Department of Sociology

The blog of the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey

As Cuts Bite Police Forces Shore Up the Front Line with a ‘Dad’s Army’ of Police Support Volunteers

By Karen Bullock For the police service, as for other public sector organisations, a primary question since 2010 has been how to maintain levels of service as deep funding cuts start to bite. The public sector union Unison has recently drawn attention to how police services across England and Wales are quietly retaining volunteers to […]

Invisible Internet work

By Christine Hine An important strand of sociological work in the 1990s focused on “invisible work”: the labour that was needed, in the background, to make things run smoothly. Susan Leigh Star (1999) was particularly influential in showing us that everywhere there was an infrastructure apparently standardizing, facilitating and automating, there would be people working […]

Is the Jury out on the Jury?

crowd sourcing criminal justice and swearing as democracy By Mike McGuire Having recently been called to Jury service for the first time, the significance of the jury and its function as a feature of civil society is something which I had a fair amount of time to reflect upon. A very fair amount. I hadn’t […]

Revisiting Social Structure

By Graham Scambler One point of frustration for sociologists reading or listening to journalists opining on our changing world is their fixation on events. Sociologists, I have long argued, should delve beneath the surface in search of the mechanisms – ‘social structures’ – that help cause or shape events. If we can’t quite match the […]

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