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The young Lipset on the iron law of oligarchy: a taste of things to come

McGovern, Patrick
Fonte: The London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: The London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2010 EN; EN
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Lipset's ‘Democracy in Private Government’ was a remarkable publication for three reasons. It was his first attempt to challenge Michels' ‘iron law of oligarchy’ and would lead to a programme of research that that would culminate with the publication of the widely admired classic study Union Democracy. Second, the inspiration for this work came from Lipset's student days when he was a socialist activist trying to understand why leftist governments often failed to carry out substantial programmes of social reform. Third, although it was one of his earliest publications it bears all the hallmarks of the work that would subsequently make Lipset a giant of political sociology: the enthusiasm for classic sociological problems; the appreciation of history; and the ingenious use of the small n comparative approach. Finally, I would argue that Lipset's study of democracy within private government represents a missed opportunity for sociology though there are signs that this is being rectified in recent years.

Laundering 'money': on the need for conceptual clarity within the sociology of money

Dodd, Nigel
Fonte: Cambridge University Press Publicador: Cambridge University Press
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2005 EN; EN
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Recent work by sociologists, geographers and anthropologists has drawn attention to the “de-territorialization” of money, and to the emergence of “alternative” monetary forms such as e-money and complementary currencies. The increasingly diverse nature of these forms raises doubts as to whether “money” is a sufficiently coherent entity to be covered by a single definition. In this paper, these doubts are explored through a critical evaluation of the work of four prominent scholars of money: Cohen, Ingham, Zelizer and Hart. I argue that, despite their empirical richness, these approaches are undermined by a number of conceptual confusions: for example, by a tendency to refer to “money” and “currency” as if they were synonymous. The paper concludes by suggesting that Simmel’s “pure concept” of money provides the most promising basis on which to develop an analytically rigorous treatment of money which can embrace the variety of forms which circulate today.

Children’s critical evaluation of parental mediation

Haddon, Leslie
Fonte: Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies Publicador: Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2015 EN; EN
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Although the new sociology of childhood draws attention to societal influences on children’s experiences, it also sees them as active agents. This article investigates children’s perspectives on parental interventions in regards their use of the internet, an aspect not covered in the parental mediation literature. Although children are generally positive about this mediation, here we explore cases where children consider it to be problematic through analysing the EU Kids Online qualitative research conducted in nine countries. The material shows how parental advice can sometimes be less articulated, justified, and expressed in a sensitive manner, and why it sometimes lacks credibility in children’s eyes. The article illustrates how maturing children can develop a sense of social expectations about independence, trust and personal social space. This can have a bearing on how they evaluate parental monitoring. Lastly, the article examines factors inhibiting children’s willingness to confide in parents about sensitive issues, because of potential parental responses, parenting styles, and a fear of losing parental trust that children have gained as they have grown older.

Book review : Parsons, Althusser and Foucault were once demigods of the social sciences, but is there still room for them in the 21st century?

Husbands, Christopher T.
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 20/08/2012 EN; EN
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Over the past century, the field of sociology has experienced extraordinary expansion and vitality. But is this growth positive or negative – a promise of diversity or a threat of fragmentation? This critical volume explores the meaning of sociology and sociological knowledge in light of the recent growth and institutionalization of the discipline.

For the social history of the present: Pierre Bourdieu as historical sociologist

Calhoun, Craig
Fonte: Duke University Press Publicador: Duke University Press
Tipo: Book Section; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2013 EN; EN
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The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu had a broader theoretical agenda than is generally acknowledged. Introducing this innovative collection of essays, Philip S. Gorski argues that Bourdieu's reputation as a theorist of social reproduction is the misleading result of his work's initial reception among Anglophone readers, who focused primarily on his mid-career thought. A broader view of his entire body of work reveals Bourdieu as a theorist of social transformation as well. Gorski maintains that Bourdieu was initially engaged with the question of social transformation and that the question of historical change not only never disappeared from his view, but re-emerged with great force at the end of his career. The contributors to Bourdieu and Historical Analysis explore this expanded understanding of Bourdieu's thought and its potential contributions to analyses of large-scale social change and historical crisis. Their essays offer a primer on his concepts and methods and relate them to alternative approaches, including rational choice, Lacanian psychoanalysis, pragmatism, Latour's actor-network theory, and the "new" sociology of ideas. Several contributors examine Bourdieu's work on literature and sports. Others extend his thinking in new directions...

Cultural sociology and new forms of distinction

Friedman, Sam; Savage, Mike; Hanquinet, Laurie; Miles, Andre
Fonte: Elsevier Publicador: Elsevier
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /12/2015 EN; EN
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In recent years growing sociological interest in new forms of cultural distinction has led some to argue that the advantages previously conveyed by the consumption of ‘high’ culture ‘or ‘omnivorousness’ are being overwritten by the possession of what has been termed ‘emerging cultural capital’. So far, though, this term has only been discussed in passing within empirical work and remains in need of further analytical specification. This special issue seeks to both critically interrogate and develop this concept by bringing together the work of leading cultural sociologists around four key themes: the role of age and generation in the formation of cultural capital; the power of visual display for distinction; the significance of new elite cultures; and the need for methodological pluralism to apprehend the expressions and mechanisms of distinction. This editorial introduction outlines the descriptive terrain on which the concept of emerging cultural capital has rested until now before exploring the common themes that sit across all five papers in the special issue.

Book review: New perspectives on emotions in finance: the sociology of confidence, fear and betrayal

Hill, Alastair
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 24/06/2013 EN; EN
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"New Perspectives on Emotions in Finance : The Sociology of Confidence, Fear and Betrayal." Jocelyn Pixley (ed.). Routledge. November 2012. --- This volume examines the seemingly uncontrollable, fragile world of finance and explains the ‘panics’ of traders and ‘immoral panics’ in banking, ‘confidence’ of government and commercial decision makers, ‘shame’ or ‘cynicism’ of investors and asymmetries of ‘impersonal trust’ between finance corporations and their many publics. Instead of one ‘correct’ vision, sociologists in this book argue that corporations and global dependencies are driven by fears and normless sentiments which foster betrayal. This is a thought provoking collection, writes Alastair Hill, with many contributions adding positively to the debate on the state of economics.

Book review: Animals and sociology by Kay Peggs

Cochrane, Alasdair
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 07/01/2013 EN; EN
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In using sociological perspectives to examine other animals in society Animals and Sociology aims to challenge traditional assumptions about the very nature of sociology. Kay Peggs seeks to explore the significant contribution that sociology can make to our understanding of human relations with other animals and the important contribution that the study of other animals in society can make to sociology. Alasdair Cochrane believes the book can be thought of as a manifesto for future sociological work on animals.

Differentiation: a sociological approach to international relations theory

Buzan, Barry; Albert, Mathias
Fonte: SAGE Publications Publicador: SAGE Publications
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2010 EN; EN
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This article sets out an analytical framework of differentiation derived from sociology and anthropology and argues that it can and should be applied to international relations (IR) theory. Differentiation is about how to distinguish and analyse the components that make up any social whole: are all the components essentially the same, or are they distinguishable by status or function? We argue that this approach provides a framing for IR theory that is more general and integrative than narrower theories derived from economics or political science. We show why this set of ideas has so far not been given much consideration within IR, and how and why the one encounter between IR and sociology that might have changed this - Waltz's transposition of anarchy and functional differentiation from Durkheim - failed to do so. We set out in some detail how differentiation theory bears on the subject matter of IR arguing that this set of ideas offers new ways of looking not only at the understanding of structure in IR, but also at structural change and world history. We argue that differentiation holds out to IR a major possibility for theoretical development. What is handed on from anthropology and sociology is mainly designed for smaller and simpler subject matters than that of IR. In adapting differentiation theory to its more complex...

The sociology of Theodor Adorno

Benzer, Matthias
Fonte: Cambridge University Press Publicador: Cambridge University Press
Tipo: Book; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /04/2011 EN; EN
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Theodor Adorno is a widely-studied figure, but most often with regard to his work on cultural theory, philosophy and aesthetics. The Sociology of Theodor Adorno provides the first thorough English-language account of Adorno's sociological thinking. Matthias Benzer reads Adorno's sociology through six major themes: the problem of conceptualising capitalist society; empirical research; theoretical analysis; social critique; the sociological text; and the question of the non-social. Benzer explains the methodological and theoretical ideas informing Adorno's reflections on sociology and illustrates Adorno's approach to examining social life, including astrology, sexual taboos and racial prejudice. Benzer clarifies Adorno's sociology in relation to his work in other disciplines and the inspiration his sociology took from social thinkers such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Kracauer and Benjamin. The book raises critical questions about the viability of Adorno's sociological mode of procedure and its potential contributions and challenges to current debates in social science.

Book review: Symbolic power, politics and intellectuals: the political sociology of Pierre Bourdieu

Mcdonagh, Luke T.
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 09/09/2013 EN; EN
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"Symbolic Power, Politics and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu." David L. Swartz. University of Chicago Press. May 2013. --- Power is the central organizing principle of all social life, from culture and education to stratification and taste. And there is no more prominent name in the analysis of power than that of Pierre Bourdieu. In Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals, David L. Swartz delves into Bourdieu’s work to show how central – but often overlooked – power and politics are to an understanding of sociology. This book can be regarded as a superb piece of analysis, as well as a great read, and one which successfully sheds light on a neglected aspect of Bourdieu’s work, concludes Luke McDonagh.

Historical sociology in international relations: open society, research programme and vocation

Lawson, George
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /07/2007 EN; EN
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Over the last 20 years, historical sociology has become an increasingly conspicuous part of the broader field of International Relations (IR) theory, with advocates making a series of interventions in subjects as diverse as the origins and varieties of international systems over time and place, to work on the co-constitutive relationship between the international realm and state–society relations in the processes of radical change. However, even as historical sociology in IR (HSIR) has produced substantial gains, so there has also been a concomitant watering down of the underlying approach itself. As a result, it is no longer clear what exactly HSIR entails: should it be seen as operating within the existing pool of available theories or as an attempt to reconvene the discipline on new foundations? This article sets out an identifiable set of assumptions and precepts for HSIR based on deep ontological realism, epistemological relationism, a methodological free range, and an overt normative engagement with the events and processes that make up contemporary world politics. As such, HSIR can be seen as operating as an open society, a research programme and a vocation.

La imaginación sociológica desde la perspectiva histórica

Lawson, George
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /11/2006 EN; EN
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This article explains how the origins of Sociology and International Relations have become closely related over the last twenty years. This new phenomenon is explained by the double approach in International Relations to History (English School) on the one hand, and to Sociology (Constructivism) on the other. After a brief look at the essential literature on Historic Sociology, Lawson presents the potential main results of such new approach to IR: the rejection of eternal and universal categories; the possibility to establish periods in International Relations; and the capacity that International Relations Historic Sociology could provide in order to eliminate given suppositions related to some central concepts and myths.

Book review: A sociology of culture, taste and value by Simon Stewart

Sykes, Rachel
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 19/03/2014 EN; EN
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"A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value." Simon Stewart. Palgrave Macmillan. November 2013. --- This book sets out to explore sociological debates in relation to culture, taste and value. Simon Stewart argues that sociology can contribute to debates about aesthetic value and to an understanding of how people evaluate, and seeks to contribute to alternative approaches that draw attention to other values and to other ways of valuing. Rachel Sykes finds that the author’s in-depth knowledge of the overlapping principles in processes of rationalization, globalisation and cultural capital lead to a thought-provoking and insightful challenge to long held cultural assumptions that test the boundaries of our subjective leanings. Recommended for students of sociology and cultural studies.

Book review: Punk sociology by David Beer

O'Brien, Dave
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 27/03/2014 EN; EN
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"Punk Sociology." David Beer. Palgrave Pivot. Jan 2014. --- This book explores the possibility of drawing upon a punk ethos to inspire sociology and to cultivate a vibrant future for the discipline. Aiming to fire the sociological imaginations of sociologists at any stage of their careers, from new students to established professors, it uses punk to think creatively about what sociology is and how it might be conducted. Dave O’Brien finds this a readable, fun, intriguing and vital book, although the author does romanticise the punk movement somewhat.

Book review: sexual fields: toward a sociology of collective sexual Life, edited by Adam Isaiah Green

Daigle, Megan
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 15/05/2014 EN; EN
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Sexual Fields: Toward a Sociology of Collective Sexual Life provides an innovative and productive way of thinking about how sexual attitudes, desires, attractions, practices, and worlds are constructed, writes Megan Daigle. Adam Isaiah Green and contributors develop a distinctively sociological approach for analysing collective sexual life, where much of the sexual life of our society resides today. Students and researchers working on sexuality, gender, or queer studies should find something of interest in this book.

Book review: what use is sociology? conversations with Zygmunt Bauman, Michael-Hviid Jacobsen and Keith Tester

Mena, Olivia
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 26/05/2014 EN; EN
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This conversational book with Zygmunt Bauman looks at the usefulness of sociology with an aim to inspire future conversations about the discipline. Olivia Mena found this book to be a sounding board of the timeless but central questions which social theorists and practitioners must revisit regularly in the everyday practice of the ‘scientific sorcery’ that is sociology.

Social bonding and nurture kinship: compatibility between cultural and biological approaches

Holland, Maximillian P.
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2004 EN
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The current thesis aims to clarify some aspects of the relationship between biology and social bonds. The central task is to demonstrate that, despite clear problems of some past approaches claiming to represent biology, there is non-reductive compatibility between the perspective from cultural approaches documenting processes of social bonding in humans and the perspective from basic biological theory. In demonstrating this compatibility, the thesis also attempts to contribute to delineating the utility and limits of applying insights from biology to understanding aspects of human social behaviour, and to sociological study in general. The areas of social bonding and social relationships under focus are mainly at the level of individuals and primary social groups, rather than a structural-functional approach often employed in classical sociology of the family and comparative sociology. The thesis initially reviews recent cultural approaches to understanding social bonding, and notes the potential academic value of a clarification of the association between social kinship and physical ('related by blood') kinship. In reviewing biological theory on social bonding and social behaviour, it is argued that classic sociobiological interpretations of this biological theory are erroneous in some crucial respects...

Language and the social: investigations towards a new sociology of language

Hawkins, Gwyneth Mae
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2013 EN
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This thesis investigates sociological understandings of language in texts deeply resonant for sociology today. It offers a comparative and analytical investigation of social-language projects written before the discipline was established. Sociologists have struggled to establish a field investigating arguably the most social arena of social life, namely, language as witnessed by insubstantial attempts to sociologically study language and unfulfilled promises in social theories of language or sociologies of communication, culture, media, etc. Chapter 1 critically reviews social scientific research approaches to language. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 examine carefully selected sites in European thought where language and social life interpenetrate too much to be disentangled, wherein there are ‘folk sociologies of language’. Chapter 2 looks at attempts to rectify a deep confusion pulling society apart and corroding language. Three social-language projects compose language: a gesture language (Bulwer), a philosophical language (Wilkins) and combination of both (Dalgarno). Chapter 3 looks at two critical dictionaries intended to fix language to help the realisation of the ideal society (Johnson’s Dictionary and Diderot’s Encyclopedié). Chapter 4 explores projects that capture historically changing nationhood: the OED and the work of the Grimm Brothers. These social-language projects are attempts to change something in the social...

Towards a sociology of happiness: examining social capital and subjective well-being across subgroups of society

Kroll, Christian
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2011 EN
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This dissertation contributes to a Sociology of Happiness by examining the social context of subjective well-being. It follows in Emile Durkheim’s footsteps, whose study Le Suicide initially proposed that being connected is beneficial for human beings. The empirical evidence on the relationship between social capital and subjective well-being has indeed grown considerably over the last years. However, the academic literature has a major shortcoming, as studies usually assume the importance of social capital for subjective well-being to be exactly the same between individuals. Interestingly, though, sociological theory gives reasons to expect the association between the two concepts to vary between societal subgroups based on the idea that people have different roles and find themselves in different circumstances. Hence, this thesis responds to a need to examine a new level of complexity and fills a research gap by investigating how social capital is correlated in different ways with life satisfaction by gender, age, parental status, and marital status. OLS and ordered logit regression analyses are conducted in order to systematically examine slope heterogeneity, using data from the European Social Survey for the UK. It turns out that the social context of well-being varies considerably between the subgroups studied here. For example...