Judy Wajcman appointed to Anthony Giddens Chair in Social Theory
The Department of Sociology is delighted to announce that Judy Wajcman has been appointed to the Anthony Giddens Chair in Social Theory, in succession to Paul Gilroy. She is pioneer in several fields over the course of her distinguished career. She conducted one of the earliest British studies of women workers, was a co-founder of the first women's studies programme, at the University of Cambridge, and was the first woman fellow at St. John's College. Books on the sociology of work and organisations include Women in Control: Dilemmas of a Workers' Co-operative, Managing Like a Man: Women and Men in Corporate Management and The Politics of Working Life. She is however best known for her contribution to the development of science and technology studies. Her co-authored book The Social Shaping of Technology is regarded as a landmark in the field, as are her books on the gendered character of technology Feminism Confronts Technology and TechnoFeminism. She has been President of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, and was recently awarded the William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award by the Communications and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association. Her latest book, Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, will be published this autumn by the University of Chicago Press.
Mike Savage appointed to Martin White Chair in Sociology
Mike Savage has also been appointed to the Martin White Chair in Sociology, in succession to Nikolas Rose. He has played a leading role in the re-invigoration of the study of class and inequality over recent decades. Trained as an historian, his early work, notably his first book The Dynamics of Working Class Politics (1987) argued that the changing fortunes of working class politics needed to be understood in local context, and informed not only be the analysis of work relations, but also urban dynamics and local gender inequalities. This work initiated a long standing interest in the historical sociology of Britain, the most recent manifestation of which is his recent Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940: the Politics of Method (2010) which examines how the social sciences have themselves become key agents of social change over the past 50 years. His many studies of social class inequality have emphasised the need to turn the sociological lens on privileged and powerful and include the Class Analysis and Social Transformation (2000) and the co-authored Culture, Class, Distinction(2009). His current work on the BBC’s Great British Class Survey has attracted great academic and public interest. He was made Fellow of the British Academy in 2007 and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Fran Tonkiss promotion and new book
We are delighted to report that Fran Tonkiss, who joined the Department of Sociology in 2003 has been promoted to Professor of Sociology. This is fitting recognition of Fran’s role as an internationally-recognised scholar in the fields of urban and economic sociology. She has carved out a distinctive international profile through linking debates about economic change with the built urban form. Her major publications in these fields include Space, the City and Social Theory (Polity, 2005), and Contemporary Economic Sociology: Globalisation, Production, Inequality (Routledge, 2006). She is also the co-author of Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Theory (Polity, 2001, with Don Slater), and co-editor of Trust and Civil Society (Macmillan, 2000, with Andrew Passey). Her most recent book is Cities by Design: the social life of urban form published by Polity in November 2013. Fran is currently the managing editor of the highly-rated journal Economy and Society, and was the LSE-based editor of the British Journal of Sociology from 2007 to 2010. She is also active in the field of policy and public engagement: she has provided expertise to a number of architectural competition juries, publishes regularly on social and policy issues in the architectural press, acted in the capacity of scientific expert on the committee for a new Swiss spatial strategy in 2009-10, and since 2011 has been a member of the UN-Habitat Urban Private Sector Advisory Board.
Claire Moon joins European Network for the Social Study of Forensics
Dr Claire Moon was an invited participant in the launch of the new European Network for the Social Study of Forensics in Amsterdam, 22-23 November 2013. The launch brought together around 15 scholars from around Europe working on the intersection of the forensic sciences and social and political issues. The launch raised a variety of issues including human rights, privacy, social control, policing, and disaster and atrocity victim identification. The network is planning a range of future activities including conferences, seminars, lectures, public events and collective writing projects.
Money as the measure of man
Claire Moon published a chapter entitled 'Money as the measure of man: values and value in the politics of reparation' which compared reparations granted to victims of gross violations of human rights in South Africa and Argentina. It was published in an edited collection entitled 'Value and Values in Criminology and Community Justice' which explores the inherent, although sometimes invisible, values in crime theory, criminal justice and research practice. The collection spans Marxist, postmodern and feminist perspectives on criminology, analysis of the dynamics of race, gender and age, research methods and ethics, the working of the criminal justice system, and engages with current debates about new challenges for criminology such as the green movement and Islamophobia.
‘Configuring Light/Staging the Social’ project receives ESRC funding for three year international seminar series
The ‘Configuring Light/Staging the Social’ project led by Dr Don Slater (LSE Sociology) and Dr Joanne Entwistle (King’s College London) has received ESRC funding for a three year international seminar series on light as material culture, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of practitioners and academics to discuss a wide range of issues around light and lighting. Confirmed speakers of the seminar series include professionals and academics from Qatar, New Zealand, USA, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.
‘We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to create a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural forum that will bring together not only academics of different disciplines, but also enable collaboration with leading-edge lighting professionals in design, building and planning,’ Don Slater commented on the launch of the ESRC seminar series.
The 30,000 GBP funding ensures that the seminar series can run three international seminars per year for three years. Eight will be hosted in UK venues and one will be held in a European capital. Each seminar will have one international speaker and three domestic presenters with an additional audience of about fifty people. The first event will be hosted at LSE in spring 2014, the second seminar will take place in summer 2014 at King’s College London. For more information read press release (PDF).
Ricky Burdett joins Bill Clinton on Resilient Cities judging panel
Professor Ricky Burdett (pictured) joins former presidents Bill Clinton and Olusegun Obasanjo on the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities judging panel. Nearly 400 cities across six continents applied to the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, which was announced on the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100th anniversary in May 2013. The Foundation has now announced the names of seven distinguished judges from around the world who will select the first round of cities to join the network:
• Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
• Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria
• Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities
• Dr Peter Head, Chair, Ecological Sequestration Trust
• Dr Helene Gayle, President, CARE USA
• Anshu Jain, Co-CEO, Deutsche Bank
• Dr Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation
Configuring Light/Staging the Social
Light is a material through which we organize social space; it is the infrastructure of everyday life, entering into the ways in which social life and interaction is staged and enacted in specific social worlds. Configuring Light/Staging the Social is a multidisciplinary research programme that forges an integral dialogue between social sciences, design, architecture and urban planning focused on light as one of the most fundamental features of social life. It is coordinated by Dr Don Slater, LSE Sociology and Dr Joanne Entwistle of King’s College London. The research programme aims at developing interlinked projects focused on the ways in which light as a material is configured into built environments by using multidisciplinary and academic-practitioner collaborations to explore four over-arching thematics. Its perspective is ethnographically comprehensive: mapping all the significant forms of knowledge, practice and governance and all the actors (consumers, designers, planners) that enter into the processes of configuring light and staging social life. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, go to www.configuringlight.org or visit Facebook page.
Hutter and Lloyd-Bostock on the fallout from Eyjafjallajökull
A new analysis by Professor Bridget Hutter and Professor Sally Lloyd-Bostock of the volcanic ash crisis in 2010, which led to the closure of Europe's airspace for six days and huge financial losses for airlines, reveals how powerful economic interests can shape regulation. It explores how, before the crisis, the airline industry failed to respond to regulators’ calls to discuss modifications to standards and protocols. Then, during the crisis, commercial pressures forced the modification of internationally agreed safety guidelines in a matter of days. The report is published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Sociology. For more please follow link to LSE News press release.
Awol Allo joins Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Awol Allo has been appointed as LSE Teaching Fellow in Human Rights for the academic year 2013-14 and will be joining the Centre for the Study of Human Rights from 1 October. He is currently Lord Kelvin and Adam Smith Scholar and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and will shortly be submitting his completed thesis 'Law and Resistance: Toward a Performative Epistemology of Law'. He has an LLM (magna cum laude) from the University of Notre Dame and did his LLB at Addis Ababa University.
Awol was until recently part-time Lecturer in Human Rights Law at the University of Strathclyde. He has also been a part-time lecturer in Public Law at Glasgow Caledonian University, and temporary lecturer in Politics and tutor at Glasgow University and comes to us with practical experience of a range of human rights issues.
Suzanne Hall and the future of high streets
Dr Suzanne Hall has been leading research on this currently highly controversial topic as part of the Ordinary Streets project at LSE Cities. Urban ethnographer and lecturer in sociology Suzi, who teaches in the Cities Programme, has been studying city streets in London for more than five years, focusing on Rye Lane in Peckham, south London, a poor and ethnically diverse neighbourhood which paradoxically bucks the national trend of declining footfall and struggling independent retailers, as local businesses adapt to their customers' needs.
The research project is featured in LSE research highlights.
Judy Wajcman receives CITASA Career Achievement Award
Professor Judy Wajcman is the 2013 recipient of the CITASA William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award. CITASA is the Communications and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The award was presented during the Annual Meeting of the ASA in August 2013 in New York City. Image above of Judy Wajcman at the ceremony with Professor Paul DiMaggio from Princeton.
This award recognizes a sustained body of research that has provided an outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the area of sociology of communications or the sociology of information technology.
Judy Wajcman is taking part in a distributed open collaborative course or DOCC on 'Feminism and Technology', which is being offered as an alternative to the MOOC model. The DOCC aims to challenge MOOC thinking about the role of the instructor, about the role of money, about hierarchy, about the value of "massive," and many other things. For more read: Feminist professors create an alternative to MOOCs.
Bridget Hutter visits ANU
Bridget Hutter will be Visiting Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) Australian National University 18-31 August. She will give a seminar at the Australian Productivity Commission on Thursday 29 August.
Dr Ayça Çubukçu in discussion with Talal Asad on Egypt
On July 11, 2013, Ayça Çubukçu, IGLP Network Member and Jadaliyya Turkey Page Co-Editor spoke with Talal Asad, distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Scholar of Secularism and Middle Eastern Studies, to discuss his thoughts on the military intervention in Egypt July 3, 2013. Some say it was a coup, others insist it was a response to the people’s demands. To see what Dr. Asad has to say, read the full discussion in Jadaliyya online: Neither Heroes nor Villains.
Winning picture by Evangelos Georgas
The image below of the Communist pre-election campaign in Greece 2012, taken by LSE Sociology PhD student Evangelos Georgas, won the photograph category in the LSE Research Festival 2013. Evangelos is working on the topic ‘Understanding Radicalization: Party Articulation and Popular Receptions of the Crisis in Greece Since 2010.’
Bridget Hutter takes part in high level risk regulation workshops
Professor Bridget Hutter was recently invited to participate in two high levels risk regulation workshops. The first, sponsored by the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) and Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), was a collaborative workshop at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the subject of Better Regulation, on 16th May. The second, organized by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (21st June) was a closed expert workshop of senior regulators, and academics, designed to explore ways in which food safety regulation might develop in the next few years. Professor Hutter also met with a member of Australian Government’s Productivity Commission with regard to a study for the Government on approaches that regulators use to engage with small businesses.
Dr Daniel Laurison joins the Department
We are delighted to welcome Daniel Laurison as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, funded for three years out of Professor Mike Savage's ESRC Professorial Fellowship. Daniel has just completed his PhD at UC Berkeley and has interests in political sociology and cultural sociology as well as stratification - for more see Research Fellows and Visiting Fellows.
Living in the Endless City one of top ten architecture books
Living In The Endless City (Phaidon Press, 2011), has been named one of The Independent’s 10 Best Architecture Books. Edited by Professor Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, the book takes a close look at the issues that affect cities around the world in the 21st century. It is commended by The Independent as "a fascinating book filled with writing by architects, urban planners, mayors and policymakers, debating the issues about urban living in the 21st century. It looks in detail at nine of the world's biggest cities, discussing everything from climate change to security."
LSE Sociology faculty nominated for teaching awards
Congratulations to Dr Ayça Çubukçu, Dr Janet Foster, Dr Jesse Potter and Professor Mike Savage, who have all been recognised for outstanding teaching by LSE Students' Union in the annual LSESU Teaching Awards.
'My Child' UK premiere at Open City Docs Fest
On Friday 21 June at 6pm the film 'My Child' by Turkish director Can Candan will be showing at the New Academic Building, LSE as part of London's international documentary film festival, presented in collaboration with LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights. The film is about a very courageous and inspiring group of people in Turkey, who are parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and is
followed by panel discussion with Can Candan and Metehan Ozkan (Co-Producer, LISTAG activist), chaired by Dr Ayça Çubukçu (Lecturer in Human Rights LSE). For more information and booking see My Child.
Ayça Çubukçu appeared on BBC Newsnight on Monday 3 June to talk about the demonstrations in Taksim Square and around Turkey - watch on BBC iplayer.
Departmental away day
Faculty spent 4 June at an 'away day' held at the London Mathematical Society in Russell Square, where they discussed sharing good practice, feedback, department strategy/focus, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and next steps for the Department. Dr Liz Barnett and Claire Gordon from the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre joined them for the first session. In the picture below they take a break and enjoy the sunshine.
Alumna Alice Mah wins Philip Abrams Memorial Prize
Congratulations to Alice Mah, who has been awarded the 2013 Philip Abrams Memorial Prize by the British Sociological Association for the best first and sole-authored book on sociology. The book is Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place: Landscapes and legacies of urban decline which explores experiences of urban decline and post-industrial change in three different community contexts: Niagara Falls, Canada/USA; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; and Ivanovo, Russia, and is based on the PhD thesis she completed in the Department in 2008.
Nigel Dodd is on the money
Dr Nigel Dodd spoke at an interdisciplinary conference in the first week of May at Queen Mary, University of London, called 'Money Matters - Encounters Between Money and Literature'. This conference was part of the event series of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations (AGCR) and brought together different disciplines such as Literary Studies, Sociology and Law enhancing a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue. This event was designed to encourage cross-disciplinary debate, inquiry and exploration into the scientific, academic, sociological and cultural implications of money in all its forms.
Ayça Çubukçu gives lecture on Libya in San Diego
Dr Ayça Çubukçu delivered a public lecture hosted by the Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs at San Diego State University on 8 April. The lecture was based on Dr Çubukçu's recent article 'The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity' which was published in a special issue of the Journal of Human Rights addressing Humanitarianism and Responsibility.
Claire Moon on 'Interpreters of the Dead'
Dr Claire Moon presented some new research at the Annual Conference of the BSA. Dr Moon's paper, 'Interpreters of the dead: forensic knowledge, human remains and the politics of the past' was presented on a panel in the the 'Rights, Violence and Crime' stream of the conference.
The paper, part of a broader project on social suffering on which Dr Moon is working, engaged a set of problems that arise when science tries to settle questions of social and political significance. On a general level the paper addresses some of the ways in which the dead register in political life. More specifically, it evaluates the performance of forensic knowledge in settling contesting interpretations of past state violence. What the paper argues, against some of the humanitarian claims made by the field of forensic anthropology, is that forensic truths do not settle the past but take their place within social, political and historical interpretations by which past violence is renegotiated and reinterpreted, in ways that are both conflicted and unpredictable. In order to examine the performance of forensic truth it looks at the question of confirming genocide in a legal setting, and at the exhumations of the disappeared in Argentina.
Special issue of Journal of Classical Sociology in memory of David Frisby
Dr Nigel Dodd edited a special issue of the Journal of Classical Sociology, which was published in February 2013 in memory of David Frisby, who was a Professor in our department until just before he died in 2010. The papers included in the issue are not simply be tributes to David, but essays and articles written on thinkers and topics that interested him – as, inevitably, these are areas of the discipline that he did so much to shape: Special Issue on Georg Simmel and David Frisby.
Suzanne Hall on 'Ordinary Streets'
Suzi Hall presented her work on ‘Ordinary Streets’ at Humboldt University, Berlin and the British Sociology Association (BSA) annual conference in April 2013 , and the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, Oxford in February 2013. She attended a roundtable discussion hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Town Centres, House of Commons on 5 April 2013 on ‘Establishing Thought Leadership in the Evolution of Town and City Centres’ and gave a lecture on ‘City, Street and Citizen’ at London’s Southbank University, 11 March 2013.
Manali Desai to present paper at Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Dr Manali Desai has been invited to give a paper at a workshop ‘Inequality, Civil Society and Democracy: Cross - Regional Comparisons, 1970s – 2000s’ at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, June 7-8.
Disasters and Crises
Professors Bridget Hutter and Sally Lloyd‐Bostock presented a paper on “The Unfolding of Disasters and Crises” at a Research Workshop on Researching events, April 11‐12, 2013, Freie Universität Berlin, sponsored by the Peter Pribilla and German Research Foundation (DFG). The presentation was part of their current research project on risk regulation and crisis that explores key dilemmas in contemporary regulation through the lens of crises and disasters .
Mike Savage publishes details of a new model of the British class system
The largest survey of the British class system ever carried out has revealed a new structure of seven social divisions, ranging from an “advantaged and privileged” elite to a large “precariat” of poor and deprived people.
The Great British Class Survey (GBCS) was launched in January 2011. More than 161,000 people took part in the BBC Lab UK’s web survey. The results have just been published in the journal Sociology, and presented in a plenary session at the British Sociological Association Conference in London on April 3rd.
BBC LabUK teamed up with the leading sociologists Professor Mike Savage (London School of Economics) and Professor Fiona Devine (Manchester University), to examine the shape of the British class system today. The focus was to determine if traditional ideas of a working, middle and upper class still apply in contemporary Britain. Read Mike's report for the British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog.
In one short week, the BBC's Great British Class Survey has entered the annals as one of the most successful pieces of popular sociology ever conducted, with its online Class Calculator, based on the more complex model of the sociological survey, generating millions of visits and a lot of controversy. Read Mike's response in the Guardian online.
Dr Suzanne Hall on the politics of belonging
In her article 'The Politics of Belonging', Suzi Hall explores the contemporary conundrum between preservation and encounter: between deep national dependencies on migration and diversity, in parallel with a determined political resistance to recognise more fluid and hybrid forms of belonging in a highly mobile, uneven and interconnected world. This article appears in a special issue of the journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power: Settling Differences in a Land of Strangers.
Bridget Hutter speaks at Westminster Business Forum
Professor Bridget Hutter gave the opening address to the Westminster Business Forum Keynote Seminar: Next steps for delivering business regulation - reforming enforcement regimes and expanding the Primary Authority scheme on 14 March. The event was attended by Parliamentarians, senior policymakers, regulators and businesses from a range of sectors - including food, retail, travel and tourism, transport, security and manufacturing . On 4 March she presented a paper ‘Governance and Regulation as Risk Management’ at the Charted Institute of Environmental Health Officers’ Health and Safety Conference 2013: Planning for the future and learning from the past. This paper drew on her risk regulation research and emphasised the policy implications and possible impacts of the research.
New Directions in Science and Technology Studies
On 8 March an event organised by the Economies, Risk and Technology research cluster in the Department of Sociology brought together scholars to discuss new directions in science and technology studies. Professor Gabrielle Hecht and Professor Paul Edwards (University of Michigan) presented and discussed their current research on technopolitics in the nuclear era and global infrastructures and the politics of climate change.
Dr Ayça Çubukçu on the military intervention in Libya
In The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity, Dr Ayça Çubukçu (Centre for the Study of Human Rights / Department of Sociology) examines the military intervention in Libya and the problem of transnational solidarity. The article appears in a special issue of the Journal of Human Rights, focussing on humanitarianism and responsibility.
For news from previous academic years please see our News archive.