Policing pregnancy is bad for babies

By Jennie Bristow.

When pregnant women are told about yet another thing that they should avoid doing in case it compromises the health of their fetus, barely an eyebrow is raised. Smoking? Of course not. Blue cheese? Don’t be daft. A glass of wine? Best not to, just in case. Eating anything at all? Well, if you must – but don’t get greedy now. Remember, being pregnant is no excuse for putting on weight.

So Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s first female chief medical officer, demonstrated her sisterly solidarity just before Christmas by claiming that obesity should be treated as a ‘national risk’ alongside terrorism. Women, in particular, are in the frame; because, the Daily Telegraph reports, ‘rising levels of obesity in pregnancy are jeopardising the health of future generations’.

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CCCU Engaging Sociology hosts Professor Lord Giddens: Off the Edge of History

By Daniel Smith

Last night CCCU sociology were delighted to host Professor Lord Anthony Giddens for our second Engaging Sociology event, open to students, staff and the public. The lecture was entitled ‘Off the Edge of History’ and Lord Giddens spoke about the problems, opportunities and risks facing the world in the twenty-first century. These problems included and built upon Giddens’ concerns in his published works, notably The Consequences of Modernity (Polity, 1990), Europe in the Global Age (2009) and The Politics of Climate Change (Polity, 2009), illustrating his central thesis that the social processes put in place in modernity far outstrip human control and comprehension, as well as having huge unintended consequences that betray predication or rationalisation. Continue reading

Why have a wedding? A summary of our project findings.

Emily Garbutt and Julia Carter


Our research project aimed to ask: can weddings help us understand the nature of agency in people’s lives? With a sizeable minority now choosing to “live apart together” or cohabit, marriage is no longer a legal or social necessity, yet many people still choose to marry and have a wedding; the questions remain why marriage is still so popular and why weddings have taken on the cultural significance they have. This research was specifically concerned with the form and process of the wedding and understanding better how these are imagined and lived by individuals. By asking why people choose to have weddings and how they experience these, we uncovered some of the central elements involved, including the roles of agency, tradition and imagination. Continue reading