publishing which challenge the dominance of the global North: the building of alternative transnational circuits of publishing that provide effective pathways for the distribution of academic knowledge from ‘inside the global South’.
Knowledge networks have been discussed as mechanisms that facilitate access to resources and information. They are noted as organizations that promote the generation of new contacts and interactions between actors in order to produce knowledge that increases the speed and reliability of communication. They are also understood as platforms that encourage learning and knowledge coordination in order to advance technoscientific innovation processes. Despite these benefits, knowledge networks can engender areas of tension. The article examines the tensions in knowledge networks by analysing the theoretical convergences and divergences between social capital insights, actor-network theory and several contributions from the sociologies of the south. The following four categories are discussed: (1) hierarchy production; (2) blockages to the access to resources; (3) the spatialization of networks; and (4) the different ways of understanding power. The latter offer opportunities to make the tensions in knowledge networks visible. The article proposes initiating a discussion focused on the dynamic movement of asymmetries to analyse knowledge networks between the global North and the global South as entities that are in a process of constant negotiation.
Shifts from professionals to volunteers are observed across national contexts and in various types of public services, particularly in long-term care and social work. This article examines how professionals and volunteers in the Netherlands perform boundary work to construct, maintain and dissolve boundaries between them in the context of social service reform. Two types of boundary work were found: demarcation work and welcoming work. Demarcation work relates to a situation where differences in knowledge, authority and reliability between professionals and volunteers are emphasised. Welcoming work involves the efforts of professionals to welcome specific volunteers to their professional domain. This study examines the implications of the second type of boundary work for structural characteristics of the social service sector. It concludes that although welcoming work can lead to deprofessionalisation, it can also promote the professionalisation of nurses and social workers.
In recent decades, several sociologists have moved beyond grand theories of international relations, and empirically examined the motivations of US foreign policy leading into the 21st century. This article discusses the work of three political sociologists who have examined US foreign policy from three prominent perspectives: Michael Mann, William Robinson, and Julian Go. Working from a neo-Weberian perspective, Mann highlights the rise of neoconservatism within the US government that has encouraged foreign expansion. From a neo-Marxist perspective, Robinson emphasizes the importance of transnational capitalist class interests, including the promotion of neoliberal policies, on US foreign policy. And working from a world-systems perspective, Go underscores how the US is a hegemon in decline attempting to regain its imperial footing through military aggression. While these researchers cover much ground and raise important questions, their perspectives also contain several blindspots that future work on issues of US foreign policy could address. Most importantly, these three theoretical perspectives have neglected the importance of ideology in making sense of contemporary US foreign policy, and this article argues that future work should more intensively examine how ideology influences foreign policymaking in the US.
Retractions of scientific articles are becoming the most relevant institution for making sense of scientific misconduct. An increasing number of retracted articles, mainly attributed to misconduct, is currently providing a new empirical basis for research about scientific misconduct. This article reviews the relevant research literature from an interdisciplinary context. Furthermore, the results from these studies are contextualized sociologically by asking how scientific misconduct is made visible through retractions. This study treats retractions as an emerging institution that renders scientific misconduct visible, thus, following up on the sociology of deviance and its focus on visibility. The article shows that retractions, by highlighting individual cases of misconduct and general policies for preventing misconduct while obscuring the actors and processes through which retractions are effected, produce highly fragmented patterns of visibility. These patterns resemble the bifurcation in current justice systems.
This article presents original research on relations between middle-class residents and informal-sector workers in Delhi, India. It shows how middle-class associations used their consumption preferences as well as relationships with local authorities to legitimize the work of street hawkers and waste workers. These findings suggest that the toleration of informality can be traced to governance regimes comprised of both state and non-state powerbrokers.
Feminist theory has addressed relations of difference, heterogeneity, and hierarchy within gender groups as well as the entanglement of various forms of differentiation, power, and inequality for a long time. This does not mean that there was unanimity with regard to the best way of doing this, though. Today, we can distinguish different approaches in this regard, and there is contestation about both the analytical and the political advantages and pitfalls of each of them. This article concentrates on two of these approaches: on the one hand on intersectional ones, which strongly focus on inequality; and on the other hand on postcolonial feminist theories, which put the emphasis on global power relations and interactions. The article discusses select positions of both intersectional and postcolonial feminist theories in conjunction, and argues why and how they should be conceptualized as complementary.
For the past generation scholars have written about violence, crime, and conflict in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. While this scholarship has developed an extensive understanding of the problem of violence and criminal control of the city’s favelas it has not yet effectively engaged in a discussion of the implications of differential types of crime creating local security orders. Building on research in two different city regions in Rio de Janeiro, this article examines how different types of crime groups emerge from varied forms of social disorganization and contribute to particular models of social control and order. The article examines the varying relationships and exchanges built by drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro’s Zona Norte (Northern Zone) and milícias in the city’s Zona Oeste (Western Zone). The actions of these criminal organizations emerge from and promote orders that affect the lived political, social, and economic experiences of residents of favelas.
This article deals with the problem of political participation and public sphere learning by adolescents during the mass protests in contemporary Russia and Ukraine. Referring to theories of contentious politics and the public sphere in the post-communist world, the author highlights the debate around the relations between private and public in this context: is the value of public participation formed in the private sphere and then translated into a public one? Or rather, is the public realm something opposite to the private? Using in-depth biographical interviews with the adolescents participating in the Bolotnaya and Maidan movements, the author considers this dilemma through the lens of activists’ socialization. The analysis discovers that there is no direct connection between the values of private independence and public freedom during the growing-up process of adolescent activists. The values of private independence appropriated by Russian adolescents do not automatically translate into practices in the public sphere, and, conversely, Ukrainian activists strongly adhere to an ethic of political freedom, but to do it they prefer to break with the values of the private sphere rather than transfer them into politics. To conclude, the author discusses some implications of the analysis of political participation of adolescents on how notions of private and public are composed in Russia and Ukraine.
Most discussions about scale are largely silent on religion. They sidestep the issue of a subjective understanding of geography. But places are scaled and rescaled on the basis of their changing importance within imagined and remembered religious landscapes. This article shows how Santa Ana de Guadalupe in Jalisco, Mexico, and the devotions to Santo Toribio that are based there, became a religious hotspot within a transnational religious landscape connecting specific parts of Mexico and the USA. The authors argue that its heightened religious significance rescaled Santa Ana but that religion did not act alone. Santa Ana also lies at the intersection between multiple economic, religious, and political projects that, taken together, greatly enhanced its position within the transnational religious map it helped create.
In light of the high incidence of rhino poaching in southern Africa, the African rhinoceros might become extinct in the wild in the near future. Scholars from a variety of disciplines have analysed drivers of illegal hunting and poaching behaviour in general terms. Existing scholarship on rhino poaching proffers a simplistic concurrence of interlinked drivers, including the entry of transnational organized crime into wildlife crime, opportunity structures and the endemic poverty facing people living close to protected areas. By engaging with the lived experiences and social worlds of poachers and rural communities, this article reflects on empirical evidence gathered during ethnographic fieldwork with poachers, prisoners and local people living near the Kruger National Park. It is argued that the socio-political and historical context and continued marginalization of local people are significant factors facilitating poaching decisions at the grassroots level. Green land grabs and the systematic exclusion of local people from protected areas, as well as the growing securitization of anti-poaching responses, are aiding the perception that the wild animal is valued more highly than black rural lives. As a consequence, conservationists and law enforcers are viewed with disdain and struggle to obtain cooperation. The article critiques the current fortress conservation paradigm, which assumes conflict-laden relationships between local people and wildlife.
This article analyzes political practices shaping water usage in the Mexico City region. Based on four different case studies, it reflects on the role of intermediaries in the state restructuring process. The cases explore political negotiation over the use of water in contexts of shortage or abundance, clean potable water, or waste water. The article illustrates how the use of natural resources affects the state’s role and how it reconfigures citizen participation. It compares traditional political mechanisms such as clientelism or electoral promotion, with emergent informal practices such as the multiplication of intermediaries who distribute water privately, but are ambiguously subsidized and organized by public institutions. It concludes that unequal water provision and intermediaries are key elements for the renewal of state legitimacy.
In response to the economic crisis in Southern European cities, citizens have turned to political unrest. This article analyzes these responses in terms of the return of ‘reciprocity practices’ parallel to forms of informality more commonly seen in cities of the Global South. Citizen self-organization to cover basic needs can be read as a strategy of resistance similar to that identified as quiet encroachment; but to the extent that it is politicized, it also becomes part of the political struggle for rights. Through the case of Barcelona, this article analyzes how social groups are politicizing their survival practices, using the case of sub-Saharan migrants living in abandoned factories in the city. The article’s aim is to show how in the context of weakening citizenship rights, there is a growth of informal practices that become unevenly politicized among different groups.
Informality is both produced by and an inherent characteristic of state practices. It thus requires close scrutiny of the structures, nature and uneven distribution of power between state and society. Using a focus on three different parks in Berlin, this article demonstrates how informality is appropriated and institutionalized in the planning regimes of pioneer urbanism at Tempelhofer Freiheit; how in everyday law enforcement, legality is stretched by policing illegitimate activities in zones of exceptions at Görlitzer Park; and why, in Preußenpark (aka Thai Park), the state embodies a theatricality of polyvalent performances, turning a blind eye to certain activities which are not tolerated in other settings. This analysis reveals the Janus-faced governance of social practices even as it exposes the inherent ambiguities in everyday statehood, in which the state is regulating activities that are beyond its rules and, at the same time, violating its own internal rules.
Developing countries are often characterized by a mix of bad governance and development initiatives seeking to accelerate modernization. When inevitable cracks in the modernization process appear, they create opportunities for informalities to seep in where the influence of power relations and culture can lead to new forms of predation or allow governance compromises to emerge. The article explores this at the national and local levels of the Pakistani electrical power sector, with each level conceptualized as a field of strategic action. The aim is to recognize the importance of emergent compromises for producing workable accommodations of competing interests, improving access to services, and addressing questions of social justice. Flexibility in responding to these cracks in the modernization process is not always a failing, but can be desirable and possibly necessary.
Democratic governance is increasingly focused on active citizenship. Governments in the Global North seek to make residents responsible for improving their communities. Democracy, however, is not solely experienced in abstract terms, it also materializes through more informal everyday interactions with public officials. This article explores the significance of routine and performative street-level encounters that shape people’s experience of belonging or exclusion in a democratic state through a methodology of narrative mapping. Two ethnographic vignettes reveal the disjuncture between formal policy strategies that seek to foster citizenship and residents’ informal tactics to perform citizenship in an urban neighborhood in the Netherlands. The article underscores a paradox: the fact that formal strategies can inadvertently disrupt informal citizenship tactics, and thereby undermine the goals of an inclusive project.
Anybody wishing to position Bafatá (Guinea-Bissau), Berlin (Germany) and Tallinn (Estonia) side by side would encounter a number of reasons why these cities should not be compared. To unmake such hesitations, this article offers a conceptual and methodological exploration of the ways in which these cities might be analysed comparatively through a methodological strategy termed multi-sited individualising comparison. This exploratory approach allows to talk across individual research projects in different sites. In applying this methodology to Bafatá, Berlin and Tallinn, the authors demonstrate how case studies in these different cities can be compared around a common interest, namely informal processes and their relations to states.
This article discusses formalization processes in the context of urban conflict, focusing on the ways adversarial power relations dictate methods and outcomes of formalization. Based on analysis of the formalization of public transport in ethno-nationally contested Jerusalem, the article demonstrates the production of a mode of formalization, which the author terms sub-formalization. This mode is characterized by severe deviation from professional and administrative norms, both in methods and outcomes, and usually results in inferior solutions and irregular arrangements for challenging informality. In sub-formalization, modern rationality – which constructs planners’ professional authority – is eroded by powers from above and below. Therefore sub-formality represents a mutation of modern, rational, West-oriented planning, coming as a result of the encounter with informality and resistance in a way that blurs dichotomization between the formal and informal. In the context of an ongoing urban conflict, as in the case of East Jerusalem, sub-formality is also utilized by the state to maintain urban marginality and secure existing power hierarchies.
São Paulo is a megacity defined by formal and informal patterns of urbanization. Informally urbanized spaces are not absent of state intent, despite appearances. Grassroots-led social and spatial practices for survival, agency and self-governance contribute to the reproduction of urban political order in surprisingly unoriginal and routinely recognizable ways. This article argues that these unexceptional informal practices can be understood as ‘facsimiles’ of their formal institutional originals. Using the example of cloned cars the article shows that the facsimile and the original are the same in form and function. Facsimiles do not exist outside of political authority, but are a byproduct and a component of it. They are indistinguishable in their bureaucratic deployment, recognition and acceptance as part of social and spatial order.
The informal economy is typically understood as being outside the law. However, this article develops the concept ‘social uses of the law’ to interrogate how informal workers understand, engage and deploy the law, facilitating the development of more nuanced theorizations of both the informal economy and the law. The article explores how a legal victory over the Johannesburg Council by reclaimers of reusable and recyclable materials at the Marie Louise landfill in Soweto, South Africa shaped their subjectivities and became bound up in struggles between reclaimers at the dump. Engaging with critical legal theory, the author argues that in a social world where most people do not read, understand, or cite court rulings, the ‘social uses of the law’ can be of greater import than the actual judgement. This does not, however, render the state absent, as the assertion that the court sanctioned particular claims and rights is central to the reclaimers’ social uses of the law. Through the social uses of the law, these reclaimers force us to consider how and why the law, one of the cornerstones of state formation, cannot be separated from the informal ways it is understood and deployed. The article concludes by sketching a research agenda that can assist in developing a more relational understanding of the law and the informal economy.
The Asociación Los Ñetas was born in the prison system of Puerto Rico in the 1980s. Following different waves of immigration, the group circulated and developed in New York, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Barcelona (Spain). Los Ñetas have put in place a complex internal legal framework with sets of rules and sanctions. The aim of this article is to understand how Ñeta law and state law interact. The main argument is that the dichotomization between the formal and the informal teaches us little about this interaction because it rests on a narrow definition of what constitutes law. Rather, one should emphasize how the Ñeta law constitutes an ethical framework.
Building on the comparative insights of this monograph issue’s contributors, this article offers a theoretical research agenda intended to transcend dichotomization and developmental divides. It argues that instead of a priori ascribing an undesirable normative character to informality, its presence should be seen as an opportunity for understanding the conditions under which multiple forms of claims-making, democracy, and justice will materialize. It further argues that informality serves as an under-explored but critical analytical point of departure for theorizing governance, citizenship, and social order. The article concludes with some thoughts on state theory and how informality provides a lens for conceiving of governance as a system of practices that link citizens, states, and markets, in turn providing a new way of categorizing similarities and differences across various state and developmental contexts.
In 2014, Boaventura de Sousa Santos awoke the global sociological community to the need to privilege ‘humanization’ in the exploration of transnational solidarities. This article presents the cultural consumption of a football club – Liverpool FC – to understand the common ‘love’, ‘suffering’, ‘care’ and ‘knowledge’ that fans who are part of the ‘Brazil Reds’ or ‘Switzerland Reds’ (although not all fans engaged in such communities are ‘from’ Brazil or Switzerland) experience. The argument is that the global North lexicon of social class, ethnicity, gender and, especially, nationality is less significant as starting points for analysis than humanization through shared love, which consolidates Liverpool FC fans’ transnational solidarities. Accordingly, the article calls for the epistemologies of the global South to be used to understand the practices of cultural consumption that constitute activities in the sphere of everyday life, such as those involved in ‘love’ for a football club.
Micromobilization research constitutes a vital stream within social movement studies. Despite a wealth of empirical research and recent advances in micromobilization theory, research is still hampered by a myriad of issues. This article identifies conceptual, empirical, and methodological weaknesses in the micromobilization literature and offers solutions. First, the author provides a clear definition of micromobilization by synthesizing two distinct, yet interrelated research streams that, on the one hand, emphasize the processes through which social movement organizations attempt to recruit and influence potential supporters and participants and, on the other hand, enumerate various analytically distinct steps that make up micromobilization. Using this as a springboard, the author then evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of a longstanding, popular model of micromobilization that he terms the ‘affinity-initiated model.’ This micromobilization model is extended in significant ways by merging insights from extant social movement, social psychology, and network analysis literatures, pinpointing novel and overlooked ways social ties, in particular, facilitate the differentiation of individuals at analytically distinct steps in the micromobilization process. Finally, the author identifies several avenues for future micromobilization research opened up by the analytic approach developed in this article.
The purpose of this article is to evaluate the methodological practice of Go-Alongs for exploring immigrant entrepreneurs’ native customers, a barely developed subfield within immigrant business research. Through accompanying individuals on outings in their familiar environments, Go-Alongs as a qualitative data collection method are used to gain access to practices, experiences and interpretations of individuals in their everyday routines. Drawing on current qualitative research on native customers in immigrant grocery shops in Vienna, the article demonstrates how Go-Alongs can be used for exploring consumption practices and patterns of interethnic interaction in this specific setting. What becomes apparent is that Go-Alongs provide an opportunity to gain access to reflexive aspects of lived experience in situ, in the present case expressed by spontaneous and emotional comments when the shop, ethnic products or interethnic interactions are commented on and evaluated. Moreover, Go-Alongs allow insights into modes of self-expression. However, Go-Alongs have limitations as they cannot capture consumption practices beyond the limited time and space of shopping. Furthermore, they do not fully provide access to narratives and discourses; therefore, Go-Alongs are most useful in combination with in-depth interviews.
The article is based on a case study that combines biography research with discourse analysis. The research question is: How, post-1945, might Austrian women who were involved in National Socialism use a gendered victim discourse as a pattern of interpretation to deal with their biographical experiences during National Socialism. As a first step, the article outlines the methodological approach employed. The use of a combination of biographical and discourse analysis takes into account the fact that biographies are structured by discourses and prepares the ground for the analysis of biographical accounts as everyday discourses. In this specific case, the discourse analysis reveals that a particular discourse called a gendered victim discourse allows National Socialism to be forgotten. At the same time, however, the case reconstruction of three biographies shows that the women do not use the gendered victim discourse as a discursive interpretation of National Socialism in their biographical accounts. Concerning this result the article argues that biographical significant experiences of events during National Socialism that remained meaningful after 1945 cannot simply be ‘forgotten’. The appropriation of a discursive pattern of interpretation is selective and depends on biographical structures.
By moving away from dualistic perspectives that see social order as the product of strong states but not weak states, this article develops a conceptual framework for interpreting hybrid social orders, i.e. those established by both legal and extra-legal actors. The initial premise is that hybrid forms of social domination resulting from the interaction between legal and extra-legal actors, and regulated by a combination of rational bureaucratic and neo-patrimonial rules, produce relevant economic and political outcomes such as job creation, the supply of basic services and the production of authority. Especially in contexts of continuous economic crisis, ethnic segregation, social marginalization and persistent inequality, these outcomes have ordering effects both in terms of reducing uncertainty and regulating social expectations. Furthermore, in such social contexts, socially tolerated illegal markets play a decisive role. Supported by recent and innovative research, this article concludes with hypotheses intended to promote further research.
Since coined by Comte, altruism has become one of the most controversial concepts in social and behavioral sciences, although altruistic behavior and related topics have been successfully studied within a number of fields. Oddly, while the theme of altruism was of primary significance in classical sociology of morality, modern sociology seems to have relatively little interest in studying altruism and altruistic behavior (although there are some exceptions) and the field is largely dominated by other social and behavioral sciences. The article aims at reconsidering altruism as a concept and as an area of research in sociology of morality by reviewing the major concepts of altruism in classical sociology and modern behavioral sciences. The article argues that, although for the ‘new’ sociology of morality it is necessary to take into account behavioral and psychological perspectives, a promising sociological approach to the study of altruism in different social contexts can be based on renewing the classical focus on the normative components of moral behavior.
Al Jazeera’s August 2015 editorial decision to substitute ‘refugee’ for ‘economic migrant’ in its coverage of ‘the Mediterranean Migration Crisis’ provides an opportunity to re-frame the relationship between the politics of race, immigration and media representations of refugees. Situating the broadcaster’s publicly announced rationale for the decision within a critique of the migrant–refugee dichotomy enforced by European public policy, this article, first, demonstrates that the policy couplet mobilizes oppositional yet interdependent identities. The discursive distancing of ‘migrant’ from ‘refugee’ in news content does not dislodge their mutually reinforcing power to define the parameters of ‘inclusion’. Second, the article examines how the policy onus placed on refugees to justify their claim as ‘victims’ reproduces racialized codes of belonging that perpetuate the denial of autonomy. Persons seeking refuge in Europe must sustain an identity of ‘non-threatening victim’ if they are to gain recognition in a securitized culture of (mis)trust. Al Jazeera’s intervention strengthens the media representation of refugees as human beings without choice; yet, the broadcaster’s decision to ‘give voice’ by ‘challenging racism’ does not break the European political consensus on immigration and asylum that positions ‘non-Western’ peoples as victim/pariah, to be ‘saved’ and ‘suspected’. The media–policy–migration nexus ensures that refugee exclusion is always possible.
Disasters are often described as exceptional moments that demand global solidarity. A ‘state of humanitarian exception’ emerges as citizens foreground norms of compassion and cooperation while contestatory discourse – the argumentative, blame-seeking and fault-finding forms of speech – are stigmatized as inappropriate interventions in a society seeking to recover from a distressful crisis situation. This article critically unpacks these representations of post-disaster situations empirically and normatively. By analysing the discussions in the public sphere over the first 100 days after Typhoon Haiyan battered Central Philippines, the article examines the moral force behind the ‘discourse of compassion’ and its ‘ethical boundary work’ that places the ‘discourse of contestation’ outside the scope of acceptable conduct. It proposes that the discourse of compassion’s ethical boundary work is only democratically acceptable when one takes a short view of a crisis situation. Drawing on deliberative democracy theory, the article argues for the importance of contestatory discourse in fostering inclusive discourse formation and ensuring that the state of humanitarian exception does not become the rule.
This article focuses on the involvement of Palestinian women in video documentation as part of the project of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. It claims that the house/home is a site of anti-colonial struggle and that this development results from a specific socio-political situation and techno-ethical position. Based on analyses of the political situation in the West Bank, as well as consideration of films and interviews with Palestinian women who have been given cameras by B’Tselem, this article examines the ‘spatialization’ of visual activism: that is, the ways that Palestinian women’s participation is allied with sites where political resistance intersects with a gendered setting.
This article focuses on the topic of gender segregation at universities in German-speaking countries. It addresses the question how the interrelation of organizational structures and individual biographies leads to the drop-out of females during their PhD. Moreover, it contributes to the understanding of how these drop-outs are embedded in gendered organizational structures and processes. A case study approach is applied in order to gain a deeper understanding of the crucial mentor–mentee relationship at this career stage. The detailed reconstruction of narrative biographies shows how a young female researcher faces too many restrictions and too much freedom at the same time. Results revealed how the female junior is highly dependent on the male senior and that specific assignments of how and with whom to work impact her career development. At the same time, the evaluation of the junior’s work is based on the stereotypical picture of an autonomous scientist who produces excellent research results without senior interference. Findings are explained in line with the theory of trajectory curves, and demonstrate the long-term and complex process of the unplanned drop-out of a female researcher in a male-dominated environment with gendered structures and processes.
LAT (Living Apart Together) relationships involve two people in a long-term intimate relationship who choose to live in separate households. Due to their tendency to lack structural commitments and rely on emotional bonds, LAT relationships can be viewed as a manifestation of individualization. Despite the increasing social acceptability of non-traditional partnerships, in many ways LAT relationships are still seen as deviant (and lacking commitment) by outsiders. This article draws on interpretive analyses of interviews with 28 LAT couples in two Canadian cities to explore how participants exercise agency and construct a sense of commitment in their relationships under these conditions (e.g. responding to generalized and particular others). In general, the LAT couples in this study described their commitments as strong, and as rooted in sexual fidelity, mutual exchanges of support, affection, with a long-term orientation, a willingness to work through difficulties and a shared history. Some ambivalence in discussing commitment can be explained with reference to participants’ strong desire to maintain independence within the relationship. This study represents one of the first in-depth examinations of LAT relationships undertaken in Canada.
This article explores the narratives of professionals from Turkey working in transnational corporations to contribute to discussions of new middle classes and global stratification focusing on emerging forms of cultural capital in the domain of the transnational business field. Analyzing respondents’ narratives about their careers, it argues that as these professionals try to differentiate themselves within the neoliberal market, transnational corporations structure the access to transnational forms of social and cultural capital, including a cosmopolitan self-narrative, and work as a means of institutionalizing distinction at the global level. As such, this article contributes to discussions on emerging cultural capitals as well as cosmopolitanism as cultural capital and emphasizes the transnationalization of class distinction strategies of the new middle classes in Turkey as it situates these strategies within a stratified neoliberal global market.
This article breaks the silence on the politically progressive characteristics of a moral panic. In contrast to the tacit scholarly consensus that moral panics entail regressively conservative social reactions to putative harms, moral panics are alternatively conceptualized as normatively ambivalent operations of power. The article builds on continuing efforts to conceptualize moral panic as a form of moral regulation by explaining how moral panics are capable of perpetuating as well as disrupting and potentially even reversing the norms of intelligibility that buttress hegemonic understandings of, and moral responsiveness to, violence, injustice, suffering, and harm.
This article explores the relational power and responsibilities to migrant workers on physical infrastructure projects in Qatar connected to the sovereign state hosting the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2022. Currently, these construction workers operate under the Kafala system, which is upheld in Qatar. However, large numbers of Qatar’s visiting migrant construction workers were recorded as injured or killed through incidents that were related to their work. Further still, many other migrant workers reported poor, unsanitary living conditions and being ‘trapped’ by their Kafil with passports withheld or wages not forthcoming, prompting criticism from international non-governmental organizations. This article adopts a relational sociological approach to discuss how ‘responsibilities’ for deaths, injuries and illnesses are passed between key actors that include the State of Qatar, FIFA, World Cup sponsors, building contractors and sub-contractors, and the recruitment agencies that find workers in other countries to work on the construction sites. As such, it makes three scholarly contributions: it leads in unpacking and discussing the treatment of migrant construction workers in World Cup 2022 infrastructure projects in Qatar; it follows work by Timms in adding to the literature on the passing of responsibilities for migrant workers between states and corporations in globalized societies; and it uses the case to further critically unpack Castells’ notions of relational power in networks.
This article is a first-person account of gender violence that utilizes auto-ethnography as a methodological and narrative tool. In the article, the author analyzes a relationship with a violent man in which two differences, class and gender, functioned as hierarchies. By analyzing certain moments of this relationship from the perspective of gender theory, the author intends to provide insight into the complex and often contradictory features of the gender violence suffered by women in different regions of the world and in a range of social and cultural contexts. This personal story and the connections with the stories of other women in her family – themselves victims of gender violence and the same social hierarchies – allow the author to analyze the mandates for women in a patriarchal society. Finally, the article narrates the strategies of empowerment that she was able to construct in certain contexts, distinguishing individual and collective empowerment as a key analytical but also political concept in the struggle against gender violence.
For over two decades, survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery during the Asia-Pacific War, euphemistically called ‘comfort women’ (ianfu), have been demanding the Japanese government take responsibility for past atrocities to restore their dignity. They have yet to obtain a satisfactory response; indeed, their demands have frequently been met with verbal attacks from the right-wing, including influential politicians. This article seeks to identify and explain some of the reasons why the problem has remained a highly controversial, but stubbornly unresolved issue. It begins by offering a brief history of the issue and then maps out the contemporary controversy. It shows that right-wing attacks should be understood as stemming from a systemic and deeply embedded bifurcation of women in Japanese society that allows the adoration of some women to comfortably coexist with misogyny, powerful rape myths, and a porn culture. These deeply permeate many areas of society, including its courts.
This article assesses efforts to combat sexual violence in Sierra Leone through its National Action Plan (SILNAP) passed in 2010 to implement UN Resolution 1325. The article examines specifically pillars two and three, which address protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and prevention of violence against women through strengthening women’s legal rights and supporting women’s local peace initiatives. In spite of legislative measures and sustained activism by women’s NGOs, efforts to promote gender equality and reduce institutionalized violence affecting women’s daily lives are limited. Failure to account for structural inequalities such as poverty, illiteracy, income disparities, violence against women in private and public spheres, and limited budget allocation to implement the plan are contributing factors. The article is informed by feminist scholarship on sexual violence and implementation of UNSCR 1325 in national action plans. Implementation mechanisms, monitoring, evaluation, and enforcement measures, and accomplishments and shortfalls are discussed.
Organizations managing disasters face a paradox. They need to build stable, reliable structures that are flexible enough to allow adaptation to such unexpected events. Much planning for concrete disaster response operations involves scenarios. From a Luhmannian perspective, this approach is characteristic of a form of ‘if-then’ conditional programming. Extant research on emergencies and disaster management, however, has remained silent about other than scenario-based planning. This article draws on sociological decision theory to highlight alternative forms of planning for disasters. It presents the possibilities to build stable structures for disaster management by making use of conditional programmes that rely on space instead of scenarios, and by making use of what Luhmann calls ‘programme nesting’. It illustrates this argument with a case study of emergency management in a large German city at the origin of this new planning method.
This article seeks to provide a clearer picture of how the nexus between institutional and behavioural dynamics operates among doctors in hospital organisations. On the basis of qualitative, in-depth research conducted in a hospital organisation, with the focus on doctors from two wards, differences in their actions and discourses challenge the coherence associated with professional and organisational values found in the debates in the sociology of professions. Rather than denying these influences, the article relates them to the way professionals reflexively make use of their roles in situated circumstances. Therefore, it discusses not only the fact that the doctors’ medical rationale is crisscrossed by a diversity of influences – ethics, management and the organisational culture and subcultures – but also that they make reflexive deliberations on the basis of interests related to specific contexts. The analysis builds on recent discussions in neo-institutionalism aligned with critical realism, in order to refine theoretical arguments on reflexivity while providing tools for future empirical research in the sociology of professions.
Women in El Salvador experience some of the highest levels of violence in the world in the form of feminicides: killings of women in a context of impunity. This trend is widespread, and this article contributes to a broader explanation of it through a case study of El Salvador in comparison to other Latin American countries. Although El Salvador has created institutions and laws to combat these crimes and ratified the 1994 Convention of Belém do Pará, crimes against women have continued undiminished. The authors argue that impunity and violence in El Salvador are deeply intertwined, with roots in multisided violence – a potent combination of structural, symbolic, political, gender and gendered, and everyday forms of violence. While much previous research has focused on individual acts of aggression, the authors advance an analysis of the extrapersonal structures that create and exacerbate the conditions that permit violent acts and impunity to persist.
With rates of rape in South Africa among the highest in the world, the significance of context has surfaced repeatedly in South African scholarship on rape. Most commonly, rape is understood as a symptom of deep and pervasive gender inequality, historical, social and economic legacies of apartheid as well as post-apartheid state discourses that have normalized rape and enabled it to be tolerated. In addition, the role of masculinities has received significant attention, linked to social and economic histories and contemporary political narratives. This article considers how scholarly discussions on rape in South Africa are evolving. Applying a critical sociological lens of enquiry to the ways in which the problem of rape is constructed, it outlines the significance of state histories in understandings of rape in South Africa today, the explicit and implicit ways in which research and writing on rape is racialized and classed, and considers the implications of this.
Feminist sociologists and activists have drawn attention to how violence against women is linked to structural and cultural factors that subordinate women, mainly intersecting inequalities and limited rights. Mobilization by the Battered Women’s and Anti-Violence Movements, media attention, legislation, and policy have increased awareness and support to address violence against women. However, activists and researchers have also critiqued the problems with invoking the power of the state. The authors interrogate the role of the state in addressing domestic violence, especially in the context of immigration in the neoliberal era. More specifically, they examine how domestic violence, as legal and policy discourse, has been framed in Canada and the US, and the resulting forms of intervention. Through a critical literature review the authors show how this framing impacts immigrant and racialized women facing domestic violence. The article highlights problems and gaps in the respective discourses, as well as indicates possibilities for change.
The cross-national analysis of policies and services offers an innovative point of view to evaluate the role of the state, social movements, and supra-national bodies in fighting violence against women (VAW). By locating the starting point in time and grouping countries in temporal clusters, the article identifies the key actors of VAW policy-making in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. After discussing features of single countries, the article identifies common trends in VAW policies. In conclusion, the article raises more ambitious comparative questions: By looking at history, can we detect VAW ‘policy regimes’? Are there patently exceptional cases? And what is the actual role of the state in fighting VAW? The article argues that the state is a powerful instrument, on condition that it acts under pressure from or in combination with both independent social movements and supra-national bodies.
Violence against women takes diverse forms across the world. Domestic violence in South Asia has received special attention because of both its prevalence and severity. While laws are essential to address domestic violence, the authors of this article argue that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the law to rule on cases is crucial for women. Drawing on the concept of ‘being stranded’, the authors argue that women facing violence are protected by neither the law nor their marital or natal family. Using archival data comprising decisions of India’s Supreme Court on 218 domestic violence cases for the period 1995 to 2014, the article examines the outcomes for the woman (victim) as well as the text of the judgments. The woman had died in the majority of cases reaching the Supreme Court. Moreover, rulings were almost equally favorable or unfavorable in cases when the woman was alive. The thematic analysis point to the lack of protection for women facing violence.
Informed theoretically by feminist sociological and political science research on women’s social movements and women’s engagement with public policy, this article examines the advocacy and political work of women’s rights groups in Tunisia in the area of violence against women. It locates the origins of the concern about this particular social problem, shows how the women’s rights groups worked with government agencies as well as transnational feminist networks to raise awareness and institute policy changes, and examines how their research, advocacy, and lobbying efforts have evolved. Drawing on the personal experience of the first author, who has been a longstanding participant in the Tunisian women’s rights movement, as well as on various publications by ATFD and AFTURD and related documentary data, the article shows how a relatively small feminist movement has been able to leverage its relationships with other civil society organizations to influence changes in policies, laws, and public debates.
Recent cultural consumption research has drawn attention to the emergence of the high status ‘cultural omnivore,’ that is, individuals who consume a wide range of cultural products, including the expected ‘high culture,’ but more ‘popular’ forms as well. Initially reported in studies conducted in the developed West, this study broadens the basis of comparison by investigating the case of Turkey – a non-western, predominantly Muslim, developing country with a long history of state-led westernization. Using data from a nationally representative survey of adults, the study examines 34 cultural tastes in three domains – music, food, and literature – and participation in five different cultural activities for evidence of an omnivorous pattern. The items used include indicators of ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, as well as ‘local’ and ‘global/western’ culture. The results of a latent class analysis clearly identify an omnivorous group. A distinctive feature of the Turkish cultural field is that groups are largely defined by their orientation towards local versus global forms, with omnivores consuming both, in contrast to groups that restrict their diet to ‘local’ forms. Further analysis shows that, similar to studies in other contexts, Turkish omnivorousness is associated with higher social position, especially education and income. Omnivores also tend to be younger and more secular in their views towards the role of religion in the public sphere. The article concludes that, in addition to the high/popular distinction, the local/global is a critical symbolic boundary shaping cultural identities in Turkey.
This article builds on feminist scholarship on intersectionality to address violence against women, and state policy thereon. It takes up the challenge of analysing the complex, situated and spatial relationship between theorizing on violence against women and state policy on such violence. Drawing on extensive comparative European data, it explores the relations of gender and intersectionality, conceptualized as gendered intersectionalities, by examining how multiple inequalities are made visible and invisible in state policy and debates in the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Attention is paid to different forms of gendered intersectionalities in policy, for example, tendencies to degender violence against women. A key aim of the article is to investigate how comparative analysis can be a starting point for assessing if, how and to what extent the inclusion of multiple inequalities could increase the quality of policy, for both reducing and stopping violence, and assisting those subject to violence.
Symbolic interactionism is a theoretical perspective in sociology that addresses the manner in which society is created and maintained through face-to-face, repeated, meaningful interactions among individuals. This article surveys past theory and research in the interactionist tradition. It first provides an overview of three main trajectories in symbolic interactionist thought, focusing on the work of Herbert Blumer (the Chicago School), Manford Kuhn (the Iowa School), and Sheldon Stryker (the Indiana School). A brief summary of each figure’s general perspective on symbolic interactionism is given, followed by a discussion of the research methodology that defines and distinguishes each. The article then reviews and assesses the empirical research that has emerged from these trajectories over the past decades, beginning with the classical studies of the mid-twentieth century and culminating in research programs that have emerged in the contemporary era. Specifically, this article surveys significant contributions to the symbolic interactionist literature in areas such as dramaturgy, cultural studies, postmodernism, gender/status/power, self and identity, collective behavior and social movements, and social context and the environment. It concludes with a discussion of future directions symbolic interactionists should take in continuing to develop the field.
In recent decades, the incidence of feminicidio has been interwoven with increasing social and structural violence in Mexico, which has resulted in the need to stress its specificity to prevent the violent murders of women going unpunished. Feminicidio has become a topic of academic, political, social and cultural reflection not only due to its alarming prevalence in the country, but also because of the complexity of its characteristics. This article aims to show some relevant academic, activist and artistic approaches within the Mexican context.
Contrary to predominant neoliberal ideology that argued higher economic growth rates would eventually lead to better results in terms of income distribution, the last three decades witnessed high economic growth rates accompanied by rising income inequalities in most countries worldwide. Abundance of natural resources in several developing countries had significant implications for their economic growth and subsequent income inequality levels. Further, neoliberal globalization manifested itself in increased foreign direct investment and trade openness impacted world economies significantly. This research examines the effects of natural resource dependency, neoliberal globalization, and state-institutional factors alongside the internal development model on income inequality in a set of 96 developing countries for the period 1980–2010. Models for Prais–Winsten regressions with panel corrected standard errors show that within the internal development model, population growth rates are the most significant factor in influencing income inequality levels. Natural resource dependency is equally important and is positively associated with increasing inequalities. More detailed analyses of different types of energy-rich countries reveal varying results exemplifying the importance of exploring how different types of natural resources might affect income inequality levels rather than their sheer magnitude. Consistent with previous research, foreign direct investment indicates a robust positive association with increasing income inequalities whereas trade openness exhibits a negative association signifying the positive effect deindustrialization that took place in advanced countries might have had on developing countries. Finally and counterintuitively, democracy is associated with higher income inequalities whereas institutional quality is negatively associated with income inequality.
The background to this article is the debate on cities as post-secular and super-diverse. The authors question that the concept of post-secular cities usefully sums up the complex processes currently characterizing religion in contemporary European cities. They propose that different historical memories are layered upon one another and they demonstrate how religious diversity and cities mutually shape one another. Based on empirical illustrations from research in Potsdam and Turin, the authors argue that cities affect religion by casting religious communities and their forms of sociality within particular spatial regimes and contributing to the territorialization of religious categories. Moreover, they state that religious groups shape cities by leaving durable architectural imprints on them. In particular, the article develops the notion of formations of religious super-diversity, which involves forms of religious belonging and identity that historically emerged through religious dissent and innovation, and shows that urban space is the iconic arena in which religious super-diversity becomes visible through the ways in which religious spatial strategies interact with cities’ spatial regimes. The authors identify three types of spatial strategies – place keeping, making and seeking – each of which expresses and responds to communities’ relationship to urban space in different ways. The typology is meant to serve as a tool to read complex processes taking into consideration both historical paths and contemporary religious formations.
This article assesses the relationship between terrorism and moral panics to expand understandings of the latter’s eruption and orchestration. Answering calls for deeper considerations of folk devils’ agentic properties, it interrogates how terrorist methods – the deployment of shocking and exceptional violence to incite fear and stimulate political change – challenge extant understandings of the moral panic framework. Specifically, it argues, in the case of terrorism, that the exaggerated threats and disproportionate responses that define moral panics are not driven solely by moral entrepreneurs or social control agents, but are informed by the strategic practices and rationalities of folk devils themselves. Through its approach, this research enhances social-scientific treatments of terrorism, broadens the scope of moral panic analysis, and extends understandings of how fear and anxiety are manipulated for political purposes.
This contribution conducts a critical review of the many features of the traditional regression approach to domestic violence that implies a target variable (intimate partner femicide) and multiple predictors. Based on conceptual, theoretical, methodological and statistical considerations, this analysis, first, addresses the issue of how the risk factors can be properly organized; second, it claims that what are currently regarded as the independent variables might have numerous different explanatory roles, making reference to direct, indirect, mediated or moderated models, as well as to the facilitating and suppressing effect of variables; finally, the article introduces the concept of sequential behavioural patterns. Assuming that the build-up to partner femicide (PF) is a dynamic process, the analysis cautions against ignoring the sequence through which the different moves among the actors actually take place. The same events occurring in a different order may result in entirely different outcomes. This contribution is essentially theoretical, implementing worked examples from literature on risk factors and femicide. Implications for researchers and operators in the field of PF are underlined.
This article focuses on insecurity perceptions in conflict-affected areas. The authors apply sociological theories on the determinants of perceived security risks and test hypotheses concerning theories on social and physical vulnerability, social disorder and social integration in the area where the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has operated. The study uses data from a survey conducted in 2013 in the territory of Faradje (Haut-Uele) and applies multilevel models to 443 individuals living within 21 different villages and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. The results indicate that insecurity perceptions and fear of attacks are still widespread, causing individuals to adapt their behaviour and IDPs to refrain from returning home. These concerns are unaffected by social and physical vulnerabilities. The study finds a positive significant effect of the presence of IDPs in the villages and IDP camps on insecurity perceptions. This suggests possible effects of social disorder and a lack of social integration due to the arrival of IDPs in the area. Although improving the security situation itself is an important factor, this article shows that addressing insecurity perceptions might be an important factor as well.
On 11 March 2011, an earthquake of a 9.0 magnitude and the consequent tsunami destroyed Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. Known as 3/11 in Japan, the effects of this triple disaster will continue for decades. How did the media covering the catastrophe articulate issues of risk to the general public? This article is a textual analysis of accounts about the Fukushima disaster published between 11 March 2011 and 11 March 2013 in four of the most prominent media outlets in the United States. In particular, the analysis explores the practices through which these US media constructed the presence and meaning of public health risks resulting from the nuclear meltdown. The article illustrates how systematic media practices minimized the presence of health risks, contributed to misinformation, and exacerbated uncertainties. In the process, the study demonstrates how the media created vernacular epistemologies for understanding and evaluating the health risks posed by nuclear radiation. The article concludes by weighing the implications of the vernacular epistemologies deployed by media.
This article aims to explain the lethal violence against women observed in certain contexts in recent years. It analyses the phenomenon of female homicide victimization through the lens of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic violence. The principal manifestation of homicide of female victims explored in this article are honour killings in migrant communities in Europe, a culturally specific form of gender-related homicide. The concept of symbolic violence partially explains the honour-related violence within the framework of patriarchal theories and emphasizes the function of direct violence against women as a patriarchal backlash in a situation of structural changes in gender relations. Applying Bourdieu’s theory to honour killings in Europe will explain the dynamics of violence against women in a situation where symbolic patriarchal power is undermined, due to new structural conditions, and offer guidelines on context and agent-focused approaches to tackling the phenomenon.
In recent years a feminist gender discourse of femicide has become established in Italian political debate. Stereotypical and sexist representations of women are singled out as key issues to be addressed in the fight against Violence Against Women (VAW). Gender discourse and associated cultural/linguistic enterprise simplify heterosexual (violent) relational dynamics, overshadow different situational, relational and socio-psychological readings of violence and foreground a cultural understanding of the human being as a self-determined artificially constructed identity. The authors of this article suggest that this discourse on femicide can be read through the lens of Foucault’s theory of biopolitics, as a device of manipulation of human identity. Furthermore the authors borrow from Habermas’s theory of public sphere and argue that the hegemonic gender interpretation of femicide reflects the specific vantage point of feminist groups while it is not the result of any inclusive public reflections on the causes of this social phenomenon. Their core argument is that a gender discourse of femicide contributes to the advancement of a social constructivist paradigm in the interpretation of self in postmodern society, a society that, as warned by sociologist David Riesman and Jungian psychologist Tony Wolff, is populated by individuals that conform to cultural values.
Almost four decades have passed since the term femicide was coined in 1976. This new word had a political purpose, in that it intended to produce changes in the social order which tolerated the violent death of women. Since that time, the word has generated a theoretical concept that encompasses the killing of a woman as a specific social phenomenon. Femicide is an effort in sociological imagination that has been successful in transforming conventional perception, public awareness, scientific research and policy making. This article undertakes to review how femicide has evolved in social research. It analyses the most important theories explaining femicide: the feminist, sociological, criminological, human rights and decolonial research approaches and their theoretical significance. It discusses Mexico as a case study, exemplifying how a new English term was then translated into another language and applied in a very specific socio-political context, so that it became instrumental in changing reality and improving the lives of women. Finally, the article proposes a framework where femicide is understood as a social phenomenon that demands an interdisciplinary approach. The authors recommend a systemic, multifaceted model in order to improve both scientific analysis and prevention.
What types of social relationships and expressions of moral economy does gift giving foster in mass consumption markets? Approaching this issue through the literature on gift giving in advanced capitalist contexts and the sociology of markets, this study presents gifting as a micro-foundational element in contemporary markets. Analysis of 50 interviews and documentation of daily sales encounters in a computer chain store in Tel-Aviv, Israel, found that buyers and sellers there exchange three types of gifts (contractual, closing and post-sale gifts) ordered along a continuum according to degree of subordination to the market economy and logic. Empirical investigation of four research propositions derived from the literature reveals that marketplace gifting fosters various types of relationships, both horizontal and vertical. The study suggests that gifting helps constitute ephemeral ties during brief sales encounters through the invocation of archetypical social roles, which encapsulate types of social relationships with others. The discussion highlights the contribution of this study to the sociology of markets and to gift theory and presents questions for future research.
The sociological literature on femicide, compared to intimate partner and other forms of gender violence, is scarce. While feminist sociology has addressed the inaudibility of women, femicide remains invisible. Femicide rates are social facts worthy of sociological attention. Like suicide, femicide has to be defined and analysed according to type. The article postulates possible reasons for the invisibility of the phenomenon, such as the unpleasantness of the subject, scope, its conception as a radical feminist idea, fuzziness, its identification with other concepts like genocide, and methodological difficulties in researching it because of the impossibility of researching dead women first-hand, missing data and the difficulties in comparing data cross-nationally. None of the seven posited hypotheses could account for the dearth of sociological literature on the subject. Suggestions for enhancing the visibility of femicide are made, with a call to unearth the phenomenon and remove its invisibility in sociology.
This article questions the ethical commandments issued by research ethics committees, particularly in relation to autoethnography, and points towards an alternative based on an examination and application of the psychoanalytic ethics of hysterical inquiry. The authors demonstrate the ethics of hysterical inquiry in operation in qualitative research via a discussion of an autoethnography by Elizabeth Dauphinee and contrast this with a paper ‘on’ autoethnography by Martin Tolich. They argue that these two very different offerings can be positioned respectively as from Lacan’s hysteric’s discourse and the university’s discourse. Finally the authors conclude that hysterical inquiry with its focus on desire can provide a way forward for radical qualitative research, a way out of the binds of institutionalized ethical commandments that threaten the radical potential of qualitative research.
This article attempts to understand the Asian presence in the International Sociological Association (ISA) in terms of (a) attendance at World Congresses of Sociology and (b) participation in decision-making bodies such as the ISA Executive Committee and the boards of the Research Committees. Viewing the size of the Asian population as a proportion of the world population, the Asian presence in the ISA is far from satisfactory. Being a Euro-American transplant in Asia, the sociological concepts and theories have not been able to fully capture Asian social reality. Further, the different socio-political and economic backgrounds of Asian countries – postcolonial (India), postsocialist (China) and democratic-capitalist (Japan) – have also led to differing participation in the ISA. For equity in participation in the ISA and the rapid internationalization of sociology the tension between the ‘universalism’ of Western sociological concepts and theories and the ‘particularism’ of Asian social reality need to be addressed. To achieve the intended objective of the ISA, namely the internationalization of sociology, it is necessary to recognize the specificities of all the ‘provinces’ in the Republic of Knowledge Production.
This article analyses the transformation of femicide from an academic concept into a frame for political struggle, and into a crime in the context of Mexican feminist activism against the murders of women, or feminicidios, in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City. Through analysis of interviews with Mexican activists, the author argues that the implications of the transformations of feminicidio for social change are tied to the interplay between the transnational and the local impacts of feminist human rights advocacy. Drawing on Myra Marx Ferree’s work on the ‘resonance’ and ‘radicalism’ of feminist frames, the article’s findings challenge the straightforward association of radical social change to transnational advocacy and its attendant framing of social problems in terms of international human rights norms. Contrary to existing scholarship on transnational human rights advocacy, the article shows that feminicidio constitutes a resonant frame transnationally, but operates as a radical frame domestically. The dissonance between the transnational and national framing of feminicidio has complicated the ways in which Mexican feminists can engage with the state after the institutionalization of feminicidio as a crime to produce radical social change for women’s everyday experiences of violence and their access to justice.
This study examines the extent to which drinking patterns and drug use can explain cross-national variations in female homicide victimization across Europe. Given the limitations in measuring femicide consistently across a large number of countries, this study uses mortality data on recorded female deaths as a proxy to explain differences in levels of this kind of violence against women across Europe. In particular, it focuses on national-level patterns of alcohol and drug use as predictors, controlling for other known structural correlates. Contrary to findings of previous studies, cultural drinking patterns were not significantly related to female homicide victimization in this sample of countries, but detrimental drug use was.
Museum curators are rarely the subject of analysis as scientists. By contrast, there is a whole literature on their propensity to give priority to the scientific knowledge of collections over the effort to communicate with different audiences and make museums accessible. This article examines the Late Raphael exhibition at the Louvre (Paris) and draws on the exhibition texts (catalogues, artwork labels, wall texts) to explore the practical activity and preoccupations of the museum curators concerned: the exhibition is simultaneously material for the scientific demonstration of a thesis – part of a debate on the value of the artist’s late works – and for communication aimed at both fellow specialists and the wider public. Communication is not distinct from scientific research and handled with less respect. The two are directly interwoven and communication represents a practical activity with its own difficulties.
This article presents a political-sociological analysis of the World Bank’s social assistance programmes in developing and transition countries. It builds on the argument that political objectives have played a critical role for the Bank in shaping these policies, including the prevention and containment of social unrest as well as mobilization of popular support. The article presents empirical evidence based on an analysis of 447 World Bank policy recommendation documents published between 1980 and 2013. It was found that, despite the Bank’s denial of having any political agenda, many WB documents explicitly refer to social assistance as a possible instrument for governments to contain social unrest and mobilize political support. Moreover, the World Bank’s political concerns have increased steadily over the last three decades. The findings support the argument that international institutions such as the World Bank do not solely consider the well-being of people as an end in itself but also as a means of achieving further political goals. This political dimension of social assistance programmes has consequences for the way policy recommendations should be interpreted by political and social actors in developing and transition countries.
This article makes connections between violent deaths, public problems and changes seen in the past 30 years in Argentina. The authors argue that the ways in which people were killed, the ways in which their dead bodies were handled and the ways in which the dead and their behaviours were described in terms of morality play a key role in determining social reaction and the challenging of public authorities. It is suggested that shock and outrage in the face of the violent death of a defenceless, innocent person trigger political, social and cultural changes in highly complex ways. Where contemporaries tend to establish almost immediate causal relationships, a retrospective analysis shows that the ruptures and continuities following each death result from a variety of temporal and causal chains. A death’s ability to pose public problems can help us think about democratic processes in Latin America, indicating that democracies in the region are judged in terms of their capacity to solve the public problems embodied by deaths like those analysed here.
This article investigates from an agential realist perspective the way the embodying of the self is constituted during interviews. Since the aim is to analyze how, in Karen Barad’s words, ‘matter comes to matter,’ the approach presented here takes into account not only how discursive but also how material practices produce ‘embodying processes’ that differ according to situational references. The approach considers the influence of the agency of human and non-human bodies in terms of non-verbal body language. Using the case of Viennese elderly people, this article presents three sets of material-discursive practices that have formed and transformed the way in which they embody their selves during the interviews: through their reference to absent non-human materiality, to non-human materiality present in the interview, and to human materiality present in the interview the elderly people non-verbally materialized their ideas on gender, age, health, and illness. In analyzing embodying processes, the article shows the kind of contribution that an agential realist account can make to sociological interview research. It particularly highlights the need to rethink both the constitution of the self and the popular procedure of focusing almost exclusively on discursive practices and human bodies in empirical analyses.
The way in which nation states respond to femicide has become the focus of much attention in the past decade. The establishment of specialized police and prosecution units has been recommended and some countries have implemented specific legislation or criminal offences specific to femicide. Part of the challenge in moving beyond these legislative and policy initiatives is the dearth of reliable data that show how states are actually punishing crimes of femicide on the ground. Using data that document punishment outcomes in cases of femicide over four decades in Canada’s most populous province, this article examines how punishments compare for female and male homicide victims, across femicide subtypes and over time. Results show that cases involving female victims attract more punitive court responses overall than cases with male victims. Second, intimate and familial femicides are treated more leniently at several stages than other femicides. Finally, there have been positive changes in the punishment of femicide over time, paralleling legislative and policy responses to violence against women in Canada. Priorities for future research that address the role played by dominant stereotypes in punishment related to particular types of femicide as well as some women’s increased risk are highlighted.
Popular political discontent has become increasingly salient in western countries in recent decades, as can be witnessed by the rise of populist anti-establishment parties, nonvoting and increasing distrust in politics. However, these phenomena have predominantly been treated as ‘democracy’s deviants’, neglecting the perspectives of the people concerned. Taking an inductive approach, this article examines how ordinary citizens come to turn away from established politics. Drawing on in-depth interviews with politically discontented Dutch nonvoters and PVV voters, the article develops a three-stage ‘anti-establishment career’ – ‘introduction’, ‘validation’ and ‘consolidation’ – through which their conceptions of politics gradually change. This deviant career model takes into account the dynamics and agency involved in the process, in contrast to conceptions of discontented citizens as utterly passive and anomic. The article concludes by arguing for more cultural-sociological sensitivity in the use of concepts referring to social-political action.
This article aims to demonstrate that during an economic crisis political protest increases. Recently, economic performance has suddenly worsened in Europe after a period of relative prosperity. The economic crisis affects citizens, who may turn to political protest to voice their discontent. However, the literature on social movements has often dismissed the link between economic performance and political protest, arguing that dissatisfaction is not sufficient for mobilization. Despite this argument, in the wake of the ‘Great recession’ that hit Europe, some scholars have argued that the economic crisis has been a factor in the mobilization of political protest. Nonetheless, a broad assessment of the link between the economic crisis and political protest has yet to be carried out. Based on a comparative longitudinal analysis of 25 European countries between 2000 and 2014, this article complements recent publications on the topic, and shows that economic performance, measured using both objective and subjective indicators, has a strong association with the number of political protests. The literature on the topic has not always presented conclusive results on this association. In contrast, this article provides updated and clear findings showing that the state of the economy matters for mobilization.
This article discusses the various facets of sociality of guru-led movements in the contemporary social milieu. It argues that sociality is the key to deciphering the numerous manifestations of the guru-led movements within the social domain. Sociality is the essence of tradition, continuity and perpetuation of these movements. This sociality as imagined here is a result of a meta-analysis of the guru-led movements, reflecting on their socio-political frame of reference; visions on society, stratification and ethics; positions on social issues and social service; views on social transformation and tangible social service along with the antagonisms and contradictions which penetrate all the social imaginaries. The analysis builds upon two aspects: the episteme of sociality and the episteme of guru-led movements. In terms of the episteme of sociality there is substantiation of a strong conception of sociality which emphasizes social relations to others. Faith and guru memory are central categories and embedded in this sociality is a potential for change. The sociality of guru-led movements throws light on how their agency and actions emerge. It constitutes the movements’ social imaginings and intersubjectivity, which very often are also coloured by their own dominant forces of hegemony and Hindu nationalism.
This article introduces the concept of sociability as an alternative to social capital theories in understanding the expansion of ethnic networks of Dutch Hindustani youngsters. The author argues that the concept of sociability, launched by Simmel and characterized by joy, relief and vivacity, captures these networks better than theories of social capital because they presume rationality and exchange. While sociability appears to be a useful alternative, it lacks specification of the preconditions and the relational glue. It is argued that for sociability relations to emerge, agency is required as well as a common ethnic content, including Indian Bollywood cinema culture. Finally, the author emphasizes that the increased bonding is by no means exclusive to Hindustani youngsters as their peers in other ethnic communities meet both preconditions that enable them to expand community networks. Therefore, the process addressed in this article has a much wider relevance.
This article examines how the historical interaction between colonizer and colonized influenced gender inequality in the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan. The study demonstrates that the interaction had cultural and structural components that contributed to the establishment of gender conservatism as a national virtue. After the failure of other initiatives in the region, the Soviets launched a massive unveiling ritual in Uzbekistan that led to widespread resistance, including a wave of murders of unveiled women. At the same time, the Soviets left in place local patriarchal networks that reinforced this gender conservatism. To underscore the critical nature of these interactions and their variability, the study includes evidence from neighboring Kazakhstan, a nomadic society where women did not veil and where local networks were disrupted through Soviet-led collectivization and sedentarization. The study argues that these two societies interacted differently with the Soviet modernizing project, with implications for present-day disparities in gender equality.
The topic of corruption has recently moved from the periphery to the centre of social scientific attention. Notwithstanding the increased interest, research into corruption has been empirically limited and under-theorized. This study addresses that gap by providing an ethnographic account of football match-fixing in the Czech Republic. By qualitatively analysing both primary and secondary data, this study examines match-fixing and corruption through the lens of the concept of public secrecy. Three different, narrowly intertwined forms of match-fixing are identified: direct corruption, mediated corruption and meta-corruption. By conceptualizing match-fixing as a public secrecy, the study explores how the publicly secret nature of match-fixing is normalized and how the match-fixing complex is reinforced by a compromising complicity of social actors who are both victims and principals. Although this study focuses on a sport-related example, it has both theoretical and empirical implications for a sociological understanding of corruption outside the sphere of sport.
This article provides an overview and analysis of sustainable development from a sociological perspective. It is divided into three parts. The first presents selected relevant sociological research before there was ever a concept of ‘sustainable development’. The selected focus is on work falling under the rubrics of environmental sociology as well as development sociology. The second part briefly discusses the context and process that led to conceptualizing ‘sustainable development’. The third part considers the response of several sociological theories to sustainable development issues, with the focus on a selection of four major system theories: world systems theory, neo-Marxist ‘treadmill of production’ theory, ecological modernization theory and modern systems theory, all of which have addressed development issues and more recently sustainability questions. The article ends by identifying an ongoing global transformation, the sustainability revolution, which can be compared and contrasted to the Industrial Revolution. Whether this emerging revolution will take place fast enough and comprehensively enough to save the planet earth from multiple disasters remains to be seen.
This article discusses perspectives for the formation of a truly ‘global sociology’, implying active, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction between sociologists from different locations, countries and cultures, in their joint efforts to comprehend, explain and improve the social world. The study is based on the conceptual scheme proposed by Burawoy, highlighting four different disciplinary practices: ‘professional sociology’, ‘policy sociology’, ‘critical sociology’ and ‘public sociology’. The formation of a ‘global sociology’ demands harmonious development and mutual enrichment between all the four ‘sociologies’, however, each of them has its own path in the global arena. The literature analysis demonstrates serious limitations in the global progression of ‘professional sociology’, while ‘policy sociology’ and ‘critical sociology’ also experience major difficulties. ‘Public sociology’, largely inspired by Burawoy, seems to be especially promising globally due to its key advantages: orientation towards non-academic audiences and a focus on the most acute social problems. However, currently this disciplinary practice has several fundamental constraints: marginality, radicalism, ideological bias and inherent conflict-orientation towards other ‘sociologies’. Drawing on John Meyer’s theory of ‘Scientized Environment Supporting Actorhood’, the article proposes the project of the new ‘Global Solidarity Sociology’, which utilizes the advantages of Michael Burawoy’s project while overcoming its principal limitations.
This article argues that the capability approach (Sen, Nussbaum) offers a promising renewal of the idea of agency in sociological theory. The author suggests that any new normative understanding of agency, like the one that Sen and Nussbaum offer, can gain from sociological theory’s recourse to notions similar to capability, namely the agent’s capacity for action. On the other hand, Sen’s research program which focuses on the agent’s capability to make valued choices offers powerful concepts that enable sociologists to rebuild the core category of agency. Seeing this affinity as an opportunity for reworking the normative dimensions of sociological theory, and drawing on sociology’s accomplishments, the author argues that the normative components of Sen’s notion of capabilities are not locked into an individualist approach to agency, typical of economic thought, but, rather, contain a social core that has been prefigured primarily by Parsons and to a lesser extent by Giddens. Aided by the capability approach, the author attempts to show how Sen’s vision of capabilities can contribute towards regenerating the normative foundation of agency and can reconfirm sociological theory’s explanatory capacities.
Much critical social justice research, including work employing visual methods, focuses on young people’s use of public spaces leaving domestic spaces relatively unexplored. Such research tacitly maintains modernist notions of the public/private distinction in which the private sphere is considered less relevant to concerns of social justice. However, UK crime and social justice policy has increasingly intervened in the home lives of the poorest British families. Further, such policies have been legitimated by drawing on (or not contesting) media imagery that constructs these family lives almost entirely negatively, obscuring their complexity. Drawing on childhood studies research, and a project that employed visual methods to explore belonging among young people in foster, kinship or residential care, this article examines participants’ often fragile efforts to find or forge places in which they could feel ‘at home’ and imagine a future. In so doing, it invites visual activists to reconsider their understanding of public and private spaces in order to contest prevalent unsympathetic policy representations of poorer young people’s lives, to focus greater attention on their need for support, and to extend imaginations of their futures.
Since China began its reconstruction of sociology as an academic discipline in 1979, a number of Western sociological concepts have entered the field of Chinese sociology. This study aims to provide a bibliometric analysis of the literature pertaining to the sociological concept of ‘social capital,’ one among these newly imported popular constructs over the past several decades, to assess how and why the concept of ‘social capital’ has been ‘put to use’ by Chinese sociologists. Information on a series of variables was extracted after analyzing 118 articles that have focused on ‘social capital,’ written by Chinese sociologist and published between 2000 and 2011. The analysis results indicated an accelerated popularity of ‘social capital’ in Chinese sociological publications over this time period. In addition, the early adopters of ‘social capital’ among Chinese sociologists privileged the network domain but marginalized the social trust and civic participation domain of the concept, while recent years have witnessed a gradual embrace of the social trust and civic participation domains in Chinese sociologists’ writings. The trajectory of the cross-cultural encounter of ‘social capital’ is discussed in terms of China’s institutional context for the diffusion of this concept.
Although classical sociology was not always oblivious or indifferent to the embodied dimensions of social relations, contemporary sociology has developed new perspectives and frameworks for understanding the body as a social and cultural construct and fundamental element in material and symbolic processes of power and conviviality. What do contemporary sociological approaches contribute to our understanding of corporeality and embodiment? What kind of changes does this represent in relation to classical perspectives? How do different theoretical approaches connect to contemporary interests and empirical research? The present article attempts to answer these questions, looking at the development and diversification of sociological approaches to the body, from Elias and Bourdieu to contemporary feminist, Foucauldian post-structuralism and queer theories. The authors highlight current research that is intersectional, international and path-breaking. They also pay particular attention to connections between the social, cultural and the political, as expressed in and through bodies, and point to the unresolved nature of the relationship between narrative, discourse and the materiality of the body.
Drawing on an ethnographic study of identity and disability in the 3D environment of Second Life (SL), this article documents the authors’ discussions with many regular users (known as ‘residents’) of SL who identify as having a disability or impairment in their ‘actual’ (off-screen) lives. Since SL offers the possibility of anonymity, regular users with a physical impairment may decide when and where to disclose or highlight their disability or whether to do so at all, when they are in world. Many also use the potential of SL to negotiate and challenge conventional media representations of embodied difference through their avatars. In this article the authors argue that the choices of representation reflect the residents’ understandings of their own sense of ‘authenticity’. For some, this involves a self beyond the limitations of physical embodiment – a metaphysical separation between body and mind. For others, the ‘real self’ is inseparable from a physical embodiment which includes the impairment or disability. These choices of how the users portray their avatar selves through a more fluid understanding of self-representation also offer potential for political and social advocacy beyond the virtual world.
Potential users of grey-market substances seek out internet drug websites to gather legal high information. However, where previous researchers have investigated drug wikis as sources of drug information, few have looked into the drug forums where an abundance of legal-high information is created. Knowledge is produced on internet drug forums through social processes of drug information sharing and relating personal experiences. These knowledge production efforts are a response to internet drug forum members’ perceived need to objectively understand a drug’s behavior. This community perspective, therefore, shapes online drug forum information sharing into a marginal form of citizen science – one that does not incorporate scientist oversight or directly engage with institutional science. The article argues that drug use becomes a social ritual whereby the sharing of drug information is an ethical practice. Additionally, because first-hand experience is needed to create drug information on new substances, a moral undertone is imposed onto drug experimentation.
This research focuses on the migration trajectories of mainland Chinese women marriage migrants in Malaysia. It finds that their migratory motivations and pathways reveal formerly overlooked mobility patterns that depart from the institutionally organized, commercially arranged, or kinship and social network-mediated migration patterns. The authors argue that the state’s attempts to grow its regulatory capacity, the increasing ‘cost’ of legality and the multiplying of illegal-but-licit spaces through which migrants can navigate produce particular forms of mobile subjectivities which the authors broadly term ‘entrepreneurial’. The aim in this article is to begin to fill this gap in scholarship on entrepreneurialism and feminized migration with an ethnographic study of these gendered entrepreneurial strategies. The authors propose two interlinked concepts in vernacular Chinese – ‘out’ (chu出) and ‘through’ (zuan) – as a set of lenses to examine the marriage migrants’ variable motivations, their non-linear paths to upward and outward mobility, their careful negotiations and manoeuvring across and within state boundaries, and gender politics in intimate relations. This presents a more nuanced way of framing migrants’ mobile subjectivities as produced by a contextualized understanding of human agency operating within the particular conditions of Asia’s migration regimes.
Sharp social inequalities in Latin America persist not only as a result of structural elements, but also because people justify and legitimate them in everyday life. Thus, to overcome inequalities it is necessary that individuals subjectively perceive them as unjust. This is an issue that is especially relevant in Chile, one of the first countries to experience neoliberalism in the 1970s. More than social inequalities as such, which are widely studied by Latin American sociology, this article analyzes social justice as a subjective judgment about inequalities. On the basis of the findings of an empirical game-based research project, the article examines the justice criteria used by ordinary people regarding differences between members of society. The authors argue that according to these subjective criteria, social justice refers to aspects that differ from neoliberal discourse about distributive justice based on equality of opportunity and that procedural justice is also key in ordinary discourses about social justice.
Young people from working class backgrounds remained mostly excluded from the widening educational participation which characterised postwar Britain. Based on 20 semi-structured interviews which were part of a wider study about ‘Social Participation and Identity’ (2008–2009), this article explores the unusual learning trajectories of a group of working class adults born in 1958, who participated in higher education (HE) in a context where most people from the same socio-economic backgrounds did not. Drawing on Bourdieu’s social theory, the findings suggest that different types of retrospective accounts were mobilised to reconcile working class habitus of origin and the perceived habitus as adults. Most research on working class and higher education focuses on the experiences of youth. By contrast, the use of retrospective accounts of adults has enabled the study to capture the implications that the educational trajectories have later in life. The authors consider these accounts a part of wider narratives that they define ‘therapeutic’. Therapeutic narratives were employed to come to terms with the ambivalence produced by social mobility. Therefore, respondents were negotiating the sense of exclusion attached to class change, and the acknowledgement of the opportunities associated with a working class habitus accessing new social fields viaeducation.
This article draws on the theoretical work of Norbert Elias and Loïc Wacquant in seeking to understand the stigmatized and marginalized position of the Roma population within Europe. The article argues that the persistent persecution of Roma, reflected in social policy, cannot be understood without reference to long-term social processes which shape the nature of the asymmetric power relations between Roma and non-Roma. Elias’s theory of established–outsider relations is applied at the intra-state European level in arguing that Roma constitute a cross-border ‘outsider’ group; with their intense stigmatization explained and perpetuated by a common set of collective fantasies which are maintained through complex group processes of disidentification, and which result in Roma being seen as of lesser human worth. Wacquant’s theoretical concept of the ‘ghetto’ is then drawn upon to show how the manifestations of stigmatization for the stigmatized are at once psychological, social and spatial. The article suggests that the synthesis of the two theorists’ concepts allows for an approach that can expose the way in which power is exercised within and through group relations. Such an approach emphasizes the centrality of the interdependence between Roma and non-Roma, and the fluctuating power balance that characterizes that relationship across time and space. The article concludes that, while existing research focused on policy and outcomes is useful in understanding the negative contemporary experiences of Roma populations, they need to be understood in the context of wider social processes and historical continuities in seeking to elucidate how these processes shape policies and contribute to social and spatial marginalization.
This article examines the gender equality component of Prospera, a conditional cash transfer program in Mexico that provides cash contingent on three nodes of civic engagement: health, nutrition, and education. This article draws on ethnographic research in La Gloria, a settlement of indigenous Mayan refugees from Guatemala in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The article identifies the Prospera program’s neoliberal features, the impact its gender equality measures have in the lives of women, their families, and in the political structure of the community of La Gloria. The findings reveal how Prospera reinforces gender and racial hierarchy, and fosters community divisions that undercut efforts to promote community autonomy, which raises questions about the ability of conditional cash transfers to promote development and gender equality in indigenous communities in Mexico.
It can be difficult for researchers from outside the military to gain access to the field. However, there is a rich source on the military that is readily available for every researcher: military memoirs. This source does provide some methodological challenges with regard to truth and (self) censorship, nevertheless. This study questions how truth and (self) censorship issues influence the content of these military autobiographies. It shows that these issues are not only a concern for researchers, but also for military writers themselves. The study provides concrete quantitative data based on military Afghanistan memoirs published between 2001 and 2010 from five different countries: the UK, the US, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. The majority of soldier-authors make some kind of truth claim in their books that they also substantiate. Military books published by traditional publishers do so significantly more often than self-published books. In books published in Anglo-Saxon countries soldier-authors make truth claims five times more often than do military authors from the Netherlands and Germany. At the same time, military authors also frequently admit to some form of self-censuring, so truth claims and self-censorship go hand in hand. From each of the countries studied, at least one author mentions being actively censored by the military, but most do not even mention it, making censorship a common, almost normal military feature. Making truth claims, mentioning being censored, or self-censoring do not influence the kind of plots these authors write either in a negative, or positive way.
Professional events that feature face-to-face interaction of social scientists from across the world are, next to publications and research, important forms of scientific knowledge production and dissemination. Thus, they are vital to the World Science System (WSS). Like other WSS elements, scholarly involvement in international social science events is characterized by unequal cross-national representation. This article focuses in-depth on the International Sociological Association (ISA), a major international social science professional association, to examine inequality in attendance at its flagship conferences. To what extent do countries differ with respect to the number of scholars attending ISA conferences? What factors drive attendance? The authors base their hypotheses on the economic, political and social dimensions that influence country representation. To test these hypotheses the authors use a dataset containing information on 212 countries and their participation in the eight ISA conferences – World Congresses and Forums – held from 1990 to 2012. Results show that a country’s GDP, level of democracy and social science research infrastructure (SSRI) substantially determine their level of representation. SSRI effects are significant above and beyond the effect of GDP and of other controls. Findings also show a meaningful over-time decrease in representation inequality according to countries’ GDP.
This article examines the uncertain and ambivalent position of professions and professionalism in the post-industrial service economy driven by the collapse of the concept of the knowledge worker with which professions have largely been identified since the 1990s. The poor definition of knowledge activities, which are uncritically identified with service activities and creativity of all types, including low-skilled/wage occupations, suggests that the service-dominated economy has significantly challenged the classical concept of professions. In order to understand directions of change in the concept of professionalism the article discusses the reasons for the rise and fall of the knowledge worker and the evolution of the technical-rational to ‘creatocratic’ model of profession. It critically examines the statistical measurement of ‘knowledge-intensive activities’ (KIAs), which is based on poor definition of ‘knowledge intensity’ and cannot serve as a proxy to measure the extent of knowledge occupations in the service economies. Although many concepts for new types of professions have been devised which follow either ‘idealistic’ or ‘realistic’ discourse, the theoretical and normative aspects of new professionalism have not been captured, which makes the idea of a profession a fluid and ephemeral concept. This calls for a more precise definition of occupations and professions in a service economy and their working conditions to understand structural changes and polarization of the labour market, particularly the aspects related to growing social inequalities among new type of professions with the aim to better value professional work and reduce disparities.
Employment informality, or employment without access to work contracts and social insurance, is the norm for Egypt’s working youth, including educated youth. Despite the policy focus on youth as a demographic group, particularly after the country’s recent political developments, informality and precariousness remain largely absent from the policy discourse in Egypt. Youth unemployment rates continue to be the main yardstick for youth welfare in the country. Drawing on Bacchi’s ‘What is the Problem Represented to be?’ (WPR) approach, the analysis in this article seeks to elucidate the implicit assumptions in this policy approach. The article juxtaposes the policy discourse on youth unemployment and informality to that of interviewed educated youth working informally. The two discourses overlap in assigning the state a central role in providing jobs in the public service for youth and in marginalizing the potential to address issues of employment precariousness outside such jobs. They are in discord, however, when young people articulate strong feelings of injustice when these prized jobs are not made available.
This article examines the meaning and potential associated with capturing reality through an analysis of the case and experience of the Karahaber (Black News) collective, a video activist group in Turkey that was particularly active in the 2005–2007 period. Operating under the slogan ‘From the image of the action to the action of the image’, video activists participated in and documented many street demonstrations with non-professional video cameras, producing more than 175 videos that were shared on their website. The article focuses on three specific video films produced by Karahaber that compelled its members to make a specific appraisal of their own participation and political engagement in the demonstrations: two of them documenting the hunger strike, referred to locally rather as a death fast, in protest against the F-type (cell-type) prisons, and one focusing on the attacks against transgender people by nationalist groups in Ankara. Finally, the article reflects on the relationship between reality and representation, and its role in ‘being an activist camera’.
This article examines three narrative formats which Israeli journalists use to describe their tours in Palestinian refugee camps. The article aims to suggest possibilities for reporting patterns, carefully framing a sense of urgency, which attempt to form a right measure of proximity and distance from the sufferers which might motivate audiences into action. The discussion focuses on three narratives, one literary and the other an article which was published in a popular Israeli journal, both unique in their deliberate emphasis on writing style and their reflection of the ongoing tension between the reporters’ professional, creative and national identities. The third format is a testimony, given by the narrator in Ari Folman’s animated film Waltz with Bashir (2008). The film ends with a few minutes of documented events, filmed at Sabra and Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon in 1982. While all three narratives use direct showing, personal testimonies and a variety of written, illustrated and photographed portraits, the written narratives focus on the reporters’ central role and on the Israeli readers, while Waltz with Bashir challenges the possible feeling of guilt on the Israeli side and invokes the viewer’s human empathy through a direct encounter with personal comments and shocking images.
The emotions that human beings experience play a fundamental role in all social phenomena. As a result, sociology needs to incorporate the analysis of affective structures and emotional dynamics into its objects of study. The integration of feelings, affects, moods and emotional states into sociological research, which began four decades ago with the birth of the sociology of emotions, must continue advancing until emotions are fully integrated into the general sociological perspective. This article offers an introductory and critical overview of the work sociologists of emotions have carried out so far. They have helped us, first of all, to understand what an emotion is, the countless number of existing feelings, and the great complexity of emotional processes. Second, they have revealed the social nature of human emotions, and the emotional nature of social phenomena. Third, they have developed a number of theoretical approaches to studying the emotions. And, lastly, they have carried out sociological analyses of many specific emotions (fear, trust, shame, etc.), and emotional analyses in many areas of sociology (gender, work, organizations, social movements, etc.). This article also offers suggestions for the future development of the sociology of emotions, and a selected and updated bibliography.
This article argues for a return to the social thought of the often ignored early 20th-century English thinker GDH Cole. The authors contend that Cole combined a sociological critique of capitalism and liberal democracy with a well-developed alternative in his work on guild socialism bearing particular relevance to advanced capitalist societies. Both of these, with their focus on the limitations on ‘free communal service’ in associations and the inability of capitalism to yield emancipation in either production or consumption, are relevant to social theorists looking to understand, critique and contribute to the subversion of neoliberalism. Therefore, the authors suggest that Cole’s associational sociology, and the invitation it provides to think of formations beyond capitalism and liberal democracy, is a timely and valuable resource which should be returned to.
This article examines a strategy of peace activism that gained visibility in the last decades: memory activism. Memory activists manifest a temporal shift in transnational politics: first the past, then the future. Affiliated with the globally-circulating paradigm of historical justice, memory activist groups assume that a new understanding of the past could lead to a new perception of present problems and project alternative solutions for the future. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis among memory activists of the 1948 war in Israel since 2001, the article examines the activist production of counter-memory during active conflict. Using Coy et al.’s typology of oppositional knowledge-production, the article shows how the largest group of memory activism in Israel produced ‘new’ information on the war, critically assessed the dominant historical narrative, offered an alternative shared narrative, and began to envision practical solutions for Palestinian refugees. However, the analysis raises additional concerns that reach beyond the scope of the typology, primarily regarding the unequal power relations that exist not only between the dominant and activist production of oppositional knowledge, but also among activists.
In an era wherein racism is strongly condemned, everyday processes of categorization and othering confront individuals with contradictions that need to be managed. This article discusses how some of the categorization processes that parents of Flemish and Italian origin – living in Flanders (Belgium) – use are based upon negative stereotyping of the other and clash with one’s general self-image of a tolerant and nonracist person. Consequently, the possibility of being stigmatized as racist needs to be managed and avoided. Rather than refraining from excluding and negatively stereotyping the other, individuals tend to develop new strategies. The family context proved to be an interesting context to study this management of the representation of the self, and of the other. An analysis of 27 interviews with Belgian and Italian origin parents in Flanders clarifies how the shifting of labels from the ‘ethnic other’ (Turks and Moroccans) to the ‘religious other’ (Muslims) is used to legitimize exclusion. The discourses reveal an instrumental use of the (re)labeling of the (same) other which offers parents a solution to achieve the same end-results – the exclusion of the other from the family context – without fearing stigmatization as racist.
Studying change is at the heart of any investigation into social life, whilst continuity is seen as central to a stable identity over time. Change is an unsettling, but inevitable, part of everyday life; continuity speaks of repetition over time, unity and the comfort of belonging. This article examines how themes of nostalgia and authenticity are evoked in telling family histories in order to negotiate change and create a continuous story of belonging. Three family histories demonstrate how material objects, places and claims of family resemblances are used to create both authentic identities and authentic selves belonging to the wider community. Where there is a break in the family story and the ‘world of restorable reach’ is no longer available nostalgia creeps in to replace personal stories with communal ones. Through using both nostalgia, to inform a sense of loss and sometimes a shared past, and authenticity, to create a sense of continuity within an overall arc of change, this article shows how family histories can work to maintain identities over time, retaining a sense of ontological security and belonging in place.
The notion of secularization as an incompatibility between modernization and religion derives from the analysis of the process of modernization of Western European societies. This process led to a weight loss of religion in society and to a progressive differentiation of social spheres, such as religion, politics, science, etc. Following on from this analysis the category and the theory were extended to take on a universal scope in order to describe the modernization processes that would occur in other societies. From the very beginning, sociology has provided exceptions to the rule of secularization. The first was noted by de Tocqueville: American exceptionalism. Then came the processes of rapid economic growth of some Asian Pacific countries (Japan, Korea, Singapore, etc.). Progressively, the entry of new countries into the field of interest of sociologists is showing the Eurocentric nature of the concept. The case of Western Europe, which was the rule, became the exception. Even the notion of religion as a separate social sphere is considered by some social scientists to be ethnocentric. Despite its previous Eurocentrism, the notion of secularization remains useful for sociologists. It has served to account for European religious change, and its analytical instruments can be applied to other cases and may be useful for interpreting these cases either with regard to how they adhere to the Western European model, or how they differ from it – still further, if we consider the huge extent of contemporary international migration. If sociologists want to understand the new Western European societies, they must reapply this analytical rather than predictive version of the concept.
This article aims at questioning the relationship between Arab social research and language by arguing that many factors including the political economy of publication, globalization, internationalization and commodification of higher education have marginalized peripheral languages such as Arabic. The authors demonstrate, on the one hand, that this marginalization is not necessarily structurally inevitable but indicates dependency by choice, and, on the other hand, how globalization has reinforced the English language hegemony. This article uses the results of a questionnaire survey about the use of references in PhD and Master’s theses. The survey, which was answered by 165 persons, targeted those who hold a Master’s or PhD degree from any university in the Arab world or who have dealt with a topic related to the Arab world, no matter in which discipline.
This article analyses the connections between social developments and the evolution of the theory of civil society (CS) (classical background, semantic shifts, re-emergence and open questions regarding future research). The author distinguishes four layers of meanings of CS and focuses on selected research areas of CS qua associations (third sector, social capital, public sphere, civility). The aim is to provide access points and a frame of reference, and to emphasize the need for a culture-centered perspective, for a wide debate on a problematic in flux.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the sociology of religion enjoyed a remarkable growth in both theory and empirical research. The scholarly consensus argues that the early secularization thesis associated with modernization theory was misleading and simplistic, or that it was primarily relevant to northern Europe. Beyond the European framework, there is ample evidence that religion continues to play a major role in society, culture and politics. With urbanization in the developing world, there has come increasing piety and religious revivalism. Religion will be a major factor in political and ideological struggles across the globe in this century. One negative aspect of this focus on political conflict, however, has been an over-concentration on radical Islam and other manifestations of religious violence.
This article offers an overview of the field of mobilities research, tracing the theoretical antecedents to the study of mobilities both within the classical sociological tradition and at its borders with other disciplines or theoretical schools. It examines how ‘the new mobilities paradigm’ differs from earlier approaches to globalization, nomadism, and flow, and outlines some of the key themes and research areas within the field, in particular the concepts of mobility systems, mobility capital, mobility justice, and movement-space. In addressing new developments in mobile methodologies and realist ontologies, this review of the field concludes with a call for an emergent vital sociology that is attentive to its own autopoiesis.
Taking the contemporary debate about the status of political sociology as a starting point, the article presents some of the alternative views, and discusses the relationships between sociology and political science. It claims that, despite persistent controversies, looking into the research tradition of political sociology is a useful resource to grasp the identity of the sub-discipline. Accordingly, the author takes the relationship between state and society as the central issue that everywhere cuts across theoretical and methodological diversity. Finally, the text takes the nation-state as the most typical configuration of the relationship between state and society in modern history, and one that remains so in the present, despite the many historical and analytical challenges we observe today.
Cultural sociology aims at incorporating the central role of meaning-making into the analysis of social phenomena. The article presents an overview of cultural sociology, focusing on its main theoretical frameworks, methodological strategies and empirical investigations. The interplay between the cultural and the social and the focus on meaning variations are two central principles of analysis based on which cultural sociologists seek to revitalize the notion of culture in sociology. Since these principles can be combined in different manners, the article compares the two main current approaches to connect cultural codes and social interactions in the symbolical analysis of social phenomena.
Auto-ethnography, an alternative method and form of writing, can make for uncomfortable reading. A transgressive account in the context of professional practice opens out a professional’s life, remaking power relations in the process. Relational ethics is an emerging growth area for auto-ethnographers, given the ethical implications for everyone represented in a transgressive telling. Future directions include fresh juxtapositions of layered auto-ethnographic texts and collaborative accounts that break with the self–other dichotomy.
US sociology has been historically segregated in that, at least until the 1960s, there were two distinct institutionally organized traditions of sociological thought – one black and one white. For the most part, however, dominant historiographies have been silent on that segregation and, at best, reproduce it when addressing the US sociological tradition. This is evident in the rarity with which scholars such as WEB Du Bois, E Franklin Frazier, Oliver Cromwell Cox, or other ‘African American Pioneers of Sociology’, as Saint-Arnaud calls them, are presented as core sociological voices within histories of the discipline. This article addresses the absence of African American sociologists from the US sociological canon and, further, discusses the implications of this absence for our understanding of core sociological concepts. With regard to the latter, the article focuses in particular on the debates around equality and emancipation and discusses the ways in which our understanding of these concepts could be extended by taking into account the work of African American sociologists and their different interpretations of core themes.
This article examines gender discourses embedded in gender equality policies in the health sector. Gender mainstreaming was first adopted by a number of international and intergovernmental, regional and national actors some time ago, yet there is limited evidence of progress in addressing gender justice in health. Failures in gender equality policies have often been attributed to the lack of gender-disaggregated data, combined with a lack of resources, training and skills. In addition, studies have identified problems originating in the shift from participatory approaches to technocratic solutions, and the persistence of underlying gender relations of power. However, gender equality policies may also contribute to gender discourse in ways which reinforce and perpetuate inequalities between men and women. This article draws on Bacchi’s ‘what is the problem represented to be’ (WPR) approach to policy analysis, to explore responses of primary care organisations in England to legislation requiring public sector organisations to tackle gender discrimination and promote equality of opportunity between men and women. The article adopts a critical discourse approach to gender equality documents and suggests that such texts construct women and men as essentially different, reinforcing specific forms of masculinity and male performance and notions of male disadvantage in health systems.
According to widespread perceptions, health care provision is becoming more universalistic internationally – but also more business-like. The article examines this dual movement through the lens of the (neo-institutionalist) world polity model and by exploring regulatory change in the hospital sectors of Mexico and Germany. These – highly disparate – countries have both seen attempts to make the access to inpatient care more comprehensive, quantitatively or qualitatively; at the same time, reforms have led to the marketization and managerialist transformation of their health care infrastructures. Hence there is similar regulatory change being driven by two expansive institutional logics, although its implementation faces contingencies, due to country-specific bottlenecks in the reform process. In this configuration, hospital care undergoes a process of ‘fuzzy’ reorganization with paradoxical consequences. The overall development bears witness to a cross-national diffusion of institutional ambiguity to which macro-sociological theory concerned with globalization should pay greater attention.
This article explores what challenges African sociologists face in the contemporary period. It argues that one needs to go beyond references to resource constraint or the emphasis on the market or the state in order to fathom the deeper canonical and epistemological problems that keep work outside and distant from the sociological canon. Part of the challenge is that most coherent work on the continent occurred outside the confines of sociology as such. After exploring the snares involved, the article turns to the kind of work that animated sociological thought from indigenous and endogenous forms of knowledge, development and underdevelopment debates, violence and power and a growing emphasis on labour studies. It concludes in trying to consolidate the areas of consensus among African sociologists.
This Afterword maps out the methodological constituents that organize global sociology. It suggests that the starting point for doing global sociology is to deconstruct the inherent Eurocentrism which is there in the discipline’s cognitive frames. Also, it suggests that Eurocentrism is not merely represented in sociological theories and methods but is also enmeshed in practices and sites that administer and govern sociological knowledge, such as journals and curricula. Additionally, Eurocentric frames are organically connected with the discipline of anthropology with which sociology was interfaced through coloniality. It then discusses the other three methodological constituents that help to frame global sociology: provincialization, methodological nationalism and endogeneity. It concludes by suggesting that global sociology is possible if we work with these methodological constituents at many levels.
This article reconsiders the past and the present of Dalit and lower-caste struggle in India, including recent efforts to link caste and race in order to make a common platform against discrimination at international fora. It explores the burden of colonial concepts and statist imaginaries in the shaping of objectified identities by Dalits, especially as they seize upon and crucially rework such categories. Critically engaging with the notion of coloniality, ‘the other side of modernity’, the article reveals the limits of categorical perspectives and intellectual theory in the articulation of social worlds. Instead, it points towards a global sociology that acknowledges and affirms ambivalence and contradiction as crucial attributes of thinking, writing and practice.
The Caribbean, that first place of significant European conquest, colonialism, large-scale transportation and varying levels of forced or coerced migration and labour, provided the impetus for many ‘race theories’ of the 18th and 19th centuries. This article explores the engaged scholarship of radical intellectuals of the English-speaking Caribbean emerging from this racially defined colonial context that emerged over the early to mid-20th century and produced counter-narratives of ‘postcolonial’ and ‘anti-colonial’ thought. With a focus on the radical pan-Africanist, socialist and neo-Marxist traditions it locates elements of radical Caribbean social thought within a larger radical global intellectual tradition and as a precursor in many ways to today’s critical race theories/studies. It focuses on particular themes and methodologies that characterize this work and writing as well as its regional and international impact. Also, the significance of women’s rights and ‘gender’ issues in this tradition is examined; both by its attention to the situation of women in writing and activism and through the important work of key women in these movements. Finally, the article makes a call for a re-engagement with this earlier radical tradition contributing to what Michael Burawoy refers to as public sociology, i.e. a sociology in dialogue with audiences outside the academy while drawing on the traditions of critical sociology.
In its founding generations, sociology was greatly concerned with gender, as part of its theorizing of the world of colonialism and empire. Sociology then focused on the global metropole, so its analysis of gender in the decades since the Women’s Liberation movement has been developed in a Northern container. This can now change, if the extraversion of sociology around the global South can be overcome. The thematics of gender analyses in the periphery highlight historical processes of the formation and disruption of gender orders, dealing with issues of violence and land. The work of a number of gender theorists and researchers from the South is discussed. The material conditions of knowledge formation in developing countries have to be recognized, as well as the differing ways intellectuals in the South handle influences from the metropole. New issues have emerged in the sociology of gender as a neoliberal world order has taken shape, producing new patterns of masculinized power as well as pathways of change for women.
This article examines how Robert Park’s work, first at the American Congo Reform Association (ACRA) as a secretary/publicity agent and later at Tuskegee Institute as Booker T Washington’s researcher, ghostwriter, and co-author, influenced how he conceptualized what academic sociology could do and should be. Once he secured an academic position at the University of Chicago, Park, like many of his peers, sought to establish his difference from and superiority over practical reformers by defining his object of study – society – as a ‘social organism’ which was governed by natural laws. Park’s definition of sociology and its object of study made it possible not only to exclude non-academic researchers from the discipline but also to place his own actions as a ‘reformer’ (i.e. imperial consultant at Tuskegee and the ACRA) beyond scholarly inquiry. Park’s relationship to Washington helps to explain the relationship between sociology’s separation from the reform movement and the erasure of colonialism and imperialism from disciplinary history. It also partially accounts for why contemporary sociology’s analytical structure still struggles to account for and theoretically capture the complexities of colonial history.
This article examines the contested transformation of parenting discourses in postwar Taiwan as a case of global sociology. The author argues that such transformative change embodies Taiwan’s compressed condition of modernity, entangled with a variety of global forces and transnational connections. This article looks at two critical periods of discursive transformation, including a top-down project marked by US aid and the family planning programme during the 1950s and 1960s, and a bottom-up campaign activated by transnational elites to advocate schooling reform and parental education in the post-Martial Law period. The author raises the concept ‘glocal entanglement’ to describe the cultural and institutional entanglements between societies under asymmetrical power relations, and emphasizes that parents across class divides had differential access to globalization and uneven relations with the modernity projects.
The cycle of the ‘social sciences’ as they were historically formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century is coming to its close. The Gulbenkian Report (1995) was an effort to maintain Western epistemic hegemony by ‘opening the social sciences,’ acknowledging the challenges from the Third World (geopolitics of knowledge) and from the outcome of the Civil Rights Movement in the US (disciplinary formations around ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual issues). The ‘opening’ was indeed the beginning of its ‘closing.’ Relevant social and cultural knowledges do not require the normative control and regulation of Eurocentric social sciences, even in their generous opening. New knowledge formation is emerging from the experiences, needs, and memories of the non-European world in contentious dialogue with 200 years of Western epistemic hegemony. Hegel’s Spirit is indeed returning, disillusioned and at the same time empowered to begin a different parkour, to the global East and the global South.
This article analyzes the connections of the social sciences in Chile with the knowledge produced in central countries in comparison to those established within Chile and with other Latin American countries, paying particular attention to the connections regarding theory. It is based on content analysis of academic publications, and on social network analysis applied to a database of more than 20,000 bibliographical references generated for this research project from the universe of investigations published by Chilean social scientists over a period of seven years in the first decade of this century, in journals and books, both in Chile and abroad. The results show that, regarding international communications, there is a low level of connectivity with other Latin American countries, but that the communications among Chilean authors are relatively important and particularly those with a group of local theorists who occupy central positions in the network. This does not appear to be a pattern of cognitive dependence although it occurs within the context of a global science that is characterized by a remarkable inequality.
The article critically reviews the recent publications in the field of social sciences regarding the themes of ‘Southern theories’, ‘theories from the South’ and ‘epistemologies of the South’ seeking to understand the limits and perspectives of this current wave of critique to the social sciences establishment. Analyzing the works of Boaventura Santos, Raewyn Connell and Jean and John Comaroff the article defines the use of the term ‘South’ as a circumstantial project under which different notions of theory are in a dispute for legitimacy. Such disputes are bringing to the center of the sociological debate the very notion of ‘theory’ and its production in a geopolitical context where Southern social scientists are actively participating in the international debates.
Personal relationships are today less dependent on marriage and blood ties, with commitments going far beyond the nuclear co-resident family to include kin, non-kin and ex-kin. The aim of this article is to examine the meanings of family bonds by exploring the changing boundaries between kinship ties and a wider array of affinities, in a Southern European country with a specific pathway (Portugal). The authors begin by analysing the ties which individuals consider as ‘family’ within their personal networks and describe the main types of family configurations. They then examine the determinants of including non-kin as ‘family’ and excluding kin from the family network. Findings reveal the salience of kinship ties, as well as greater fluidity in the social construction of family bonds, in particular through friendship. Structural, life stage and family variables are shaping factors, but relational effects, linked to the quality of the tie, are of particular importance.
This article applies the case of Tali Fahima, an Israeli woman who was convicted of aiding the enemy during wartime, in order to analyse how the ethno-national community is threatened by members it fails to control and fit into existing categories. The author argues that what makes an assumingly bright boundary so sensitive and problematic to cross is not its impenetrability but its actual vulnerability. The state tries to police uncertain citizens and if necessary to expunge them from the collective in order to imagine the boundaries as bright again. The author examines how Fahima used her privileged body to protect a Palestinian insurgent and the ways in which her body is invested with the meanings of national, ethnic and sexual boundaries and analyses how the Israeli security services, courts, media and public define proper citizenship and belonging.
This introduction sets out from the unresolved paradox to be found in the writings of Bourdieu, namely the theoretical impossibility of public sociology and his own sustained practical engagement with publics. I appropriate and develop his concept of the ‘field’ to account for his success as a public sociologist. It requires us to understand that public sociology is only possible at the intersection of two distinct fields – the academic field and the political field. Public sociology proves to be a rather precarious pursuit, then; first, because of competing demands internal to the academic field; second, because of the difficulty in operating at the intersection of the academic and political fields; and third, because of the obduracy of common sense that cannot be easily dislodged, the very attempt often arousing open hostility. Difficult though it may be, the development of its public face will be necessary for the survival of sociology as well as an important ingredient in defending human existence from extinction by market fundamentalism.
Lately, a phenomenal dimension of peripheral scholarship, compulsorily demanding the ‘foreign’, has evolved into the practice of paid publishing in ‘foreign’ journals among Nigerian academics. These ‘foreign’ journals afford speedy publishing at a fee with little or no peer review. This study is a descriptive research which collected qualitative data through 30 in-depth interviews conducted with academics in two federal universities in Nigeria. The findings established that though some universities are beginning to question their intellectual validity and propriety, predatory paid-for foreign journals remain popular among academics desirous to satisfy the ‘international publishing rule’ for promotion at all costs. Lacking international scholarly credibility, predatory journals will not advance Nigerian scholarship into the global scholarly mainstream which the ‘international rule’ ultimately seeks.
The current competition regime that characterizes international science is often presented as a quest for excellence. It diversely affects research in Latin America and research in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This article asks how this competition regime may orient the direction of research in Latin America, and to whose advantage. It is argued that, by relating excellence to quality differently, a research policy that seeks to improve the level of science in Latin America while preserving the possibility of solving problems relevant to the region can be designed. Competition, it is also argued, certainly has its place in science, but not as a general management tool, especially if the goal is to improve overall quality of science in Latin America. Scientific competition is largely managed through journals and their reputation. Therefore, designing a science policy for Latin America (and for any ‘peripheral’ region of the world) requires paying special attention to the mechanisms underpinning the production, circulation and consumption of scientific journals. So-called ‘international’ or ‘core’ journals are of particular interest as local, national, or even regional journals must struggle to find their place in this peculiar publishing eco-system.
Exploring the ‘globalization’ of the social sciences, this article first presents an historical interpretation of how transnational exchange in the social sciences has evolved. Earlier forms of international circulation are distinct from the more global arrangements that have emerged since the late twentieth century. Considering this globalizing field in more detail, it is argued that its predominant characteristic is a core–periphery structure, with a duopolistic Euro-American core, multiple semi-peripheries and a wide range of peripheries. Focusing on the global level, much of the existing research, however, has neglected the emergence of transnational regional structures. The formation of a transnational European field of social science is taken as an example of this process of transnational regionalization. The social sciences worldwide can thus be seen as a four-level structure. In addition to the local and national level, transnational regional as well as global structures have gained increasing importance and a better understanding of ‘globalization’ requires more precise studies of both levels, in their own right as well as in their evolving interconnectedness.
The importance of getting the job done is taking over our personal lives and causing a potential work–family conflict. There are some institutions that have traditionally placed high demands on their members and have been termed ‘greedy institutions’. This article analyses the relationship between two greedy institutions – the family and the military – considering the demands they both place on their members. The article strives to establish which one of them is greedier and consequently responsible for a potential work–family conflict. The in-depth analysis is based on the findings of 10 years’ research among service members of the Slovenian Armed Forces and a sample of their families. The results indicate that: (1) both the family and the military might be greedy institutions, although especially during deployment the greediness of the military outweighs that of the family; (2) the contemporary military organization does not only require service members’ loyalty, but the whole family’s support; (3) Slovenian military families remain highly supportive, regardless of military demands; (4) there are no significant differences in balancing work/family between genders (p = .119), with women reporting less work–family conflict than men (p = .041) and women feeling more support for their deployment from their family and friends than men.
This article addresses the issue of internationalization of social sciences by studying the evolution of production (of academic articles), collaboration and citations patterns among main world regions over the period 1980–2009 using the SSCI. The results confirm the centre–periphery model and indicate that the centrality of the two major regions that are North America and Europe is largely unchallenged, Europe having become more important and despite the growing development of Asian social sciences. The authors’ quantitative approach shows that the growing production in the social sciences but also the rise of international collaborations between regions have not led to a more homogeneous circulation of the knowledge produced by different regions, or to a substantial increase in the visibility of the contributions produced by peripheral regions. Social scientists from peripheral regions, while producing more papers in the core journals compiled by the SSCI, have a stronger tendency to cite journals from the two central regions, thus losing at least partially their more locally embedded references, and to collaborate more with western social scientists. In other words, the dynamic of internationalization of social science research may also lead to a phagocytosis of the periphery into the two major centers, which brings with it the danger of losing interest in the local objects specific to those peripheral regions.
At the transition to parenthood humans become parents or children. Sociology traditionally defines the transition to parenthood as the attainment of a new role or a new cultural identity. Recent new materialist redefinitions of the human and human relations have consequences for the empirical and conceptual view on the transition to parenthood. Parents and children become figurations within material-cultural practices. Their bodies and personalities solidify in those processes. Research from this perspective has often focused on the conception and birth of children (and parents) within techno-scientific practices (e.g. IVF). The research presented here focuses on everyday material-cultural practices during the transition to parenthood to explicate how parents and children are produced during the transition to parenthood. This article gives detailed descriptions of four key practices that allow humans to gain the status of parent or child: gaining evidence over an existing pregnancy, the normalization of the foetus and the parents, the sexing of the child and the official registration of the child. These situated practices form ‘real’ parents and children and their living conditions.
It is clear that increasing numbers of young adults are choosing to live alone, both in Australia and elsewhere around the world. What is less clear is why they are living alone and, specifically, to what extent this housing trend might be driven by the pressures and demands of an employment structure that makes intimate relationships less possible. One aspect of the individualisation thesis that has been under-explored is the argument it makes that social and institutional conditions in late modern societies require individuals to prioritise paid work and remain ‘free and flexible’ in their personal lives – a logical explanation for the growth of living alone. This article assesses this argument using a study of young adults living alone in Australia. In-depth qualitative interviews indicate that only a minority perceive that their work has influenced their decision to live alone. However, this claim needs to be placed in the context of a simultaneous awareness that they are all ‘very busy’, with lives that are universally perceived as being easier to manage when living alone. The article considers the implications of these ‘busy lives’ for young adults’ relationship futures and current work–life experiences, thus contributing to knowledge about individualisation, identity and the role of paid work in young people’s housing decisions.
Drawing on a recently collected nationwide survey in mainland China, this article examines the average level of generalized trust among urban Protestants. This is the first rigorous quantitative study addressing the relationship between religion and trust in the context of mainland Chinese society. Through propensity score matching, this study also demonstrates how to deal with potential selection bias, a long-time overlooked issue in the sociology of religion. The findings in this article reveal that both male and female urban Protestants, compared with non-Protestants, show a significantly lower level of generalized trust in an average person. A similar pattern was not detected in Buddhists. Finally, urban Protestants in contemporary China on average exhibit a higher level of trust in religious adherents and religious organizations. Taken together, this study provides a preliminary portrait of urban Protestants in terms of their attitudes towards the trustworthiness of generalized others, religious followers, and religious organizations.
This article scrutinizes the social networks and the social capital invested within these, of a relatively new and understudied immigrant group in the North European context. The study shows how the social networks of Brazilian immigrants in Amsterdam are segmented along strong dividing lines, especially surrounding legal status. This segmentation has different outcomes for migrants, and within these segments, variation also exists. By analysing in-depth interviews with 30 Brazilian immigrants in Amsterdam, the study finds that a Brazilian community does not exist, and that assistance, non-assistance and a commercialization of social relations all take place at the same time among the social networks of Brazilians in Amsterdam. The analysis also uncovers some of the mechanisms related to these processes and hence adds relevant insights to the literature that studies the contexts in which immigrant social networks provide for social mobility and the contexts in which such networks do not.
This article investigates the role of online networks in providing support and mentoring resources for underrepresented groups. The case study of the virtual community of practice WomenScientists1 explores how online communities can be mobilized to help close the ‘leaky pipeline’ that too often leads women to leave the sciences after completing a post-secondary degree. The forum provides a virtual space for scientists around the world to discuss how gender impacts professional life in scientific fields, both within the academy and beyond. This project analyzes the content of WomenScientists1 to understand how users form mentoring relationships in the forum. Overcoming the underrepresentation of women in the sciences is a primary objective of international organizations including the European Union and UNESCO, both of which have made efforts to investigate how mentoring impacts long-term professional success. By examining textual data and the sentiment of posts, the article concludes that this virtual environment provides unique forms of support that specifically promote mentorship and the exchange of personalized advice for women in the life sciences.
The article uses the second-order perspective developed by Niklas Luhmann to re-examine the relation between globalization and sovereign states. From a second-order perspective, globalization is redefined as a self-description of society supported by the practice of comparing sovereign states with other sovereign states for the purpose of determining what is global at the present moment in time. The article develops a genealogy in order to account for this particular practice of comparing states with each other in historical terms. The genealogy proceeds by treating the states as spatial units within spatial divisions, while four distinct types of spatial division are discussed and aligned in one sequence: stratified, heterogeneous, homogeneous and meta-division. In some cases, not all spatial units are states. Accordingly, states are not always or not only compared with other states. In this way, the genealogy shows that the practice of comparing states in action behind globalization as a self-description of society is linked with the last two forms of spatial division specifically.
This article discusses the relationship between socialization and inequality, exploring the case of the working class in Portugal. Bringing together different sociologic traditions, the framework draws upon Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and practices, balanced with recent research on life histories, globalization and individualization. The life stories of 52 workers produced in the context of an adult education programme are analysed, focusing on two major topics: life pathways and class trajectories, and subjectivity, identity and values (stressing the weak class consciousness). The article discusses the potentialities/challenges of using the biographical method to study socialization and inequalities, particularly when developed in educational contexts. According to the analysis, life pathways are often branded by temporary rural, industrial and services work experiences, crossed by ‘turning points’ and dramatic moments, though with some generational and gender differences. Classes are seldom referred to, but narratives are framed by key socialization institutions (work, family, local community, church, army) and a sense of deficit, pride and shame, linked to the inequalities structure. Although a pervasive economic, cultural and political change from the 1960s on is evident, our research found key features of a working-class habitus, rooted in specific life paths and socialization institutions. These are likely to be stretched in the current context of economic crisis and neoliberal policies in southern Europe.
This article highlights the ‘personal consequences’ of contemporary employment relations in Canada, characterized by increasing precarity, shifting gender relations in families and in the workforce, the expansion of post-secondary education and an intensifying polarization of wealth. It connects these consequences to perceptions of intergenerational differences and conflict at and around work. Drawing on qualitative, narrative data from 52 interviews conducted between 2009 and 2011, the author proposes that younger people (or ‘generations’) are more likely to construct and be associated with narratives of disaffection about work. In contrast, what the author terms ambivalent and faithful narratives are largely associated with and constructed by workers who entered and experienced a far different world of work.
To say international migration is to say cross-border connections: the ties linking sending and receiving countries are a salient aspect of the migration experience, appearing during present as well as past eras of migration. This article reviews the sociology of these cross-state ties and spillovers, typically associated with the literature on transnationalism. The article discusses the intellectual history of the transnational perspective on migration, offers a critical evaluation and then presents a different approach, designed to identify the mechanisms generating and attenuating cross-border connections across a range of activities. Focusing on the experience in the Americas, the article then turns to the empirical literature, synthesizing the results of research on cross-border social ties, homeland politics, and homeland spillovers. The last section suggests new avenues for future research.
Numerous approaches in the social sciences either refuse to consider or minimize the importance of conflict in community or else replace it with a Spencerian vision of the social struggle. Between these two extremes there is considerable space for us to consider conflict as a relationship; this is what differentiates it from modes of behaviour involving war and rupture. Sociology suggests different ways of differentiating various modes of social conflict. The question is not only theoretical. It is also empirical and historical: have we not moved, in a certain number of countries at least, from the industrial era dominated by a structural social conflict in which the working-class movement confronted the masters of labour, to a new era dominated by other types of conflict with distinctly more cultural orientations? Whatever the type of analysis, the very concept of conflict must be clearly distinguished from that of crisis, even if materially the two coexist in social reality.
Research relationships in the social sciences are becoming increasingly codified through formal procedures set by ethics committees. This article addresses the virtues of improvisation based on two fieldwork experiences in countries where ethics protocols are not institutionalized and are left to the judgement of researchers. The first involves the Turkish minority in Greece, with research conducted in Greece, Turkey and Germany, and the second involves Sri Lankan Tamil migration studied in France and Ontario. Based on a comparison of their respective approaches to two identity-based movements, the authors show how they were able to undertake an ethnographic revisit of these topics and highlight their political dimensions.
This article analyses the information society developments in Turkey. Utilizing analytical insights of Foucault’s governmentality to move beyond state-centric approaches and to focus on the practical, productive and imperfect operations of power, it identifies four main actors of governance through which the rationalities and practices of information society are developed and disseminated: the Justice and Development Party, the European Union, global development organizations and information society experts. The article demonstrates that despite their different and sometimes competing backgrounds and projections, each actor promoted neoliberal governmentality and maintained that Turkey’s information society strategy should be regarded as an opportunity for further liberalizing the economy and mobilizing citizens of Turkey with digital and entrepreneurial skills. While Turkey’s information society strategy has certain technical inefficiencies and limitations in its reach, it clearly demonstrates the political ambitions of integrating Turkey into global capitalism, and the contemporary governmental phase in Turkish modernity in which local and global actors have started playing important roles. Such decentralization of governance does not mean that authoritarianism in Turkey has ended. In fact, neoliberal rationalities have intersected with the existing authoritarian ones to produce globalized yet compliant citizens who are under digital surveillance. The case of Turkey demonstrates that rather than being a linear process, governmentality advances through complex local and global articulations and may coexist with authoritarianism and surveillance.
Everyday life has inspired much sociological theory and is now a recognized branch of the discipline. Here we trace evidence of the salience of everyday life in general sociological theory, look critically at theories specific to analyses of everyday life; then survey recent research. In closing, we look to the future of the field.
Sociologists of policing and collective protest have made a plea for eradicating from police literature and training programmes which aim to provide guidelines for crowd management any references to classical crowd theory where crowds are depicted as irrational entities. Instead, these scholars suggest, rational conceptions of crowds should inform contemporary crowd management. This article questions this plea on two grounds. First, it demonstrates that there is no unidirectional connection between sociological crowd theory (whatever its content) and practical strategies for governing crowds. The tactical polyvalence of crowd theory is illustrated by showing how the irrational conception of crowds has given rise to very different strategies for the management of crowds (urban reform programmes in the Progressive Era and Hitler’s mobilization strategies, respectively). Second, the article argues that, in spite of its current scholarly popularity, there is no guarantee that the call for a practical employment of the rational notion of crowds will necessarily be successful. This is demonstrated by stressing, on the one hand, that irrational notions of crowds continue to thrive, thereby rendering a turn towards rational approaches difficult, and, on the other hand, that the rational approaches in their ignorance of collective emotional arousal present an inadequate picture of crowds and consequently have limited scope as guidelines for crowd management strategies.
Debates about Shari’a law and legal pluralism have come to the fore of political discourse in many western multicultural societies including Australia. The mass media, in particular newspapers, have been active in reporting on Shari’a related news items and in doing so, have made a significant contribution to shaping political debate across western nations from governmental to grassroots levels. Understanding how newspapers report on Shari’a will provide important insights into how political discourse about Islam, western Muslims and Shari’a is formed. Utilizing the example of newspapers in Sydney, Australia, this article draws upon methodologies used to analyse the negative portrayals of new religious movements in the press. The article aims to analyse the way that Shari’a has been reported in key newspapers in Sydney over the last five years. It explores a variety of issues influencing the reporting of Shari’a including reporting of Shari’a at the local and international levels, the division between ‘good’ Shari’a (Islamic finance) and ‘bad’ Shari’a (family and criminal law) and differences between newspapers and media owners.
Is it necessary to draw on details from a person’s ‘private life’ to describe his (or her) ‘public life’? During fieldwork conducted on the politics of a medium-sized French city, the authors garnered a good amount of information – real or alleged – about the sexuality of local elected officials (most often women). Rather than keeping sexuality out of the scope of their research, as is common in social sciences, the authors examine how it is used locally to interpret political life. They look at two elected municipal officials with atypical career paths whose rapid rise to power defied the common rules of political selection, and who were rumoured to engage in romantic relationships with men who benefitted from a greater political capital. The study addresses two dimensions: social explanation by sexuality, which requires analysing the social functions of rumours; and the sociological explanation of sexuality, which implies examining the political role of sexuality. For both of these dimensions, the authors draw from analyses of the political context: the use of these sexual explanations does not make sense per se, but can only be understood within the context local politics in France during the 2000s, shaped by the application of the parity law. Finally, the demonstration leads the authors to plead in favour of normalizing the analysis of intimate relationships.
This article explores key issues around land and agrarian reforms, beginning with definitions. It analyses debates over political intent and the contradictory economic outcomes of (redistributionist) reforms: these decrease some class inequalities but hold potential for further differentiation in the countryside. It also takes up three current issues: gender, land rights and land reforms, neoliberal ‘reforms’, titling and land ‘grabs’, and agrarian reforms’ contemporary relevance in the context of globalising trends. It concludes that land and agrarian reforms continue to be of much importance to poverty alleviation, food security and sustainable agriculture, particularly in a world framed by neoliberal policies.
This article explores the ethical challenges of conducting fieldwork in state institutions. It critically engages with the chain of competing claims and multiple loyalties that confront social researchers, and addresses as the main question: how does working with people with whose goals one fundamentally disagrees shape the necessity of building collaborative alliances and trust?
Drawing on the experience of a sensitive and precarious procedure – the administrative hearing of two fiancés suspected of a sham union – the article aims to give situated answers to general questions about the ethics of fieldwork relations. By challenging ideas about trust, neutrality and loyalty, it explores the tensions between building field alliances and private moral and political alignments. In the light of such dissonance, the article discusses the stakes of disclosure and the imposition of a covert role in forging alliances; the consequences of working in a state institution, where ‘customers’ are submitted to civil servants’ discretionary power; and how this blurs, for the researcher, the opposition between adopting a neutral stance and taking sides. Finally, the article addresses the ethics of unethical alliances and how this tension challenges choices in portraying and betraying research participants.
Seemingly, we live in a world where people are free to decide which network members to activate for what sorts of tasks. This is the principle of ‘networked individualism’, where personal autonomy is central to the organization of personal networks. Yet is this autonomy overstated? Applying correspondence analysis (CA) to network survey data from Singapore, this article posits that while networked individualism is a modern trend, categories such as gender, ethnicity and class, do, in addition to personal autonomy, structure how people match role relationships to tasks. Unlike most studies, which examine the link between social categories and role relationships, or the link between role relationships and tasks, this work incorporates all elements under the rubric of a single study.
This article has two goals, an intellectual history of gender as a concept and to outline a framework for moving forward theory and research on gender conceptualized as a structure of social stratification. The authors’ first goal is to trace the conceptual development of the study of sex and gender throughout the 20th century to now. They do this from a feminist sociological standpoint, framing the question with particular concern for power and inequality. The authors use a modernist perspective, showing how theory and research built in a cumulative fashion, with empirical studies sometimes supporting and sometimes challenging current theories, often leads to new ones. The authors then offer their theoretical contribution, framing gender as a social structure as a means to integrate the wide variety of empirical research findings on causal explanations for and consequences of gender. This framework includes attention to: the differences and similarities between women and men as individuals, the stability of and changing expectations we hold for each sex during social interaction, and the mechanisms by which gender is embedded into the logic of social institutions and organizations. At each level of analysis, there is a focus on the organization of social life and the cultural logics that accompany such patterns.
The study of memory has emerged in the early 21st century as a broad interdisciplinary endeavor across the social and physical sciences. This review critically examines the growing literature and its relevance to the sociology of memory. It assesses as well the impact of globalization on mnemonic based practices. The conclusion considers the interplay between individual and collective memory, deeply embedded in memory studies, as it evaluates future directions and challenges.
Disaster studies address the social and behavioral aspects of sudden onset collective stress situations typically referred to as mass emergencies or disasters. These situations can be created by natural hazards, technological accidents, violent intergroup conflicts, shortages of vital resources, and other major hazards to life, health, property, well-being, and everyday routines. Disaster studies address the impacts of these events on all social units ranging from individuals and households to nation-states. All aspects of the life history of such events, both actual and threatened, are examined in terms of the ways in which populations at risk conduct hazard and vulnerability analyses as well as plan and implement mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery actions.
Sociology of health and illness has been enlivened with increased understanding of the complex roles, social factors and structures play in individual and societal health and well-being. New insights are simultaneously empirical and conceptual, leading to innovative approaches to analysis, as well as new conceptual frameworks. Three examples are: the social gradient of health, the population health perspective and the saliency of social fabric to both individual and societal well-being. Nonetheless, puzzles remain such as how social inequalities get under the skin, why socioeconomic improvements do not always yield life expectancy gains, and how to reduce health disparities and inequalities.
Contemporary diasporas are studied from many different perspectives. One widely acknowledged aspect is their capacity to illustrate dual homeness, and their challenging national cultures’ aspiration to sociocultural unity. Insertion into new societies tends today to erode the singularity of diasporic communities, but the symbols they retain or create may still warrant cultural reproduction as transnational entities. The conceptual distinction between collective identity, identification, and identifying is helpful when considering how diasporas have become a factor in the multiculturalization of present-day societies, while themselves becoming multicultural entities through the influence of the cultures prevailing in the diverse environments of their dispersed communities. The incoherent – even chaotic – realities these contradictory tendencies generate for analysts are not necessarily perceived in these terms by the actors. Their presence in societies, their impact on non-diasporic populations, the new relations they create between original and new homelands, and above all their endeavor as interconnected cross-national spaces, represent developments that contribute to moving society towards a new era.
Professionalism is a key concept in the sociologies of work, occupations, professions and organizations. But professionalism is changing and being changed. The article considers the different ways in which professionalism has been and is currently being interpreted. Beginning with a section on defining the field and clarifying concepts, the second section examines the concept of professionalism, its history and current developments. The third section considers the consequences of changes in work contexts and employment conditions for aspects of professionalism both as an occupational value and as an ideology in the global world.
Social psychological research has taught us a lot about why people protest. This article provides a theoretical and empirical overview. Discussed are grievances, efficacy, identification, emotions and social embeddedness, followed by the most recent approaches, which combine these concepts into dual pathway models. Finally, two future directions are discussed: (1) to shed light on the paradox of persistent participation, and (2) to clarify how perceptions of sociopolitical context affects protest participation.