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44 articles matched your search for the keywords:

Discourse, Peace and Social Movements, War, Hegemony, Democracy, Symbolic Culture, Political Persuasion

Locating Frames in the Discursive Universe

Fisher
Sociological Research Online 2 (3) 4

Keywords: Culture; Discourse; Frame Analysis; Interpretation; Knowledge; Language; Worldview
Abstract: Scholars from a range of disciplines use the term 'frame' to mean a variety of disjointed and incompatible concepts. This paper examines a range of framing literature, from the writings of authors including Erving Goffman, Tuen van Dijk, Serge Moscovici, George Lakoff, Alan Johnson, William Gamson, David Snow, Robert Benford and Paolo Donati. Then it develops the theoretical case for defining frames as semi-structured elements of discourse which people use to make sense of information they encounter. Additionally, this paper demonstrates the need to include social system frames, which provide patterns for understanding social relations, among the presently acknowledged frame types. Frames develop in parallel with language, vary across cultures, and shape, but are distinct from other extra-linguistic discourse forms, including myths and ideologies.

The Ambiguities of Football, Politics, Culture, and Social Transformation in Latin America

Bar-on
Sociological Research Online 2 (4) 2

Keywords: Class Warfare; Culture; Europe; Football (Soccer); Latin America; 'Ludic'; Nationalism; Pagan Religion; Politics; Social Transformation; Sport and Games
Abstract: In this article, I attempt to highlight the relationships between football (soccer), politics, culture, and social change in Latin American societies. The essential argument of the paper is that football in Latin America has tended to reinforce nationalistic, authoritarian, class-based, and gender-specific notions of identity and culture. The few efforts of Latin American professional football clubs, individual players, and fans to resist these oppressive tendencies and 'positively' influence the wider society with public positions on pressing social and political concerns have been issue-oriented, short-term, and generally unsystematic in their assessment of the larger societal ills. In Europe, however, there has been a stronger politicization of football directed towards social change by both professional football clubs and supporters. This European tendency, like its Latin American counterparts, has also failed to tackle wider systemic and structural issues in capitalist European societies. On both continents, the 'ludic' notion of games has been undermined by the era of football professionalism, its excessive materialism, and a corresponding 'win-at-all-costs' philosophy. In the future, the world's most popular game will continue to be utilized as a political tool of mass manipulation and social control: a kind of mass secular pagan religion. As a footnote not mentioned in the essay, the 1998 World Cup in France, a worldwide event with 32 countries and an estimated 2.5 billion fans watching the matches in the stadiums and on television, will be used by the international French Evangelical Alliance called 'Sport et Foi Mondial 98' ('Sport and Faith World Cup 98') to bring the Gospel to the greatest number of people in the world: Chaplaincy work among the athletes, a Bible-Expo at a strategic location, evangelical street concerts, evangelical messages and banners in the stadiums, etc. In this instance, the new pagan and secular religion of football clashes with the traditional Christian Church - itself crippled by a loss of mass supporters and the rise of alternative secular lords. In both cases, football unwittingly acts as an agent of mass indoctrination rather than challenging established dogmas, or serving as a vehicle for deeper, systemic social change.

Social Theory and European Transformation: Is there a European Society?

Gerard Delanty
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 1

Keywords: Citizenship; Culture; Democracy; Identity; Knowledge; Europe
Abstract: The concept 'society' in social theory has generally presupposed notions of cultural cohesion and social integration associated with national societies and the framework of modernity. This older idea of the social emerged out of the experience with institution-building associated with the rise of the nation-state and the transition from 'tradition' to 'modernity'. The question whether European integration can articulate a conception of the social independent of national society is a major challenge for social theory. This paper explores changing conceptions of the social in recent social theory and applies some of these ideas to European integration. It is argued that we need to rethink our notion of society: instead of a 'transition' the kind of social change we are experiencing today is that of social 'transformation', a concept which suggests less the 'end of the social' than an emerging 'network' society based on knowledge. Thus instead of trying to reproduce on the supranational level a model that has reached its limits on the national level, European integration needs to give expression to the emerging power of knowledge. Rejecting the notion of the demos and the ethnos as inappropriate to European integration, the case is made for a discursive understanding of democracy and knowedge.

More Varieties Than Heinz

W Cealey Harrison
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 8

Keywords: Category; Emancipatory; Gender; Knowledge; Power; Research; Social Discourse
Abstract: This paper is a contribution to a long standing debate over the nature of research and the relations between knowledge and power recently instantiated in exchanges over the criticisms of Hammersley (Hammersley, 1992, 1995, 1997, Hammersley & Gomm, 1997a and 1997b, Gelsthorpe, 1992; Ramazanoglu, 1992; Romm, 1997, Temple, 1997, Williams, 1993). It takes as its starting point Beth Humphries' recent critical commentary on Hammersley and emancipatory research, and her attempt to 'go beyond ourselves' (Humphries, 1997). It argues that the logical endpoint of arguments that suggest the continuous salience of the social divisions commonly found in the current sociological lexicon is a bewildering impossibility and that they should not be taken as guidelines for research practice. It clarifies this critique in relation to 'gender'. It further argues that Humphries's position, despite her apparent sympathy for post-structuralism, retains much from earlier structuralist positions, which undermines the basis of her attempt to develop a position beyond the constraints of current emancipatory research.

The Baby and the Bath Water: Hammersley, Cealey Harrison and Hood-Williams and the Emancipatory Research Debate

Cealey Harrison and Hood-Williams
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 9

Keywords: Category; Emancipatory; Gender; Knowledge; Power; Research; Social Discourse
Abstract: This paper is a contribution to a long standing debate over the nature of research and the relations between knowledge and power recently instantiated in exchanges over the criticisms of Hammersley (Hammersley, 1992, 1995, 1997, Hammersley & Gomm, 1997a and 1997b, Gelsthorpe, 1992; Ramazanoglu, 1992; Romm, 1997, Temple, 1997, Williams, 1993). It takes as its starting point Beth Humphries' recent critical commentary on Hammersley and emancipatory research, and her attempt to 'go beyond ourselves' (Humphries, 1997). It argues that the logical endpoint of arguments that suggest the continuous salience of the social divisions commonly found in the current sociological lexicon is a bewildering impossibility and that they should not be taken as guidelines for research practice. It clarifies this critique in relation to 'gender'. It further argues that Humphries's position, despite her apparent sympathy for post-structuralism, retains much from earlier structuralist positions, which undermines the basis of her attempt to develop a position beyond the constraints of current emancipatory research.

Qualitative Sociology and Social Class

Max Travers
Sociological Research Online 4 (1) travers

Keywords: Class; Discourse; Ethnography; Ethnomethodology; Life-History; Qualitative; Stratification
Abstract: This paper contrasts two approaches that qualitative researchers can adopt towards studying class and status divisions, drawing upon issues raised by Gordon Marshall in his (1988) paper about working class consciousness. It is suggested that researchers influenced by Marshall, and recent feminist ethnographers, whose central concept is class, ultimately adopt a competitive stance towards common-sense understanding and experience. Sociologists who seek to describe how members of society understand their own activities, such as the community studies tradition in anthropology, Pierre Bourdieu, and ethnomethodology, often conceptualise class in terms of status. These different ways of understanding qualitative data need to be understood in the context of foundational debates in nineteenth century sociology about action and structure, and indicate the continuing relevance of the Marx/Weber debate in discussions about social class.

They Made a Desert and Called it Peace

Mike Drake
Sociological Research Online 4 (2) drake

Keywords: Civil Society; Cosmopolitanism; Ethnic Cleansing; Instrumentality; Legitimation; Military; Violence; Virtuality; War
Abstract: This paper addresses the social theorisation of war to the current conflict in the Balkans. It takes its terms of analysis from attempts to develop a sociology of war on the basis of the classic theories of Clausewitz and Jomini, from theories of postmodern war, from Baudrillard's commentary on the Gulf War, and from an extended critical application of recent work by Mary Kaldor on the new mode of warfare. I seek to avoid the blackmail of for-or-against and its loaded ideological positions by undertaking analysis through an exposition of the techniques, rationalities, economies, and social relations of organized violence constituting the current condition of warfare. By working through the complexity of these factors, rather than constructing simple oppositions, the method of critical analysis employed here enables us to explain how and why it is that NATO has failed to engage its primary objectives. The paper is thus able to confront the question not of whether NATO should have intervened in Kosovo, but of whether its campaign did or even could intervene in any real sense. The events in Kosovo are the contestation of war itself, and NATO's failure to recognise this has also been its failure to instrumentalise its violence in direct engagement with its military objectives, leading to circular self-justification in terms of achieving its own operational preconditions. The essay explores multiple dimensions of this misengagement, showing how the failure of NATO's air campaign to engage with the realities of ethnic cleansing illustrates the virtuality of its strategy and policy. The paper concludes by drawing some implications for contemporary projects of global order.

The Rape of the Nation: Women Narrativising Genocide

Ronit Lentin
Sociological Research Online 4 (2) lentin

Keywords: Femininities; Genocide; Masculinities; Personal Narratives; Power; Rape; War
Abstract: In this article I will firstly argue that genocide and wars are gendered but also often feminised via the positioning of women not only as sexual trophies exchangeable between male enemies, not only as markers of collective boundaries, but also as the symbolic representations of national and ethnic collectivities. I will then interrogate the centrality of rape as a component of ethno-sexual identities and an instrument of war, focusing on the difficulties we have 'as women' but also as social scientists, to theorise wartime rape. Finally I will propose that creating a forum for women war victims to narrativise their traumatic experiences is a vital feminist strategy of beginning to close the gap between genocide and gender and between trauma and the discourses available to narrate it.

Theory-Building with Nud.Ist: Using Computer Assisted Qualitative Analysis in a Media Case Study

Katie MacMillan and Shelley McLachlan
Sociological Research Online 4 (2) macmillan_mclachlan

Keywords: Content Analysis; Discourse Analysis; Education; Framing; Media; Metanarratives; Nudist; Theory-building
Abstract: We examine Nud.ist software in terms of its 'theory-building' properties in order to access the extent to which Nud.ist can be used, not only to develop content categories, but also to develop a research method using two potentially incompatible approaches. The methods, content analysis and discourse analysis, were used in a single case study on education news in the press. Our case study, on how news about education issues gets constructed and framed by the national press into generalized themes and narratives, was initially informed by an extensive content analysis of the news over a twelve month period. Having identified variations in press coverage, we then collected large quantities of media text on education issues, using Nud.ist to organize and to recode the subsequent data. Having categorized the news extracts our aim was to then explore whether Nud.ist could assist a discourse analysis of the text.

The Kosovan War, 1998-99: Transformations of State, War and Genocide in the Global Revolution

Martin Shaw
Sociological Research Online 4 (2) shaw

Keywords: Genocide; International; Intervention; State; War
Abstract: This paper outlines an analysis of the Kosovan war of 1998-99 in the light of historical-sociological perspectives on the contemporary state and on war and genocide. It argues that Kosova poses new challenges which threaten to relegitimate war as a means of politics, after the earlier implication of total war with genocide, unless alternative forms of international intervention are developed.

Strategic Minorities and the Global Network of Power: Western Thrace and Northern Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Manussos Marangudakis and William Kelly
Sociological Research Online 4 (4) marangudakis

Keywords: Colonialism; Economic Development; Ethnic Conflict; Geopolitics; Hegemony; Nationalism
Abstract: Review of: Maddock, Su (1999) Challenging Women: Gender, Culture and Organisation. Sage Publications: London.

The Class Situation of Information Specialists: a Case Analysis

Clare Lewin and Myron Orleans
Sociological Research Online 5 (3) lewin

Keywords: Class; Critical Theory.; Discourse; Empowerment; Micro-class; Mode Of Of Consciousness; Phenomenology; Qualitative; Stratification; Technocratic' Authority
Abstract: This paper examined the paradoxical class situation of information specialists in the post-industrial society as both professionals and employees. We described and analyzed the 'technocratic' authority wielded by them and their mode of consciousness. We assessed whether these workers functioned as the vanguard of a new style of democratized work or buttressed the position of managerial authority. We used qualitative methods to study the social conduct and meaning systems of fourteen computer specialists, including programmers, analysts, and project leaders employed in a large insurance company. The data was analyzed using a critical phenomenological perspective derived from the work of authors such as Berger, Braverman, Burawoy, Foucault, and Marcuse. We found that the subjects experienced a class situation that was somewhat more empowered than the industrial or corporate models, but did not differ substantially from that of the production workers in industrial society. Their power, prestige, privilege and status essentially camouflaged the subjects' compliance to hierarchical authority. The subjects exhibited awareness of their power but essentially directed their energies toward task attainment and individual mobility. Lacking an orientation toward structure change, the information specialists did not appear to fit the notion of a vanguard group. From this research we foresee some possibilities of changes within organizational authority as information specialists confront management with their expertise, but we anticipate that the institutions of social domination will prevail.

Taking Account of The Macro in The Micro-Politics of Family Viewing - Generational Strategies

Carol MacKeogh
Sociological Research Online 6 (1) mackeogh

Keywords: Adolescents; Age; Audience; Bourdieu; Discourse; Family; Micro-Politics; Participant Observation; Television
Abstract: This article uses Bourdieu's concept of habitus, to explore how external discourses relating to young people and television, enter into the micro-politics of family viewing. It is based, primarily, on observation data collected by informants in the homes of young people. These data reveal the tactics and strategies that are used both by the young people and by their 'parents' to control the viewing process. It is possible to tentatively identify the projection of discourses of vulnerability onto young people who, in turn, attempt to position themselves as competent viewers evoking public discourses around youth and media savvy. Within the family setting these viewers develop a 'sense for the game' of viewing which informs the strategies they use to increase their control of the viewing experience.

Looking for Sociology after 11 September

Steve Fuller
Sociological Research Online 6 (3) fuller

Keywords: War on terrorism Theodicy, Political realism, Clash of civilizations, Islam, Communism, Cold War, Information society
Abstract: This piece, completed one month after the events of 11 September, examines the sociological presuppositions of the major intellectual and journalistic frameworks used to understand the unfolding 'war on terrorism'. The major frameworks include sociobiology, theodicy, political realism and 'the clash of civilizations'. Mainstream sociological theorizing has been largely absent from the debate, and some of its more fashionable claims (e.g. about our 'informatized world-order') may even be cast into doubt. In general the discussion has resembled the old 'Cold War' rhetoric that was supposedly laid to rest with the fall of the Soviet Union, with 'terrorism' and 'Islam' replacing the threats previously posed by 'totalitarianism' and 'Communism'. The sociology we teach our students may influence whether this tendency continues.

Will Sociology find some New Concepts before the US finds Osama bin Laden?

Steve Fuller
Sociological Research Online 6 (4) fuller

Keywords: Cold War; Fundamentalism; Islam; Meso-knowledge; Postmodernism; Secularism; Sociology
Abstract: Five months have now passed since the 11 September 2001 suicide bombing of the World Trade Center that prompted my original article and the responses published in this journal. Some responses convey the impression of sociologists so eager to find new opportunities to ride their hobby horses that they ignore the potential for the social world to confound their cherished expectations. To partially remedy this situation, I propose the concept of 'meso-knowledge' as a sensitising device for understanding the current geopolitical scene that attempts to get beyond the theoretical ruts of contemporary postmodernism.

A UK Sociolinguistic Perspective: Gene, Jeffrey and Evangelical 'Broad Inclusion' Intersubjectivity

Noel Heather
Sociological Research Online 9 (1) noel

Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis; Critical Postliberalism; Intersubjectivity; Religion; Sexuality; Social Cognition; Sociolinguistics; The Church
Abstract: Critical sociolinguistics (conceived as Critical Discourse Analysis: CDA), which has a focus on inclusive and exclusive language within social practice, can be used to shed light on underlying aspects of recent debates about the appointment of homosexual bishops in the UK and USA. One strand of the CDA approach is to examine the social cognitions implicit in the behaviours of communities. In the case of the religious communities involved here, a basic feature of their differences lies in their use of contrasting socio-theological, mentally-encoded schemata: the Evangelical, group-focused, strong commitment frame (SCF) contrasts sharply with the more liberally-inclined, more 'individual-respecting', social normalcy frame (SNF). One of the consequences of this is that Evangelicals appear to enjoy a particularly strong sense of 'mental bonding of outlook', intersubjectivity, in which a high focus on group objectives and social outlooks is closely allied to their traditional beliefs. And although Evangelical, 'group-thought' intersubjectivity may aid mental resistance to change on some social issues (eg homosexual bishops), it may however also help maintain 'broad inclusion' in terms of social marginalisation of normally more common, but perhaps less 'culturally visible' kinds (eg the single and elderly).

Baudrillard on Simulations: an Exegesis and a Critique

Stanley Raffel
Sociological Research Online 9 (2) raffel

Keywords: Baudrillard; Disney; Gulf War; Signs; Simulation; Starbucks; The Real
Abstract: This paper is an attempt to explain, apply, and ultimately to point to certain limitations of, Baudrillard’s idea that ours is the age of simulations. As the concept has not always been clearly discussed in the literature, early sections of the paper are devoted to describing the notion and providing some specific examples. How Baudrillard can claim that the age of simulations represents a new, qualitatively distinct, stage of society is also examined. Having articulated the basic idea, the paper goes on to try to show its power by utilizing it to analyze a typical contemporary phenomenon, Starbucks. Thus far the paper’s main aim has been to argue that simulation is indeed an illuminating concept. However, we next point to a serious dilemma which is certainly not resolved by Baudrillard himself. This problem is the fact that he leaves us, apparently, with no ability to ever see through simulations. In response to this difficulty, the final sections of this article try to show how it is actually possible to accept Baudrillard’s basic insight as to the existence and spread of simulations but also possess resources to detect them, thus resisting Baudrillard’s pessimistic conclusion that there is no viable alternative to either living in or producing a world of simulated things. In this section of the paper, a major additional focus is Baudrillard’s analysis of the first Gulf War.

Discursive Democracy and New Labour: Five Ways in Which Decision-Makers Manage Citizen Agendas in Public Participation Initiatives

Mike Williams
Sociological Research Online 9 (3) williams

Keywords: Public Participation, Governance, Partnership, New Labour, Citizen-Centred, Civil Society, Deliberative Democracy, Discursive Democracy, Modernisation Agenda, User Involvement.
Abstract: New Labour's conceptualisation of public participation in local government creates a tension in public participation practice. Government legislation and guidance require local authorities to develop and provide citizen-centred services, engage the public in policy-making and respond to the public's views. Seen in this light, New Labour policy draws from radical democratic discourse. However, local authority staff are also expected to act in accordance with the direction set by their line managers, the Council and the government and to inform, engage and persuade the public of the benefit of their authority's policies. In this respect, New Labour policy draws from the discursive model of civil society, conceptualising public participation as a method for engendering civil ownership of the formal structures of representative democracy. Tension is likely to arise when the ideas, opinions and values of the local authority differ from those expressed by the participating public. This paper uses a local 'public participation' initiative to investigate how the tension is managed in practice. The study shows how decision-makers dealt with the tension by using participatory initiatives to supply information, understand the views of the public and encourage public support around pre-existing organisational agendas. Problems occurred when citizens introduced new agendas by breaking or manipulating the rules of participation. Decision-makers responded by using a number of distinctive methods for managing citizens' agendas, some of which were accompanied by strategies for minimising the injury done to citizens' motivations for further participation. The paper concludes that New Labour policy fails to deal with the tensions between the radical and discursive models of participation and in the final analysis draws mainly from the discursive model of participation. Furthermore, whilst New Labour policy promotes dialogue between the public and local authority, it does not empower local authority staff to achieve the goal of citizen-centred policy-making.

Dead or Alive: the Discursive Massacre or the Mass-Suicide of Post-Soviet Intelligentsia?

Inna Kotchetkova
Sociological Research Online 9 (4) kotchetkova

Keywords: Post-Communism, Transformation of Identity, Russian Intelligentsia, Discourse Analysis
Abstract: This paper seeks to make sense of the transformation of identity in post-Soviet Russia by exploring the debates surrounding the social category 'intelligentsia'. I argue that the concept of intelligentsia should be seen as both a source of collective identity and a rhetorical resource in the struggle for power and domination. Here then, the usage of the category intelligentsia becomes a means for understanding broader post-Communist cultural change and some of its underlying tensions and conflicts. The paper examines two competing discourses about the intelligentsia currently vying for supremacy in Russia and their associated rival interests: one discourse is affirmative, the other negative. In relation to each discourse, several discursive practices are identified and observed on political and academic territories. The analysis of the discursive struggle over definitions contributes to understanding the transformation of power relations in modern Russia. Importantly the paper speculates on the present and future implications of these different tendencies.

Putting It into Practice: Using Feminist Fractured Foundationalism in Researching Children in the Concentration Camps of the South African War

Liz Stanley and Sue Wise
Sociological Research Online 11 (1) stanley

Keywords: Feminist Fractured Foundationalism, Feminist Methodology, Feminist Epistemology, Feminist Sociology, South African War 1899-1902, Concentration Camps, Children, Retrievable Documents, Photographs
Abstract: Feminist fractured foundationalism has been developed over a series of collaborative writings as a combined epistemology and methodology, although it has mainly been discussed in epistemological terms. It was operationalised as a methodology in a joint research project in South Africa concerned with investigating two important ways that the experiences of children in the South African War 1899-1902, in particular in the concentration camps established during its commando and 'scorched earth' phase, were represented contemporaneously: in the official records, and in photography. The details of the research and writing process involved are provided around discussion of the nine strategies that compose feminist fractured foundationalism and its strengths and limitations in methodological terms are reviewed.

'The Basic Stuff of Our Memories': Embodying and Embedding Discipline

Julie Brownlie
Sociological Research Online 11 (4) brownlie

Keywords: Childhood, Bodies, Physical Chastisement, Legal Discourses, Memory
Abstract: In recent political debates about physical chastisement, children have been positioned as 'potential' selves and have had their bodies mapped in specific ways. This article compares these discourses with findings from a study of parents' views of proposed legislation on physical discipline. It is argued that parents' talk about physical discipline is temporal not only because it is concerned with the nature of the child's body/self at the time of punishment but because parents engage with memories from their own childhood and, therefore, with how childhood selves have been disciplined across social and biographical time. Drawing on sociological work on the body, memory and childhood, the article explores two aspects of disciplinary practices - their embodied and embedded nature – which, to date, have been under researched and under theorised in debates about physical chastisement.

Reflexivity and Researching National Identity

Robin Mann
Sociological Research Online 11 (4) mann

Keywords: English/British, Complicity, Discourse, Interviewer, Interviewing, National Identity, Reflexivity
Abstract: This article focuses on the reflexive dynamics of interviewing in the context of a recent qualitative investigation of ethnic majority views of national identity in England. There is now an established literature which specifies the routine mobilisations of national identity through the course of everyday social interaction. Discourse studies also have been centrally concerned with the interview-as-topic and there is considerable work here on ethnic and racial categorizations within the interview context. Taking such work as its departure point, this article will illustrate how and why the interviewer also matters in talking about national identity. While the role of the interviewer is increasingly acknowledged in qualitative research, there has been little attempt to consider this particular methodological dilemma in nationalism research. In highlighting this problem, this article argues in favour of a more reflexive approach to the study of nationalism and national identity, one which brings to bear the researchers' own unwitting assumptions and involvement.

Doing Gender on and off the Pitch: the World of Female Football Players

John Harris
Sociological Research Online 12 (1) harris

Keywords: Women\'s Football, Hegemony, Femininity, Masculinity, Sexual Orientation.
Abstract: The following paper looks at the experiences of female football (soccer) players at a College of Higher Education in the South of England. Association Football occupies a special place in English society where it has traditionally been linked to notions of toughness, manliness and hegemonic masculinity. The last decade has witnessed expedient growth in the number of women playing football and this has led to much debate related to the positioning of the game in contemporary society. Data was collected through an ethnographic approach utilizing observation and semi-structured interviews. Through their very participation in the game the women can be seen to be challenging notions of male hegemony. However their acceptance of the male game as being more important, and their adopting of discourse and ideologies emanating from the male model of the sport, means that they are also colluding in the (re)production of masculine hegemony. For the women in this study, of central importance to the development of a female footballing identity are issues surrounding sexual orientation within the football world. Women's football in England suffers from an 'image problem' which can and does lead to tension both on and off the pitch. This paper explores how these women make sense of their own involvement in the game and how they negotiate the contested ideological terrains surrounding femininity, masculinity and sexual orientation.

Sites of Memory or Aids to Multiculturalism? Conflicting Uses of Jewish Heritage Sites

David Clark
Sociological Research Online 12 (2) clark

Keywords: Jewish Heritage Sites, Ghettos, Places of Memory, Multiculturalism and Educational Objectives, Urban Regeneration, Discourse Theory, Museum As Contact Zone.
Abstract: The immediate postwar in Europe was characterised by collective amnesia concerning where Jews had lived prior to the Holocaust. By the 1970s and mid-1980s, there was a revival of interest in residential areas, synagogues and cemeteries connected with a Jewish past, right throughout Europe, including former communist countries in the 1990s. This resulted in much renovation and the attempt to provide new uses for such sites as museums and cultural centres. My paper focuses on the shift in emphasis from the need to preserve such sites as places of memory to an increasing concern with other issues. Such issues range from tourism promotion to the promotion of multiculturalism. This emphasis on preparing the younger generation for a future in a new multicultural state provides much of the motivation for central and local government to lend support to such initiatives, whether in Sweden, Germany or Italy, for instance. The paper focuses on the Jewish Museum in Bologna, where I conducted fieldwork between 1999 and 2002. The study illustrates the mix of policy objectives involved, such as heritage preservation, urban regeneration, cultural policy and educational objectives. The theoretical discussion seeks to combine Clifford's notion of the museum as a contact zone (Clifford, 1997) with Foucault's notions on discourse formation (Foucault, 1972). In the process, the analysis of the museum's political economy extends beyond the four walls of the museum into the adjoining space of the ghetto and the city.

'Us' and 'Them': Terrorism, Conflict and (O)ther Discursive Formations

Steven Talbot
Sociological Research Online 13 (1) 17

Keywords: Identity, Self/Other, Discourse, Terrorism, Conflict, Security
Abstract: Research into terrorism has traditionally examined the relationship between terrorist activity and a variety of economic, religious, and geopolitical issues associated with modernity and globalisation, in an attempt to understand and explain this global phenomenon. This paper extends this inquiry further by exploring the extent to which the construction of Self and Other dichotomies are used as instruments for domination, self actualisation, and mobilisation within discourses of terrorism and security. The paper proposes that issues of Otherness are a vital and often missing component in understanding terrorism and counter-terrorist activity. In doing so, it argues that the construction of 'polarised collective identities' which accentuate perceived (cultural) differences between terrorists and their intended targets (and their respective host nations) play an integral role in shaping how we identify and respond to emerging threats. Furthermore, it is suggested that the construction and maintenance of these identities not only has a tendency to homogenise populations, but also creates antagonistic and conflict-orientated relationships resistant to resolution.

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.

Network Dynamics in the Transition to Democracy: Mapping Global Networks of Contemporary Indonesian Civil Society

Yanuar Nugroho and Gindo Tampubolon
Sociological Research Online 13 (5) 3

Keywords: Global Civil Society, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Network Society, Social Networks, Democracy, Reform, Social Movement, Chequebook Activism, Indonesia
Abstract: This paper seeks to make transparent the mutually reinforcing relationships between global civil society, democracy and network society, which are often implicit in extant theories. The concept of a 'global civil society' cannot be separated from the promotion of democracy. Global civil society itself is one of the most explicit instances of the emergence of network society in the modern age and democracy lies at the very heart of what constitutes a network society. However, very little has been said about how these apparent mutually reinforcing relationships arise. Focusing on the case of Indonesia during the fraught regime change from authoritarianism to democracy, we investigate the role of transnational and national civil society organisation during the periods of pre-reform, reform and post-reform. Using multi-methods, including social network analysis and interviews with civil society activists and networkers, we discover a less encouraging picture of these relationships and conclude that the forging of this virtuous circle has some obvious gaps. We attempt to account for these apparent gaps in this mutually reinforcing relationship in terms of different modes of political participation. We suggest that some forms of 'chequebook activism' characterised the global civil society role during an abrupt and bloody regime change.

'The Callous Credit Nexus': Ideology and Compulsion in the Crisis of Neoliberalism

Alex Law
Sociological Research Online 14 (4) 5

Keywords: Gramsci; Ideology; Neoliberalism; Financialisation; Transformismo; War of Position; Crisis; Hegemony
Abstract: Many accounts of the rise and decline of neoliberalism forefront its ideological nature and capacity for hegemonic leadership. In contrast, I argue that outside of elite groups neoliberalism did not become hegemonic in Gramsci's sense of a 'national-popular' force. Neoliberalism is a convenient term to describe a two-stage process of 'purifying' the coercive nature of the capital relation through what Gramsci broadly called 'a war of movement' in the 1970s and 1980s and 'a war of position' in the 1990s and 2000s. This double-movement compelled credit-worthy individuals to routinely market, sell, purchase and perform for money-wages. New techniques of the self were perfected in the marketised war of position to service the credit-led financialisation of everyday life. Social positionings dependent on financialisation are now subject to a 'crisis of authority'.

The Number of the South African War (1899-1902) Concentration Camp Dead: Standard Stories, Superior Stories and a Forgotten Proto-Nationalist Research Investigation

Liz Stanley and Helen Dampier
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 13

Keywords: Concentration Camps, South African War, Proto-Nationalism, Research Methodology, Stories, Historical Sociology, Archival Research, Charles Tilly
Abstract: Tilly extols the power and compass of 'superior stories' compared with 'standard stories'; however, in life things are not always so clear cut. A 1906 1914 research investigation headed by P. L. A. Goldman, initially concerned with the enumeration and commemoration of the deaths of Boer combatants during the South African War (1899-1902), later with the deaths of people in the concentration camps established in the commando phase of this war, is explored in detail using its archived documents. Now largely forgotten, the investigation was part of a commemorative project which sought to replace competing stories about wartime events with one superior version, as seen from a proto-nationalist viewpoint and harnessed to the wider purpose of nation-building. Goldman, the official in charge, responded to a range of methodological and practical difficulties in dealing with a huge amount of data received from a wide variety of sources, and made ad hoc as well as in principle decisions regarding how to handle these, and eventually producing 'the number' as politically and organisationally required. However, another number of the South African War concentration camp dead - one which was both different and also added up incorrectly - concurrently appeared on a national women's memorial, the Vrouemonument, and it is this which has resounded subsequently. The reasons are traced to the character of stories and their power, and the visibility of stories about the concentration camp deaths in question the face of the Vrouemonument and their anonymity in Goldman's production of 'the number'. Tilly's idea of an 'in-between' approach to stories is drawn on in exploring this.

Fast Girls, Foreigners and GIs: An Exploration of the Discursive Strategies Through Which the Status of Pre-Marital (Hetero)sexual Ignorance and Restraint Was Upheld During the Second World War

Jenny Hockey, Angela Meah and Victoria Robinson
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 14

Keywords: Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Practice, Taboo, Stigma, Gender, History, Marriage, Pregnancy, Death, Second World War
Abstract: This paper explores contradictions within qualitative data gathered among women and men whose young adulthood coincided with the Second World War. These data were generated as part of an ESRC-funded project which investigated the making of heterosexual relationships cross-generationally. They suggest the co-existence of both a prevalent taboo or stigma associated with sexual knowledge and practice before and outside marriage, and personal experiences of precisely these engagements with embodied sexuality. Drawing on Charles Tilly's work, the paper argues that, when interrogated, these contradictions can reveal the strategies through which a creaky heterosexual consensus was shored up during a period of military upheaval that profoundly destabilised existing beliefs and practices. Tilly differentiated between academic historians who sought to reconcile 'very large structural changes' and 'the changing experiences of ordinary people' through either collectivist or individualist approaches to 'history from below'. Neither of these methods could yield an adequate account, in his view. However, the 'lay historians' who participated in our study combined collectivist and individualist perspectives, thereby providing a unique insight into an era when collective values and individual practices were often in tension with one another. As our participants spoke about their young adulthood, their data revealed the potency of local gossip which mobilised wider discourses of alterity or 'othering', so shoring up a consensual view of sexual mores, despite the prevalence of attitudes and practices that contravened it. What we argue, therefore, is that rather than a half-remembered, contradictory account of heterosexuality during the 1920s and 1930s, the data we gathered in the early 21st century exemplifies precisely the discursive strategies of that period. In other words, these data shed light on the ways in which not only heterosexual norms, but also an entire, endangered system of distinctions based on class, gender and national identity was upheld.

Trans-Generational Memory: Narratives of World Wars in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland

Tomoko Sakai
Sociological Research Online 14 (5) 15

Keywords: Autobiography, Family Narrative, Trans-Generational Memory, Collective Experience, Post-Conflict Transitions, Northern Ireland, World Wars, Commemoration
Abstract: People situate their personal lives in a macro history through crafting trans-generational narratives. Trans-generational historical narrative is simultaneously about personal micro interactions and emotions, and about the large process of macro history. It lies between 'small' and 'big' narrative spheres and plays an important role in the formation of the ethnic, national and cultural identities of individuals. By examining carefully this type of autobiography, collective social experience and large cause-effect relationships in social processes that are beyond personal will and control can be explored. This is what Charles Tilly encourages narrative researchers to do. This paper analyses World War stories told by two persons living in post-conflict Northern Ireland who were born after the end of the Second World War. It shows that the World War experiences of the storytellers' parents or ancestors, and the storytellers' own experiences during and after the conflict, are interwoven to form a macro historical consciousness. In these narratives, the past is evoked to become a basis for the storyteller's life to be re-interpreted. These are narrative practices in which an individual becomes a historical subject by telling his or her own life: in one sense, becoming subject to the macro memory framework, and in another sense, becoming a subject of the practice of crafting history.

Innovation and Reduction in Contemporary Qualitative Methods: The Case of Conceptual Coupling, Activity-Type Pairs and Auto-Ethnography

William Housley and Robin James Smith
Sociological Research Online 15 (4) 9

Keywords: Social Order, Discourse, Narrative, Mobile Methods, Auto-Ethnography, Reflexivity, Innovation, Qualitative Methods
Abstract: During the course of this paper we mobilise an ideal typical framework that identifies three waves of reduction within contemporary qualitative inquiry as they relate to key aspects of the sociological tradition. The paper begins with a consideration of one of sociology's key questions; namely how is social organisation possible? The paper aims to demonstrate how this question moves from view as increased specialisation and differentiation in qualitative methodology within sociology and related disciplines results in a fragmentation and decontextualisation of social practices from social orders. Indeed, the extent to which qualitative methods have been detached from sociological principles is considered in relation to the emergence of a reductionist tendency. The paper argues that the first wave is typified by conceptual couplings such as 'discourse and the subject', 'narrative and experience', 'space and place' and the second by 'activity type couplings' such as 'walking and talking' and 'making and telling' and then, finally, the third wave exemplified through auto-ethnography and digital lifelogging. We argue each of these three waves represent a series of steps in qualitative reduction that, whilst representing innovation, need to reconnect with questions of action, order and social organisation as a complex whole as opposed to disparate parts.

'If You're Not Allowed to Have Rice, What Do You Have with Your Curry?': Nostalgia and Tradition in Low-Carbohydrate Diet Discourse and Practice

Christine Knight
Sociological Research Online 16 (2) 8

Keywords: Food, Diet, Nutrition, Discourse, Nostalgia, Tradition, Cultural Identity, Obesity
Abstract: Low-carbohydrate diets, notably the Atkins Diet, were particularly popular in Britain and North America in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This paper approaches the low-carbohydrate trend as one response to the twin obesity and diabetes epidemics, drawing firstly on a discourse analysis of bestselling low-carbohydrate diet books, especially The South Beach Diet (Agatston 2003). I explore and critique nostalgia in the low-carbohydrate movement as a response to a perceived contemporary health crisis caused by modern Western food habits and lifestyle. The low-carbohydrate literature demonstrates a powerful discursive combination of nostalgia for pre-industrial Western foodways, and valorisation of 'authentic ethnic' (non-Western) culinary traditions. Together, these tropes construct a generalised notion of traditional diet which contrasts positively with a putative 'modern Western diet'. The binary opposition set up between modern Western food habits and a traditional ideal leads to generalisations and factual inaccuracies, as any diet or cuisine that is not modern, and/or not Western, must be adjusted discursively to fit the low-carbohydrate model. Further, in an interview study with low-carbohydrate dieters, dieters' descriptions of their experiences did not match the nostalgic rhetoric of popular low-carbohydrate manuals. Instead, I found that the requirement to eliminate staple carbohydrate foods severs dieters both practically and symbolically from culinary tradition, whether their own or that of an ethnic Other. I conclude that there is a disjuncture between the romantic 'nutritional nostalgia' (Beardsworth 2002) of the diet books, and dieters' own food practices.

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.

Olympic Dreams and Social Realities: A Foucauldian Analysis of Legacy and Mass Participation

Heather Piper and Dean Garratt
Sociological Research Online 18 (2) 20

Keywords: Olympic Legacy, Foucault, Discourse, Risk Society, Spectacle, Celebrity, Moral Panic
Abstract: Focussing on the London 2012 legacy claim relating to increased activity levels and sports participation, the paper discusses a range of factors which appear to militate against its achievement. Utilising a Foucauldian theoretical framework, we discuss how some of these operate at the conceptual and linguistic level, while others relate to governmental processes, and still another to the distinction between active engagement with the Games as carnival/festival and passive consumption as spectacle. Closest attention is paid to the negative effects on mass participation of a mind-set and collateral social practices, amplified in sport, which prioritise the avoidance of all risk, and particularly the risk of abuse. Drawing on data from a recent ESRC-funded research project, we demonstrate how this has resulted in a culture of fear and corrosive mistrust, which can only reduce grassroots willingness to take up sports, and the effectiveness and commitment of the coaches required to support it. The social and governable context of discourse is considered, and Foucault’s conceptual ‘toolbox’ is deployed, to encapsulate the interrelationship of risk society, moral panic, and governmentality.

Ideology in Disguise: Place Name Metonyms and the Discourse of Newspaper Headlines

Jenny Lewin-Jones and Mike Webb
Sociological Research Online 18 (4) 18

Keywords: Metonyms; Metaphor; Place Names; Media; Headlines; Language; Discourse; Ideology; Nationalism
Abstract: 'Place metonyms' are figures of speech which use place names as shortcuts, for example Whitehall to mean the British civil service, or Europe for the institutions of the European Union. The paper examines place metonyms in the headlines of two British newspapers, the Sun and the Guardian. Using evidence from a 12-month period in 2011-12, a headline-by-headline linguistic analysis is used to work out the denotations and wider connotations of each metonym. This critical discourse approach suggests that such place metonyms in headlines have three problematic effects: firstly they may conceal agency and responsibility within some public bodies, secondly for some social institutions, they give an exaggerated impression of unity and homogeneity, and finally for a further list of institutions, they offer relentless pejorative evaluative colouring. These effects are found not only in the right-of-centre Sun but also to some extent in the more progressive newspaper, the Guardian. The authors speculate that it may be difficult for readers of newspapers to think critically about place metonyms in headlines. In particular, place metonyms may subtly reinforce any impression that public institutions are fixed entities, not susceptible to challenge, and may facilitate the polarised value-judgments that are characteristic of 'headlinese'. Such social constructions support some of the central tenets of neo-liberal, capitalist ideology, and so subtly add to the news media’s distorting representations of public matters.

The Morality of the Social in Critical Accounts of Popular Music

Andrew Whelan
Sociological Research Online 19 (2) 14

Keywords: Critique of Neoliberalism, Discourse Analysis, Ethnomethodology, Marxist Sociology of Culture, Popular Music, Sociology of Aesthetics, Sociology of Popular Music, Talk About Music, Talk-In-Interaction, Texts-As-Read
Abstract: Talk about music, broadly understood, is commonly conducted and regarded as a neutral or transparent window on its topic. However, both vernacular and formal-analytic scholarly accounts constitute music as morally significant, and in doing so, articulate particular narratives of the social. One such contextual frame of reference for talking about music is presented and described here as ‘art vs. commerce’. A close analysis is conducted of a sentence in a recent academic paper (with attention to its conceptual buttressing in antecedent texts), and of the opening of a research interview with a musician, so as to show how contemporary articulations of this framework operate, and to demonstrate that vernacular and sociological forms of such thinking are contiguous, and can be taken as analytical objects in their own right. The intellectual and cultural mechanics of this moral work conducted by the articulation of art vs. commerce are highlighted and evaluated. The argument is not that such forms of talk or writing about music are to be ‘cleared out of the way’ so that music can finally be attended to, but rather that these forms of talk serve to constitute the fields of meaning within which music is understood.

‘Menacing Youth’ and ‘Broken Families’: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Reporting of the 2011 English Riots in the Daily Express Using Moral Panic Theory

Jasbinder S. Nijjar
Sociological Research Online 20 (4) 10

Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis, Daily Express, Moral Panics, Parenting, Youth, 2011 English Riots
Abstract: This paper utilises moral panic theory and critical discourse analysis to examine the coverage of the 2011 English riots in the British newspaper, the Daily Express. Findings show that the Daily Express drew on two previous moral panics concerning youngsters and family life to diagnose the riots as a consequence of youth criminality and poor parenting. The newspaper identified young people as folk devils of the unrest by adopting discourses which vilified them, their behaviour and choice of clothing. Furthermore, the Daily Express exaggerated the severity of the disorder by describing it as war and mass murder to reinforce to its readers the supposed threat posed by young people to social relations. Additionally, the newspaper supported politicians who denied structural determinants as causes of the unrest and, instead, blamed micro issues including a decline in ‘traditional’ family life and morals and discipline among youngsters. While some suggest that folk devils are now defended by experts, the Daily Express gave column inches to expert commentators who also pinpointed young people and poor parenting as causes of the disorder. This paper proposes that future research on media coverage of social problems might, in addition to exploring whether the reporting of an issue identifies new anxieties and concerns, examine the extent to which media institutions draw on and modify discourses concerning previous and familiar social anxieties in order to interpret and frame a social problem.

Inequality and Prejudice. German Social Scientist as Producers of Feeling Rules

Helena Flam and Jochen Kleres
Sociological Research Online 21 (1) 13

Keywords: New Fascists, Extremism, Social Sciences, Discourse, Migration, Integration, Emotions
Abstract: This article is about how sociological research in Germany addresses issues that first seem to be unconnected: young new Fascists and migrants. We will present research in these two areas to show how social scientists contribute to feelings about their respective objects of research. We will argue that although both have cultural disorientation of their study objects as their point of departure, they offer differing explanations for it and as a consequence construct contrasting emotions towards the new Fascists and migrants: they portray new Fascists as disoriented victims of modernization in need of sympathy, while they blame migrants for their disorientation resulting from migration and thus call for indifference or antipathy towards this group. Comparing both research fields we can show that both sets of emotions interconnect and thus form a dichotomous emotional regime. Sociological research helps to sustain lines of inclusion and exclusion from the German society.

Sanitising the City: Exploring Hegemonic Gentrification in London’s Soho

Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Magali Peyrefitte and Matt Ryalls
Sociological Research Online 21 (3) 3

Keywords: Gentrification, Urban, London, Rights, Hegemony, Soho
Abstract: This article will explore the gentrification of Soho, reflecting on ethnographic research undertaken in the area over the past fifteen months, to argue that the recent social, political, and economic changes in Soho must be understood in relation to private, marketized and globalized neoliberal capitalist forces. We argue that the changes to the area result in a heavily-weighted form of gentrification that works to actively and knowingly sanitize the city, removing 'undesirable' people and venues from the area. As such, we propose to define this process as ‘hegemonic gentrification’, and distinguish this from other forms of gentrification in order to understand the different processes that underpin these specific changes, and more broadly, it allows us to problematize these changes as regards to the ‘right to the city’, and to expand current understandings in a way that allows for a more nuanced analysis of urban gentrification and its impacts within neolibreral capitalism.

Getting the Green Light: Experiences of Icelandic Mothers Struggling with Breastfeeding

Sunna Símonardóttir
Sociological Research Online 21 (4) 1

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Motherhood, Parenting Culture, Scientific Discourses, the Body
Abstract: The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond. This policy has been adopted by the Nordic countries, including Iceland, where there has been an upward trend towards higher breastfeeding rates and duration. The high breastfeeding rates in Iceland indicate that the idea that all women should breastfeed is culturally very strong. Exclusive breastfeeding is constructed as a pillar of successful bonding and absolutely paramount when it comes to promoting the close primary relationship between mother and child. Previous research on breastfeeding from a socio-cultural point of view remains very much rooted in an Anglo-American context and has mostly been conducted in countries where breastfeeding rates remain relatively low and the cultural context of breastfeeding similar. This paper addresses that particular knowledge gap by making visible the identity work that Icelandic mothers perform in order to be able to construct themselves as “good” responsible mothers and how dominant biomedical discourses on infant feeding and ʹgood motheringʹ discursively position women as powerless and unable to make decisions on breastfeeding cessation. The reaction that they experience from their immediate surroundings indicates that their ʹfailuresʹ in breastfeeding can rarely be constructed as anything other than a personal shortcoming. Whilst the surveillance that they come to expect from other mothers and the general public results in them having to account for their ʹlackʹ of breastfeeding in order to avert the hostile gaze of others.

Literary Ethnography of Evidence-Based Healthcare: Accessing the Emotions of Rational-Technical Discourse

Benet Reid
Sociological Research Online 21 (4) 16

Keywords: Literary Ethnography, EBHC, Discourse Analysis, Health, Methods, Emotion
Abstract: In this article I revisit the idea of literary ethnography (proposed by Van de Poel-Knottnerus and Knottnerus, 1994) as a method for investigating social phenomena constituted principally through literature. I report the use of this method to investigate the topic of evidence-based healthcare, EBHC. EBHC is a field of discourse much built upon a dichotomy between rationality and emotionality. In this context literary ethnography, a particular type of discourse analysis, is valuable for allowing researchers to bring the emotional currents of technical-rational discourse into conscious awareness. In such discourses, emotions are not written out by name. The researcher must discern emotional phenomena by experiencing the discourse, and (try to) bring them into intelligible expression. As I clarify this process I develop Van de Poel-Knottnerus and Knottnerus’ method theoretically, look to destabilise the rationality-emotionality dichotomy foundational to discourse around EBHC, and so transgress its conventional lines of thought.

Reframing Research Ethics: Towards a Professional Ethics for the Social Sciences

Nathan Emmerich
Sociological Research Online 21 (4) 7

Keywords: Research Ethics, Professional Ethics, Social Science, Democracy, Bioethics
Abstract: This article is premised on the idea that were we able to articulate a positive vision of the social scientist’s professional ethics, this would enable us to reframe social science research ethics as something internal to the profession. As such, rather than suffering under what has been called the imperialism of a research ethics constructed for the purposes of governing biomedical research, social scientists might argue for ethical self-regulation with greater force. I seek to provide the requisite basis for such an ‘ethics’ by, first, suggesting that the conditions which gave rise to biomedical research ethics are not replicated within the social sciences. Second, I argue that social science research can be considered as the moral equivalent of the ‘true professions.’ Not only does it have an ultimate end, but it is one that is – or, at least, should be - shared by the state and society as a whole. I then present a reading of confidentiality as a methodological - and not simply ethical – aspect of research, one that offers further support for the view that social scientists should attend to their professional ethics and the internal standards of their disciplines, rather than the contemporary discourse of research ethics that is rooted in the bioethical literature. Finally, and by way of a conclusion, I consider the consequences of the idea that social scientists should adopt a professional ethics and propose that the Clinical Ethics Committee might provide an alternative model for the governance of social science research.

Institutions and Discourses on Childcare for Children Under the Age of Three in a Comparative French-Czech Perspective

Hana Hašková and Radka Dudová
Sociological Research Online ()

Keywords: Childcare, Discourse, Expert Knowledge, Institutional Development
Abstract: The article compares the development of policies pertaining to care for preschool children since the late 1940s in France and the Czech Republic. It seeks to identify the key factors that led to the differentiation of the policies and institutions in the two countries, especially with respect to support for extra-familial care and formal care institutions (nurseries). We build on the theories of ‘new’ institutionalisms, and we apply a framing analysis in order to understand the formation of the ideas that form and lead up to policy changes. Specifically, we discuss the role of expert discourse and the framings of care for young children in the process of social policy change. We argue that childcare policies have been fundamentally impacted by expert knowledge and how that knowledge has been presented in public. However, the policy was not influenced by this knowledge alone, but rather by its interaction with specific political, economic, and demographic contexts.