Friday, 25 July 2014

New AHRC Grant Awarded

Many congratulations to Sharon Macdonald who is partner in a successful large AHRC award (to start in April 2015) .

The team, led from UCL, and including CIs at Exeter and Linnaeus as well as Sharon at York (and including many other non university partners) have been awarded a large 4 year AHRC 'beacon' grant.

The overall grant is called 'Assembling Alternative Futures for Heritage' and it is intended to act as a 'beacon' for the 'Care for the Future' theme; and the York part-project is called 'Curating profusion'.

A postdoctoral researcher will be based in the Department and the University is due to contribute a PhD studentship starting in 2015.

Monday, 21 July 2014

July Graduation Ceremony Photographs

Here are the photographs from the University of York Graduation Ceremony on Friday 18 July.

There are more general photographs available via the web page at (available late Monday evening after web update)

If you would like a higher definition photograph please let me know and I shall email one to you.  (Email: )

If you are still considering going onto further study we run 6 MA/MSc courses which may be of interest to you.  We continue to recruit until mid September so it isn't to late to apply:

Friday, 18 July 2014

International Symposium: MOOD-Y (Micro-Analysis Of Online Data in York)

This symposium took place on  Monday and Tuesday 14/15 July in the Department of Sociology.

Through themed presentations of empirical research and methodological processes on the first day, as well as researcher-led collaborative data workshops on the second day, the MOOD-Y symposium provided a space for developing the theory and methodology of interaction(al) analysis of online social behaviour.

There is a twitter feed to enable everyone to follow the discussions at #moodatyork

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Speakers Commission on Digital Democracy

Brian Loader appeared as an expert witness for the Speakers Commission on Digital Democracy on Tuesday 15 July. Details at

The Commissioners heard contributions on engagement and facilitating dialogue amongst citizens, before opening up the meeting to a final 30 minute public question and answer session with the audience and via Twitter using #DDCEngage

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

New working paper by Paul Johnson on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014

Paul Johnson’s new working paper provides a critical analysis of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 and the process by which it was enacted by the Parliament of Uganda. Drawing on Hansard (the Official Report), as well as other parliamentary documents, Paul examines how the legislation was shaped and formed during its passage through Parliament. Through a detailed analysis of four key criminal offences created by the legislation, he argues that Ugandan legislators have enacted law that is not only unjust but is often ambiguous, incoherent or redundant. He concludes by suggesting that an examination of the parliamentary process, and the legislation that resulted from it, can provide an important means of questioning and challenging the legitimacy of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 and the Parliament that made it.

The working paper can be downloaded from SSRN here:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

York is active with events and reports

The Department of Sociology has been featured in this month's edition of the British Sociology Association Network magazine highlighting all the events and activities that have taken place in the past few months.

Every event and seminar is posted on the Sociology blog at  Do keep up with us all by bookmarking this link

  • Research students organised an annual sociology postgraduate researcher conference, entitled Access and Opportunity, which focused on multi-disciplinary research and international collaboration. 
  • The department and the Centre for Urban Research (Curb) hosted a one-day symposium entitled 'Marxism with soul: Marxist humanism after Marshall Berman'. The event was organised by Dr Gareth Millington 
  • The European Sociological Association's PhD summer school 'A sociological imagin-ation for the 21st century' is taking place at York from 27 to 29 July. It is directed by the Head of Department, Professor Ellen Annandale.
  • Dr Rowland Atkinson has published the edited collection Shades of Deviance: A Primer on Crime, Deviance and Social Harm, with accounts of war, murder, paedophilia, human experimentation, stalking, sexting and other issues.
  • Dr Nathan Manning, with Dr Anna Barker, University of Bradford, and Dr Ala Sirriyeh, Keele University, has published a report based on research on Bradford's City Park.
  • Dr Merran Toerien facilitated a week-long workshop 'Conversation analysis: a hands-on workshop' at Rhodes University, South Africa, funded by a British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Award.
  • Dr Sian Beynon-jones presented her research on temporalities and abortion at the BSA Yorkshire Medical Sociology group inaugural meeting in Sheffield

PhD Academic Development Away Day

On Friday 4 July most of our PhD students met at King's Manor for a PhD Academic Development Day.  There were 4 sessions involving:

  • Research Speed Dating
  • Methodology and data collection issues
  • Preparing an academic CV and career
  • PhD Training and events for the next academic year
Thanks to the Department Research Committee for sponsoring this event and we shall be back to ask for more funding next summer.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories

Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories

AHRC Research Network International Two-Day Conference, 26- 27 June 2014, Birkbeck College, University of London

Gönül Bozoğlu recently co-presented a paper at the ‘Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories’ conference at Birckbeck College, University of London.

As the conference organisers note, the Ottoman Empire is still relatively understudied although it was one of the largest and longest.  Running from the early 1300s to 1922 and stretching East to West, it included key sites of present or recent conflict, such as Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Gaza, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Nicosia, Sarajevo and Belgrade.  Yet for centuries these cities were largely characterised by dynamics mostly forgotten: cultural exchange, ethnic cohabitation, and religious tolerance.  These transcultural exchanges manifested themselves in fusion and cross-pollination in architecture, art, food, music, literature, language, family stories, memories and lives.  Ottoman scholarship has so far largely been organised by the historical, political, philosophical, archaeological and linguistic, often concentrating on Edward Said’s ‘orientalist’ representations of the Ottoman Empire.  The conference aimed to further the revaluation of orientalism by engaging different disciplines to read the legacies of Ottoman cities.

One of the most fascinating things about the Ottoman past is its apparently multicultural and cosmopolitan nature, for within the Empire different ethnic and religious groups co-habited within the same spaces. For this reason, the Empire is often held up as a precursor of contemporary multicultural states. It becomes a historical emblem of contemporary cosmopolitan attitudes such as cultural mobility, openness to and toleration of Others, multilingualism, tendencies towards cultural exchanges and celebrations of hybridity. However, a strong focus of the conference was a critical analysis of the term ‘cosmopolitanism’ itself, illuminated by theorists from Immanuel Kant to Ulrich Beck, and compared to other concepts such as  ‘con vivenza’ and ‘conviviality’. For me, the clearest insights came from the conference highlight of Edhem Eldem’s keynote, which looked at micro-historical sources such as the records of the Ottoman bank that show how many languages its employees spoke (many!), as well as people’s signatures and costumes, criminal records and even tattoos. He concluded that the Ottoman Empire involved a cosmopolitanism that was not egalitarian because it depended on difference and the maintenance of exclusionary barriers between Muslims and others (e.g. Jews, Armenians, Greeks etc.). He also asked whether non-elite but wordly and multilingual people such as sailors and criminals could be classed as cosmopolitan. One of the undertones of the conference was the contemporary relevance of Ottoman cospomolitanism. Does cosmopolitanism today also relate mostly to social elites, and does it also depend upon barriers and exclusion?  

The conference is documented at, and podcasts will soon be available at

PhD and research degree Graduands - July 2014

We would like to offer our congratulations to our students who are graduating with PhD and other research degrees on Friday 18 July:

  • Triona Fitton - The Quiet Economy of the Contemporary Charity Shop. (Prof Sarah Nettleton)
  • Melahat Sahin-Dikman - A Bourdieusian Lens onto Professions (Prof Mike Savage)
  • Nermeen Sayad - Kassam - Young Egyptian activists perceptions of the potential of social media for mobilisation (Brian Loader)
  • Graham Geddes - Keyboard Warriors: The production of islamophobic identity and an extreme worldview within an online political community (Dr Rowland Atkinson) and
  • Joanna Wolton (MA by Research) - Can you care for a profit? A micro-ethnographic exploration of the lived realities of formal care workers for the elderly. (Prof Sarah Nettleton)

Archiving the Future: J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island, forty years on

On Thursday July 3rd, we held a one-day conference to mark the 40th anniversary of J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island, his updating of the Robinson Crusoe story within a patch of wasteland to the side of the elevated Westway road in London. Concrete Island offers a prescient and analytically rich portrait of the material forms of post-war urban environments and the types of social interactions they encourage. It remains remarkably relevant in helping us to deepen our understanding of the cities and spaces we live in, and pass through, on a daily basis.

This was an interdisciplinary event, gathering Ballard scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, with backgrounds that span English Literature, Archives, Architectural Theory, Design History, Geography, Politics and Urban Studies. Made possible through the support of the Department of Sociology, and co-organised by members of York’s Centre for Urban Research (CURB) and the Humanities Department at York St John University, the conference brought together researchers from the British Library, Anglia Ruskin University, UCL, York St John, and the Universities of Brighton, Edinburgh, Leeds, and York to discuss the book. The focus on one text worked very well at opening up wider debates around the intersection of contemporary technologies and mobilities, their shaping of the everyday urban fabric, and their influence on the lived and multi-sensual experience of place.

The papers are currently being assembled for an edited collection, which we hope will be published before the end of this year – watch this space!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

European Sociological Association PhD Summer School - Twitter Feed

The European Sociological Association PhD Summer School will be held at York University July 27th-29th 2014.

We are very much looking forward to hosting PhD students from all over Europe who are coming to York to debate 'A Sociological Imagination for the 21st Century'.  They will be able to network with other scholars, and to give oral presentations of a draft article related to their PhDs. 

A twitter feed has been set up to enable absent followers and attendees to post their views and ideas.  Please use the hashtag #ESA2014York

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The latest edition of Discover Society

Three members of staff have had articles published in the past two editions of Discover Sociology. Their articles can be read online at

Dr David Beer: The invisibility of the recording engineer

Prof Stevi Jackson published an article in June's edition of the online magazine. Mother/daughter relationships: cultural difference and modernity

Narratives of Hope: Science, Theology and Environmental Public Policy (SATSU)

Date and time: Wednesday 10 April 2019, 1pm to 2pm Location: W/306, Wentworth College, Campus West, University of York ( Map ) Audie...