Sociology Summer Internship – Wedding Discourses

By Tanya Portch.

When I saw the opportunity for a summer internship with a member of the Sociology team, I was eager to get involved. Having read Dr Julia Carter’s previous work on young women’s relationships, and in particular weddings, I was excited for the opportunity to assist a lecturer in their academic research. I was ecstatic when I got the call to say I had been accepted. Not only would I be studying an area that held personal interest for me, I would also be getting invaluable experience in terms of research, methodology and sociological analysis. Continue reading

Theorising medicine, race and knowledges

Over the Michaelmas term of this past academic Dr. Harshad Keval was on sabbatical. While he was missed by staff and students, he has certainly put the time to good use. He’s currently seeing the fruits of his academic labours which, unlike Sisyphus’, are paying off! Harshadhas spent his time writing a manuscript for publication with Palgrave on South Asians, health and constructions of risk amongst diabetes patients and he has also explored these themes his recent peer-reviewed papers.

He has a paper on discursive construction of risk amongst diabetes patients published in New Genetics & Society, arguing that contemporary medical perceptions and patterns of diagnosis demonstrate a radicalised understanding ‘genes’ and racial phenotypes, making South Asians victims of a discourse of belonging to medically ‘risky cultures’. And Harshad has continued to explore this radicalised understanding of health in contemporary medicine in another paper, co-authored with Asesha Morjaria-Keval in Religions, on Sikh spirituality and its alternative knowledges on alcohol recovery.

Alongside these empirically informed and theoretically situated articles on race, medicine and the handling of radicalised experience health services, Harshad has extended his work into the world of policy debate and public polemic, writing a guest editorial on the ‘magical disappearance’  of race from contemporary clinical psychology, published in Diversity and Equality in Health and Care as well as a paper charting the debates around multi-culturalism and inter-culturalism and the absence of race and class, published in New Diversities.

Sex, Love and Security in LAT relationships

Check out Dr. Julia Carter’s new article about notions of commitment in LAT relationships. It has just been published in the journal Sociology and is up online first here

Here’s the abstract:

“Drawing on a 2011 national survey and 50 semi-structured interviews, we explore the differing ways in which those in living apart together (LAT) relationships discuss and experience notions of commitment. We found that sexual exclusivity in LAT relationships is expected by the large majority, regardless of their reasons for living apart. The majority of the interviewees also expressed a high degree of commitment to their partner in terms of love, care and intimacy, alongside an appreciation of the increased freedom and autonomy that living apart has to offer. Respondents were divided into four groups according to their perceived commitment: 1. Autonomous commitment, 2. Contingent commitment, 3. Ambivalent commitment, and 4. Limited commitment. Despite differing degrees of commitment, however, the overall finding was that the importance of relating and making relational decisions was central, even in the lives of those living in such unconventional relationship styles.”

Sloanes, gentry and the ‘problem’ of the super-rich

By Daniel Smith 

 Elites are firmly on the agenda for British sociology. With a special issue of Discover Society dedicated to the super-wealthy and another special issue of BJS dedicated to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, dramatic inequality fuelled by staggering wealth is the central issue and social problem of the day. Yet this ‘elite’ are problematic, difficult to name, internally fractured and culturally heterogeneous. Continue reading