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Past events and podcasts

BJS 2009 ASA Annual Meeting Reception

American Sociological Association's Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 8th - 11th August

BJS 2009 ASA Annual Meeting Reception, Monday 10th August, 6.30 - 8.10pm, Plaza B, Lobby Level, Hilton San Francisco.

Professor John Torpey will be speaking on Religion: What Is To Be Done?

In his talk, Professor John Torpey will address recent developments in the sociology of religion and their significance for the discipline as a whole. In particular, he will discuss the debate over the nature and meaning of religion, the debate over secularization, and the recently discussed notion of a "post-secular" society. He will argue that these debates return us to vital issues that animated the discipline in its early formation and must return to the centre of our concern if the discipline is to remain relevant to contemporary life.

All welcome - Wine and canapés will be served


BJS 2008 ASA Annual Meeting Reception

ASA Annual Meeting Reception - Sunday 3rd August, 6.30-8.10pm, Independence East meeting room, Sheraton Boston.  Wine and canapés will be served.

Craig Calhoun will be speaking on Altruistic Work: Humanitarian Assistance as Ethics, Politics and Profession

Humanitarian action has attracted enormous interest among educated young people, many of whom are willing to forgo higher paid occupations in favour of careers offering emergency relief and other assistance around the world. They are motivated by altruistic sentiments and deep commitments of the sort Weber called "value-rational": they understand humanitarian action as right in itself. But on the job they confront organizational demands to be efficient and prioritize, to raise funds, and to be accountable. This tension is defining of much "altruistic labour". For some individuals the ethical commitments transcend all else. Some become cynical. Others burn out. Still, in NGOs, UN agencies and other settings such careers proliferate

Humanitarianism provides an occasion for considering how bureaucratization, professionalization and early recruitment are changing a field previously more associated with "accidental" individual commitments in mid-career; and for exploring analogies such as working as a social movement organizer or indeed in other fields where a sense of calling may conflict with seeking a career or accepting demands for more calculating orientations.

All Welcome! 

Richard Swedberg photo

BJS 2015 Annual Public Lecture

Before theory comes theorizing or how to make social science more interesting
15 October 2015, 6.30-8.00, Sheikh Zaheed Theatre, NAB
By paing more attention to what happens in actual practice before a theory is formulated - what may be caalled the methods of habits of theorizing - social science and sociology may be considerably improved.

Troy Duster
BJS 2014 Annual Public Lecture, 6 November

Troy Duster, University of  California, Berkeley and New York University. presented 'A Post-Genomic Surprise: The Molecular Reinscription of Race in Science, Law and Medicine'. In his thought-provoking lecture he explored the resurgence of the idea that racial taxonomies deployed to explain complex social behaviours and outcomes (such as crime, academic performance, and massive health disparities) have a biological and genetic basis. Watch the podcast of the lecture

New:  View the 2014 Public Lecture podcast interview between Troy Duster and Nigel Dodd


2013 BJS Public Lecture

Value beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of capital?

Thursday, 17 October 2013, at 6.30 p.m. in The Sheikh Zayeed Theatre (NAB) London School of Economics, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields

'Many theiries adopt the metaphors of capital to explore (e.g. Bourdieu), others propose that capital has subsumed all areas of life. Beverley Skeggs will explore what looking through the logic of capital reveals and obscures.'

Speaker: Bev Skeggs, HOD, Sociology, Goldsmiths, London

Chair: Nigel  Dodd, British Journal of Sociology

2012 BJS Public Lecture

Occupy's Predicament

Thursday, 18 October 2012, 6.30 pm. The Sheikh Zayeed Theatre (NAB), London School of Economics, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields

'Occupy wants to be both a way or life for militants adn the heart of a reform movement.Can these two vectors cohabit?'

Speaker: Todd Gitlin, Professor and Chair, Columbia Journal School, Columbia University

Respondent: Craig Calhoun, Director, London School of Economics

Chair: Richard Wriight, Editor in Chief British Journal of Sociology



2011 BJS  Public Lecture 

Yasemin SoysalSpeaker:  Yasemin Soysal  (pictured), Senior Lecturer, Dept.of Sociology, University of Essex

Chair : Gillian Stephens, Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of  the Population Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta

The lecture addresses the recently intensified European debates and policies on immigrant integration in the context of the broad changes in the conceptions and insitutions of citizenship

2010 BJS Public Lecture

John Hagan - The Displaced and Dispossessed of Darfur

Wednesday, 20 October 2010, at 6.30 p.m. in The Sheikh Zayed Theatre (New Academic Building), London School of Economics, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ

John HaganSpeaker: John Hagan (pictured), John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology of Law, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University and Co-director of the Center on Law & Globalization at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago

Respondent: Tim Allen, Professor of Development Anthropology, Department of International Development (DESTIN), LSE

Chair: Richard Wright, Editor in Chief, BJS, and Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St Louis

In addition to 300,000 deaths, the Darfur Genocide has forced the displacement of about 3,000,000 people.  Hagan examines the temporal processes of this displacement to demonstrate how state-led attacks on food and water dislodged Black Africans in Darfur from Februrary 2003 to August 2004

A podcast of this lecture is available on the Events Website 

2009 BJS Public Lecture

Loic Wacquant - Bringing the State Back in

Photograph of Loic WacquantIn his lecture on 6 October 2009 Loic Wacquant draws on classical theory, social history and a comparative analysis of the penalization of urban poverty in advanced societies at the century's turn to argue that we need to bring the penal state back to the centre of the sociology of social inequality, public policy and citizenship.


BJS 2008 Annual Public Lecture

Diversity in the Contemporary City: City Social Order Revisited

Tuesday, 21 October 2009 at 6.30 p.m, The Sheikh Zahed Theatre (New Academic Building) LSE
Photograph of Robert SampsonSpeaker: Robert Sampson, (pictured) Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and Chair of Sociology, Harvard University

Respondent: Paul Gilroy, Anthony Giddens Professor of Social Theory, LSE                        

Chair: Richard T. Wright,  BJS Editor, Curators' Professor Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis  

This lecture looks at classic urban themes as they are manifested in the contemporary city, focusing on social reproduction of inequality, the meanings of disorder, and the link between the two. Points to be raised by the speaker will include:

  • stigmatizing an area as crime-ridden or disorderly sets in motion a 'self-fulfilling prophecy'
  • this social process predicts the future poverty status of a community even accounting for its present economic condition.
  • as a result poverty and disorder are highly stable-in some cases across many decades, leading to durable inequality
  • both residents and outsiders are more likely to perceived (or "see") see an area as disorderly if the population  has a concentration of blacks, minorities, or immigrant groups
  • even accounting for actual or observed levels of disorder
  • ironically, however, and despite widespread views to the contrary, immigrant concentration appears to be related to lower levelsof violence and in U.S. cities at least, increasing revitalization of inner city areas
  • the future of cities is bright, in part because of increasing diversity/immigration that is attracting the 'creative class'

A podcast of the lecture is now available on the Events Website.

 2007 BJS Public Lecture

 Sexual Politics: the limits of Secularism, the Time of Coalition

Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, LSE, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE

This lecture considers the conditions for coalition that might exist between religious and sexual minorities through focusing on differential forms of state coercion. Several arguments have emerged in Europe and elsewhere, claiming that feminism and progressive sexual politics are threatened by new religious communities and the effects of Islam in particular and base their views on libertarian principles (feminism and progressive sexual politics rely on increasingly robust conceptions of personal liberty) and on criticisms of multiculturalism (cast as a relativist enterprise that is unable to ground strong normative claims). Such arguments tend to rely on conceptions of sexual or gender freedom which presume certain conceptions of secular progress and to forget or dismiss conceptions of sexual politics that are bound to anti-racist struggle. Without denying that clear tensions exist between religious traditions that condemn and forbid homosexuality and progressive sexual movements that tend to promote exclusionary conceptions of the secular, the lecture focuses on the importance of conceptions of cultural translation, antagonism, and the critique of state coercion to consider what'critical coalition' might mean for religious and sexual minorities.'

Speaker: Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Respondent: Chetan Bhatt, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmith's College, London
Chair: Suki Ali, Sociology Department, LSE   

A reception will follow in the Senior Common Room(4th Floor , LSE Main Building Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE)  

2014 Public Lecture:  A Post-Genomic Surprise: The Molecular Reinscription of Race in Science, Law and Medicine'

Troy Duster delivers a thought provoking lecture and also carries on the debate in his conversation with Nigel Dodd on a number of thoughts that had developed following on from the lecture

Podcast interview

Lecture Podcast

2013 Public Lecture: Values beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of capital?

Beverly Skeggs talks on how many theories adopt the metaphors of capital to explore  power while others propose that capital has subsumed all areas of life.  She explores what looking through the logic of capital reveals and obscures

Lecture podcast

2012 Public Lecture: Occupy's predicament: the moment and the prospects of the movement

Podcast Interview where Richard Wright and Todd Gitline discuss the Occupy movement following his successful lecture.

Lecture podcast: Todd Gitlin addresses the questions: 'Occupy wants to be both a way or life for militants adn the heart of a reform movement.Can these two vectors cohabit?'

Podcast - 2011 Public Lecture : Citizens, immigration and the Euopean social project: rights and obligations of individuality

Yasemin Soysal  addresses the recently intensified European debates and policies on immigrant integration in the context of the broad changes in the conceptions and insitutions of citizenship.

Lecture Podcast link

Podcast - January 2011 - BJS 2010 Public Lecture: The displaced and dispossessed of Darfur

The latest in the BJS Podcast Series, features John Hagan and Richard Wright discussing important questions to arise from Hagan's lecture 'The Displaced and Dispossessed of Darfur'.    -his 2010 BJS public lecture.

Podcast - June 2010 BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed'

Interview between Laurie Taylor and Anthony King regarding King's paper 'The Afghan War and 'postmodern' memory commemoration and the dead of Helmand' (BJS vol 61(1): 1-25).

Podcast - BJS 2009 Public Lecture: Bringing the Penal State Back In

Loic Wacquant and Nicola Lacey debate the need to bring the penal state back into the centre of the sociology of social inequaltiy, public policy and citizenship.

To download the video or podcast of this debate please see the Public lectures and events page.

BJS Podcasts Supporting 2008 Lecture 'Disparity in the Contemporary City'

Professor Rob Sampson  and Professor Richard Sennett, two of the world's foremost urban sociologists, debate the ideas presented at the BJS Lecture in two podcasts:

Podcast - October 2008 BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed'

People seldom see crime itself.  Instead, they see things they associate with the presence of crime - most famously 'broken windows'. In "Thinking Allowed", Professor Robert Sampson discussed his research into the link between objective conditions in the urban environment and people's perceptions of disorder and decline.

Listen to the exchange between Laurie Taylor and Rob Sampson on Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed' available NOW on the 'Thinking Allowed'  BBC Radio 4 website or listen again on Sunday 24 October at 24.15


March 2015 Public Lecture Debate: 'A Post-Genomic Surprise: The Molecular Reinscription of Race in Science, Law and Medicine'.

Troy Duster debates with commentators including: Barbara Prainsack, Duana Fullwiley, Patricia Hill Collins, Carrie Friese, Joan H.Fujimura, Jonathan Kahn and John Solomos.Read the fascinating discussion

March 2014 Public Lecture Debate: Values beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of capital?

Beverly Skeggs fascinating paper based on her lecture.

March 2013 Public Lecture Debate: Occupy's predicament: the moment and the prospects for the movement

Todd Gitlin  and Craig Calhoun engage in a discussion following the 2012 lecture.  Free access to readers 

March 2012 Public Lecture Debate: Citizenship, immigration and the European social project

Yasemin Nuhoglu Soysal continues discussions raised in her 2011 Lecture with commentators including: Ruud Koopmans, Oliver Schmidke, and Lydia Morris Read the issue free

March 2011 Public Lecture Debate: The displaced and disposed of Darfur

John Hagan and Joshua Kaiser continue the discussions raised Hagan's 2010 BJS Lecture. Commentators responding to them include: Tim Allen, Vincent A. De Gaetano, Michael Mann, Claire Moon and Martin Shaw.

Micro-debate on 'violence'- BJS September 2009 Issue

Are human beings wired for violence? Randall Collins debates his provocative book Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory  with Richard B. Felson and Mark Cooney

March 2009 Debate: 'Disparity in the Contemporary City'

A debate based on the 2008 BJS Lecture 'Disparity and Diversity in the Contemporary City: Social Order Revisited' will appear in the March 2009 issue of the Journal featuring key academics and practitioners from sociology, criminology, and urban studies.
Robert Sampson(pictured): Harvard UniversityPhotograph of Robert Sampson
Paul Gilroy (LSE)
Sophy Body-Gendrot (Sorbonne)
Tony Bottoms (Cambridge)
Diane E. Davies (MIT)
Richard Sennett (LSE)
P.O. Wikstrom (Cambridge)
Paul Wiles (Home Office)

Plus a response to the comments by Robert Sampson. A podcast of the lecture is now available on the Events Website.

BJS 2007 Published Annual Public Lecture given by Judith Butler now available to read online for free!

Sexual Politics, Torture, and Secular Time

Photograph of Judith ButlerThe hugely popular BJS 2007 Annual Public Lecture given by Judith Butler is now available to download in BJS, Volume 59, Issue 1 (March 2008).  Also appearing in the same issue are comments on the paper from:

Chetan Bhatt (Goldsmiths)
Jim Beckford (Warwick)
Linda Woodhead (Lancaster)
Suki Ali (LSE)
Tariq Modood (Bristol)

A response to these comments will be published in BJS, Volume 59, Issue 2 (June 2008) from: Judith Butler (University of California, Berkeley)

Be the first to read this FREE (available to all) issue online. Register to be emailed when this Issue is published online by clicking here, or follow the "Sign up for e-alerts" link and instructions on: www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/bjos. 

BJS Special Issue - September 2010

Special Issue:  Varieties of second modernity

Editors:  Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande
'When a world order collapses, that's the moment when reflection should begin' (Beck and Grand 2010(4): 409). Contributors  to the special issue address key issues concerning the necessity of a cosmopolitan turn in social and political theory and research.