Friday, 23 May 2014

Germaine Günther publishes article in the Mindfield Bulletin

Germaine Günther has published a report in this month's edition of the Mindfield Bulletin about the 10th Symposium of the Bial Foundation.

The Mindfield Bulletin is a publication of the Parapsychological Association exclusively available to its members. Under the editorship of Etzel Cardeña, the bulletin features theoretical, research, and historical articles.
Subscription is available online at

Germaine is a second year PhD student in the Department of Sociology and the University of York.  Her research explores how people experience coincidences in everyday life. The research project is supervised by Prof Robin Woffitt and funded by the pharmaceutical company Bial. 


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sharon McDonald blogged!

Sharon MacDonald doesn't just write for our departmental blog but has become the subject of another blog, The Attic. Follow the link to read about Sharon and the new 9/11 museum.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Seminar: ‘Sexual Orientation and the European Convention on Human Rights: Voices and Perspectives

On Friday 16th May, the Department of Sociology hosted the one-day seminar ‘Sexual Orientation and the European Convention on Human Rights: Voices and Perspectives’. The event was attended by delegates from the UK and across Europe. Individuals from different standpoints – lawyers, judges, activists, and academics from various disciplines – shared perspectives and engaged in dialogue about sexual orientation discrimination and human rights law. The event was organised by Dr. Paul Johnson, the author of ‘Homosexuality and the European Court of Human Rights’ and, more recently, ‘Law, Religion and Homosexuality’.

A full account of the seminar can be found on the ECHR Sexual Orientation Blog:

Friday, 16 May 2014

Mobilising identities: the shape and reality of middle and junior managers’ working lives – a qualitative study

ISSN 2050-4349

Ellen Annandale has co-authored a report on the identities of NHS managers

Background: Social identities shape how individuals perceive their roles and perform their work. Yet little is known about the identities of various types of NHS managers and even less about how they may influence how they carry out their work to achieve effectiveness.

Objectives: To chart the work of middle and junior clinical and non-clinical managers; to describe how
their identities are constructed and shape the performance of their roles; to explore how they mobilise their identities to achieve effectiveness.

Harvey J, Annandale E, Loan-Clarke J, Suhomlinova O, Teasdale N. Mobilising identities: the shape and reality of middle and junior managers’ working lives – a qualitative study. Health Serv Deliv Res 2014;2(11).

The full report can be read via this link

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Gender and Sexuality Research Symposium: Masculinities, Modernity and Heteronormativity in the UK and South China

Tuesday 10 June 2014, 10.00AM to 18:00


Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, Heslington West, University of York


  • Stevi Jackson, University of York --- Gender, Families and Modernity in Comparative Perspective: Theoretical and Methodological Issues 
  • Jieyu Liu, SOAS University of London --- Changing Family Relations in Urban China 
  • Travis Kong, University of Hong Kong --- On the Edge: Chinese Men Negotiating Thrill and Control in Commercial Sex - 
  • Sik Ying (Petula) Ho, University of Hong Kong --- The worst thing a man can do? Hong Kong Chinese Men's perceptions of bad behaviour in intimate relationships 
  • Xiaodong (Wes) Lin, University of York --- ‘Filial son’, the Family and Identity Formation among Male Migrant Workers in Urban China 
  • Hongwei Bao, University of Nottingham --- Becoming Gay: Negotiating Sexuality in Urban China 
  • Denise Tse-Shang Tang, University of Hong Kong --- Perspectives of Same-Sex Sexualities and Self-Harm Among Service Providers and Teachers in Hong Kong 
  • Sik Ying (Petula) Ho and Denise Tse-Shang Tang, University of Hong Kong --- A critique of the Minority Stress Model: Prejudice, Social Stress, and Self-Assessment among Sexual Minority People in Hong Kong 
  • Paul Johnson, University of York --- Homosexuality, Heteronormativity and Human Rights: Europe and Beyond 
  • Howard Chiang, University of Warwick --- In the Shadow of Empires: Imperial Citationality and the Queering of Marriage in Sinophone Communities 


Places are limited, please book your place at

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Complete University Guide - Sociology

The Department of Sociology has been ranked 7th in the latest Complete University Guide.  We have risen from 11th place in last year's rankings.

The University of York has the highest average score for teaching quality in the British university sector. It is also ranked eighth for the quality of its research.

York has had consistently high scores for teaching quality in the National Student Survey (NSS).

Nearly 90% of York students praised the quality of teaching on their courses in the 2012 National Student Survey.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Freedom can be a daunting experience

By David Honeywell

Several days ago I was contacted by the BBC team asking me to give my account of life in parole - ‘jam roll’ in prison slang.
Parole is when a prisoner is released early to serve out the rest of their sentence under supervision.

It must seem strange to my fellow criminologists who claim prison doesn’t work when I say prison worked for me.

The truth is, prison enabled me to get an education and it was my educational achievements that got me parole.

Had I not been in prison I may never have entered higher education.

Prison provided me with the opportunity to study without all the temptations of the outside world.

The idea of being released early is an exciting prospect for any prisoner but when freedom comes along, it can be the most daunting experience of all – so much that many of the more experienced jailbirds refuse to even be considered.

Late one afternoon in September 1984, my attention was drawn to a sheet of paper being slide under my cell door. I could see by the logo it was official. I knew it was my long awaited parole answer.

Parole is like remand time. You have no idea what fate awaits you and as a result those who are waiting are often highly strung.

On this day not even the prison wall could dampen my spirits. I was to be released in two weeks. It was a double celebration because not only was I being released from prison but I had just turned 21 so I had been given the key to the door a second time.

Who could ever think that freedom could be such a daunting experience though? Yet many face this after release. Three times I went to the Police station and Probation pleading to be sent back to prison but it seemed that whatever I said to them they no one was listening.

Those who were on parole always had the threat of being recalled back to prison hanging over them if it was deemed they were not managing their resettlement and showing signs of instability.

One Monday evening around 7.30pm in 1985, I answered a knock at the back door. I could see it was a Police sergeant. At the front another Police officer waited for me and within an hour I was back in custody. I knew my Probation officer was concerned about my behaviour and he had warned me that he had contacted the Home Office parole board.

After two weeks and to my relief I still hadn’t been recalled but it had been a close call and enough to kick start me into settling quite nicely so it was a shock when they took me back to Durham prison for another four months.

I saw what the older wiser prisoners meant now. It was easier to do your time and get out free without restrictions and the constant threat of recall. The second time I was on parole was 1998 and though I struggled to resettle committing further offences, I was never recalled. It seemed no matter what I did, they wouldn’t send me back to prison and with time, I began to settle. I am so pleased probation had faith in me because soon after I began to turn things around.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Law, Religion and Homosexuality: book launch and talk

Wednesday 18 June 2014, 7.00pm to 8:30pm

Speaker: Dr Paul Johnson, University of York, Dr Robert Vanderbeck, University of Leeds and Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society

Location: Conway Hall, London

Admission: Free with wine reception

  • Why can organised religions lawfully discriminate against people in employment on the grounds of their sexual orientation?
  • Why can religious organisations legally refuse to provide gay men and lesbians with goods and services that are available to other people?
  • How have religious groups contributed to shaping the National Curriculum to exclude explicit reference to homosexuality and same-sex relationships?
  • Why do state-funded schools continue to have a right to teach about same-sex relationships according to their particular ‘religious ethos’?
  • How have anti-gay religious groups helped shape the criminal offence of ‘incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation’ to make it narrower than the offence outlawing racial hatred?
  • Why are same-sex couples excluded by default from solemnising marriage according to religious rites or in places of worship?
These are some of the questions explored in Law, Religion and Homosexuality, a new book by Paul Johnson and Robert Vanderbeck, which examines the ways that religion continues to shape law relating to sexual orientation in the UK.

The book argues that, despite claims to the contrary, religion continues to exert considerable authority in the legislative processes of the UK and, as a result, frequently limits sexual orientation equality.

BSA Postgraduate Forum Event: The Promise and Perils of Researching Sensitive Issues

20 November 2018 (09:00-17:00) Call for papers Research concerning sensitive and emotionally demanding issues is vital but challenging...