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Department of Sociology

Latest news

  • Anja Kanngieser on The Forum, BBC World Service

    The principle of top down hierarchy seems extraordinarily resilient in human societies. But why have we come to organise ourselves this way? Is it to be more efficient and effective? Or, is it because some people will always be driven by instinctive greed and desire for power?

    Listen again to Bridget Kendall talking to professor Peter Turchin, a biologist trying to trace the hidden dynamics of history, Anja Kanngieser, a social geographer who is interested in alternative networks that link us horizontally, and political cartoonist Martin Rowson, an artist whose work would founder without the rich and the powerful to poke fun at.

  • Heidi Mirza speaks at Martin Luther King commemoration

    (Picture courtesy of Graham Lacdao, St Paul’s Cathedral)

    Heidi Mirza was one of three eminent speakers invited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King speaking at St Paul’s Cathedral.

    The anniversary lecture discussed how we can end racism today in light of Martin Luther King's legacy. The public discussion, led by Heidi alongside, Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Claredon OBE and Hugh Muir, Guardian columnist, addressed the current impediments to equality in Britain today. It also discussed practical solutions to remove these obstacles. Heidi spoke about 'What is racism?' in sociological and psychological terms.

    Find out more about the event.

  • Noortje Marres Interviewed for Philosophy of Data Science

    Mark Carrigan continues his investigation of data science with this latest interview with Noortje Marres on Digital Sociology. Growing digital awareness means lots of opportunities for collaboration between sociology and related fields and there is also a chance for sociologists to challenge the deeply-rooted narrative of a clash between technology and democracy.

    This interview is part of an ongoing series on the Philosophy of Data Science.

  • Scraping debt data: Payday lending and the quest for algorithmic prediction

    Joe Deville will be giving a talk on Thursday December 4th at the Cyber Security centre at the University of Kent on payday lending and alogorithmic prediction, as part of their ongoing research seminar series. Further details here.

  • Living by Numbers? Metrics, Algorithms and the Sociology of Everyday Life

    Roger Burrows to present 'Living by Numbers? Metrics, Algorithms and the Sociology of Everyday Life' at the Digital Life Research Seminar Hosted by the Institute for Culture and Society in conjunction with the Digital Humanities Research Group, University of Western Sydney.

    This talk will focus on the role digital data has in restructuring our everyday lives. As individuals, we are all too aware of the identities created for us by business and commerce based on what, when and how we buy. As professionals, we are faced with a growing number of performance metrics influencing work targets and strategy. The reactions to such data deluges and their possible consequences will be examined in two examples likely to be of interest to the audience – city life and academic labour.

    For more info visit the website here.

  • Inscriptions of Love: the body as an impermanent canvas

    Les Back will give a keynote address entitled 'Inscriptions of Love: the body as an impermanent canvas' at the BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 6th Annual Conference Researching Bodies Friday 28 November 2014.

  • "You've Got a Text from UKBA”: The New Technologies of Border Control

    Les Back will be presenting his paper '"You've Got a Text from UKBA”: The New Technologies of Border Control' as part of Borders, Citizenship & Mobility: An Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Geopolitics of Encounter at King’s College London Friday, 28 November 2014

    This paper is part of a book that Professor Back is completing with Shamser Sinha, entitled Migrant City, to be published with Routledge in 2015. This talk explores the ways that the UK Home Office has been using mobile phones, texting and social media as tools of border control. Drawing on research from a five-year project about the experience of young adult migrants in London, we discuss how this form of 'micro-bordering' impacts on their daily lives. In September 2013, these tactics were exposed through an article we wrote in Discover Society, which received wide press coverage and culminated in a global scandal forcing a statement from the Prime Minister, David Cameron. In a sense we repurposed the same technologies being used by the state - i.e. mobile phones, twitter and texting - as tools to recirculate information, temporarily embarrassing and shaming the British government. Our talk will reflect on some of the lesson leaned in this example concerning how to make public interventions in the debate about immigration through research in the contemporary hyper-media environment.

  • Excitable Writing Transforming academia, art, activism

    Yasmin Gunaratnam will be speaking at the workshop Excitable Writing Transforming academia, art, activism, 8-10th December. Organized by the Swedish-International Gender Research School, InterGender, Linköping University

  • The first findings from Bev Skeggs' ESRC research project on Facebook are now released

    Do check: https://values.doc.gold.ac.uk/firstfindings/

    The project explores the relationship between peoples' cultural and moral values and economic value. There has been a great deal of interest in how capital has intervened in almost every area of life, leading some to propose new forms of capital e.g. ‘emotional capitalism’, and others to suggest that processes of valuation are now the major method for understanding the social world. Whilst, no doubt, capital behaves according to its own logic, finding new lines of flight, converting affects into value, making multi-culturalism marketable, generating new forms of bio-capital, and making many of our actions subject to the logic of calculation, this project asks if anything is left behind. Is there anything that cannot be capitalized upon? Many social theories reproduce the logic of capital. But if we only understand the world from the perspective of this logic what do we miss seeing? Our previous research projects have drawn attention to how values are formed beyond value, unnoticed and unseen, producing new ways of being and doing in the world, organized differently through spatial and temporal co-ordinates. This project consolidates and expands this analysis by exploring values (and their relationship to value) through two limit cases that attempt to convert all values to value: modern digital relations and traditional prosperity theology.

    The project has a live site that is continually harvesting information on the digital world. Do use it as a sociological resource: https://values.doc.gold.ac.uk/

  • New Hierarchies of Belonging

    In the 2014 Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies Annual Lecture on Wednesday 19 November, Professor Les Back and his co-researchers Shamsya Sinha and Charlynne Bryan discuss how the ‘crisis of multiculturalism’ is effecting the regulation, scrutiny and surveillance of migrant communities. Through the story of a young migrant, they explore the ways that old hierarchies of belonging are taking new forms within the social landscape of contemporary London. This biographical case study is drawn from a larger qualitative study of 30 young adult migrants. The authors argue that the debate about population mobility needs to transcend the ‘migrancy problematic’ and instead identify how the ordering of humanity works in a globalized and neo-liberal context. Combining insights from Stuart Hall’s recent writings and Franz Fanon’s lesser-known essays, they argue that new hierarchies of belonging are being established that replay aspects of colonial racism, but in new forms suited to London’s postcolonial landscape.

  • The Voice of Stuart Hall

    Les Back, Yasmin Gunaratnam, and Nirmal Puwar explore Stuart Hall’s soundz in 'The Voice of Stuart Hall', Wednesday 26th November, 3pm PSH LG01.

    This presentation forms part of the week-long series of events celebrating the life and work of Professor Stuart Hall and the naming of the new Professor Stuart Hall Building.

  • Medicine Unboxed

    Yasmin Gunaratnam will be 'in conversation' with the poet/writers Jackie Kay and Daljit Nagra on the theme of 'Crossings' at Medicine Unboxed on the 23 November. For more info visit the official site here.

  • Politics of Exhibiting - Panel Discussion

    On 19 Novmber Nirmal Puwar will join the Panel for a special panel discussion on the politics of exhibiting. Comprising the panel are Henrietta Lidchi, Dr Nirmal Puwar, and Catherine Hahn.

    This panel discussion will look at the issues behind the politics of exhibiting other cultures. The speakers will talk on early colonial spectacles, living exhibits, museum collections and their construction of knowledge and truth, and issues of display and power. They will reference past and contemporary exhibitions and museums and raise questions about methods and approaches for display in the future.

    Held jointly by The Mosaic Rooms and Leighton House Museum, this event is free to attend. For further info and to register your interest visit the website.


  • Martin Luther King's Dream: How can we end racism today?

    Fifty years ago Martin Luther King Jr spoke in London at St Paul's Cathedral on his way to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Runnymede is supporting an anniversary lecture on how we can end racism today and work towards Martin Luther King's dream. This will be a public discussion led by Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, Dr Heidi Mirza, Professor of Race, Faith & Culture at Goldsmiths College and Hugh Muir, Diary Editor at The Guardian.

    Book your free place here.

  • Real agency to the audience

    Spyros Papaioannou's article 'Real agency to the audience' published by openDemocracy.net. Read his article here.

  • Vinyl Culture in the Digital Age

    Les Back is to sit on the Panel of respondents at Vinyl Culture in the Digital Age an event to mark the publication of  ‘Vinyl: The Analogue Record in the Digital Age’ by Ian Woodward & Dominik Bartmanski.

  • Markets for Collective Concerns

    Daniel Neyland will be speaking at the Markets for Collective Concerns workshop December 11 and 12. Further information can be found here.

  • Sustainable London? The future of a global city Book Launch

    Sustainable London? The future of a global city from Policy Press at the Centre for Creative Collaboration will have an official book launch on Monday 24th November 2014 at the Centre for Creative Collaboration. The event will include an overview by the book’s Editors, Rob Imrie and Loretta Lees, a short talk by guest Anna Minton, writer, journalist and Visiting Professor at the University of East London, followed by two discussants, Dr. Ben Campkin of University College London and John McKiernan of Platform-7.

  • Heidi Mirza Speaking Events

    Heidi Mirza will be speaking at two events this week:

    Misrepresenting Faith: Media Crises, Controversies and Conspiracies Tuesday, November 4, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre)

    Gendered Islamophobia and the Hysteria of the 'Veil'. More info here


    Department of Educational Studies: 110th Anniversary ‚ÄčFriday 7th November 14.00- 18.00 Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, Whitehead Building

    From Young Female and Black to Young Muslim Female: Reflections on 30 years of race, gender and education at Goldsmiths. More info here


Content last modified: 15 Dec 2014

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