Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Great British Break-Off: what role did national identity and 'Britishness' play in the Brexit decision?

Now that the dust’s kind of settling over Brexit (lets ignore the court decision over Article 50 for a second, and don’t even mention the US election), I thought that it would be worth taking a look at the reasons for one of the closest and most devastating results of my lifetime. As I write this, there are any number of motivations behind the referendum result that are interesting, but the one that fascinates and concerns me most is the rise in and deployment of Nationalist rhetoric throughout the duration of the ‘Leave’ campaign, and the subsequent continuation of these ideas in recent months. 

Credit: Chris (Simpsons Artist).  So wrong but so right.

As I said, the decision to leave the EU has been influenced by a kaleidoscope of reasons, but concerns about immigration, national identity, and the accompanying deep-seated cultural divide have provided the most compelling illustration of the chasm at the heart of British politics. The Conservative Party in particular seemed to suffer the most at the hands of the rhetoric of ‘Divided Britain’ due to the very public conflicts of interests amongst its senior members, and as a consequence were blamed in part for the result on June 23rd.

This theme of division is one that I’ll carry forward in this post because it provides an interesting, if depressing, framing of Brexit, and allows me to explore a little bit of what it means to be ‘British’ in a post-European mind-set. Key to this exploration are notions of memory and national identity, due to the ways in which the media juxtaposed nostalgic ‘Britishness’ with the risk of cosmopolitan, multicultural encroachment on ‘British’ cultural space by continued association with the EU. 

The nature of political rhetoric in the United Kingdom illustrates the instrumental role that this compromised nostalgia plays in the creation of the ‘national story’. Preston suggests that in the context of the fragmentary contemporary world, such as the one that faces us now, the sense of a shared ‘national past’ allows people to create meaning in the face of new cultural uncertainties (Preston, 2004). 

This manifests most obviously in cultural institutions such as the Royal Family and the Armed Forces. Indeed, the very suggestion that not wearing a poppy in Remembrance is in any way ‘unBritish’ demonstrates the power of the national cultural norms that we as a country have adopted over the decades since the Armistice. 

However, I digress. That being said, it is these cultural concessions that serve as a kind of ideological brace against the contradictions of diverse, globalized cultural threats, and that serve as points of reference for outrage when ‘others’ transgress against the perceived concrete ideals of our nation.

Credit to Mark Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock/ The Guardian. Please don’t sue me.

The shadowy figure of immigration was one that proved to be a particularly effective point of reference for equally shadowy political groups such as UKIP (who recently exported Nigel Farage to the USA, thus spreading the tide of the apocalypse with Trump’s victory, but enough about that…). 

Their campaign targeted the perceived ‘Breaking Point’ of public services and suggested that the EU would allow further immigration to an essential point of no return, creating a handy spectral figure for sovereign, self-governing Britain to exorcise. The urge to ‘take back control’, then, played upon national fears about Britain’s lack of self-governance under European rule and invoked ‘old character types’ (Preston, 2004), sparking the conflict between glorious industrial Britain and meddling bureaucratic Europe (Maggie who?).

In decimated agricultural and industrial regions such as the North East, concerns about marginalized British labourers and overwhelming, EU mediated regulations were cited as powerful incentives to vote Leave. This was reflected throughout the region, with eleven areas in the North East designation turning out with substantial majorities in favour of leaving the EU (BBC, 2016). 

The vote allowed sentiments of marginalization and frustration to reverberate throughout the political landscape, and Jean Seaton would argue that it is precisely political situations such as these that allow for exposure of the divide between the needs of the people, and the official institutions that fail to represent them. 

Seaton’s analysis of Brexit points to the ways in which communities no longer feel that their experiences are reflected back to them by the media or by mainstream political interests, and thus are most vulnerable to a sense of loss in terms of community, cultural and national identity (Seaton, 2016).  Therefore, it makes sense that the call to regain control would resonate with these groups, who sought to reinstall a sense of power over their own lives and communities.

It is these notions of self and community that are useful when understanding how collective memory and identity were galvanised throughout much of the referendum campaign. The media is especially important to the creation and endorsement of these models of nationalised identity; culture, after all, is “unthinkable without media” (Erll, 2011), and the particular framing of the British cultural narrative is a potent example of the power of the press in times of uncertainty. 

The historic primacy of the white, British majority position has very reliably served to cultivate a nostalgia for heroic Britain through focus on national symbols such as the Royal Family, the Armed Forces and the symbolic Poppy. This idealisation of the victorious, powerful ‘Anglo-British tale’ (Preston, 2004) brings with it the connotations of the glory of Empire, in which Britain did as it pleased, and places those who are not British in an antagonistic state of ‘otherness’. This binary is further encouraged by the media; the white British majority are placed in opposition with the multi-ethnic narratives of those who have settled in the United Kingdom. 

Black (2016) addresses the way in which news media tends to reinforce British cultural Nationalism, and envisions the experiences of those who are not British as additional to the dominant national history, rather than as complexly interwoven with the legacies of British power. This separatism manifests itself in the most banal ways, such as the perceived righteous outrage at Nadia’s Bake Off victory in 2015 (apparently being from a British Bangladeshi family and baking cakes for the Queen isn’t British enough for the Right Wing), but all the same illustrates that the news media has encouraged a very particular vision of Britishness. 

The discursive framing of the instabilities of multi-ethnic Britain serves as an ideological challenge to multicultural Britain by provoking fears about the “creeping cultural fragmentation” that this would encourage. For Right Wing media outlets such as The Daily Mail, who advocate for more rigorous immigration policies, multi-ethnic integration threatens the ‘British cultural fabric’, and thus must be discouraged in order to protect the identity and resources of the British people.
What does all of this have to do with the EU? 

Since I veered off, it’s best to head back in that general direction. Throughout the referendum, the insistent repetition of ‘borders’, the impact of migrants , and the provocation of fears about Turkey’s accession to the EU were key resources in the Leave campaign’s rhetoric of division and defence. 

Turkey’s geopolitical position in the East of Europe resurrects the spectre of terror that has hung over Western culture for the past fifteen years, with fears about undocumented waves of potential terrorists a particularly meaty topic for many news outlets. These anxieties have been mobilised by outlets such as The Express, who warn of the dangers inherent in “the flood of migration that would make the existing stream look like a trickle”. 

Concerns about the application of the free movement policy to Turkey, should its entrance into the European bloc be successful, are increasingly framed in terms of what Clark calls the ‘Islamic question’ in his editorial, and his focus on Turkey’s ‘slide back into Sharia Law’ prompts questions as to whether the Right Wing considers Turkey to be too ‘Islamic’ to join the Western political conglomerate of the European Union (Clark, 2016). 

This, of course, highlights the difficult historical relationship between the cultural West and its homogenous portrayals of Islam; the tendency to position the latter as the enemy of Western democracy has served to legitimate the othering of Muslim populations in the UK in the name of defending British cultural values.

This conflict of interests, in which multiculturalism is seen to have failed, is expressed in frustrations about the encroachment of political correctness on the expression of British culture; stories abound in the media in which British people are offended by the requirement to remove flags, clothing and other paraphernalia that express or could be seen to indicate Nationalist sentiments. 

It is this effacement of national pride that serves as a cornerstone for the re-ignition of Nationalist populism, and it is possible to draw parallels between the outrages of overzealous political correctness in the United Kingdom, and the surge in Nationalism in countries such as the United States of America and Germany, where the dominant culture is also seen to be threatened by immigration and multiculturalism. 

Therefore, although concerns about the Muslim population are not a direct cause of the British decision to leave the European Union, the resultant reinforcement of’ Britishness’ against cultural threat is metonymic of the very concerns that have been mapped onto the influx of Polish, Croatian and other Eastern European migrants who are also seen to threaten British identity. 

The common figure of the ‘Eastern European’ criminal, it could be argued, has become the folk devil of the Brexit age, due to the media’s evocation of this provocative image, and the subsequent need to defend ourselves from this threat.

Although national identity does not serve as cultural monolith, it is worth considering its power as a discursive resource when notions of individual consciousness are threatened. The closeness of the referendum result and the contradictions within the demographic of each voting collective demonstrate that the decision to leave the EU was neither light-hearted nor simple. 

However it may be argued that in the face of concerns about what it means to be British, alongside increasing anxieties about racism, Nationalism and conflict, the narrative of collective memory and identity provides a potent framing of the referendum result.

BBC News. “EU Referendum: Almost all North East areas vote for Brexit”, BBC News, June 24th, 2016.

Black, Jack, “Celebrating British multiculturalism, lamenting England’s/ Britain’s past”, Nations and Nationalism, no. 22, issue 4 (2016): 786-802.

Clark, Ross, “Migrant Crisis may aid Turkish bid for EU membership, says Ross Clark”, The Express, March 8th, 2016.

Erll, Astrid, Memory in Culture. Translated from the German by Sara Young. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Preston, P.W, Relocating England: Englishness in the New Europe. Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2004.

Seaton, Jean. “Brexit and the Media”, The Political Quarterly, no.87, issue 3 (2016): 333-337.
Stewart, Heather and Rowena Mason, “Nigel Farage’s anti-migrant poster reported to police”, The Guardian, June 12th 2016.

The Electoral Commission. “EU Referendum results. The Electoral Commission.

White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP)

The Department of Sociology is calling for applications for scholarships within the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership.  The WRDTP is the structure through which PhD students within the Department access Economic and Social Research Council PhD funding to support their studies.

It will give you access to:
·        a wide range of training opportunities, particularly focused on maximising the social and economic benefits of your research
·        a network of students and researchers studying in your discipline across Yorkshire
·        a network of interdisciplinary contacts and the opportunity to develop expertise working across disciplines.

Subject to the ESRC eligibility criteria, the scholarships cover tuition fees and a grant (stipend) to help towards living expenses. In 2016/17, the basic stipend for ESRC studentships is £14,296.
These scholarships are available on a 1+3 (Masters + PhD) or a +3 (PhD only) basis. Before you apply it is important that you read the guidance here.
You should discuss which one of the following themes is the best fit for your research proposal with your potential supervisor.

1. Cities, Environment, and Liveability (CEL)
2. Security, Conflict, and Justice (SCJ)
3 .Education, Childhood, and Youth (ECY)
4. Data, Communication, and New Technologies (DCT)
5. Wellbeing, Health, and Communities (WHC)
6. Sustainable Growth, Management, and Economic Productivity (SMP)
7. Civil Society, Development, and Democracy (CDD)

The deadline for applicants is Wednesday 1 February 2017 at 5pm.
Please note: there are two steps to the application process.
1. You must apply for a place on a PhD programme. Apply for the PhD in Sociology here. This application is reviewed and processed by the Department of Sociology.

2. You must apply for the scholarship separately here. This application is reviewed and processed by the WRDTP.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Rising Crime Porn and violence against women on television

dr ruth penfold mounce 1Ruth Penfold-Mounce has had a busy week with the release of her article with The Conversation on Crime Porn and violence against women on television attracting lots of media attention. She has filmed and recorded with Minster FM, and two Irish radio stations, Today FM and Newstalk Radio.

The article has also been republished in a range of online sites including which has led to a large readership in India. It has been viewed over 14,700 times so far since its publication and is continuing to be a key to public engagement with how much violence is too much.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

"Architecture Cures Cancer", But can it Cure Crime? The Architecture of Incarceration and the Architecture of Hope

Wednesday 9 November 2016, 3.00pm to 16:00

Speaker: Yvonne Jewkes - Research Professor in Criminology, University of Brighton, UK
Many countries are modernizing their prison estates, replacing older facilities that are no longer fit-for-purpose with new, larger and more ‘efficient’ establishments.  At the same time, there is growing recognition that our bloated penal systems are unsustainable and must be challenged. The notions of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ prisons have become common in academic and policy discourse, and even some politicians (including former Prime Minister, David Cameron) have referred to prisoners as potential ‘assets’, rather than risks to be managed.  But is the concept of a ‘healthy prison’ an oxymoron, or even a desirable goal? And how far could we go in incorporating healthy design elements into the prisons of the future? 
Like hospital design, the architecture of incarceration conveys clear messages about the individuals confined within and how they are expected to behave. Yet, while prisons and hospitals traditionally have shared an ethos of discipline and surveillance that dehumanises their occupants and instils feelings of fear and vulnerability, there has in very recent times emerged a different approach to designing and building such institutions – described by the architectural theorist behind Maggie’s Centres (a developing, global cancer care network), as the ‘architecture of hope’.
So what can prison architects learn from the design of Maggie’s and why is it that, in some jurisdictions, discussions about custodial architecture and design is dominated by concerns about punishment, security, control and risk management, while in other countries, the emphasis is on 'healing' damaged individuals and preparing them to be good citizens when they return to society?  Drawing on the findings of a three-year ESRC-funded research study that looks at the role of prison architects and the effects of carceral design, Professor Yvonne Jewkes will discuss the broad rationales behind the prison modernization programmes currently underway in the UK and parts of Europe, including the primary drivers behind design decisions and the extent to which top-level stakeholders are cognisant of the effects of their decisions on the everyday lives of prisoners and prison staff. 
Yvonne Jewkes
Location: Wentworth College, W/222

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

York Cares Big Community Challenge

Eeva Sointu, Darren Reed and Merran Toerien, all of the Sociology Department at York recently took part - along with other University of York staff - in the York Cares Big Community Challenge.  

We had great fun learning to edge lawns and getting our gloves dirty in the Hull Road Park.  

And it's true that a bit of fresh air and a cup of tea under a much needed gazebo (for our break and for sheltering from the downpour that greeted our arrival) can create a sense of camaraderie that will live on beyond the park!

Over three days 270 volunteers from businesses, the community and children from Osbaldwick Primary School helped to transform the park. 

Together we built 10 raised beds, planted 12 trees and moved over 30 tonnes of top soil and manure!  

This work will make a massive difference to local families and residents, particularly older people with dementia who are supported in the park by York Flourish.

For a collection of stories from the week, take a look at York Cares Twitter as well as coverage on Minster FM website. 

Jill Foster, a volunteer from Sainsbury’s also gave this interview to BBC Radio York about the Challenge: see 2:28:00

Cognitive Learning using Evolutionary Computation

Cognitive Learning using Evolutionary Computation

Associate Professor Will Browne
Victoria University, New Zealand

28 October at 13.30
Ron Cooke Hub, Heslington East - RCH/204


Artificial Cognitive Systems encompasses machine intelligence systems, such as robots, that interact with their environment. 

This talk will highlight research that enables such systems to learn and adapt to problems in their domain and in
related domains. 

The symbolic evolutionary computation technique of LearningClassifier Systems (LCSs) was conceived 40 years ago as an artificial cognitive system. The work presented shows how LCSs can utilise building blocks of
knowledge in heuristics ('if-then' rules) to transfer learnt knowledge from small to large scale problems in the same domain. Furthermore, the use of these rules enables functionality learned in sub-problems to be transferred to related problems. 

Results show that provided the human experimenter can set a rough curriculum for learning concepts, the underlying patterns/models in a problem domain can be learnt in an interpretable manner.

An interdisciplinary seminar series aimed at researchers from all disciplines
The seminar is followed by a refreshment break prior to interdisciplinary discussion 
Hosted by the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis 

Ron Cooke Hub is on Heslington East Campus – accessible by free bus services Nos. 66 and 44 running at frequent intervals from Heslington West.  The YCCSA Seminar room RCH/204 is on the second floor

Metrics and Algorithms: Two new publications from Dave Beer

Two recent publications from Dave Beer have covered developments in metrics and algorithms. His new book Metric Power was published this Autumn by Palgrave Macmillan. 

The book explores how power is deployed through metrics. In particular it looks at how Metric Power can be understood through a focus on measurement, circulation and possibility. 

The book looks at the power dynamics that reside behind bog data. 

The book is currently available with a 30% discount by using code PM16THIRTY through the publishers website . 

This book builds upon his earlier book on the cultural implications of data circulations Popular Culture and New Media: The Politics of Circulation, which is now out in paperback

More recently he has also edited and introduced a special issue on 'The Social Power of Algorithms'. This issue has just been published in the journal Information, Communication & Society. It gathers together eight articles that reflect on the potential power of algorithms to shape and order the social world. The collections also includes and introductory article by Dave.  The issue is available here

Friday, 21 October 2016

Film Screening Event coming to UoY

We've been very lucky this year in Sociology to be awarded funding from the University of York's Jim Matthews fund to bring over an award-winning filmmaker from South Africa - Rehad Desai.  Rehad will be offering a free screening of his documentary,Miners Shot Down, followed by a Q&A.  

Date: 14 November 2016 - from 6.30-8.30pm.  Please see attached flyer for more details.  The event is free but please book a ticket: 

This is a hard-hitting and thought-provoking film, focusing on the 2012 strike on a platinum mine in South Africa, which ended with 34 miners dead - killed by police in a tragedy with uncomfortable parallels to events that occurred under Apartheid.  The issues raised stretch well beyond South Africa, raising uncomfortable questions about global inequalities and capitalism that will be of relevance to a diverse audience.  All staff, students and members of the public are welcome.  

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Purity and Danger at 50 Mary Douglas since 1966 - A roundtable symposium 9th December 2016

It’s 50 years since the publication of Mary Douglas’ landmark Purity and Danger (P&D). 

P&D has had a lasting influence in guiding scholars to think about dirt, disgust, contagion, profanity, risk, pollution, cleanliness, hygiene, classification, death, sex, othering and much else. 

It ranks amongst the top one hundred most influential non-fiction works of the post-war period (TLS).

This event platforms twenty scholars presenting their research into, ‘matter out of place’ in contexts as varied as racism, terror, gender, biosecurity, antibiotics, finance, brexit, cities, risk management, drag, self-harm, menstruation, class, food, household cleaning, etc.

Time and Place: 13.00 to 18.00; Berrick Saul Building BS008; University of York

Organisers: Nik Brown and Sarah Nettleton (Sociology), Mark Jenner (History) and Philip Linsley (TYMS)

            Enquiries: email
                 Register:   email

                                   Supported through the UoY ‘Culture and Communication’ Research Theme

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sociology has raised £50 for the 'first fiver' appeal at York

We're delighted to announce that Sociology has raised £50 for the 'first fiver' appeal at York. 

As you may have seen in the media, the #firstfiver is a campaign to encourage people to donate their first new plastic fiver to a cause of their choice; a really simple and effective idea. We have joined the University of York's appeal to donate our first fivers to the University’s Equal Access Scholarship scheme. 

This was set up to enable refugee students to study at York, and is already supporting two undergraduate scholars (with a third to arrive later this year).  We're very pleased to be able to contribute to this scheme.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sexual Violence on Television

Following her appearance on Radio 4 'Body Count Rising' Ruth Penfold-Mounce has been featured on Minster FM relating to the 'crime porn' on television. Ruth spoke about the rise in graphic violence towards women (and men) on television and how often the visual violence could be removed and still leave a compelling story and characters.

dr ruth penfold mounce 1

Follow the link to read, see and hear more: Crime Porn

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Bodycount Rising on Radio 4

Ruth Penfold-Mounce is speaking on a new Radio 4 programme on thursday 6th October at 11.30am. The programme entitled 'Bodycount Rising' is exploring the rise in female dead bodies displayed on television. Ruth discusses the rise in violence against dead women and challenges the assumption that this is acceptable entertainment. You can catch the programme on iplayer from friday:

The Fall

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Critical Emotional Reflexivity in Social Activism

Autumn Term Departmental Seminars

Wednesday 5 October 2016, 3.00pm to 16:00
Speaker: Deb King - Associate Professor in Sociology at Flinders University
Examining how (rather than why) everyday people become social activists provides insights into the emotionality of not only the personal process, but of bringing about social change. Through interviews conducted with 26 activists in Australia, I examine the emotional dynamics involved in generating and participating in the kinds of critical reflexivity that helped them revision themselves and their social world. I argue that while emotions are central to the reflexive ways people react to social change, they are perhaps even more necessary in proactive change, particularly where that change seeks to redress structural power.
Deb King is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Flinders University. She is currently on study leave at the University of Edinburgh as a reward for being Dean of the School of Social and Policy Studies for the past three years. Deb’s research focus in the sociology of emotions has been on the relationship between personal and social/organisational change, and on the emotional practices used by aged care workers. She also has a body of work in the sociology of work on the health and social care workforces, with a special focus on workers in aged care.
Deb King
Location: Wentworth College, W/222

Conversation Analysis Short Course - Repair

Developing Conversation Analytic Skills 3: Repair (3 days) (SPACES STILL AVAILABLE)

Tutors to include: Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger

Date: Tues 11 – Thurs 13 October

Pre-requisites: Developing Conversation Analytic Skills 1 and 2 (Turn-taking and Sequence Organisation)

This course is one of two – on repair and on word selection – designed to provide further core training in conversation analysis (CA).

It will provide a systematic grounding in the CA domain of repair.  It will be an intensive course, limited to 12 participants.  The course will be taught via mini-lectures, practical activities and exercises, with an emphasis on hands-on work with data.  It is intended for those with some prior familiarity with CA – especially turn-taking and sequence organisation – who want to acquire key skills for working with conversational data.  It is not necessary for participants to have their own data set.

Location: University of York

Cost: £360 (to include course materials, lunches, tea & coffee)
Further info:

Monday, 26 September 2016

Chevening Scholarships - exciting opportunities for funded Masters-level study at the University of York

The Department of Sociology at the University of York is ranked 1st in the UK for research quality by the recent major Research Excellence Framework review (REF 2014). 

With impressive credentials and a supportive atmosphere, our innovative Department is driven by excellence in both research and teaching.

We welcome enquiries and applications from prospective Masters students wishing to apply for a Chevening Scholarship.
Chevening Scholarships provide one year of fully-funded postgraduate taught study in the UK (i.e. a Masters programme).  They are awarded to future leaders by British Embassies and High Commissions around the world.  More information about eligible countries, selection criteria, and the application process is available as
We can support general applications to Chevening in a variety of ways, listed below.
In addition, we would welcome applications for the exciting new Chevening Partnership Scholarship, which is specifically for Chinese students applying for one of 10 named Masters degrees at York, including the MA in Culture, Society and Globalisation, offered in Sociology. 
See the following websites for more information:
DEADLINE for applications for study in 2017-18: 8th November 2016
Please note: you do not require an offer letter from us by 8 November in order to apply for a Chevening scholarship.  You just need evidence that you have submitted an application to us.  However, applicants who already have an offer letter will be in a stronger position to be shortlisted by Chevening. 
Support we offer to Chevening applicants
If you wish to apply for a Chevening Scholarship, we can support you in two key ways:
1.    Skype, telephone and/or get in touch with you by email you so that you can ask us questions and make a more informed choice about which programme would be best for you.
2.    Provide you with more details about our MA and MSc programmes so you are can provide a strong justification for your chosen programme in your application or at the interview stage.
Dr Merran Toerien, Deputy Director of Teaching (with oversight for Postgraduate Taught programmes), Department of Sociology, University of York
Tel: +44(0)1904 323061

Friday, 23 September 2016

Ending up in Death Research

Ruth Penfold-Mounce has been published on the up and coming blog Women are Boring. This blog and twitter account is run by Catherine Connolly and Grace McDermott both PhD students at Dublin City University. They seek to disseminate interesting research done by women and to challenge dismissal of women on multiple fronts.

Ruth has written about how she ended up in death research despite being a criminologist in a sociology department. Have a read of Death and Me to see how doing death and crime research led to her meeting the Hairy Bikers.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

New Member of Sociology Staff - Tim Huijts

Welcome to Tim Huijts who has joined the Sociology Department as Senior Lecturer. Tim has studied and worked in the Netherlands and also in Oxford before arriving in York this August.

Tim has research interest in socioeconomic inequalities in health, political regimes, gender equity and depression and ethinic diversity. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Health and Medical Sociology.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Death and Culture Comes to York

The Death and Culture Conference is next week (1st-3rd Sept).

The badges are made, the programme is being printed and the conference meals have been chosen and ordered.

Its still not too late to register if you want to come.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sex Work Research Hub Hosts: A Symposium on Sex Work, Decriminalization & Social Justice

The Event Features:

A Keynote Address from Associate Professor Gillian Abel, Otago University, New Zealand

A screening of Nic Mai's latest film 'Travel' that explores the different emic and ethic understandings of exploitation and freedom at work in the process of asylum granting in relation to trafficking. The film is the result of ethnographic workshops with Nigerian women working in the Paris sex industry. Click here tovView the Trailer for Travel

When: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM (BST)

Where: Research Resource Centre (ReCCS) - Training Room YH/001b - 6 Innovation Way YO10 5ZF

Register for this Free Event: SWRH Eventbrite

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

New ! Short Courses in CA - Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017

Developing Conversation Analytic Skills: Turn-taking (3 days)
Tutors to include: Clare Jackson, Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger
Dates: 29 November - 1 December 2016 
Pre-requisites: An introductory CA course (preferably at York)
This course is one of two – on turn-taking and on sequence organisation - designed to provide core foundational training in conversation analysis (CA).  It will provide a systematic grounding in the CA domain of turn-taking.  The course will be taught via mini-lectures, practical activities and exercises, with an emphasis on hands-on work with data.  It will be an intensive course, limited to a maximum of 12 participants.  The course is intended for those with some prior familiarity with CA who now want to acquire key skills for working with conversational data.  It is not necessary for participants to have their own data set.
Location: University of York: Research Centre for Social Sciences
Cost: £360 (to include course materials, lunches, tea & coffee)
For further information, and/or to register for one or more of the courses, please contact Sarah Shrive-Morrison:

Developing Conversation Analytic Skills: Sequence Organisation (3 days) 
Tutors to include: Sue Wilkinson, Merran Toerien and Celia Kitzinger

Date: 13 December - 15 December 2016

Pre-requisites: An introductory CA course (preferably at York)
This course is one of two – on sequence organisation and on turn-taking - designed to provide core foundational training in conversation analysis (CA).
It will provide a systematic grounding in the CA domain of sequence organisation.  It will be an intensive course, limited to a maximum of 12 participants.  The course will be taught via mini-lectures, practical activities and exercises, with an emphasis on hands-on work with data.  It is intended for those with some prior familiarity with CA who now want to acquire key skills for working with conversational data.  It is not necessary for participants to have their own data set.
Location: University of York: Research Centre for Social Sciences
Cost: £360 (to include course materials, lunches, tea & coffee)
For further information, and/or to register for one or more of the courses, please contact Sarah Shrive-Morrison:

2017 Short courses (further information to follow)

Developing Conversation Analytic Skills: Repair 18-20 April 2017 (3 days)

Word Selection Short Course 25 May 2017

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Politicians, Celebrities and Social Media

Nathan Manning and Ruth Penfold-Mounce have had a journal article published in Journal of Youth Studies. The article has been written over the last 2 years and is finally out! 

Ruth Penfold-Mounce
Nathan Manning

See the abstract below:

With electoral politics no longer organised by social class, politicians increasingly seek to relate to a broad spectrum of citizens and part of their relatability is conjured through more casual, informal performances aimed at cultivating authenticity. The various platforms of social media promote forms of authentic communication by blurring the public/private divide, creating ‘spontaneous’ and instant access to ‘real life’. This article seeks to investigate the informalization thesis (Wouters, 2007) by applying it to data from young people aged 16-21 years in Australia, the UK and the USA asked about the way politicians and celebrities use social media. Findings reveal respondents’ desire for more authentic and accessible politicians, but this was in direct tension with traditional views and expectations of politicians needing to be professional, informed and worthy of respect. Informalization amongst politicians is evident and welcomed by young citizens but persistent traditional views means it also threatens their credibility.

The article draws on original data gathered by Brian D. Loader, Ariadne Vromen and Michael Xenos as part of The Civic Network Project (Grant 201300029) funded by the Spencer Foundation.

Making the Difference Award

Ruth Penfold-Mounce, Daryl Martin and Clare Jackson have received the Making the Difference Award. This award is part of the University wide recognition scheme of excellence among its staff. The award was granted on the basis of the Ruth, Daryl and Clare's work as a team on the implementation of the York Pedagogy (YP).

Ruth Penfold-Mounce
Daryl Martin
Clare Jackson

Katy Mann Benn, part of the ProPel team and a member of University Teaching Committee nominated the team on the basis of 'their sheer hard work, commitment and outstanding achievement in ushering in the York Pedagogy.' The University Teaching Committee working group were ‘very impressed by the work and output’ and the Programme Learning Outcomes and Statement of Purpose for one of the programmes was selected to be used on the York Pedagogy website as an exemplar. 

Katy Mann Benn
Katy described working with the YP team as having been a 'consistently productive experience and have been impressed by the collaborative, diligent and thoughtful approach they have consistently demonstrated. Their ability to engage constructively and meaningfully with the review process has been outstanding. I have been particularly impressed by the dedication of the team and the well-organised, conscientious review that they have enabled. Moreover, they have sought feedback from colleagues across the university to inform their plans to enhance the programmes.'

John Robinson
The leadership demonstrated by the YP team has been widely noted including by John Robinson Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students who said 

I know of the contribution of Clare, Daryl and Ruth indirectly through the reports of the ProPEL team and.... can confirm that it accords with the evidence, and that I judge it to be an excellent appraisal of a team who are making a difference in learning and teaching.’

Many congratulations to Ruth, Daryl and Clare.

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...