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60 articles matched your search for the keywords:

Community Action, Environment, Social Movements, Political Sociology, Social Change, Social Capital, Cruise Industry, Cruise Ship, Social Activism

Social Structures and Chaos Theory

Greg Smith
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 11

Keywords: Chaos Theory, Complexity, Connectionism, Consciousness, Memes, Network Theory, Reductionism, Soliton, Social Change, Structuralism, Timelines, Transduction
Abstract: Up to this point many of the social- scientific discussions of the impact of Chaos theory have dealt with using chaos concepts to refine matters of prediction and control. Chaos theory, however, has far more fundamental consequences which must also be considered. The identification of chaotic events arise as consequences of the attempts to model systems mathematically. For social science this means we must not only evaluate the mathematics but also the assumptions underlying the systems themselves. This paper attempts to show that such social-structural concepts as class, race, gender and ethnicity produce analytic difficulties so serious that the concept of structuralism itself must be reconceptualised to make it adequate to the demands of Chaos theory. The most compelling mode of doing this is through the use of Connectionism. The paper will also attempt to show this effectively means the successful inclusion of Chaos theory into social sciences represents both a new paradigm and a new epistemology and not just a refinement to the existing structuralist models. Research using structuralist assumptions may require reconciliation with the new paradigm. (January 10, 1996).

Sustainability and Modernity in the European Union: A Frame Theory Approach to Policy-Making

Calloni and Mikrakis Triandafyllidou and Fotiou
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 2

Keywords: Environmental Policy; European Union; Frame Analysis; Qualitative Methods; Sustainable Development; Trans-European Networks
Abstract: Frame analysis has been often used by scholars studying New Social Movements to analyze their discourses and their ability to mobilise people. This paper refers to the application of 'frame analysis' to a different context, namely to discourses of both social movements and institutional actors in the context of public policy-making. More particularly, the study is concerned with the discourses of social actors who participate in the making of EU environmental policy. The advantages and limitations of frame analysis as a method for analysing discourse in an institutional context are discussed. Two case-studies are used to highlight the pros and cons of the method. First, the competing discourses of environmental organisations, business associations, and EU officials with regard to environmental sustainability and the Fifth Action Programme are examined. The second case study addresses the issue of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-Ts) and examines different types of framing of sustainable mobility developed by policy actors. Conclusions are drawn with regard to the contribution of frame theory in the analysis of policy-making processes.

Sociological Practice: The Politics of Identities and Futures

Irwin Deutscher
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 3

Keywords: Environmental Policy; European Union; Frame Analysis; Qualitative Methods; Sustainable Development; Trans-European Networks
Abstract: Frame analysis has been often used by scholars studying New Social Movements to analyze their discourses and their ability to mobilise people. This paper refers to the application of 'frame analysis' to a different context, namely to discourses of both social movements and institutional actors in the context of public policy-making. More particularly, the study is concerned with the discourses of social actors who participate in the making of EU environmental policy. The advantages and limitations of frame analysis as a method for analysing discourse in an institutional context are discussed. Two case-studies are used to highlight the pros and cons of the method. First, the competing discourses of environmental organisations, business associations, and EU officials with regard to environmental sustainability and the Fifth Action Programme are examined. The second case study addresses the issue of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-Ts) and examines different types of framing of sustainable mobility developed by policy actors. Conclusions are drawn with regard to the contribution of frame theory in the analysis of policy-making processes.

The Industrial Organization of Sociology

Tony Tam
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 4

Keywords: Environmental Policy; European Union; Frame Analysis; Qualitative Methods; Sustainable Development; Trans-European Networks
Abstract: Frame analysis has been often used by scholars studying New Social Movements to analyze their discourses and their ability to mobilise people. This paper refers to the application of 'frame analysis' to a different context, namely to discourses of both social movements and institutional actors in the context of public policy-making. More particularly, the study is concerned with the discourses of social actors who participate in the making of EU environmental policy. The advantages and limitations of frame analysis as a method for analysing discourse in an institutional context are discussed. Two case-studies are used to highlight the pros and cons of the method. First, the competing discourses of environmental organisations, business associations, and EU officials with regard to environmental sustainability and the Fifth Action Programme are examined. The second case study addresses the issue of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-Ts) and examines different types of framing of sustainable mobility developed by policy actors. Conclusions are drawn with regard to the contribution of frame theory in the analysis of policy-making processes.

Whose Future? Whose Sociology? a Response to Tam and Deutscher

Bogusia Temple
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 5

Keywords: Environmental Policy; European Union; Frame Analysis; Qualitative Methods; Sustainable Development; Trans-European Networks
Abstract: Frame analysis has been often used by scholars studying New Social Movements to analyze their discourses and their ability to mobilise people. This paper refers to the application of 'frame analysis' to a different context, namely to discourses of both social movements and institutional actors in the context of public policy-making. More particularly, the study is concerned with the discourses of social actors who participate in the making of EU environmental policy. The advantages and limitations of frame analysis as a method for analysing discourse in an institutional context are discussed. Two case-studies are used to highlight the pros and cons of the method. First, the competing discourses of environmental organisations, business associations, and EU officials with regard to environmental sustainability and the Fifth Action Programme are examined. The second case study addresses the issue of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-Ts) and examines different types of framing of sustainable mobility developed by policy actors. Conclusions are drawn with regard to the contribution of frame theory in the analysis of policy-making processes.

The Revolution and the Virgin Mary: Popular Religion and Social Change in Nicaragua

Stephanie Judith Linkogle
Sociological Research Online 3 (2) 8

Keywords: Gender; La PuríSima; Nicaragua; Nicaraguan Revolution; Popular Religion; Sandinistas; Social Change; Social Transformation; Virgin Mary
Abstract: This article is concerned with analysing the role of popular religion in social transformation in Nicaragua from 1979 to the present, focusing in particular on popular religious practices, as spaces in which gender, political and religious identities are shaped and contested. It explores the elements of Nicaraguan popular religion that were constitutive of a religious and often gendered 'common sense' which fostered identification with specific political projects. My aim is two-fold. Firstly, I am concerned to examine some general issues around popular religion in Latin America and its relationship to the practice and pronouncements of the Catholic church. To this end, I begin my analysis of popular religion in Nicaragua with an exploration of some of the general themes which dominate considerations of popular culture and popular religion. I next examine how the issue of popular Catholicism has been taken up both by the 'official' church, particularly in the wake of Vatican II, and by liberation theologians. This discussion leads to a more specific focus on popular religion in Latin America. Secondly, I explore 'Marianism' and the Nicaraguan popular religious festival La Purísima. Here I focus on the competing gender discourses which are worked through different representations of 'the Virgin Mary'. These competing discourses are often also linked to different versions of an 'ideal' society. Finally the article concludes by outlining how an analysis of popular religious practices can inform a sociological understanding of contradictory processes of social change.

Food Trust, Ethics and Safety in Risk Society.

Reidar Almas
Sociological Research Online 4 (3) almas

Keywords: Environment.; Food Scandals; Genetic Modified Foods; Health; Individualisation; Precautionary Principle; Reflexive Modernity; Regulation; Risk Society; Trust
Abstract: We are living in the age of mad cow disease. Through large scale bulletins in the media, we have learned about food scandals that threaten both our health and our environment. This has raised problems like: Who can we trust? And what type of food production can be regarded as ethically defensible in our day and age? And finally, how does the precautionary principle apply to the way we evaluate food and risk. The likelihood of becoming sick from the next meal has probably never been less than it is today. Yet at the same time, we know less than ever about the long-term consequences of today's food production. Ulrich Beck argued more than 10 years ago that we are moving from "industrial society" to "risk society". While industrial society was structured through social classes, risk society is individualised. Beck's individualisation thesis is central to being able to understand how individuals handle risks through composing their own risk identity profile. Because the different experts "dump their contradictions and conflicts at the feet of the individual" (Beck 1992:137), he or she has to find biographical solutions to handle risks. Where to live, what to eat, where to take a vacation, what clothes to wear, with whom to mingle and to have sex with is up to the individual. And it is not like in simple modernity anymore, when the regulatory authorities took care of the risks and kept the foods you should not eat out of the country. The reflexive burden is placed upon the shoulders of the individual. So is also the case when it comes to genetic modified foods and debates around this. Even if these new foods are labelled, the consumer has to choose which experts to believe before to buy and eat. It is not the case any more that all experts agree and that the public food control institutions will tell you what to do. In the future there will be new food scandals in Europe that will threaten health and the environment. Such food scandals will be a central feature in what people experience as "risk society". Expertise in the social sciences will gradually be given a new role as "experts on peoples' concerns".

Agricultural Biotechnology: Its Recent Evolution and Implications for Agrofood Political Economy

Fred Buttel
Sociological Research Online 4 (3) buttel

Keywords: Agriculture; Biotechnology; Consumption; European Union; Food; Political Economy; Social Movements; Trade; World Trade Organization
Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the recent development of the agricultural biotechnology sector and suggests what are likely to be some of the major issues in agrofood biotechnology in the future. I argue that while biotechnology has become increasingly entrenched as an approach to agrofood research and development, there are enormous public and especially corporate resources committed to biotechnology, and the growth of GMO market share in U.S. soybean, corn, and cotton production has been impressive, there has recently been growth of social resistance to biotechnology that casts the technology's and industry's future in some doubt. In addition to discussing the extent and limits of social resistance to biotechnology, I explore several other facets of agrofood biotechnology--global consolidation of the biotechnology industry, trade in GMO-produced food products, and the new corporate focus on "value-enhanced crops"--that will have a critical bearing on its future. I conclude by suggesting that while social resistance to agrofood biotechnology is very unlikely to derail the industry, public opposition will shape corporate strategy and could possibly shape research priorities in public biotechnology research.

Structure, Strategy, Sustainability: What Future for New Social Movement Theory?

Alana Lentin
Sociological Research Online 4 (3) lentin

Keywords: Collective Action; Identity; New Social Movements; Structural Transformation; Transnationalisation
Abstract: The theoretical domain developed for the study of New Social Movements (NSMs) in the early 1980s has recently been largely abandoned by its main advocates. Increasingly, the cross-class, 'post-materialist' movements of the 1970s and 1980s, typified by the issues of environment, peace and feminism, cease to pose a radical challenge to contemporary western politics. This paper revisits the theoretical work of three of the European voices central to understandings of the emergence and success of New Social Movements. Claus Offe, Alberto Melucci and Alain Touraine succeed in amalgamating an essential emphasis on structural transformation and an understanding of the importance of identity in bringing about 'new' collective action in the 1970s and 1980s. In response, to the significant decrease in European work on the NSM phenomenon today the paper proposes that the existing body of theory may be insufficient for describing collective action at the turn of the Millennium. The increasing predominance of 'identity' politics (e.g. in the realms of ethnicity and sexuality) in the arenas previously dominated by 'universalist', post-particularist themes; the institutionalisation of elements of NSM action and concerns; and the perceived appropriation by transnational agencies of the issues dominating original state-NSM struggles are cited as reasons for the need to develop a new language to describe contemporary collective action phenomena.

Genetics and the Future of Nature Politics

Phil Sutton
Sociological Research Online 4 (3) sutton

Keywords: 9 Genetic Engineering; Biotechnology; Environmentalism; Life Politics; Nature Politics; New Social Movements; Risk Society; Symbolic Protest.
Abstract: This article is concerned with the extent to which recent environmental campaigns against GM food trials are likely to be successful, and whether the symbolic protests that have typically characterised environmental activism will remain effective in the future. Although the recent direct actions have highlighted the continuing salience of 'nature' as a major source and symbol of political protest, the paper also considers whether the development of genetic technologies is creating new opportunities for collaborative collective actions across diverse new social movements. Following Beck's theory of the emergence of a 'risk society', sociologists have begun to see environmentalism and issues of 'life' politics (including genetic research and its commercialisation) as increasingly important in shaping the future direction of modern development, and the paper concludes with some thoughts on the convergence of the new 'life politics' with the nature politics of environmentalism.

Queer Frameworks and Queer Tendencies: Towards an Understanding of Postmodern Transformations of Sexuality

Sasha Roseneil
Sociological Research Online 5 (3) roseneil

Keywords: Culture Identity; Heterosexuality; Homosexuality; Postmodernity; Queer Theory; Sexuality; Social Change
Abstract: This article aims to extend the theorization of postmodernity to consider social changes in the realm of sexuality. It offers a discussion of recent developments in queer theory, which, it is argued, can contribute significant new theoretical frameworks for the analysis of sexuality. It then traces some of the shifts in the organization of sexuality in the second half of the twentieth century, the emergence of modern sexual identities, and the changing relationships between `the homosexual' and `the heterosexual', as categories, identities and ways of life. The article then outlines what are conceptualized as the `queer tendencies' of postmodernity, which it is suggested characterize the contemporary re-organization of relations of sexuality. These queer tendencies are: queer auto-critique, the decentring of heterorelations, the emergence of hetero- reflexivity, and the cultural valorizing of the queer.

The Neglected Art of Hitch-Hiking: Risk, Trust and Sustainability

Graeme Chesters and David B. Smith
Sociological Research Online 6 (3) chesters

Keywords: Car-sharing; Deviance; Environment; Hitch-hiking; Marginality; Risk; Sustainability; Transport; Trust
Abstract: This article explores the sociologically neglected practice of hitch-hiking. It demonstrates the paucity of research on what is potentially a fascinating instance of social interaction and it argues that hitch-hiking provides an interesting test case for the applicability of recent social theories of risk and trust. The reasons for the relative decline in hitch-hiking in Britain are discussed and comparisons are made with continental Europe and the U.S. The article suggests that despite the increasingly risk-averse nature of public bodies, attention to this subject could provide interesting possibilities for policy makers concerned with the development of sustainable modes of transport, as well as for those concerned with the re-vitalisation of civil society.

Opening and Closing the Gates: Recent Developments in Male Social Mobility in Britain

Geoff Payne and Judy Roberts
Sociological Research Online 6 (4) payne

Keywords: Absolute Mobility; British Election Survey; British Society; Nuffield Mobility Study; Occupational Transition; Relative Mobility; Social Change; Social Class; Social Mobility
Abstract: Sociological understanding of social mobility in Britain has depended heavily on the 1972 Nuffield Mobility Study. In the virtual absence of more recent data, analysis has drawn on this single study with its reliance on cohorts of males as the indicator of changes in mobility. One of the central conclusions has been that relative mobility rates, the key marker of class inequalities, remain unchanged. A new analysis of data from recent British Election Surveys shows that these conclusions should not be empirically generalised to the last quarter of a century, and that British society has experienced both periods of greater ?openness? and 'closure'. Several conceptual reservations follow once the limitations of the 'Nuffield tradition' have been identified. In particular, a case is made for closer attention to labour market processes and rates of absolute mobility.

The Piano in the Parlour: Methodological Issues in the Conduct of a Restudy

Charlotte Aull Davies and Nickie Charles
Sociological Research Online 7 (2) davies

Keywords: Comparison; Family; Household; Methodology; Re-study; Social Change
Abstract: AbstractAlthough re-studies are relatively rare in sociological research, they can be very valuable resources for understanding social change. However, they also raise methodological questions about the validity of comparison given the inevitable changes in both social and analytical contexts during the period between the original and the re-study. This paper considers such methodological issues with reference to a major restudy in the area of family and household research. By looking at some of the details of research design in this re-study, we argue that reflexive consideration of relevant changes makes possible an examined and modified research design that retains much of the original and alters the remainder in ways that still allow for meaningful comparison.

Community Matters: Reflections from the Field

Kirsty L. Blackstock
Sociological Research Online 7 (2) sherlock

Keywords: Australia.; Community; Exclusion; Lifestyles; Social Capital; Tourism
Abstract: This article asserts that community matters, not least because of the continued importance of community demonstrated by residents of a post-fordist resort town in North Australia. Far from being an outdated concept, confined to stable rural villages, (as often argued in the literature), even this extremely transient population profess a strong desire to find and maintain 'community'. A sense of community is constructed through narratives of place and lifestyle to create an inclusive collective identity. However, my fieldwork demonstrated that the ideal remains elusive. Access to social networks is unequal and the norms of community fall short of reciprocity or duty, making it a 'community without obligation'.

Neighbourhood Social Capital: Does an Urban Gentry Help? Some Stories of Defining Shared Interests, Collective Action and Mutual Support

Talja Blokland
Sociological Research Online 7 (3) blokland

Keywords: Collective Action; Community; Ethnography; Gentrification; Middle Class; Neighbourhood; Poverty Poverty; Race; Social Capital
Abstract: In European and American cities alike, politicians and policymakers have developed a strong believe in 'mixture'. They believe that mixed neighbourhoods have the critical mass of an urban middle class whose economic, human and social capital benefits the whole neighbourhood. If middle classes have the social network contacts to access politicians and policymakers in ways that residents without such contact cannot, is it enough for the poor simply to rub shoulders in the same neighbourhood with the better-off? Does such social capital as individual asset become available to all? Or do the social networks within the neighbourhood, across the lines of class and race, need certain characteristics as meant by Putnam and Coleman for Portes' and Bourdieu's social capital to become transferable? This paper discusses these questions through a case study in a mixed neighbourhood in a New England college town. The case study suggests that the help of an urban gentry in collective action might depend on how inclusively and fluidly such a gentry defines 'shared interests', how power relations determine what 'collective' in collective action means, and how difficulties to speak with those the gentry might want to speak for can be overcome. For residents with limited resources, the case suggests that whether or not they can use an urban elite in their neighbourhood to access new resources depends on the quality and nature of informal rather than institutional relationships, and on specific characteristics of reciprocity and mutuality of neighbourhood networks across race and class.

Thinking Global but Acting Local: the Middle Classes in the City

Tim Butler
Sociological Research Online 7 (3) butler

Keywords: Gentrification. Middle Classes. London. Metropolitan Habitus. Bourdieu. Social Capital. Globalization.
Abstract: The paper advances the notion that there is 'metropolitan habitus' in large global cities such as London which distinguishes it from other conurbations in the United Kingdom. At the same time, it is argued that whilst London is becoming an increasingly middle-class city, this group is increasingly stratified along socio-spatial lines. Richard Sennett's work The Corrosion of Character is drawn upon to suggest that, to some extent, different gentrification strategies enable the metropolitan middle classes to compensate for the lack of a long term in contemporary middle-class life.Drawing on fieldwork, recently conducted in five gentrified areas of inner London north and south of the Thames, it is suggested that an important aspect of the socio spatial differentiation within the metropolitan middle class is whether it seeks to embrace or escape the contemporary globalization of consumer culture. Although this process is highly nuanced by individual strategies for negotiating the boundaries between the global and the local, which are exemplified by the distinction between residential areas and the centre of London, it is nevertheless suggested that these socio-spatial divisions account for variations within the metropolitan habitus to a greater extent than socio- demographic and occupational divisions which are only weakly associated with the global/non-global dichotomisation. The paper uses both quantitative and qualitative data to look at the different ways in which cultural, economic and social capital are drawn on in the gentrification of each area and how these reflect not only the capabilities but also the proclivities of the different groups concerned. It is suggested that metropolitan habitus is a concept that needs further analysis and research but which has considerable potential explanatory value in accounting for differences between the middle classes in London and other provincial cities and non urban areas.

Children, Belonging and Social Capital: The PTA and Middle Class Narratives of Social Involvement in the North-West of England

Gaynor R Bagnall, Brian John Longhurst and Mike Savage
Sociological Research Online 8 (4) bagnall

Keywords: Belonging; Children; Class; Cultural Capital; Identity.; Narratives; Parenthood; PTA; Social Capital; Social Involvement
Abstract: This paper uses data gathered from an ESRC funded research project on social networks, social capital and lifestyle to provide an account of narratives of belonging and social involvement. Drawing on data from 88 in-depth interviews carried out in the North-West of England between 1997 and 1999, we identify how parental involvement in voluntary organizations connected to their children, such as Parent Teachers Associations (PTA), figures in middle class narratives as a vehicle through which to perform belonging and social involvement. We argue that social involvement through children is presented as a dimension of feeling located in place socially. By using data from two contrasting areas, Wilmslow and Cheadle, we show how this concern to perform locally based parenthood nonetheless leads to very different patterns of engagement. The mobile, middle class in Wilmslow seek to build social capital through the generation of loose social networks based around children and children's education. We suggest that this serves the dual purpose of connecting them to 'like-minded' people and to the educational establishments they value as a means of getting ahead. In Cheadle, the generally less mobile respondents use their more local habitus to generate bonding forms of social capital with tighter social networks based around, kin, residence and leisure that enable them to 'get by'. We argue that the narratives of participation articulated relate to the respondents' degree of embeddedness in the locale, the different place-based habitus of each area and the gendering of family practices. At the heart of many of these narratives, particularly but not exclusively in Wilmslow, are tales about being a 'good' parent and more particularly of being a 'good' mother.

Uneven Possibilities: Understanding Non-Heterosexual Ageing and the Implications of Social Change

Brian Heaphy and Andrew K. T. Yip
Sociological Research Online 8 (4) heaphy

Keywords: Ageing Identity; Community; Detraditionalisation; Gay; Late Modernity.; Lesbian; Non-heterosexual; Relationships; Social Change
Abstract: The article draws from focus group data generated for a UK study of the life circumstances of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals aged 50 and above, to consider some key elements of the conceptual framework we are developing for understanding the issue of non-heterosexual ageing. The article considers ways in which non-heterosexual ways of living have been positively evaluated as 'prime' experiments in late modern ways of living, and identifies three core areas (identity, relationships and community) where it has been argued that lesbian and gay lifestyles can be viewed as indicators of the implications of social change. Employing the data to discuss the notion of 'do-it-yourself' biographies, we identify a number of factors that work to enable and limit an empowered sense of self amongst older lesbians and gay. In doing so, we also highlight the uneven possibilities that exist for self-creation in detraditionalised settings. Non-heterosexual couples and friendships can offer distinct possibilities for 'negotiated' and 'chosen' relationships. These are not, however, uniformly adopted or created by older non-heterosexuals. Finally, our data indicates that while non-heterosexual communities can provide crucial supports and resources for their members, some older lesbians and gay men experience these communities as exclusionary. This raises a number of questions about the dynamics that facilitate inclusion or exclusion in reflexive or critical communities. While the article highlights that non-heterosexual ageing cannot be understood without reference the creative possibilities open to non-heterosexuals, and late modern individuals generally, we caution against celebratory accounts of both non- heterosexual and late modern ways of living, and of social and cultural constraints transformed, that is inherent within them.

Social Change, Friendship and Civic Participation

Yaojun Li, Mike Savage and Andrew Pickles
Sociological Research Online 8 (4) li

Keywords: Civic Participation; Class Formation; Class Polarization; Friendship; Social Capital
Abstract: This paper studies the changing distribution of social capital and its impact on class formation in England and Wales from a ‘class structural’ perspective. It compares data from the Social Mobility Inquiry (1972) and the British Household Panel Survey (1992 and 1998) to show a distinct change in the class profiling of membership in civic organisations, with traditionally working-class dominated associations losing their working-class character, and middle-class dominated associations becoming even more middle-class dominated. Similar changes are evident for class-differentiated patterns of friendship. Our study indicates the class polarization of social capital in England and Wales.

Towards a Sociology of Endings

Graham Crow
Sociological Research Online 10 (3) crow

Keywords: Endings; Social Change; Discontinuity; Continuity
Abstract: Sociological commentaries on the future are frequently built around the claim that we are witnessing the beginning of a new social phenomenon as a result of an existing one coming to an end. Recent examples of discussions framed in terms of new beginnings include reference to the emergence of new forms of family, community, politics, slavery and the international division of labour, while the focus on endings includes analyses of the end of marriage, masculinity, work, class, capitalism, development, history, and the world as we know it. This paper argues that such claims exaggerate the discontinuous nature of social change, and that a more nuanced account of the processes involved in beginnings and endings needs to be developed. As a contribution to this project, ten propositions are advanced about the processes whereby old social phenomena come to an end and new ones emerge. For example, people's perceptions about whether they stand to gain or lose from the substitution of a new social arrangement for an old one are volatile, and this has major implications for the prediction of their behaviour. Taken together, the ten propositions offer a distinctive perspective on the understanding of long-term social change.

'Pants to Poverty'? Making Poverty History, Edinburgh 2005

Hugo Gorringe and Michael Rosie
Sociological Research Online 11 (1) gorringe

Keywords: Make Poverty History, Protest, Media, Policing, Social Movements
Abstract: July 2005 saw 225,000 people march through Edinburgh in the city's largest ever demonstration. Their cause was the idealistic injunction to 'Make Poverty History' (MPH). This paper presents an analysis of the MPH march, focusing particularly on the interplay between protestors, the police and the media. Drawing on ongoing research, it interrogates the disjunction between projected and actual outcomes, paying particular scrutiny to media speculation about possible violence. It also asks how MPH differed from previous G8 protests and what occurred on the day itself. The paper considers three key aspects: the composition and objectives of the marchers (who was on the march, why they were there and what they did?), the constituency that the protestors were trying to reach, and the media coverage accorded to the campaign. The intent underlying this threefold focus is an attempt to understand the protestors and what motivated them, but also to raise the question of how 'successful' they were in communicating their message.

Social Change and the Family

Chris Harris, Nickie Charles and Charlotte Davies
Sociological Research Online 11 (2) harris

Keywords: De-Institutionalisation, Social Change, Restudy, Occupational Differentiation, Extended Family
Abstract: This paper explores the social change of the past 40 years through reporting the results of a restudy. It argues that social change can be understood, culturally, as involving a process of de-institutionalisation and, structurally, as involving differentiation within elementary family groups as well as within extended family networks. Family change is set in the context of changes in the housing and labour markets and the demographic, industrial and occupational changes of the past 40 years. These changes are associated with increases in women's economic activity rates and a decrease in their 'degree of domesticity'. They are also associated with increasing differentiation within families such that occupational heterogeneity is now found at the heart of the elementary family as well as within kinship groupings as was the case 40 years ago. Thus the trend towards increased differentiation identified in the original study (Rosser and Harris: The Family and Social Change) has continued into the 21st century. This is associated with a de-institutionalisation of family life and an increasing need for partners to negotiate participation in both productive and reproductive work.

Neighbourliness and Privacy on a Low Income Estate

Isabella Boyce
Sociological Research Online 11 (3) boyce

Keywords: Neighbourliness; Low Income Estate; Social Capital; Conflict
Abstract: This paper critically examines theories which suggest relationships between neighbours have diminished in importance in people's day-to-day lives because of macroscopic and microscopic forces such as: greater social mobility, the growth of individualism and an ever increasing number of women entering into paid employment (see Young, 1999 and Putnam, 2000). In this paper I provide new empirical evidence that challenges theories of neighbourly disassociation. By drawing on fieldwork data collected on a low income housing estate in the South of England, I am able to illustrate that: 1) intimate and strong relationships existed between neighbours that were moulded out of, and strengthened by, the need for shared solidarities in the face of financial, emotional and social hardship brought about by personal circumstances; 2) residents understood and accepted there was a 'trade-off' between neighbourly assistance and the issue of privacy; 3) contrary to current British and American literature (see Putnam, 2000; Garland, 2001) women were still actively undertaking the role of social facilitators on the estate; 4) community and neighbourly bonds were reinforced through trivial and traumatic events such as children's parties to the death of a loved one; 5) and residents' interest in one another engendered a sense of security for women in the public environment.

Old, Poor and Alone in Palestine

Gabriella Lazaridis, A Findlay and F Zanoon
Sociological Research Online 11 (4) lazaridis

Keywords: Older People, Demographic Ageing, Single Person Households, Residential Environment, Social Care, Refugees, Palestine
Abstract: In most societies there has been a progressive transfer of responsibility for caring for the older people from the family to the state. The political context of the Palestinian population of the occupied territories has made this impossible. The paper reports on a large scale survey of the problems of caring for older people in Palestine. It shows significant variations in the problems faced by older people, with those living alone outside refugee camps who are unable to access family support networks more vulnerable than others. The greatest need for intervention is for older people living alone in urban areas. Following a classification of older people, policy options for social care for the most vulnerable groups are explored.

Social Capital as Network Capital: Looking at the Role of Social Networks Among Not-For-Profits

Christina Prell Not available for reviewing until Oct 2010
Sociological Research Online 11 (4) prell

Keywords: Social Capital, Social Networks, Measuring Social Capital, Network Capital, Not-For-Profit Relations
Abstract: Social capital's rise in popularity is a phenomenon many have noted (Kadushin, 2006; Warde and Tampubolon, 2002; Portes, 1998). Although the concept is a relatively old one, it is the works of Bourdieu (1986), Coleman (1988; 1990), and Putnam (1993, 2000) that often get credited for popularizing the concept. These three, while sharing a view that social networks are important for social groups and society, they place differing levels of emphasis on the role of networks in building trust or the exchange of various types of resources. In this paper, I briefly revisit these three theorists, and the criticisms each have received, to provide background for discussing recent research on social capital from a social networks approach. The social network approach is then applied to my own case study looking at the relations among not-for-profits, and special attention is given to the unique context of not-for-profits, and how this context might elaborate or challenge current thoughts on social, aka 'network' capital. A final discussion is also given to some measurement problems with the network approach to social capital.

(Trans)Forming Gender: Social Change and Transgender Citizenship

Sally Hines
Sociological Research Online 12 (1) hines

Keywords: Citizenship, Identities, Gender, Gender Diversity, Gender Dysphoria, Gender Recognition Act, Medicalisation, Social Change, Surgery, Transgender
Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to recent sociological debates about gendered identity constructions and formations, and gendered citizenship, by exploring gender transformation through an analysis of new femininities and masculinities as they are variously articulated by transgender women and men. The paper charts the ways in which transgender has emerged as a subject of increasing social and cultural interest in recent years. Shifting attitudes towards transgender people are also evident through recent legislative changes brought by the Gender Recognition Act (2005). These social, cultural and legislative developments reflect the ways in which gender diversity is acquiring visibility in contemporary society, and suggest that gender diverse people themselves are experiencing greater levels of social inclusion. Such developments mark transgender as an important and timely area of sociological study. The paper argues that while the Gender Recognition Act marks a significant shift in socio-legal understandings of 'gender' as distinct from 'sex', it problematically remains tied to a medical perspective of transgender that continues to marginalise practices of gender diversity. The paper thus proposes caution against an assured trajectory of (trans) gender transformation and social change. Rather, normative binary understandings of 'gender' underpin recent social and legislative shifts, giving way to individual and collective tensions around the desirability of assimilation. In turn these issues produce divergent ways of living as 'new' women and men.

The Politics of Environmental Activism: a Case Study of the Cruise Industry and the Environmental Movement

Ross A. Klein
Sociological Research Online 12 (2) klein

Keywords: Community Action, Environment, Social Movements, Political Sociology, Social Change, Social Capital, Cruise Industry, Cruise Ship, Social Activism
Abstract: Based on a case study of environmental organizations' confrontation of the cruise industry over environmental practices, this article critically assesses several campaigns and actions by the environmental movement as represented by several key organizations that focus specifically on the cruise industry, and at the social and political processes used by the cruise industry to deal with these organizations. Five environmental groups are included in the case study; the cruise industry is represented by the three major cruise corporations (comprising more than 90% of the North American and European market), their marketing agents and lobbyists. Strategies used by environmental organizations and by the cruise industry are identified and analysis seeks to explain factors associated with the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of these strategies.

Adulthood: the Contemporary Redefinition of a Social Category

Harry Blatterer
Sociological Research Online 12 (4) 3

Keywords: Adulthood; Adolescence; Emerging Adulthood; Early Adulthood; Biography; Life Course; Recognition; Social Change
Abstract: Social trends such as delayed or forfeited family formation, postponed home leaving and allegedly infantilising leisure practices are often marshalled in support of a long standing social scientific as well as popular assumption: successive generations take longer to reach adulthood. This article argues that this 'delayed adulthood thesis' is based on an anachronistic model of adulthood and goes on to suggest an alternative conception. Some original interview material with individuals in their late twenties as well as the notion of social recognition are utilized in this process. It is suggested that the very practices that serve as evidence for the delayed adulthood thesis are in fact productive of new, emerging modalities of adulthood that are commensurate with changed and changing social realities.

Environmental Injustice or Just the Lie of the Land: an Investigation of the Socio-Economic Class of Those at Risk from Flooding in England and Wales

Jane Fielding
Sociological Research Online 12 (4) 4

Keywords: Environmental Justice; Environmental Inequality; Natural Disaster; Environmental Risks; Surface Population Models
Abstract: An outcome-based analysis using surface population models and logistic regression analysis shows that significant inequalities exist between the middle and working classes, and also between the middle classes and the inactive (the unemployed and unclassifiable classes, not the retired), in risk factors associated with flood emergencies in all Environment Agency Regions of England and Wales except the Midlands region. This analysis demonstrates overall inequality is reproduced in both the fluvial and tidal flood plains, although that within the tidal flood plains is especially significant and more pronounced in some areas, especially, in the Eastern regions of England. The paper then discusses whether this inequality is unjust or discriminatory, and considers that further, more process-driven, analysis would be necessary to explore this issue, especially looking at neighbourhood generation processes with respect to migration into and out of areas.

Social Capital and Community Building Through the Internet: a Swedish Case Study in a Disadvantaged Suburban Area

Sara Ferlander and Duncan Timms
Sociological Research Online 12 (5) 8

Keywords: Disadvantaged Area, IT-Café, Local Community, Local Identity, Local Net, Social Capital, Social Networks, Sweden, the Internet, Trust
Abstract: The rapid diffusion of the Internet has considerable potential for enhancing the way people connect with each other, the root of social capital. However, the more the Internet is used for building social capital the greater will the impact be on those whose access and/or usage is curtailed. It is therefore important to investigate the impacts of Internet on groups at risk of digital and social exclusion. The aim of this article is to examine how the use of the Internet influences social capital and community building in a disadvantaged area. Quantitative and qualitative data from a case study in a suburban area of Stockholm are used to evaluate the social impacts of two community-based Internet projects: a Local Net and an IT-Café. Each of the projects was aimed at enhancing digital inclusion and social capital in a disadvantaged local community. The paper examines the extent to which use of the Internet is associated with an enhancement of social participation, social trust and local identity in the area. The Local Net appears to have had limited success in meeting its goals; the IT-Café was more successful. Visitors to the IT-Café had more local friends, expressed less social distrust, perceived less tension between different groups in the area and felt a much stronger sense of local identity than non-visitors. Visitors praised the IT-Café as providing a meeting-place both online and offline. The Internet was used for networking, exchange of support and information seeking. Although it is difficult to establish causal priorities, the evidence suggests that an IT-Café, supporting both virtual and physical meetings, may be especially well suited to build social capital and a sense of local community in a disadvantaged area. The importance of social, rather than solely technological, factors in determining the impact of the Internet on social capital in disadvantaged local communities is stressed.

'I've Always Managed, That's What We Do': Social Capital and Women's Experiences of Social Exclusion

Victoria K. Gosling
Sociological Research Online 13 (1) 1

Keywords: Coping Strategies, Poverty, Social Capital, Social Exclusion, Women
Abstract: It is evident that the concept of 'social capital' has recently come to the forefront of many governmental strategies aimed at combating social exclusion. In particular the interpretation of social capital used by many authors and agencies is one that emphasises the importance of not only social networks and contacts, but also a social responsibility to one's local community and wider society. Most notably it is poor people and poorer neighbourhoods that are seen to be lacking in these forms of social capital, and therefore emphasis is placed upon individual and community responsibility for tackling their own (and other's) exclusion. Drawing on in-depth interviews with women living on a deprived inner-city housing estate in the north of England, this research considers existing practices, forms and gendered nature of social capital for these women. The paper concludes that contrary to popular beliefs, many of these women already possessed forms of social capital, and specifically, that this was beneficial in helping them cope and 'get by' within their everyday experiences of social exclusion. This research highlights the potential exclusionary nature of social capital for certain individuals and the limitations of social capital in helping excluded women to escape their poverty.

A Typology of Oppositional Knowledge: Democracy and the U.S. Peace Movement

Patrick G. Coy, Lynne M. Woehrle and Gregory M. Maney
Sociological Research Online 13 (4) 3

Keywords: Discourse, Peace and Social Movements, War, Hegemony, Democracy, Symbolic Culture, Political Persuasion
Abstract: Institutionally privileged political discourses not only legitimate the policy agendas of power-holders, but also de-legitimate dissent. Oppositional discourses are social movement responses to these cultural obstacles to mass mobilization. Integrating discourse analysis and framing theory, we argue that the production of oppositional knowledge constitutes a long-term, counter-hegemonic project that connects macro-level discourses with meso and micro-level efforts at political persuasion, mobilization, and change. Drawing examples from statements issued by U.S. peace movement organizations (PMOs) over fifteen years, we map the production of oppositional discourses across five conflict periods. Using qualitative data analysis and both inductive and deductive theorizing, we develop a typology of the U.S. peace movement's discourses on democracy. We show that four forms of oppositional knowledge were generated by PMOs to facilitate policy dialogue and accountability. Through their statements, peace movement organizations crafted a shared conception of democracy that is antithetical to military intervention abroad and political repression at home.

Rethinking 'Current Crisis' Arguments: Gouldner and the Legacy of Critical Sociology

Robert Hollands and Liz Stanley
Sociological Research Online 14 (1) 1

Keywords: Critical Sociology, Gouldner, Crisis, Intellectuals, Reflexivity, Social Change, Mobilities
Abstract: Proclamations of 'current crisis' in sociology are long-standing and have recently resurfaced in British and North America. This article explores the response of Alvin Gouldner to an earlier 1970s perceived 'current crisis'. It then discusses some of the key dimensions ascribed to the current 'current crisis' – fragmentation, the decline of the intellectual, the need for a higher profile for public and professional sociology - to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Gouldner's ideas for analysing the situation of contemporary sociology. It concludes that Gouldner's critical sociology provides a useful basis for understanding current debates about fragmentation and public sociology, but less so in explaining the decline of intellectuals. In addition, neither Gouldner nor contemporary thinking about sociology's present-day 'current crisis' give much attention to the vastly increased regulation and bureaucratisation of the university system accompanying the expended remit of regulatory government, something we think underlies the discipline's successive perceptions of crisis. The contemporary version of critical sociology, with which this article aligns itself, provides a more structural and less voluntaristic rethinking of 'current crisis' arguments.

It's Not Just Structural: Social Movements Are Not Homogenous Responses to Structural Features, but Networks Shaped by Organisational Strategies and Status

Clare Saunders
Sociological Research Online 14 (1) 4

Keywords: Environmental Movement, Political Opportunity Structures, Social Movements, Social Networks
Abstract: Political opportunity structures are often used to explain differences in the characteristics of movements in different countries on the basis of the national polity in which they exist. However, the approach has a number of weaknesses that are outlined in this article. The article especially stresses the fact that such broad-brush approaches to political opportunity structures fail to account for the different characteristics of movement organisations within the same polity. The article therefore recommends using a more fine-tuned approach to political opportunities, taking into account that the strategies and status of organisations affect the real political opportunities they face. This fine-tuned approach is used to predict how the status and strategy of environmental organisations might influence the extent to which different types of environmental organisations in the UK network with one-another. We find that organisations that face an open polity - those with a moderate action repertoire and a constructive relationship with government institutions - tend not to cooperate with those with a radical action repertoire and negative relations with government institutions. On the other hand, those that vary their action repertoires, and which have variable status according to the issues involved or campaign targets, have a much broader range of network links with other types of organisations. Thus, there is much more diversity in types of environmental organisation in the UK than the broad-brush to political opportunity structures would account for. Nonetheless, it does seem that environmental organisations are aware of how their own behaviours might influence (non-structural) political opportunities, and that they mould their strategies and networking patterns around this awareness.

Problems, Crises, Events and Social Change: Theory and Illustrations

Constance A. Nathanson
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 11

Keywords: Social Change, History, Events, Public Health, Marshall Sahlins
Abstract: This paper proposes a theory-based approach to the understanding of social change and illustrates that theory with examples from the history and politics of public health. Based in large part on the work of anthropologist Marshall Sahlins (see in particular his Islands of History published in 1985) William Sewell Jr. has proposed an 'eventful sociology.' In this work 'event' is a term of art meaning occurrences in human affairs that result in social change. Sewell's approach and that of Charles Tilly are in many respects complementary, a major difference being Sewell's far greater emphasis on meaning and interpretation by engaged actors as essential to understanding of how historical processes unfold. In this paper I further elaborate Sahlins' and Sewell's ideas, first by showing their connection with concepts that may be more familiar to sociologists and, second, by examining the contingent character of social change. Drawing on my own research on the history of public health, I argue that the transformation of 'happenings' into events and of events into meaningful social change are highly contingent on the social and political context within which these events occur. More generally, I hope to show that 'eventful' sociology is an exciting and productive approach to sociological analysis.

The Origins of Modern Nationalism in the North Atlantic Interaction Sphere

Jonathan Hearn
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 12

Keywords: Origins of Nationalism, Interaction Spheres, Social Change, Charles Tilly, Revolutions, Empires, Atlantic History
Abstract: This article challenges the standard narrative (e.g. Gellner) regarding the origins of modern nationalism in Europe, and Benedict Anderson's contrary suggestion that it first took shape in creole America, arguing instead that the formation of modern nationalism needs to be understood as a transatlantic process, in keeping with recent research on Atlantic history. More specifically, the North Atlantic dynamic of imperial competition between Britain and France, that led to the American and French Revolutions, is seen as the crucible of modern state formation, and it is argued that the North Atlantic needs to be understood not simply as a geographic space, but as a distinctive sphere of social and ideological interaction, given the centrality of sea-going during this period. It was this complex social environment, centred on a long18th century, that most provoked new imaginings of national community. Toward this end the article articulates the analytic concept of the 'interaction sphere'. With this it picks up on Charles Tilly's key concerns with how best to analyse large historical processes, and his emphasis on political competition and social interaction in explaining social change.

Part-Time Work and Activity in Voluntary Associations in Great Britain

Daiga Kamerade
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 2

Keywords: Part-Time Work, Political Groups, Social Capital, Trade Unions, Voluntary Associations
Abstract: This paper evaluates both the economic, or rational choice, and sociological theories to examine the effects of part-time working on employees' activity in voluntary associations. Using longitudinal data analysis of the British Household Panel Survey from 1993 to 2005, this study demonstrates that, in Britain, part-time work increases the likelihood of individual level involvement in expressive voluntary associations (i.e. associations orientated to relatively immediate benefits for their members) but it is negatively related to their involvement in instrumental-expressive (such as trade unions and professionals' associations) and instrumental (political, environmental, and voluntary service) associations. The main conclusion is that time is an important resource for activity in expressive voluntary associations; however, for activity in instrumental and instrumental-expressive associations other factors are more important.

Charles Tilly: Connecting Large Scale Social Change and Personal Narrative

Ernesto Castaneda
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 24

Keywords: Charles Tilly, Contentious Politics, Social Change, Stories, Narratives
Abstract: Charles Tilly's work as a historical sociologist and on states, social change and other topics has had powerful influence across the social sciences and social history, also having a large popular audience. Themes and issues in his work over time are explored, in particular his developing thinking about national states, macro and micro processes, stories and social change.

Social Relationships and Trust in Asylum Seeking Families in Sweden

Ulla Björnberg
Sociological Research Online 16 (1) 5

Keywords: Trust, Resilience, Social Capital, Transnational Families, Friendship, Asylum Seeking Families, Asylum Seeking Children
Abstract: Research has suggested that social networks are important resources for children as well as for adults to resist health problems. For asylum seeking children social networking might be hard to accomplish due to constraints linked to social and legal contexts in the host country. Constraints can also be linked to the family situation and the circumstances they have to cope with in every day life. The situation of parents, in particular mothers, are important for the coping of children. In the paper I draw on results from an ongoing study on the experiences of asylum seeking children and their families in Sweden. The over arching research objective is to identify factors that are important for well being of children seeking asylum and to study how they cope with their experiences as asylum seekers. The tension between excluding experiences and expectations regarding how the situation of the child and it's family should improve or deteriorate after the flight is for a child a constitutive reference for how coping strategies are developed. In the analysis I draw on theoretical concepts of resilience, social capital, trust and social recognition. This paper draws on results from an interdisciplinary research project Asylum-seeking children's welfare, health and well-being. Gothenburg Research on Asylum seeking Children in Europe (GRACE), Goteborg University and Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg. The study was financed by the European Refugee Fund. The empirical data are based on qualitative interviews with parents and children who have waited for decisions regarding permanent residence for several months and sometimes more than a year.

Conceptualising Food as Death: A Radical Environmentalist Politics of Food

Julie van Kemenade
Sociological Research Online 16 (2) 4

Keywords: Food, Death, Conceptualisation, Semiotics, Environmental Philosophies
Abstract: Research into the politics of food cannot assume universal acceptance of what is meant by the term 'food' which has multiple meanings and significantly different associations. A semiotic approach demonstrates the meaning and value of this point. Food has variously been conceptualised as process and as commodity, nature or culture. None of these tropes are value neutral, but are associated with opposing priorities and conflicts of interest. Drawing from ecocentric and anthropocentric environmental philosophies, an alternative trope, that of food-as-death, can be developed, which challenges other, more dominant, tropes. Semiotics denies the notion that language 'mirrors' reality. Rather, language creates reality. Semiotics, then, can be useful in developing alternative realities. To conceptualise food as death is more than using death as a metaphor. Where food is prioritised as commodity, commercial/industrial food practices promote death: death of the body through malnutrition or over-consumption; death of communities through the power of transnationals and commercial interests; death of the natural world through the prioritisation of these human food provision systems. Food-as-death is a trope which privileges the destructive aspect of food over others such as pleasure, identity and nurturing. Power is invested in those whose trope gains the greatest acceptance. The challenge for environmentalism is to demonstrate the validity of food-as-death. The essential task therefore, is to demonstrate that food for humans can be organised in a way which affirms the well being of humans, communities and nature. This trope will be food-as-life.

Intimacy as a Concept: Explaining Social Change in the Context of Globalisation or Another Form of Ethnocentricism?

Lynn Jamieson
Sociological Research Online 16 (4) 15

Keywords: Love and Intimacy, Globalization, Ethnocentric, Social Change, Inequality, Discourse, Family Practices
Abstract: This article focuses on intimacy in terms of its analytical potential for understanding social change without the one-nation blinkers sometimes referred to as 'methodological nationalism' and without Euro-North-American ethnocentrism. Extending from the concept of family practices, practices of intimacy are sketched and examples considered across cultures. The cultural celebration and use of the term 'intimacy' is not universal, but practices of intimacy are present in all cultures. The relationship of intimacy to its conceptual relatives is clarified. A brief discussion of subjectivity and social integration restates the relevance of intimate relationships and practices of intimacy to understanding social change in an era of globalisation, despite the theoretical turn away from embodied face to face relationships. Illustrations concerning intimacy and social change in two areas of personal life, parental authority and gender relations, indicate that practices of intimacy can re-inscribe inequalities such as those of age, class and gender as well as subvert them and that attention to practices of intimacy can assist the need to explain continuity as well as change.

Looking for Africville - Complementary Visual Constructions of a Contended Space

Stephen Spencer
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 6

Keywords: Visual Methods, the Sociological Imagination, Dialectical Images, Environmental Racism, Traumascapes, Narrative Mediation, Walking Ethnography, Popular Representation, Discursive Structures
Abstract: This paper explores the historical sources, personal narratives and representations of Africville, an area beside the Bedford Basin near Halifax in Nova Scotia which has been the site of a struggle for social justice and reparation since it was destroyed by the city of Halifax authorities over 40 years ago. The article examines the complex construction of the place as a source of identity and protest, the persistence of the community in memories and stories retrieved in walking the site with a former resident. Through careful consideration of video and still images, artworks and archive maps, the study traces the intersection of different discourses and shows how visual representations and their interpretation produce a complex understanding of place. Images, it is argued, have a different ontology to writing and produce a gradually unfolding, parallel argument. Africville is considered through a combination of traditional written texts, visual ethnographic sources and popular cultural signs, producing a complementary and intersubjective appreciation of a place and its lines of possibility.

Views of the Neighbourhood: A Photo-Elicitation Study of the Built Environment

Victoria D. Alexander
Sociological Research Online 18 (1) 10

Keywords: Photo-Elicitation, Visual Methods, Photography, Built Environment, Neighbourhood, Place, Vulnerability, Signal Disorder, Imagined Community.  
Abstract: Drawing on a participant-centred, photo-elicitation study of the built environment in three neighbourhoods, I discuss how people see their neighbourhoods, both in the visual and aesthetic sense, and also how they view (metaphorically) their local surroundings. Participants took part in photo-elicitation interviews and, previously, in standard (verbal-only) semi-structured interviews. Results suggest that people care about their neighbourhoods and value local amenities, attractive houses, public art, and trees, greenery and open spaces. They are concerned about such mundane issues as litter and poorly kept properties, which they find unattractive. Pictures of narrow alleyways and deserted areas were prevalent in connection with fear and vulnerability. I suggest that as participants construct their views of the built environment, they situate their actual neighbourhoods against idealised 'imagined' neighbourhoods, and both the actual surroundings and the idealised construction play into their views of their own place. In addition, it is clear that when participants are asked to take photographs of their neighbourhoods, they think visually. Consequently, participants enact their responses differently in visual research than they do in verbal-only research.

Youth Studies, Housing Transitions and the 'Missing Middle': Time for a Rethink?

Steven Roberts
Sociological Research Online 18 (3) 11

Keywords: Youth; Housing Transitions; Housing Careers; Missing Middle; Social Change; Cultural Resources
Abstract: A recent but growing trend in studies of young people's lives has been to highlight that there is a 'missing middle' in the youth studies research agenda. It has been argued that much youth research focuses on either successful or very troubled transitions to adulthood, with the lives of those who might simply be 'getting by' representing an empirical absence. Building on previous work that has addressed how such a missing middle can add to our understanding of educational experience and attainment, labour market engagement and participation, and issues of identity, this paper pays attention to the housing transitions, careers and aspirations of a group of 'ordinary' and apparently unproblematic working class young men. Because they do not represent groups that have been of especial interest in youth studies to date, their experiences problematize the on-going utility of dominant conceptual frameworks used to explain housing transition to date. In addition to their 'lack of fit' with ideal type typologies, the young men also reveal the shifting nature of attitudes towards communal living 'which is traditionally associated with middle class students' but the continuing role of social resources as a determining factor in their housing transition.

London 2012 and Environmental Sustainability: A Study Through the Lens of Environmental Sociology

John Karamichas
Sociological Research Online 18 (3) 17

Keywords: Environmental Sustainability, Ecological Modernization, Olympic Games Impact, 'Big Society', London 2012
Abstract: This rapid response paper examines the claim that Olympic Games hosting can encourage and/or accentuate the adoption of environmental sustainability (ES) policies by the host nation, with London 2012 as a case study. Six indicators that can be used in this examination are identified and subsequently tested in relation to changes brought by austerity/'Big Society' policies. The paper closes by suggesting that although the UK, unlike other hosts, had a relatively good ES standing; however, it appears that this has been significantly downgraded in the event and immediate post-event phases of the Games.

Occupational Mobility at Migration - Evidence from Spain

Mikolaj Stanek and Alberto Veira Ramos
Sociological Research Online 18 (4) 16

Keywords: Migration Occupational Mobility, Spain, Labour Market Segmentation, Human Capital, Social Capital,, Gender Gap
Abstract: This article provides insight into the determinants of occupational mobility recorded for immigrants between their last job in the region of origin and their first job in Spain. Multinomial and bivariate logistic regression models are applied to identify the strongest predictors of upward and downward mobility when immigrants move from one country's labour market to another. This study's empirical analysis was carried out using data from the Spanish National Immigrant Survey of 2007. Our results show that ethnic segmentation in the Spanish labour market negatively affects the occupational mobility of immigrants. Secondly, we observe that non EU15 immigrants are at higher risk of downward mobility. Thirdly, higher levels of education offer protection against downward mobility and increase the chance for upgrading. Finally, contrary to our predictions, social capital embedded in support received from friends and relatives who reside in the destination country increases the risk of occupational downgrading and reduces the possibility of upward mobility.

Occupy as a Free Space - Mobilization Processes and Outcomes

Silke Roth, Clare Saunders and Cristiana Olcese
Sociological Research Online 19 (1) 1

Keywords: Free Spaces, Online Activism, Prefigurative Politics, Occupy, Recruitment, Social Movements
Abstract: Although Occupy has received extensive media and scholarly attention, there has not yet been systematic research on its activists’ recruitment pathways and modes of participation. In this article, we focus on the mobilization success (Staggenborg 1995) of Occupy and adopt the concepts of ‘free space’ and ‘modes of association’ (Polletta 1999) to understand how individuals came to participate in Occupy. We consider biographical and structural availability and make distinctions between those more or less involved. By drawing on qualitative and quantitative data gathered in November and December 2011 in London we find that Occupy activists take a range of pathways into differential forms of involvement (more or less visible or time-consuming, offline and on-line). Some participants had previously been involved in social movement and ’indigenous’ organisations, like the church. Yet at the same time Occupy attracted novices lacking prior engagement in indigenous or social movement organisations. But what Occupy activists shared was an interest in creating inclusive prefigurative structures where the ‘path was the destination’. In contrast to the mass media’s scepticism of the success of Occupy, our focus on mobilization processes and outcomes shows Occupy to be successful in this regard.

Education, Social Attitudes and Social Participation Among Adults in Britain

Lindsay Paterson
Sociological Research Online 19 (1) 26

Keywords: Civic; Social Capital; Academic; Vocational; Longitudinal; Survey
Abstract: A stable finding of research on civic participation is the correlation between overall educational attainment and various attributes that are relevant to democracy, such as propensity to be active, to vote, and to hold views on important public issues. But research since the 1990s has suggested that we should be cautious about this inference. The most important question is that raised by the findings of Nie et al. (1996) on the USA, showing that rising overall levels of education, while probably making populations more liberal, did not make them more likely to vote. Even that conclusion may be too general, because research by, for example, Campbell (2004) and Nie and Hillygus (2001) shows that the content and style of an educational course are relevant. More problematic still are questions about the nature of the citizens which education might help to create: is education democratically desirable because it makes people think, or because it makes people socially liberal (which is the general tenor of most of the writing on this topic)? The paper therefore asks, using British data, what kind of education matters for social attitudes and civic participation by adults? Several British data sources are used, mainly the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohorts, the British Social Attitudes Survey and the British Household Panel Study.

Quota Sampling as an Alternative to Probability Sampling? An Experimental Study

Keming Yang and Ahmad Banamah
Sociological Research Online 19 (1) 29

Keywords: Probability Sampling, Quota Sampling, Representativeness, Response Rate, Social Capital
Abstract: In spite of the establishment of probability sampling methods since the 1930s, non-probability sampling methods have remained popular among many commercial and polling agents, and they have also survived the embarrassment from a few incorrect predictions in American presidential elections. The increase of costs and the decline of response rates for administering probability samples have led some survey researchers to search for a non-probability sampling method as an alternative to probability sampling. In this study we aim to test whether results from a quota sample, believed to be the non-probability sampling method that is the closest in representativeness to probability sampling, are statistically equivalent to those from a probability sample. Further, we pay special attention to the effects of the following two factors for understanding the difference between the two sampling methods: the survey’s topic and the response rate. An experimental survey on social capital was conducted in a student society in Northeast England. The results suggest that the survey topic influences who responded and that the response rate was associated with the sample means as well. For these reasons, we do not think quota sampling should be taken as an acceptable alternative to probability sampling.

Towards a Sociology of Happiness: The Case of an Age Perspective on the Social Context of Well-Being

Christian Kroll
Sociological Research Online 19 (2) 1

Keywords: Happiness, Homo Sociologicus, Role-Identity Theory, Social Capital, Subjective Well-Being
Abstract: This article examines what can be the contribution of Sociology to the 'new science of happiness', and what can such happiness studies contribute to Sociology? It does so by presenting the example of a quantitative analysis of European Social Survey data for the UK on social capital and life satisfaction by age. It reveals heterogeneity in the relationship between social capital and SWB by age with, for instance, socialising being more strongly associated with SWB among younger and older people compared to a mid-age group. Using this analysis as a case study, the first aim is to illustrate how sociological theory can crucially enrich research on SWB by relating the under-theorised field to broader narratives. While a range of empirical findings on the correlates of subjectively reported happiness have been dutifully collected over decades, solid theory building has often been neglected. It is crucial, however, to draw the various pieces of evidence together in order to formulate viable theoretical frameworks. Sociology is a science rich in useful approaches for the study of well-being. Role-identity theory as well as socialisation theory allow us in this paper to develop testable hypotheses for well-being data and give the research field a much-needed grounding. At the same time, it is demonstrated in this article how analysing data on life satisfaction can deliver much needed empirical tests of and new perspectives on long-standing sociological theories. For instance, the unresolved debate about homo sociologicus and homo economicus as competing conceptions of man can gain new perspectives from data on SWB.

'Fighting Science with Social Science: Activist Scholarship in an International Resistance Project'

Stevienna de Saille
Sociological Research Online 19 (3) 18

Keywords: Social Movements, Knowledge, Cognitive Praxis, Reproductive Technologies, Feminism, Activism
Abstract: This paper draws on a socio-historic case study of the Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering (FINRRAGE) in order to consider the ways in which activists create and develop knowledge in movements around complex emergent technologies. Using documentary and interview data, and an analytic framework drawn from Eyerman and Jamison's cognitive praxis paradigm, the paper outlines certain conditions under which activists may be able to create both social and social scientific knowledge in support of their claims. The paradigm itself is also interrogated, and suggestions made for extending and refining the framework through incorporation of theories of knowledge drawn from science and technology studies.

The Ebb and Flow of Resistance: Analysis of the Squatters' Movement and Squatted Social Centres in Brighton

E.T.C. Dee
Sociological Research Online 19 (4) 6

Keywords: Squatters, Social Centres, Autonomous Social Movements, Urban Squatting, Institutionalisation, Brighton
Abstract: This article analyses a database of 55 squatted social centres in Brighton. By virtue of their public nature, these projects provide a lens through which to examine the local political squatters' movement, which was often underground, private and hidden (residential squatting in contrast is not profiled). Several relevant non-squatted spaces are also included since they were used as organisational hubs by squatters. The data was gathered from a mixture of participant observation, reference to archive materials, conversations with squatters past and present, academic sources and activist websites. The projects are assessed in turn by time period, duration, type of building occupied and location (by ward). Significant individual projects are described and two boom periods identified, namely the late 1990s and recent years. Reasons for the two peaks in activity are suggested and criticised. It is argued that social centres bloomed in the 1990s as part of the larger anti-globalisation movement and more recently as a tool of resistance against the criminalisation of squatting. Tentative conclusions are reached concerning the cycles, contexts and institutionalisation of the squatters' movement. It is suggested that the movement exists in ebbs and flows, influenced by factors both internal (such as the small, transitory nature of the milieu) and external (such as frequent evictions). This research feeds into a larger research project (MOVOKEUR) analysing the various squatters' movement in cities across Western Europe.

Dislocation and Uncertainty in East Manchester: The Legacy of the Commonwealth Games

Camilla Lewis
Sociological Research Online 20 (2) 13

Keywords: Commonwealth Games, Urban Regeneration, Community, Legacy, Place, Social Change
Abstract: In 2002, the Commonwealth Games were championed as a win-win solution for Manchester. The sporting event would bring worldwide attention and investment to the city and offer a unique opportunity to kick start social regeneration, transforming the fortunes of some of Manchester’s poorest neighbourhoods.This paper explores experiences of urban change, from the perspective of long-standing residents in the neighbourhoods of Beswick and Openshaw, which lie in East Manchester. Despite promises of legacy, these localities remain dislocated from the rest of the city and the future continues to be defined by uncertainty by the area’s residents. In order to understand some of the tensions and difficulties that arise in projects of urban transformation we need to pay attention to the practical ways in which people make relationships to place (Massey 1995, 2001) which tend to be erased in dominant narratives about ‘legacy’. It argues that we must go beyond drawing simple conclusions of the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ implications of regeneration processes in order to investigate the social effects of urban change for local populations.

The Persistence of Class Inequality: The Portuguese Labour Force at the Turn of the Millennium

Renato Miguel Carmo, Margarida Carvalho and Frederico Cantante
Sociological Research Online 20 (4) 16

Keywords: Class, Inequality, Labour Force, Social Change
Abstract: The aim of this article is to analyse the structural changes and continuities in Portuguese society over the two decades from 1988-2008. Although modernisation processes have intensified, the country still has a highly polarised social structure. This study included a multiple correspondence analysis and a cluster analysis, using sociological variables collected in a national database that covers all Portuguese companies. Developing this approach made it possible to not only produce different sociological profiles of social and class inequality, but also compare the structural changes in the labour force in these two decades (private sector). The study shows that although the space of social positions was mainly formed by three large socio-professional groups in both 1988 and 2008, their size and social composition changed, reflecting the social and economic trends experienced by Portuguese society in this period.

Negative Hopes: Social Dynamics of Isolating and Passive Forms of Hope

Sylvia Terpe
Sociological Research Online 21 (1) 15

Keywords: Hope, Social Movements, Resistance, Passivity, Isolation, Literary Analysis
Abstract: This article critically questions the popular idea of hope as a motivating emotion as well as the more specific idea of hope as engendering solidary ties. Both notions can be found in social movement research and will be introduced in the first section. The idea that hope is such an activating force that binds people together is challenged by reports of some survivors of Nazi concentration camps. In the second part I will turn to a selection from the writings of Tadeusz Borowski and Ruth Klüger, both of whom survived Auschwitz. They emphasize that it was (besides other factors) the prisoners’ hope that isolated them from each other and which prevented them from undertaking acts of resistance against their tormentors. In the third and main section a close reading of Friedrich Torberg’s novel Vengeance is Mine will help to identify particular features of such numbing forms of hope. Although fictitious, this novel broadens our understanding of hope by revealing two social dynamics encouraging hopes that have isolating effects and that induce passivity. I will close with reflections on how these negative accounts of hope can be integrated into a general conception of hope. I suggest differentiating between two meanings of hope: the one refers to ideas of a better future, the other one to the ways by which such futures may be achieved. It is useful to distinguish these two meanings analytically in order to understand the empirically different forms of hope.

Contesting and Resisting Environmental Gentrification: Responses to New Paradoxes and Challenges for Urban Environmental Justice

Hamil Pearsall and Isabelle Anguelovski
Sociological Research Online 21 (3) 6

Keywords: Environmental Gentrification, Urban Environmental Justice, Sustainability, Resistance
Abstract: This paper analyzes environmental gentrification (EG), or the exclusion, marginalization, and displacement of long-term residents associated with sustainability planning or green developments and amenities, such as smart growth, public park renovations, and healthy food stores. We consider how activists, communities, and urban planners address these unjust processes and outcomes associated with EG and how these strategies compare to those used by environmental justice (EJ) activists. Our evaluation of relevant literature indicates several similarities with EJ resistance tactics, including collective neighborhood action, community organizing, and direct tactics. We also identify several different strategies enabled by certain urban environmental conditions, such as leveraging environmental policies and taking an active role in neighborhood redevelopment planning processes, collaborating with “gentrifiers,” and creating complementary policies to manage displacement and exclusion. Our analysis indicates a need for more research on how activists can better assert the social and political dimensions of sustainability and their right to the city, and how green and sustainability cities can achieve justice and equity.

Network Composition, Individual Social Capital and Culture: Comparing Traditional and Post-Modernized Cultures

Julia Häuberer and Alexander Tatarko
Sociological Research Online 22 (2) 10

Keywords: Individual Social Capital, Social Networks, Culture, Modernization, Tradition, Resource Generator
Abstract: This article addresses the influence of cultural background on the access to social capital in family and friendship networks. We will analyze four different culture groups: Czechs and Russians (Muscovites) both representing post-modernized cultures and Dagestans and Chechens both representing traditional cultures. The data will be analyzed using univariate comparisons and fixed effects regressions. Our results indicate that cultural background does not play such a crucial role for social network composition and social capital access through the family or friends. In both cases, Dagestans, Chechens and Czechs access significantly less social capital than do the Russians (Muscovites), however only if Russians (Muscovites) are in frequent contact with their families or have large friendship networks. In other words, network embeddedness seems to play a more important role than cultural background for social capital access.

Digital-Visual Stakeholder Ethnography

Sarah Pink, Kerstin Leder Mackley, John Postill and Nadia Astari
Sociological Research Online ()

Keywords: Digital Ethnography, Visual Ethnography, Applied Practice, Environmental Sustainability, Impact, Stakeholders in Research
Abstract: In this article we discuss how new configurations of stakeholders are implicated and can be conceptualised in digital-visual applied and public ethnography. We set the discussion in the context of the increasing calls for researchers to have impact in the world, and the ways that digital technologies are increasingly implicated in this. In doing so we situate ethnographic practice and stakeholder relationships within a digital-material world. To develop our argument we discuss examples of two recent digital video ethnography projects, developed in dialogue with anthropological theory, with online digital-visual applied and public dissemination outputs. As we show, such projects do not necessarily have one direct applied line, but rather can have multiple impacts across different groups of stakeholders.

Young Indonesian Musicians, Strategic Social Capital, Reflexivity and Timing

Oki Rahadianto Sutopo, Steven Threadgold and Pam Nilan
Sociological Research Online ()

Keywords: Social Capital, Reflexivity, Bourdieu, Indonesia, Temporality, Youth
Abstract: The concept of social capital has received wide attention and stimulates productive academic debates. In this paper we draw on a study of the transition experiences of young Indonesian musicians to argue that the social capital of creative youth may be productively understood in relation to reflexivity and temporality. This is particularly important if they move to other locations to further their careers. In brief, we offer three key contributions to social capital debates. Firstly, social capital – as defined by Bourdieu - is most important as a valuable form of capital to deal with both actual and anticipated Beckian risk. Secondly, in fields of creative struggle the development of social capital is closely related to possession of strategy and reflexivity as a form of cultural capital. Thirdly, social capital cannot be operationalized effectively by youth without the element of timing, the temporal capacity to reflexively recognize and seize opportunities as they arise at critical moments of a creative career.