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City, Urban, Space, Time, Live Art, Political Aesthetics

'Refuse of All Classes'? Social Indicators and Social Deprivation

Geoff Payne, Judy Payne and Mark Hyde
Sociological Research Online 1 (1) 3

Keywords: Deprivation, Class, Poverty, Social Indicators, South West, Urban, Rural
Abstract: The development and electronic accessibility of indices of poverty and social deprivation have yet to be fully exploited by mainstream sociology, not least in the field of class analysis where it might seem likely to be taken up. While reasons for this can be suggested, there are several conceptual frameworks within sociological debates about class that might accommodate deprivation and its indicators, and also valuable empirical resources in the form of indices which are now available to researchers interested in contemporary social inequality. The potential of this approach in the UK is demonstrated by an examination of patterns of social deprivation in 1991 Census data for 391 wards in the South West of England, using the Townsend, Jarman, Breadline Britain and the new DoE Local Conditions indices. Urban and rural patterns are demonstrated in inter-pair correlations between index scores, component variable values, and social class represented as SEGs. A factor analysis similarly shows distinct patterns for urban areas, small towns and rural areas. However, in all cases class, single-parent families, and children living in low- income households show the strongest associations with other deprivation indicators. An explanation for the empirical findings may be found in two main strands of class analysis. First, following Weber, deprivation and occupational class both derive from market situations, but the reported deprivation patterns cannot be entirely explained in terms of class: other factors (such as life-cycle) need to be included. Second, while there is no clear evidence of residualization in the data, some aspects of consumption sector theory seem to be born out; for example, differential opportunities for access to consumption. In addition, it is suggested that the rural/urban differences raise issues for ameliorative policies, further demonstrating the potential for a closer integration of the social indicators approach into the techniques of sociological analysis.

Crown Street Revisited

Karen Mary Moore
Sociological Research Online 1 (3) 2

Keywords: Survey; Replication; Response Rates; Research Methods; Community; Locality; Liverpool; Inner City; Urban Studies
Abstract: This note describes a study to discover the extent to which it would be possible to follow the respondents in a 1978/79 social survey in inner Liverpool. The follow up would be used to describe the ways in which peoples' circumstances had changed in the intervening 17 years. It would also provide an opportunity to discover how the respondents themselves viewed the changes that had taken place in inner Liverpool (if that was where they still lived) and the extent to which they had realized the aspirations they expressed in 1978/79 (wherever they now lived). An additional benefit of the research was to 'test the water' for forthcoming policy related research in Liverpool. The results of the pilot study are clear and unambiguous: it was not possible to follow up the previous respondents. Reasons for this are believed to include changing attitudes towards giving information and to reservations about collaborating in research projects which in the context of inner city Liverpool are seen to have no benefits to local people. The prognosis for future survey-based research is poor. These findings are consistent with more anecdotal evidence from colleagues working elsewhere in inner city areas and in sharp contrast to similar work undertaken in the very different political climate of the 1970s.

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).

The Use of Marriage Data to Measure the Social Order in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Bottero and Kien Prandy
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 6

Keywords: Correspondence Analysis; Marriage; Measurement; Social Mobility; Social Order; Social Reproduction; Social Space
Abstract: This article describes the construction of a measure of the social order in the nineteenth century, which will subsequently be used as a basis for studying processes of social reproduction (or social mobility). The technique of correspondence analysis is used to map the ordering of groups of occupations in two time periods 1777-1866 and 1867-1913. The data are derived from the occupations at marriage of the groom, his father and his father-in-law (the occupations of brides, unfortunately, being very much under-recorded). Marriage, it is argued, is a socially significant act linking, on average, families that occupy similar positions in the social order and analyses of the patterns of social interaction involved provide a means of determining the nature of the social space within which similarity is defined. The three occupations provide three pair-wise comparisons and each comparison gives a mapping of the row occupations and the column occupations six in all. Since any one of these should provide a measure of the social order, assuming there to be any consistency in such a concept, we would expect that, at both time periods, the result of the analyses would be six closely-related estimates of the same underlying dimension. This is what is found; the inter-correlations are very high. Furthermore, there is a very strong relationship between the measures of the social order constructed for the two time periods. The analyses are presented within a framework that emphasises the value of the procedures used for understanding the nature of measurement in social science.

Token Salaries and Social Answers in Work Relations in Africa

Massimo Repetti
Sociological Research Online 4 (2) repetti

Keywords: Informal Economy; Senegal; Social Networks; Urban Work; Weak Ties; Work Relations
Abstract: In Dakar, faced with crisis and uncertainty, social answers begin to appear. Only those having a supportive social network could find a place in the labour's market. The observation of the daily routine of any of Dakar's micro-businesses and its social aspects, reveals the wide area of interference that exists between waged worker and the relation networks with family and relatives, ethnic groups and Muslim brotherhoods. The urban economy is supported by a network of family, alliance, and client relations. The overlap existing between waged and unwaged work can be understood only by looking closely at the network of social ties present outside the production site. Switching from the analysis of urban work relationships in Africa to the analysis of social networks is almost spontaneous, because a system of relational actions and strategies grows around the figure of the worker. The importance of the "strength of weak ties" in procuring employment is as a whole confirmed, but African sociability creates an intense inter-network relational interchange. Dakar's urban space feeds a "popular economy" where social networks and the gift-giving logic co-exist with market economy. This economy utilise different wage embryos or tokens salaries for each of the social players.

Women in Low Status Part-time Jobs: A Class and Gender Analysis

Tracey Warren
Sociological Research Online 4 (4) warren

Keywords: Class; Diversity; Gender; Part-Time Employment
Abstract: Why, given all the problems associated with part-time employment in Britain, do women work part-time at all? Does the answer to this question lie in gender-based explanations which focus on women's caring responsibilities? This paper addresses these issues by focusing on the relative experiences of the largest group of part-timers, women working in low status occupations. It is concluded that a gender-informed analysis of women's part-time employment is clearly vital, but an awareness of further dimensions of social inequality is required if we are to understand diversity amongst part-timers. Relative to full-timers, part-timers are similar in their life-cycle positions, their marital status and motherhood status. However, incorporating a class analysis shows that part-timers in lower status jobs stand apart in that they are disproportionately likely to have been brought up in working class households and, as adults, they are more likely to be living in very low waged households with partners who are also in low paid manual occupations. It is concluded that women go into the lowest status part-time jobs in specific social contexts and, as a result, we cannot lump together into one unified group, women working part-time in manual and higher status occupations, and then talk sensibly about part-time work and its impact on women. It is essential to examine the interaction of gender and class inequalities to better understand these women's working lives.

Changing Connectivity: A Future History of Y2.03K

Barry Wellman
Sociological Research Online 4 (4) wellman

Keywords: Class; Diversity; Gender; Part-Time Employment
Abstract: Why, given all the problems associated with part-time employment in Britain, do women work part-time at all? Does the answer to this question lie in gender-based explanations which focus on women's caring responsibilities? This paper addresses these issues by focusing on the relative experiences of the largest group of part-timers, women working in low status occupations. It is concluded that a gender-informed analysis of women's part-time employment is clearly vital, but an awareness of further dimensions of social inequality is required if we are to understand diversity amongst part-timers. Relative to full-timers, part-timers are similar in their life-cycle positions, their marital status and motherhood status. However, incorporating a class analysis shows that part-timers in lower status jobs stand apart in that they are disproportionately likely to have been brought up in working class households and, as adults, they are more likely to be living in very low waged households with partners who are also in low paid manual occupations. It is concluded that women go into the lowest status part-time jobs in specific social contexts and, as a result, we cannot lump together into one unified group, women working part-time in manual and higher status occupations, and then talk sensibly about part-time work and its impact on women. It is essential to examine the interaction of gender and class inequalities to better understand these women's working lives.

Making Connections: the Relationship between Train Travel and the Processes of Work and Leisure

Gayle Letherby and Gillian Reynolds
Sociological Research Online 8 (3) letherby

Keywords: Leisure; Place; Space; Time; Tourist Gaze; Train Travel; Work
Abstract: Many volumes have been written cataloguing and detailing the long-term or historical changes in the process of work. Similarly, much attention has been given to 'doing leisure'. What most, if not all of these works have in common is that both work and leisure are seen as taking place either 'in' or 'away from' the home. The space between home and the place of work or leisure is seen as a separate entity: the 'travel' for which one normally requires a means of transport. Transport then is theorized as simply a way of getting from A to B. Indeed, those who study and theorise about transport are more likely to be in the discipline of engineering than of sociology. In this article we challenge all of this through a consideration of the work and leisure that individuals undertake on the train. We draw on own experience and on empirical data from a pilot study of train users and also outline our future research and writing plans in this area.

Older People's Perceptions of the Neighbourhood: Evidence from Socially Deprived Urban Areas

Thomas Scharf, Chris Phillipson and Allison Smith
Sociological Research Online 8 (4) scharf

Keywords: Deprivation; Neighbourhood; Older People; Social Exclusion; Urban Areas
Abstract: Neighbourhoods contribute significantly to shaping their residents' identities. For older people, the neighbourhood may be even more important than for younger people. Ageing can be associated with an intensification of feelings about locality and space, and the neighbourhood may contribute significantly to older people's quality of daily life. Within the context of a study that examines the concerns of older people living in areas of England characterised by intense social deprivation, the article explores perceptions of the local environment. Findings are reported from an empirical study conducted in nine socially deprived neighbourhoods across three cities. Data collection consisted of a survey of 600 people aged 60 and over, and in-depth interviews with 130 people of the same age group. The article focuses on older people's views in relation to both positive and negative aspects of their local environment. It concludes with a discussion of three key themes: first, the question of older people's attachment to their neighbourhood; second, the issue of variation between areas; and third, the impact of place on the quality of older people's daily life.

Towards a Sociology of Organizational Space

Susan Halford
Sociological Research Online 9 (1) halford

Keywords: Cultural Geography; Hot-desking; Labour Process; Organization; Space
Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to, and extend, the emergent Sociology of organizational space. It engages critically with labour process approaches, which position space within a control-resistance paradigm, suggesting that the conceptualization of space embedded within these accounts is limited and limiting. Drawing on insights from cultural geography the paper uses a new empirical study to show the ways that spatial meanings and spatial practices in the micro-spaces of office life are constructed through diverse experiences, memories and identities operating at a range of spatial scales.

Negotiation and Navigation - an Exploration of the Spaces/Places of Working-Class Lesbians

Yvette Taylor
Sociological Research Online 9 (1) taylor

Keywords: Class; Identity; Sexuality; Space; Stigma
Abstract: This article draws upon my research on working-class lesbians, which explores the relationship between class, sexuality and social exclusion. Research participants were drawn mainly from Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Highlands), with smaller samples in Yorkshire and Manchester; in total fifty-three women took part, most being interviewed individually, others as part of three focus groups, and a couple in ÎpairedÌ interviews. The significance of sexuality and class position is highlighted across various social sites from family background and schooling to work experiences and leisure activities. The women's own identifications, understandings and vivid descriptions point to the continued salience of class as a factor in shaping life experiences. This article focuses primarily on the women's 'sense of place' and their relations to the often devalued territories that they inhabit. The relationship between sexual identity and class has received little academic attention - here the 'gaps' in the literature pertaining to 'lesbian and gay' space, and to (de-sexualised) class space, will be identified. By including empirical data I offer a picture of the ways in which classed spaces is sexualised and sexualised space is classed and suggest that space is constitutive of identity in terms of where it places people, both materially and emotionally.

Diasporicity in the City of Portsmouth (UK): Local and Global Connections of Black Britishness

Rajinder Dudrah
Sociological Research Online 9 (2) dudrah

Keywords: Black Britain; Diaspora; Diaspora Space; Diasporicity; Portsmouth
Abstract: This article engages with the theoretical premise of diasporicity - the local/regional specificities and workings of a given diaspora. Diasporicity is an attempt to extend the vocabulary of the concept of diaspora as an intervention against fixed ideas of race and nation. The article tests the usefulness of some aspects of 'diasporicity' by applying them to the settlement of African, Caribbean and South Asian Black British groups in Portsmouth, UK. The article draws on qualitative research, including extended interviews, and offers a social commentary on Black British diasporic connections that are distinctive to this city and, at the same time, contribute to an overall idea of Black Britishness.

Emotions After Dark - a Sociological Impression of the 2003 New York Blackout

Chris Yuill
Sociological Research Online 9 (3) yuill

Keywords: Emotions, Flânerie, Modernity, Reflexivity, New York, Urban Experience.
Abstract: Sometimes an unexpected event or crisis can occur that is of sociological interest where for a period of time a particular society is faced with a number of challenges. This sociological impression will explore one such event, the New York blackout of 2003, by developing a 'street level snapshot' of the experiences of New Yorkers during the power outage. The majority of material for this impression was gathered by acting as sociological flâneur, guided by the ideas of Benjamin, Simmel, Parks, and Jacobs into understanding the experience of modernity and city life by taking to the streets and directly observing what transpires. Further material from the internet and the media is used to augment the personal observation. Finally, drawing on the sociology of emotions a speculative discussion attempts to make sense of what was observed particularly the strong upsurge in emotion and the passionate way in which New Yorkers kept their neighbourhoods and city functioning. Throughout the essay reflexive and reflective comments will be made concerning the sociologist carrying out 'spontaneous' research into temporary but significant events.

Social Life Under the Microscope?

Monika Büscher
Sociological Research Online 10 (1) buscher

Keywords: Video Analysis, Time, Socio-Technical Change, Practical Creativity, Imagination,
Abstract: Video is an important new instrument for sociological research, sometimes welcomed as the 'microscope' of social science. It provides access to important and otherwise difficult to examine aspects of human interaction. Moreover, because video captures practice in its lived production as 'another next first time' (Garfinkel 1992), it makes it possible to study practical creativity - the way in which people invent new practices. In this paper I probe the microscope metaphor through concrete examples from my work with landscape architects and computer scientists in participatory technology research and design projects.

The Ghost of Patrick Geddes: Civics As Applied Sociology

Alex Law
Sociological Research Online 10 (2) law

Keywords: History of Sociology, Civics, Patrick Geddes, Scottish Generalism, Urban Sociology
Abstract: In 1904 and 1905 Patrick Geddes (1905, 1906) read his famed, but today little-read, two-part paper, 'Civics: as Applied Sociology', to the first meetings of the British Sociological Society. Geddes is often thought of as a 'pioneer of sociology' (Mairet, 1957; Meller, 1990) and for some (eg Devine, 1999: 296) as 'a seminal influence on sociology'. However, little of substance has been written to critically assess Geddes's intellectual legacy as a sociologist. His work is largely forgotten by sociologists in Britain (Abrams, 1968; Halliday, 1968; Evans, 1986). Few have been prepared to follow Geddes's ambition to bridge the chasm between nature and culture, environment and society, geography, biology and sociology. His conception of 'sociology', oriented towards social action from a standpoint explicitly informed by evolutionary theory. A re-appraisal of the contemporary relevance of Geddes's thinking on civics as applied sociology has to venture into the knotted problem of evolutionary sociology. It also requires giving some cogency to Geddes's often fragmentary and inconsistent mode of address. Although part of a post-positivist, 'larger modernism' Geddes remained mired in nineteenth century evolutionary thought and fought shy of dealing with larger issues of social class or the breakthrough work of early twentieth century sociology of Simmel, Weber and Durkheim. His apolitical notion of 'civics' limits its relevance to academic sociology today.

Urban Consumption and Feelings of Attachment of Rotterdam's New Middle Class

Marco van der Land
Sociological Research Online 10 (2) vanderland

Keywords: New Middle Class, Symbolic Consumption, Urban Sociology
Abstract: Cities have increasingly developed into spaces for consumption. This paper explores the relationship between patterns of use of urban leisure amenities and feelings of attachment to the city. A survey among highly educated professionals and managers (the new middle class, working in the Dutch city of Rotterdam) was carried out in order to examine both their participation in the domain of urban leisure and urban residence, and their attachments to the city in general. The survey shows that among the new middle class subgroupings can be identified, based on their mobility with regard to leisure and their psychological attachments to the city. One of them is a group of young single urban households, who are not only frequent urban consumers, but who also feel strongly attached to the city as a whole. The findings suggest that in cities specific processes of symbolic consumption occur which facilitate some extent of psychological attachment and which appear to tie a subset of the new middle class to urban places, regardless of place of residence.

Telling Identity Stories: the Routinisation of Racialisation of Irishness

Elaine Moriarty
Sociological Research Online 10 (3) moriarty

Keywords: Ireland, Narrative, Practice, Identity, Race, Immigration, Gender, Urban Legend.
Abstract: During the last decade, the emergence of what has been coined 'the celtic tiger economy', the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland and net immigration following decades of emigration, represent critical moments in Irish history that have opened up the question of identity in Irish public culture. This paper examines the processes involved in mediating who belongs and who doesn't belong in early 21st century Irish society by examining the creation and circulation of an urban legend in Dublin in 2004. I consider how such a story gains legitimacy, bestows meaning and constructs reality, to explore what it says about 21st century Ireland. To develop this argument, I firstly posit identity construction as processual rather than fixed (Hall, 1996), and examine the forms of knowledge through which the story is constituted and elaborated into objects, concepts and theories. Secondly, I use fragments of the story to examine the construction of self/other and us/them dichotomies through the interaction between narrator and listener, and the construction of threatened Irish identities and invading 'non-national' identities. Thirdly, I locate this story in global regimes of representation which are highlighting the paradoxical positioning of the nation state as subject to significant global changes such as population movement but also enabled by such phenomena in the shaping of belonging. In order to examine how these patterns of enacted conduct become routinised in the context of the nation state, I examine the context of the debates around immigration and racism in Ireland, highlighting the remarkable continuities over time in the images and discourses circulating about the Other, particularly migrant women. Ultimately, I argue that a dialectical approach is required to understand the current debate in Ireland around immigration and racism through considering the interrelationships of discourses, narratives and the constitution of identities.

Time and the Prison Experience

Azrini Wahidin
Sociological Research Online 11 (1) wahidin

Keywords: Older Offenders, Identity, Time, Prisons
Abstract: Throughout the literature on time there has been an omission of the qualitative dimension of time in relation to the experience of time in different locales. This paper will explore the nature and role of time-use in prison. Based on intensive fieldwork in 8 male and female prison establishments, this article will explore the experiences of women and men aged 50 years and above serving a custodial sentence and their relationship with time. The data draws from 90 semi-structured interviews. The aim of this paper is firstly to landscape time use in prison. Secondly, to show how time in prison is negotiated by the prisoners and finally, examine how outside time becomes more real as the transition from a closed to an open prison becomes more imminent.

The Time Economy of Parenting

Anne Gray
Sociological Research Online 11 (3) gray

Keywords: Fatherhood Gender-Contract Parenting Time-Use Work-Life-Balance
Abstract: This paper explores how the UK Time Use Survey (UKTUS), together with the author's qualitative interviews and focus groups with London parents, can inform current policy debates about childcare and parental employment. It also refers to the international literature about long-term trends in parental childcare time. It addresses four key questions about time use and parenting, which have implications for theorisation of the `gender contract' regarding childcare and for our understanding of the gendered distribution of time between care, work and leisure in two-parent families. How is total parenting time affected by parents' work hours ? How do the long work weeks of British fathers affect their capacity to share childcare with mothers ? Would childcare time rise if work hours were more equally distributed between women and men ? This invokes a discussion of how far childcare is really transferable between parents (or can be delegated to external carers); to what extent is it `work' or a relational activity ?

'Changing Marriage? Messing with Mr. In-Between?: Reflections Upon Media Debates on Same-Sex Marriage in Ireland'

Sean Reynolds
Sociological Research Online 12 (1) reynolds

Keywords: Same-Sex Partnership, Marriage, Media, Irish Times, GLBT, Ireland
Abstract: This article explores some aspects of the emergence of local debates same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland. Taking up this issue through an analysis of mediatized reactions to the introduction of German gay marriage in 2001, I point to how we can see evidence of a shift away from Irish traditional relationships between the social, politics and religion, which served to police and silence much public discussion about sexuality. While prudery about sexual issues still remains, my data points to the emergence of prudent-yet-tolerant sharing of stories about the social exclusion of same-sex couples. In spite of recent setbacks for a legal case seeking the recognition of a foreign same-sex marriage in Ireland, we may point to a growing political and legal consciousness for the extension of rights for lesbian and gay couples but it is still unclear as to what model will be adopted in the Irish context. While in the Irish case, there is only intermittent media interest in 'gay marriage', we can locate this struggle within the framework of the sociology of intimate citizenship. Not only do claims for same-sex marriage illustrate pointed inequalities experienced by lesbians and gay men, the stories also problematize the naturalness of heterosexuality. The Irish case may, of course, be explored within the context of a global challenge to gender identity where the imagined same-sex couple enjoy some element of certainty in an uncertain world.

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.

The Social Significance of Sleep for Older People with Dementia in the Context of Care

Wendy Martin and Helen Bartlett
Sociological Research Online 12 (5) 11

Keywords: Sleep, Care, Dementia, Memory, Risk, Vulnerability, Privacy, Time, Space, Surveillance
Abstract: While the social aspects of dementia have been increasingly researched over the past decade, there has been little focus on sleep and its significance to older people with dementia within the context of care. This paper attempts to address this knowledge gap by exploring the experiences of sleep among older people with dementia and the perceptions of family carers and care staff in different care settings. The paper is drawn from a larger research project that explored the empowerment of older people with dementia, and involved 18 in-depth interviews with older people with dementia and 8 focus groups with health and social care staff and family carers. The discourses of the older people with dementia and family carers, emphasised vulnerabilities associated with sleep, thematically represented as: (1) interconnections between health, care, the body and sleep; (2) memory loss and perceptions of sleep, time and place; and (3) a sense of vulnerability around night-time, sleep and safety. The sleep discourses of the older people with dementia and their family carers focused on meanings associated with experiential dimensions of sleep and were closely connected to their social identities and roles. The key concern for the health and social care staff was the organisation of sleep, including: (1) temporal management of sleep and sleep practices, and (2) management of sleep across public/private space: safety, surveillance and privacy. The sleep discourses of the health and social care staff predominately focused on sleep practices and environmental dimensions of sleep. These different perspectives denote varying positions and concerns in relation to sleep between waking conscious actors and dormant bodies, thereby highlighting the social significance of power relations and vulnerabilities within the context of care for older people with dementia.

The Credit Crunch and the High Street: 'Coming Like a Ghost Town'

Chris Yuill
Sociological Research Online 14 (2) 12

Keywords: Credit Crunch, High Street, Visual Sociology, Urban, Consumerism, Social Exclusion
Abstract: Drawing on primary visual data and secondary sources this rapid response piece speculates on the changes to the British high street as a consequence of the credit crunch. The changes are much more profound than simply the loss of a place to shop. For both individuals and wider society the changes to the British high street carry implications for issues of self-identity, social contacts and social exclusion.

Modernity Coloniality and Visibility: The Politics of Time

Rolando Vázquez
Sociological Research Online 14 (4) 7

Keywords: , Coloniality, Time, Resistance, Visibility
Abstract: This paper presents the problem of the mediation between modernity and coloniality; and it explores the usefulness of the question of time to address this mediation. How can we think the simulation of modernity together with the oblivion of coloniality? The text brings the critique of time to the centre of the modernity/ coloniality debate. It shows that chronology, chronological narratives are at the heart of the modern/ colonial systems of oppression; and that the movements of resistance against 'hegemonic globalization' are not only questioning the material structures of oppression, but also the universality of the modern idea of time. It is an invitation to think about the politics of time that are at play in modernity/ coloniality. Here, the modernity/ coloniality tandem is seen as the institution of a politics of time that is geared towards the production of specific economic and political practices oriented to sever the oppressed from their past, their memory. The ensuing temporal discrimination makes invisible all that does not belong to modern temporality. Under this light, it is possible to see how the practices of resistance to the modernity/ coloniality project embody a different politics of time, one that rescues memory as a site of struggle, one that involves the possibility of inhabiting and rescuing the past. These practices of resistance are thus seen as fights against temporal discrimination: fights against invisibility. By addressing the imposition of modern time we can better understand the widespread injustice and violence of modernity/ coloniality. Furthermore, the question of time can help us to bridge the gap between the simulacra of modernity and the oblivion of coloniality.

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.

Forty Four Years of Debate: The Impact of Race, Community and Conflict

Robert Moore
Sociological Research Online 16 (3) 12

Keywords: Sociology, Urban, Immigration, Housing, Housing Classes, Community, Sparkbrook, Birming¬ham, Race Relations, Discrimination
Abstract: Race, Community and Conflict by John Rex and Robert Moore was published in 1967 and had a considerable public impact through press and TV. Forty four years later it is still widely cited in research on British urban society and 'race relations'. It is used in teaching research methods, theory, urban sociology and 'race relations' to undergrad-uates. This article describes and explains the immediate impact of the book and its more lasting contribution to sociology. Race, Community and Conflict immediately addressed contemporary public issues around immigration and race relations and was the first book systematically to explore the responses of one city administration to the arrival of new migrants drawn in by the local demand for labour. The longer term impact of the book, it is argued, derives from its attempt to create a theoretical framework deriving from both the work of the Chicago School of Sociology and the adoption of a Weberian approach to social class and urban conflict. The combination of theorised structural analysis with detailed local ethnographic approaches to research probably accounts for the book's continued contribution to the teaching of sociology.

'They Eat Potatoes, I Eat Rice': Symbolic Boundary Making and Space in Neighbour Relations

Gwen van Eijk
Sociological Research Online 16 (4) 2

Keywords: Boundary Making, Intergroup Contact, Multi-Ethnic Neighbourhoods, Neighbouring, Setting, Space, Symbolic Boundaries
Abstract: This article examines 'neighbouring' as the setting in which cross-category relations develop and symbolic boundaries are constructed. The study is based on thirty in-depth interviews with residents living in a multi-ethnic and a mono-ethnic neighbourhood in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The findings challenge the hoped-for outcomes of social mixing in neighbourhoods, as well as the view that boundary making is something inherent to multi-ethnic neighbourhoods only. Neighbour relations are often setting-specific (relations are interchangeable, scripted and bounded, and passively maintained), which is relevant for understanding the spatiality of neighbouring and the limited exchange of personal information between neighbours. Because neighbouring involves the balancing of personal privacy and close spatial proximity, the exchange of personal information is limited, while spatial proximity ensures easy access to observable (through seeing, hearing and smelling) categorical markers that signify class, ethnicity, lifestyle, etc. In this way, neighbour interaction reconstructs symbolic boundaries rather than breaking them down.

Identifying the Third Agers: An Analysis of British Retirees' Leisure Pursuits

Stella Chatzitheochari and Sara Arber
Sociological Research Online 16 (4) 3

Keywords: Active Leisure; Retirement; Time-Use Research; Third Age; Successful Ageing; UK
Abstract: Despite the recent theoretical focus on the emergence of the Third Age as a period of fulfilment and an ongoing engagement with an active leisure lifestyle, there is a dearth of quantitative studies on how older people spend their time. Few studies of later life capitalise on time-use surveys, which constitute the most widely employed and accurate methodology for collecting data on everyday life. This article analyses data from the 2000 UK Time Use Survey in order to operationalise the concept of the Third Age and test theoretical propositions regarding the irrelevance of social divisions in the formation of an active leisure lifestyle after retirement. The analysis focuses on a subsample of 1615 people over the age of 64. An index of active leisure activities is constructed in order to estimate the proportion of third agers amongst British retirees. Logistic regression models are specified to examine the relative influence of socio-demographic characteristics on the probability of a person being a third ager. Strong effects of structural factors and health are found, which do not support arguments suggesting a minor influence of social context in lifestyle choices after retirement. 'Active' ageing appears to be the province of those who are culturally and materially advantaged, and it is the healthy, educated, upper-class and middle-class men that are more likely to engage in a Third Age leisure lifestyle.

Placing Research: 'City Publics' and the 'Public Sociologist'

Yvette Taylor and Michelle Addison
Sociological Research Online 16 (4) 6

Keywords: Public Sociology, Use, Impact, City Publics, Class, Gender
Abstract: This article raises questions about who becomes the proper subject for (non)academic attention in a time when 'city publics' might be positioned as democratising and open or, conversely, as curtailed and shaped through specific and pre-determined economies of value and use. The use of the city and its residents are echoed in regeneration politics and objectives, attached to and brought forward by specific 'regenerative' subjects, now deemed 'resilient' and capacitated. Such rhetorics of inclusion and measurable impact are echoed within ideas of a 'public sociology', which the engaged researcher should practice as she re-engages differently located spaces and subjects. Here, questions are raised about the place of a 'public sociology' as part of a 'city publics', where understanding local disseminations and disparities is important in considering where different users, interviewees and indeed researchers are coming from. Having situated the fieldwork site, we initially focus on the expert advisory group and their constructions of the project's 'use-value'. We then consider the background 'shadows' in and out of 'expert' space, as a trailing presence of research intentions and trajectories. Ideas of public sociology – as with an open 'city publics' often assumes that all users are interested, willing to hear and appear as equal members of a 'community'. In contrast, the experience of engaging a user group may involve dis-engaging the research-researcher-researched and here we provide disruptions to a straightforward 'travelling through' research space as we walk through our research methodologies. This article presents professional and personal reflections on research experience as well as interpretative accounts of navigating fieldwork and city space.

The North Laine: A Visual Essay

Chris Yuill
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 4

Keywords: Visual Sociology, Urban Village, Urban, Glocalization, Brighton
Abstract: The North Laine in Brighton provides a useful case study in exploring different ways of experiencing and imagining urban life. The area possess many distinctive street forms and supports counter-cultural lifestyles, which emphasise environmentalism and alternative forms of capitalism, such as cooperative and collective organisation of the workplace. Drawing on the ideas and theories of Henri Lefebvre the essay focuses on (1) the various social and historical process that have conditioned and influenced the development of the area and (2) the various social power relations that have both sustained the area, allowing it to develop into its current format, and in turn question its future. A visual methodological approach is used to present the data and to convey the distinctive aesthetic of The North Laine.

Picturing Work in an Industrial Landscape: Visualising Labour, Place and Space

Tim Strangleman
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 20

Keywords: Labour Geography; Visual Sociology; Sociology of Work; Representation of Work, Place and Space
Abstract: This paper explores the notion of the visual landscape of work. Coming from a sociological perspective it attempts to view work, its meanings and the identities that surround it, through the lens of landscape. It takes on recent challenges to work sociology made by economic/labour geographers who argue that sociological understanding of employment are insufficiently spatial - space if used as a concept at all is reduced to the notion of a boundary containing economic processes rather than something that is constructed and in turn constructs work. Using material from ongoing research into the former Guinness Brewery at Park Royal in West London, and in particular a range of archival and contemporary visual sources, this paper illustrates the ways in which spatial ideas underpin complex sociological notions of work practice and culture. It will examine the way space is implicated in the location, construction, labour, and closing of this once famous brewery and how visual material helps to unlock theoretical and methodological understandings of work and industry.

Identityscapes of a Hair Salon: Work Identities and the Value of Visual Methods

Harriet Shortt
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 22

Keywords: Identity, Space, Objects, Visual, Identityscape, Time, Photography, Photomontage, Hairdressers
Abstract: This article considers how one group of workers, hairdressers, use aspects of their material landscape of work as important resources in the production and re-production of their work identities. It shows how the participants of the study use the spaces, objects and things in their workplaces to form a visual narrative of who they are. The article also considers the significance of visual methods in such identity research. It argues for encouraging participants using participant-led photography to choose how to view and arrange their photographs. Participants' preference for paper analogue prints rather than on-screen digital images allowed them to work with multiple images simultaneously, rather than consecutively, and enabled them to create richer accounts of career development by incorporating time and movement in their stories. The participants' construction of these 'identityscapes', it is argued, can be usefully understood in relation to the concept of 'photomontages' developed by the British artist David Hockney.

Space, Buildings and the Life Worlds of Home-Based Workers: Towards Better Design

Frances Holliss
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 24

Keywords: Home-Based Work, Space, Design, Visual Methods, Life-Worlds, Architecture, Class, Lifestyle, Occupational Identity, Gender, Dwelling, Workplace, Family, Public, Private, Home, Workhome, Typology
Abstract: This article draws on recent research into the architecture of home‐based work, the working practices of the home-based workforce and the range and types of buildings they inhabit. The initial project was conducted in 2005-07. It involved 76 informants, from urban, suburban and rural contexts in England: a London Borough, a London suburb and a West Sussex village. Follow-on research was conducted in London in 2009-11. Originating in architecture, the research employed a number of visual methods, including photography, orthogonal drawing and diagram-making. While these visual methods are commonplace in architecture, they are normally used to portray idealized buildings and interiors. People and their everyday lives are usually absent. In contrast, as is more typical of sociology, a primary concern of this research was to understand the ordinary daily lives of people who either lived at their workplace or worked in their homes. The research sought a better understanding of the historical and contemporary significance of the spaces and buildings that would be of use to this workforce, one which could give a voice to contemporary home-based workers across the social spectrum and in a wide variety of occupations. Representing their life-worlds visually has been central to this aim.

Qualitative Secondary Analysis and Social Explanation

Sarah Irwin and Mandy Winterton
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 4

Keywords: Qualitative Research Methods, Secondary Analysis, Re-Use, Gender, Time Pressure
Abstract: The current paper takes as a focus some issues relating to the possibility for, and effective conduct of, qualitative secondary data analysis. We consider some challenges for the re-use of qualitative research data, relating to researcher distance from the production of primary data, and related constraints on knowledge of the proximate contexts of data production. With others we argue that distance and partial knowledge of proximate contexts may constrain secondary analysis but that its success is contingent on its objectives. So long as data analysis is fit for purpose then secondary analysis is no poor relation to primary analysis. We argue that a set of middle range issues has been relatively neglected in debates about secondary analysis, and that there is much that can be gained from more critical reflection on how salient contexts are conceptualised, and how they are accessed, and assumed, within methodologies and extant data sets. We also argue for more critical reflection on how effective knowledge claims are built. We develop these arguments through a consideration of ESRC Timescapes qualitative data sets with reference to an illustrative analysis of gender, time pressure and work/family commitments. We work across disparate data sets and consider strategies for translating evidence, and engendering meaningful analytic conversation, between them.

'I Know Him So Well': Contracting/tual 'Insiderness', and Maintaining Access and Rapport in a Philippine Fishing Community

Nelson Turgo
Sociological Research Online 17 (3) 18

Keywords: Access, Fishing Community, Insider Research, Philippines, Positional Space, Rapport
Abstract: 'Insider' researchers are generally conceived to have an epistemic privilege in the field over 'outsider' researchers, especially around the issues of gaining access and building rapport with research participants. However, access and rapport once secured must be continuously maintained and this poses several methodological challenges to the researcher. This can be a particular problem if the people being researched have an intimate knowledge of the researcher's life. This intimate knowledge can affect the maintenance of access and rapport with research participants, particularly in a small community characterised by insecure economic prospects and whose members' survival could be affected by the researcher's political experience. Based on an ethnographic study of a fishing community in the Philippines, this article is concerned with the various nuances of maintaining access and rapport in one's own community and its ever-evolving economic and political conditions, which then contribute to the shifting positionality of 'insider' researchers' status in the field.

The English City Riots of 2011, 'Broken Britain' and the Retreat into the Present

John Flint and Ryan Powell
Sociological Research Online 17 (3) 20

Keywords: Riots; Urban Disorder; Governance of Conduct; Civility; Incivility; "Broken Britain"; Norbert Elias
Abstract: The responses to the English city riots of 2011 bear a remarkable resemblance to those of historical urban disorders in terms of the way in which they are framed by concerns over "moral decline", "social malaise" and a "lack of self-restraint" among certain sections of the population. In this paper we draw on the work of Norbert Elias and take a long-term perspective in exploring historical precedents and parallels relating to urban disorder and anti-social behaviour. We reject the notion of "Broken Britain" and argue that a more "detached" perspective is necessary in order to appreciate that perceived crises of civilisation are ubiquitous to the urban condition. Through this historical analysis, framed by Elias' theory of involvement and detachment, we present three key arguments. Firstly, that a 'retreat into the present' is evident among both policy discourse and social science in responding to contemporary urban disorder, giving rise to ahistorical accounts and the romanticisation of previous eras; secondly, that particular moral panics have always arisen, specifically focused upon young and working class populations and urban disorder; and, thirdly, that previous techniques of governance to control these populations were often far more similar to contemporary mechanisms than many commentaries suggest. We conclude by advocating a long-term, detached perspective in discerning historical precedents and their direct linkages to the present; and in identifying what is particular about today's concerns and responses relating to urban disorder.

Perils, Precariousness and Pleasures: Middle-Aged Gay Men Negotiating Urban 'Heterospaces'

Paul Simpson
Sociological Research Online 17 (3) 23

Keywords: Ageing Capital, Ageism, Differentiation, Gay Men, Heterospaces, Heteronormativity, Homophobia, Middle-Age, Urban Gay Villages
Abstract: Based on interviews with 27 gay men aged 39 - 61 living in Manchester, this article examines how middle-aged gay men are differentiated and negotiate relations in heterosexually defined spaces. I focus on what informants' accounts of relations in these 'heterospaces' say about middle-aged gay men's responses to homophobia. I argue that 'ageing capital' is implicated in subjects' accounts that capitulate to, negotiate with and challenge heteronormativity. First, the normativity of certain heterospaces could compel self-censoring/'de-gaying' of the self. Middle-aged gay men were differentiated by others who claim greater legitimacy within them. Second, informants differentiated themselves through involvement with heterosexual friends from ghettoised 'scene queens.' This ambivalent claim to difference could deny inequality and reinforce homophobia. Third, the normativity of heterospaces was thought to offer freedom from the ageist gay gaze, allowing expression of more 'authentic' aspects of the midlife-aged self.

'Man Dem Link Up': London's Anti-Riots and Urban Modernism

Gareth Millington
Sociological Research Online 17 (4) 12

Keywords: London Riots, Modernism, Urbanism, Right to the City
Abstract: Commentaries on the London riots of August 2011 have tended to ignore the urban context of the disturbances or have treated the city and the urban as an implicit part of their analysis-merely as a backdrop to events. This paper offers an urban perspective in arguing that the socio-spatiality of contemporary London-the legacy of competing forms of urban modernism-plays a critical role in explaining how and why the disturbances unfolded in the highly idiosyncratic form they did. The first stage of the analysis introduces competing notions of urban modernism ranging from a modernism of the street, to a modern urbanism of welfarist/ statist control and finally a deregulated neoliberal (post)modernism. Second, the socio-spatial dimensions of contemporary London are outlined. Third, the article moves to contrast the 'inner city' riots of Brixton 1981 and what is described here as the 'anti-riots' of August 2011. In the fourth section the events of August 2011 are argued to be part of a dialectic between the homogenisation, fragmentation and hierarchisation of London-space and the resilience of an urban modernism that seeks to re-engage with the experience of the city as totality, as a sum of human efforts.

The Case of Cooperstown, New York: The Makings of a Perfect Village in an Urbanising World

Gregory Fulkerson and Elizabeth Seale
Sociological Research Online 17 (4) 9

Keywords: Rural, Simulacra, Representations, Community Capital, Cooperstown, NewYork, Urbanisation
Abstract: In this paper we examine the question of how rural communities adapt to global processes of urbanisation and economic restructuring. We do this through a visual and historical case study analysis of Cooperstown, New York. This location is selected because it is a self-proclaimed 'perfect village' and by many counts a successful tourist destination. The impact on this community is examined using theoretical concepts that include urbanormativity, rural representations, rural simulacra, and the community capitals framework. We conclude that rural communities may risk sacrificing local qualities in order to appeal to externally imposed urban expectations for a rural experience.

'We Are Watching You Too': Reflections on Doing Visual Research in a Contested City

Milena Komarova and Martina McKnight
Sociological Research Online 18 (1) 19

Keywords: Visual Methods, Place-Making, Contested Space, Conflict Management
Abstract: This article focuses on our observations of two contentious Orange Order parades and nationalist protests that took place in an interface area in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in June 2011 and 2012. We apply a perspective of visual ethnography as place-making (Pink 2009) to our research experience in order to add to understandings of how a place of conflict is experienced, (re)produced or challenged through the use of photography and video by marchers, protesters and researchers alike. In doing so, we discuss not only the strengths of visual methods, (how they enable a greater understanding of adversarial perspectives, allow researchers to experience contestation emotionally and compel reflexivity), but also more controversial aspects of their use (the extent to which they limit what researchers notice or omit and legitimate particular versions of conflict). Last, but not least, we suggest that the ubiquitous use of ‘the digital eye’ in the contentious events we observed has a democratising influence over elements in the performance of conflict: challenging the presumed roles of performers and audiences; of researchers and researched; opening contentious events to a wider audience and facilitating the communication of competing narratives.

Restricting the Public in Public Space: The London 2012 Olympic Games, Hyper-Securitization and Marginalized Youth

Jacqueline Kennelly and Paul Watt
Sociological Research Online 18 (2) 19

Keywords: Public Space, Youth, Marginalization, Policing, Security, London Olympics
Abstract: In contrast to Olympic organizers’ claims about the London 2012 Games as a celebration for all, we recount the experiences of low-income and marginally housed young people as experiencing exclusion from the benefits of the Games being held in their neighbourhood. Drawing on qualitative methods with young people living in the ethnically diverse and economically deprived Olympic host borough of Newham, we focus on public space and its limitations in the context of the 2012 Games. The article discusses the sense conveyed by young people of their neighbourhood being made beautiful for visitors, but of themselves being overly policed and subject to Olympic-related dispersal orders. We conclude by querying for whom is public space made available during the Olympic Games, suggesting that the benefactors are not economically marginalized young people living in the shadow of the Games.

Live Art as Urban Praxis: The Political Aesthetics of the City

Cath Lambert
Sociological Research Online 18 (3) 12

Keywords: City, Urban, Space, Time, Live Art, Political Aesthetics
Abstract: This article examines the political possibilities for an aesthetic disruption of urban space and time. Locating the discussion within debates about the neoliberal city, selected art-works from Fierce live art festival in Birmingham, England are used in order to examine how, in a specific and localised context, normative spatial patterns and temporal rhythms can be challenged and subverted. The analysis draws on, and contributes to, a sociological account of the centrality of aesthetics to political and social organisation.

Picturing Urban Regeneration: A Study of Photographers in Liverpool, UK

Paul Jones
Sociological Research Online 18 (3) 5

Keywords: Photography; Urban Regeneration; Culture; Publics
Abstract: This paper interrogates the practices of professional photographers working on commissions associated with urban regeneration. As distinct from analysis of the images that are an outcome of their labour, little is currently known about the knowledges of photographers working in such contexts. Drawing on research with one firm of photographers in Liverpool, UK, the article focuses on the ways in which these cultural producers describe and make sense of their productions vis-a-vis wider regeneration contexts; particular attention is paid to the ways in which they interpret and translate the criteria surrounding commissions into practice. A general contention concerns the photographers' reflexivity relative to the constraints and affordances they associate with commissioned regeneration work, which sees them operationalising the social visions emanating from clients working in urban policy sector. The article addresses the sets of social practices necessary to secure the conditions for making images in such contested contexts.

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.

Using Secondary Analysis to Maintain a Critically Reflexive Approach to Qualitative Research

Sarah Wilson
Sociological Research Online 19 (3) 21

Keywords: Qualitative Secondary Analysis (QSA), Reflexive Sociology, Research Boundaries, Sample Characterisation, Space, Objects
Abstract: Maintaining a ‘critical reflexivity’ (Heaphy 2008) or ‘investigative epistemology’ (Mason 2007) in relation to the sedimented assumptions built up over the course of one’s own research history and embedded in common research boundaries, is difficult. The type of secondary analysis discussed in this paper is not an easy or quick ‘fix’ to the important issue of how such assumptions can embed themselves over time in methods chosen and questions asked. Even though archived studies are often accompanied by relatively detailed metadata, finding relevant data and getting a grasp on a sample, is time-consuming. However, it is argued that close examination of rawer data than those presented in research reports from carefully chosen studies combining similar foci and epistemological approaches but with differently situated samples, can help. Here, this process highlighted assumptions underlying the habitual disciplinary locations and constructions of so-called ‘vulnerable’ as opposed to ‘ordinary’ samples, leading the author to scrutinise aspects of her previous research work in this light and providing important insights for the development of further projects.

Synthetic Sociology and the ‘long Workshop’: How Mass Observation Ruined Meta-Methodology

Rachel Hurdley
Sociological Research Online 19 (3) 6

Keywords: Mass Observation, Materiality, Methodology, Ethics, Narrative, Lists, Literariness, Poetics, Space
Abstract: The paper focuses on the relations between Mass Observation Reports, and the contemporary sociological valuing of articulacy, salience and coherence in participants' accounts. This is linked with a critique of sociological literariness, to question how participants’ words are transformed into ‘data’ for research productions. The aims are threefold. First, to show how research participants’ contributions have valuable attributes that do not always fit neatly into conventional analytic frame. Second, to highlight how ‘awkward’ data challenge the literary conventions of sociological production. Third, to illustrate how critical reflection on a particular form of vernacular poetry can inform the poetics and politics of sociological methodology. By addressing Mass Observation’s inconvenient materiality, its peculiar temporality and its diverse content, the paper considers how these unsettle the notion of ‘data’. Critically engaging with Charles Madge’s and Humphrey Jennings’ notion of Mass Observation as ‘Popular Poetry’, I then consider how Whitman’s vernacular epic, Leaves of Grass, has been woven into the cultural biography of the U.S. By drawing an analogy between Mass Observation’s ‘Popular Poetry’ and Whitman’s democratic poetics, I ask how a legitimised/legitimising research habitus can change in interaction with such materials, rather than resynthesising itself. Moving on to an ethically difficult film-making project with asylum seekers I argue for methodological architectures that open up plural, precarious, untimely ‘anthropologies of ourselves’. A politics of knowledge-making, that acknowledges the ‘long workshops’ where social worlds are crafted, can then materialise.

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.

The Casanova-Myth: Legend and Anxiety in the Seduction Community

Jitse Schuurmans and Lee F. Monaghan
Sociological Research Online 20 (1) 1

Keywords: Heterosexualities, Masculinities, Urban Legend, Seduction Community
Abstract: The word Casanova is often treated as a synonym for womaniser, variously interpreted in a positive or negative light depending upon the audience. The Seduction Community (SC) largely comprises young heterosexual men who follow and adapt the teachings of commercial pickup artists, typically in an effort to embody the Casanova-myth. This paper reports and analyses findings from a qualitative study of the SC. Drawing from life history interviews (n=29) and understandings generated during fieldwork in California in 2009 and 2013, the paper explores the meanings of the Casanova-myth qua urban legend. As explained in studies that view modern society as a ‘folk community’, urban legends help mediate anxieties following the Great Transformation in American community life. However, this paper contends that such legends may also produce the same gender anxieties they aim to ameliorate. Lascivious myth-making, which finds clear expression within the rationalised SC, constitutes a double-edged sword under conditions of rapid social change comprising confluent intimacies and the potential marketisation of everything.

Rural Putsch: Power, Class, Social Relations and Change in the English Rural Village

Sam Hillyard
Sociological Research Online 20 (1) 5

Keywords: Rural, Space, Time, Elite, Ethnography, Social Class
Abstract: The paper uses ethnography to discuss a political putsch – a move from Old Guard to newcomer dominance – in an English rural village. Applying the conceptual ideas of Goffman on symbols of class status and Thrift (2012) on space and an expressive infrastructure, it responds to Shucksmith’s (2012) call for research into the micro workings and consequences of class power in rural contexts. The analysis stresses the relevance of ‘sticky’ space (the residue of past social relations shaping the present, the dwindling amenities and a contemporary absence of pavements) and a contemporary blurring of rural and the urban identities (Norfolk/ London). Moreover, both Goffman’s restrictive devices and class symbols (who garners support and who does not) and the temporal dimension of an expressive infrastructure (informing individual dispositions and orientations – class affect) now construct rural spaces. The paper therefore retains a flavour of sociology’s obstinate interest in geographic milieu, but the stage is now one of a global countryside both influencing and influenced by local politics and elites. A global recession and the rural penalty, whereby rural residents experience is more acute, has meant that not all spaces or agents are equal and some are therefore better placed to adapt, accommodate or resist change (Shucksmith 2012). In a climate of various rural crises (fracking in the ‘desolate’ North of England and the contentious culling of badgers), this paper uses ethnography to study the operation of rural micro-politics and by doing so highlight the value of an ethnographic approach for sociology for understanding the local in the global.

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.

‘Safe Spaces’: Experiences of Feminist Women-Only Space

Ruth Lewis, Elizabeth Sharp, Jenni Remnant and Rhiannon Redpath
Sociological Research Online 20 (4) 9

Keywords: Feminism, Safety, Women, Space, Women-Only, Activism
Abstract: The gendered nature of safety has been explored empirically and theoretically as awareness has grown of the pervasive challenges to women’s safety. Notions of ‘safe space’ are frequently invoked in wider feminist environments (particularly, recently, in relation to debates about trans people’s access to women’s spaces), but are relatively neglected in academia. Indeed, despite a body of scholarship which looks at questions of gender, safety and space, relatively little attention has been paid to exploring the meaning of ‘safety’ for women and, particularly, the meaning and experience of spaces they consider to be ‘safe.’. Drawing on focus group data with 30 women who attended a two-day, women-only feminist gathering in the UK, this paper analyses experiences of what they describe as ‘safe space’ to explore the significance and meaning of ‘safety’ in their lives. Using their accounts, we distinguish between safe from and safe to, demonstrating that once women are safe from harassment, abuse and misogyny, they feel safe to be cognitively, intellectually and emotionally expressive. We argue that this sense of being ‘safe to’ denotes fundamental aspects of civic engagement, personhood and freedom.

Hipsters on Our High Streets: Consuming the Gentrification Frontier

Phil Hubbard
Sociological Research Online 21 (3) 1

Keywords: Gentrification, Urban Policy, Retail, Class Conflict, Hipsters
Abstract: Gentrification involves the displacement of working class populations, a phenomena most obviously manifest in the transformation of residential landscapes. But this is also palpable in the changes visible on many shopping streets, with locally-oriented stores serving poorer populations and ethnic minorities being replaced by ‘hipster’ stores such as ‘real coffee’ shops, vintage clothing stores and bars serving microbrews. These stores have been taken as a sign that the fortunes of struggling shopping streets are improving, with the new outlets often depicted as offering a better range of healthy, green and ‘authentic’ consumption choices than the shops they displace. However, this paper argues that we need to resist this form of retail change given it typically represents the first stage of a more thoroughgoing retail gentrification process, remaining suspicious of forms of hipster consumption which, while aesthetically ‘improving’ local shopping streets in deprived areas, actually encourage the colonisation of neighbourhoods by the more affluent.

Doing Audio-Visual Montage to Explore Time and Space: The Everyday Rhythms of Billingsgate Fish Market

Dawn Lyon
Sociological Research Online 21 (3) 12

Keywords: Atmosphere, Embodiment, Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis, Time-Lapse Photography, Work
Abstract: This article documents, shows and analyses the everyday rhythms of Billingsgate, London’s wholesale fish market. It takes the form of a short film based an audio-visual montage of time-lapse photography and sound recordings, and a textual account of the dimensions of market life revealed by this montage. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis, and the embodied experience of moving through and sensing the market, the film renders the elusive quality of the market and the work that takes place within it to make it happen. The composite of audio-visual recordings immerses viewers in the space and atmosphere of the market and allows us to perceive and analyse rhythms, patterns, flows, interactions, temporalities and interconnections of market work, themes that this article discusses. The film is thereby both a means of showing market life and an analytic tool for making sense of it. This article critically considers the documentation, evocation and analysis of time and space in this way.

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.

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.

'Just One?' Solo Dining, Gender and Temporal Belonging in Public Spaces

Kinneret Lahad and Vanessa May
Sociological Research Online 22 (2) 12

Keywords: Belonging, Participation Unit,, Solo Dining, Time, Time, Gendered Respectability
Abstract: In recent years, various lifestyle websites have offered tips on eating out alone as well as lists of the best restaurants for solo dining in major cities of the world. Utilising the theoretical concepts of participation units, territories of the self (Goffman, 1972[1971]) and belonging (Author B, 2011, 2013), this paper explores the challenges that spatio-temporal conventions pose for women solo diners in particular. Through the lens of solo dining, we explore being alone and belonging in shared public spaces, and the gendered nature of aloneness and respectability. The paper contributes to existing theory by examining the influence that time has on a woman solo diner’s ‘single’ participation unit, her ability to lay claim to public space and her relationship with the surrounding social environment. The paper concludes by exploring what the new trend of solo dining can offer and the consequences this has for how sociologists conceputalise sociality in public spaces.

The Experience of Zulu (Military) Time: An Examination of the Temporal Practices and Perceptions of UK Infantry

John Hockey
Sociological Research Online ()

Keywords: Ethnography, Military, Organizations, Time, Sociology, Workers
Abstract: Organizational time remains an under examined research area in terms of analysis which combines workers temporal perceptions, temporal embodiment and temporal inter-embodiment. These processes are portrayed using the case of the military organization and focus upon the temporal practices of UK infantry via ethnographic data obtained from participant observation.