Department of Sociology

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

Researchers as ‘interested amateurs’

By Peter George Johnson Fun American Philosophy I have always struggled to understand or enjoy ‘serious’ philosophy. As such, I was long-ago pleased to hear American philosophers, though ‘serious’, have a reputation for being accessible and hands-on. Thus, when I chanced upon Daniel Dennett’s (he’s American!) 2013 book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, […]

Peer production: a force for radical social change?

By Charles Masquelier As a firm believer in both the desirability of and possibility for radical social change, I am often confronted with heavy doses of scepticism and doubt on the part of those willing to discuss the matter with me. Questions like ‘So what’s the alternative?’ or comments such as ‘That sounds like a […]

What role do students’ unions play in today’s HE system?

By Rachel Brooks Students’ unions have a long history in the UK, with the first having been established at St Andrew’s University in Scotland in 1864. Historically, they have tended to carry out a range of functions for their members including: organising social activities; providing support on a range of academic and welfare issues; representing […]

Energy consumption and everyday life

By Thomas Roberts A couple of months ago the fridge in the sociology department kitchen was replaced. Whilst the new fridge looks nearly identical to the old one, there is a fundamental difference – the hinges are on the opposite side.   I have lost count of the number of times I have walked into the […]

Life, death and land

By Victoria Redclift Last month nine people were burnt alive in a ‘refugee camp’ in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The fire occurred after a clash between the Urdu-speaking ‘Bihari’ camp residents and Bengali locals from a nearby slum. Some reports allege that several hundred Bengalis carrying machetes attacked the camp, setting houses ablaze. Most reports suggest that […]

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