Friday, 27 November 2015

Communicating about Smell and Taste Disorders

Kelly Benneworth-Grey has been involved in the third annual Fifth Sense Conference 2015. She contributed to this event which brings together clinicians and researchers sharing experiences and knowledge of our understanding of smell and taste disorders.

Kelly Benneworth-Gray communicating smells and memory through art
Kelly along with Kate McLean ran workshops exploring the different ways of communicating and sharing olfactory impairment. Kelly's session focused on the language of olfaction and the issues associated with describing olfactory disorders.

For a review of the conference follow the link: Fifth Sense Conference 2015

New Chair in Science and Technology Studies

The Sociology Department is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chair in Science and Technology Studies.

Joanna Latimer
Professor Joanna Latimer
Firstly, Professor Joanna Latimer will be joining us from Cardiff in May 2016. Joanna is principally interested in:
  • medicine and care at the interface with ageing
  • older people and biology
  • paediatric genetics
  • aspects of (bio)medicine and care
  • the place aof the non-human (technology, animals and other materials) in the co-construction of the social

Follow her on twitter: @joannaelatimer

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Event on Celebrity Culture and Young People

Paul Wakeling (Dept of Education) who has worked and published with the Sociology Departments old colleague Mike Savage on the issue of social class is a member of the Centre for Research on Education and Social Justice. The Centre is running an exciting seminar on young people and celebrity.

Held on wednesday 13th January 2016 at 2.30 in D/L/116 Kim Allen from Sociology and Social Policy Department at the University of Leeds will deliver a talk on: Celebrity culture and young people's imagined futures: Narratives of aspiration in austere neoliberal Britain.

Image result for Kim allen leedsKim will explore the stories that young people tell about their aspirations and imagined futures within a context of austerity as growing poverty levels, unemployment and welfare retrenchment are disproportionately affecting young people’s lives. Specifically, it will examine how discourses of individualism, self-responsibility, hard work and enterprise feature in young people’s everyday talk about ‘success’ and ‘failure’. The paper will highlight the pervasiveness of neoliberal discourses of meritocracy within young people’s accounts, locating this as a ‘structure of feeling’ (Littler 2014) that circulates across political discourse and celebrity culture. However, it will complicate claims that the centrality of these discourses within young people’s account reflects a simple adoption of neoliberal ideology in which they are ‘blind to their circumstances’ (France and Haddon 2014). Attending to the powerfully emotional nature of discourses of self-reliance and ‘striving’ in the young people’s narratives, it will consider how these are entangled with individual and family biographies and entwined with practices of ‘resistance’ as young people seek to reconcile discourses of meritocracy with their lived experiences. Finally Kim will also interrogate the possibilities for young people to refuse to tell themselves according to these discourses, and consider silence, doubt and ‘not knowing’ as strategies of resistance. In doing so, the paper seeks to unpick the contradictions, complexities, ambivalences and ambiguities within neoliberalism as it works within and through the messiness of everyday practices.

Kim has been involved in the exciting CelebYouth project funded by the ESRC into young people and celebrity.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Reviewing the Red Barn Murder: Corpses and Fame

Ruth Penfold-Mounce has just had a book review published in the journal Mortality. She got asked to review a new Palgrave Pivot book based on the Red Barn Murder a historical case of dark tourism and criminal celebrity which she has published on in her own work into criminal corpses.

Follow the link for the review

New Short Courses in Conversation Analysis

The Department of Sociology is delighted to be launching a series of short Continuing Professional Development courses in Conversation Analysis in spring 2016.  Four courses are on offer:

Image result for conversation analysis
Conversation Analysis: An Introduction (1 day £75)
Wed 20 January 2016; Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger
Find out more about conversation analysis (CA) and the kinds of issues it can be used to address.  No prior experience needed.

An Introduction to Conversation Analysis and its use in Medical Settings (1 day £75)
Fri 26 February 2016; Merran Toerien and Robin Wooffitt
For health services researchers, and others with an interest in communication in health care, who wish to find out more about conversation analysis (CA) as applied to medical interaction. No prior experience needed.

Developing Conversation Analytic Skills 1: Turn-taking (3 days £360)
Tues 26 – Thu 28 April 2016; Clare Jackson, Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger
Core foundational training in conversation analysis (CA).  Intensive course, limited to a maximum of 12 participants, offering a systematic grounding in the domain of turn-taking.  Intended for those with some prior familiarity with CA. 

Developing Conversation Analytic Skills 2: Sequence Organisation (3 days £360)
Tues 3 – Thurs 5 May 2016; Sue Wilkinson and Merran Toerien
Core foundational training in conversation analysis (CA).  Intensive course, limited to a maximum of 12 participants, offering a systematic grounding in the domain of sequence organisation.  Intended for those with some prior familiarity with CA.

For further info/registration, contact:

Friday, 20 November 2015

ESRC PhD funding available

The Department of Sociology holds funding for PhD's to begin 2016/17. 
esrc logo
Check out the link to the department website for more information.

Sad News about Graham Lewis

The Sociology Department has received sad news. Graham Lewis, a long standing member of our department with particular links in SATSU has died.

Andrew Webster, who knew and worked with Graham for many years has written an obituary. Graham will be sadly missed.

Please follow the link.

Funded Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship Available

The Sociology Department is seeking outstanding post-doctoral candidates to apply for a 3 year Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. Candidates are expected to have been awarded their PhD before they apply and must not hold a long term established post. The research must be in any area of human and animal health.

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Ed Kirby ( by 4pm on Friday 11th December:
  • A short CV (1 page)
  • An outline of the proposed research (max 500 words) and the name of your proposed mentor and why you have chosen them (max 100 words). The outline should include a summary of the project, the research questions, how the research advances the field and the proposed methodology.
It is recommended that you contact your proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Ed Kirby.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

New Job at York St John University

Matt Spokes, a Teaching Fellow in the Department has been appointed to a permanent Lectureship in Criminology and Sociology at York St John University.

Matt Spokes
Matt successfully completed his PhD on The Contemporary Avant-Garde: Classification, Organization, Spatiality and Practices of Resistance earlier this year. He has made a massive contribution to the teaching the second year Crime, Culture and Social Change module and Social Research Methods as well as running and teaching on the first year Sociology of Crime and Deviance module. He has been a vital part of the Crime Team here at York and we are sorry to see him go but are glad that he is remaining local and has achieved a lectureship.

Congratulations Matt!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Phd Student Lecture Series

Last year a successful Sociology and Centre for Women's Studies (CWS) Phd Student Lecture Series was launched and is continuing in 2015/2016.

On Monday first year PhD student Rosie Smith presented on her doctoral research into Spectacular Justice. This concept challenges Foucault's private panoptic theory of justice. Meanwhile Jamie Choo from CWS presented on her work into 'Why are we still talking about beauty?'

Friday, 13 November 2015

Steph Lawler and Social Mobility Conference

Steph Lawler in association with Geoff Payne (Newcastle University) are holding a free one day conference on 29th April 2016.

Follow the event brite link for more information and to register.  

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Mike Savage and Social Class

Social Class in the 21st CenturyProfessor Mike Savage from London School of Economics and a former Sociology Department member of staff will give a talk about his new research on class on Monday 30 November 1.30-3.30pm in W/222.

Mikes talk entitled 'Social Class and the new cultural distinctions today' will draw on his latest book Social Class in the 21st Century and is being run by the European Centre for Cultural Exploration (ECCE) . 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Sociology Unpolished Papers

A series of “unpolished papers” begins Wednesday 11th November. These sessions, organised by Gareth Millington, allow staff, visiting staff and postgrad students the opportunity to present research ideas, unfinished or unpolished papers to a friendly and encouraging audience. Open minds and constructive criticism have been essential in making this termly series a success. Since the series started in 2013, at least three unpolished papers  have gone on to be published in leading journals.

Gareth Millington, Unpolished Papers Series Convenor
Our first paper this term (11/11) is ‘Showing Pain, Violence and Death: Reflections on the use of graphic content in academic presentations’ by Holly Steel and Anaïs Duong-Pedica. 

On 18/11 visiting scholar Ryan Du Toit will give a paper titled ‘Reproductive justice? A critical examination of pre-termination of pregnancy consultations in the public health sector in South Africa and in Great Britain’ . 

Finally on 25/11 Matt Spokes and Paul Chappell will present a paper titled ‘Dealing with dirty data: five years in beers’. All talks are in w/243 and start at 3pm.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Reviewing Foucault's Wrong-Doing Truth-Telling

Rosie Smith one of our newist doctoral students has just published her first piece on The Sociological Imagination. Rosie's thesis focuses on spectacular justice and challenges Foucault's assertions surrounding private punishment suggesting that we are returning to spectacular mediated justice.
Rosie Smith

Follow the link  to read her book review of Foucault's translated book 'Wrong-doing Truth Telling'

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Celebrity Death: A Good Career Move?

Ruth Penfold-Mounce has published a piece in The Conversation over the Halloween Weekend. Drawing on her interest in celebrity and death she suggests that a celebrity career is not necessarily over when they die. For some celebrities being dead is the best career move they have made! Not just for Halloween reflects on Michael Jackson and how Robin Williams has successfully controlled and prevented an 'afterlife' for himself for decades to come the article addresses the sheer scale of celebrities careers in death.

Presenting Conversation Analysis in LA

Merran delivering her presentation
Merran Toerien was delighted to get a chance to visit the University of California at Los Angeles last week - not only because they have sunshine, palm trees and blue sky in LA (just as the clocks were going back in York!) but because it was a fabulous opportunity to work with scholars who have pioneered the application of conversation analysis to the study of medical interaction.  

Merran was invited to give presentations to CLIC (Center for Language, Interaction and Culture - see: and the CA Working Group (CAWG).  She also met for one-to-one discussions with 8 dynamic graduate students, participated in the CAWG weekly data session, and worked intensively with Professors John Heritage and Tanya Stivers on a collaborative study of treatment recommendations.  

She is immensely grateful for this opportunity and would like to thank Professors Elinor Ochs and Tanya Stivers for the invitation, Clara Bergen for all her hard work in organising the week's activities (ably assisted also by Alex Tate), and the large number of people at UCLA who made the week both intellectually rewarding and lots of fun.   

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...