Tagged / sociology

BU Sociology article in The Conversation

Congratulations to Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim Senior Lecturer in Sociology at BU who has just written an interesting piece on human rights issues faced by North Korean female defectors in China in The Conversation. You can access this article by clicking here!


Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



Dr. Masi Fathi appointed to the board of Sociological Research Online

SROCongratulations to Dr. Mastoureh (Masi) Fathi, FHSS Lecturer in Sociology, who has been appointed to the editorial board of Sociological Research Online.  Sociological Research Online is a peer-reviewed online sociology journal looking at current social issues, and it is in its twenty-second year.

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Hello from Sam Porter, Professor of Nursing Sociology and Head of Department of Social Sciences and Social Work

sam-porterHaving been at BU for three months, I thought I should introduce myself to the research community in the University and take this opportunity to tell you about some of my research interests so that anyone ploughing similar furrows can get in touch with a view to future collaboration.
Dual trained in sociology and nursing (a fact reflected in my neologistic job title), my interests span social sciences and health. Coming from a School of Nursing and Midwifery, a lot of the work I am bringing with me to BU tends towards the clinical end of the spectrum, but I am really excited by the prospect of being able to re-engage a lot more deeply in the social scientific aspects of health and care.

In terms of substantive topics, my main focus is on palliative care (for example, I have been doing a lot of work around support for patients and loved ones dealing with cancer cachexia or wasting). I also do work on supportive care for cancer patients and survivors (a current example of the kind of thing I am involved in here is a qualitative study using Habermasian critical theory to examine patients’ experiences of care while taking oral chemotherapy, and how those experiences affect medication concordance).
In addition, I am interested in arts-based therapies (I recently led a randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of music therapy for young people with behavioural and emotional problems). The subject population of this trial is indicative of the eclecticism of my interests, which include maternal and child care. Another example of this interest is the work I’m doing with colleagues in Brazil and the UK seeking social media solutions to Brazilian women’s health problems in the first year after giving birth.
Bringing together arts-based therapy and palliative care, I am currently involved in a feasibility study looking at whether music therapy is effective in reducing anxiety in hospice patients who are reaching the end of their lives (or more precisely, looking at whether a full RCT would be effective in evaluating whether music therapy is effective).

As a person trained initially in qualitative research who drifted into the dark realms of trialling, I am aware of the strengths and weaknesses of these differing approaches. I am also deeply interested in how they can be used in combination. I do a lot of methodological work grounded in critical realism, which aims to develop and encourage novel approaches to evaluation research that are capable of robust measurement of outcomes, comprehensive analysis of processes, and critical evaluation of human consequences.

I think that’s probably enough exposure of my chronically dilettantist approach to knowledge acquisition, so I’ll end by saying that if any of this interests you, it would be great to have a conversation.
Best wishes, Sam

New sociology book by Prof Ann Brooks

Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacies, and Desire: Theories of Changes in Emotional Regimes from Medieval Society to Late Modernity (Hardback) book cover

Congratulations to Prof. Ann Brooks in FHSS on the publication of her latest book Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacies and Desire: Theories of Changes in Emotional Regimes from Medieval Society to Late Modernity. The book has a Foreword by David Konstan (NYU) and it is published by Routledge. 


FHSS seminar Prof McKie

linda-mckie-2016Prof. Linda McKie who is professor of Sociology at Durham University gave an excellent paper today in FHSS on Revitalising Spatial and Temporal Frameworks in the Analysis of Unpaid Care and Paid Work.  Her paper highlighted that published data have documented the persistence of the gender pay gap for all women with evidence of a deepening gap following maternity leave. These data generated numerous analyses on segregation and discrimination in education and working life and the many ways in which unpaid care for children, family members and elders remains a dominant factor in everyday gendered inequalities. Often little comment was made on women’s crucial role in reproducing generations many of whom will fund future pensions and services through their taxation. These intergenerational reciprocities are generally ignored in favour of the immediate time considerations for employers, workers and families with the need to generate profit, or income and resources for household or business survival.

In her seminar Prof. McKie revisited the analytical frameworks of ‘caringscapes’ and ‘carescapes’. In earlier work, it was asserted that both offer analytical potential to enhance analyses of the temporal and spatial dynamics of caring and working over the lifecourse in different places. Caring, critical to human flourishing and evident in many aspects of women’s lives, is captured in ‘caringscapes’. The framework of ‘carescapes’ explores the relationship between policies and services as determined by employers, the state and capital. Both frameworks are informed by feminist theorising and spatial and temporal perspectives on identifying and analysing how women perceive, engage with, and reflect on, the demands and pleasures of combining informal caring and paid work. ref-world

Yesterday Prof. McKie led a well-attended workshop for FHSS staff on preparing for the REF.  She offered insight into various REF processes as well advise on strategic planning and the importance of networking.   Prof. McKie has been a sub-panel member of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF) Sub-panel 23: Sociology for the period 2010-2014.


Prof.  Edwin van Teijlingen


Five Minutes with Ulrich Herb on Open Science: “Open Science must be adapted to disciplinary specificities”

sociologyYesterday the Research Blog featured a post on open science, what it entails and how it is different to open access. In a recent interview conducted by OpenAire, open science veteran Ulrich Herb shares the main findings of his research on the extent of open research practices in the discipline of sociology, as well as his wider thoughts on the history and future of the Open Science movement. This interview originally appeared on the OpenAIRE portal here.


Ulrich_HerbWhat do you understand by the term “Open Science”? Is it a cohesive phenomenon?

Open Science, as I understand it, is the area of Open Knowledge that deals with scientific information. Open Knowledge, in turn, is knowledge that can be used, edited and distributed according to Open Source principles. The ideal of Open Science is to make all objects involved in the research cycle openly accessible in this sense.
Open Science, as generally understood, is mainly about the objects or items of scientific work, such as text, data and software, but also includes “Open Review” (of text, data and possibly code), as well as “Open Metrics” as scientific para-information. Review and metrics are crucial since they often don’t merely report on the impact of science but can actively steer it as scientists often strongly orient their actions towards such evaluative criteria. In Open Review and Open Metrics the focus is less on OA to research products per se, but on transparency in the evaluation and assessment of scientific work. However, ideally reviews and the raw data that underlies metrics should also be made openly accessible.


openscienceYou studied the state of play of Open Science in Sociology. What were your main findings?

OA to journal articles is well established in Sociology. This is especially true for the German-speaking world, where it is strongly promoted by journals that often allow the published versions of articles to be made available in Green OA at the end of an embargo period or even make them Open Access themselves. In addition, Closed Access journals usually have liberal OA policies as regards Green OA. Gold OA journals in Sociology very rarely charge APCs; where they do so, charges are low. On the other hand, OA to book publications is very weak in Sociology. I attribute this to a lack of professional brand building among OA book publishers. OA books will likely become more standard as established publishers develop OA options or a disciplinarily-accepted publisher develops organically from the sociological community.
OA to research data and research software is almost non-existent in Sociology, in both the German-speaking countries and the rest of the world. There is a dearth of disciplinary training, as well as a lack of positioning by the community, for example occurs through the issuing of statements as commonly occurs in other subjects.
However, incentives to move towards data-sharing that exist in other disciplines are unlikely to be effective in Sociology. Data citations are not widespread in Sociology, probably as a result, firstly, of less emphasis in general on citations as a measure of impact than in STM subjects, and secondly because domains like theoretical Sociology do not produce data at all. Sociologists, more than natural scientists, seem still to consider data to be intellectual property and fear loss of control and misuse in regards to making data OA. Finally, Open Review and Open Metrics are very rare in Sociology.


What results where most surprising for you?

I was positively surprised by the prevalence of OA to literature in Sociology. However, I was disappointed to find such limited use of Open Review. Peer review is thought more problematic in Sociology than in STM subjects. This can be attributed to a few factors. To give just one example, Sociology is less concerned with what Schimank und Volkmann term “puzzle-solving”, so much as with discussion of fundamental principles. In addition, Sociology sometimes deals with ideologically charged issues that imply deep ethical/moral disputes. But since its review practice is problematic, Sociology could especially benefit from the transparency of the Open Review, because this allows checks to be placed on the objectivity of assessment.

The rarity of OA to data and software was surprising in a negative sense as well. Social science data is especially well-suited for secondary analysis. Open Data also has an ethical dimension: for example, the re-use of qualitative data derived from surveys with victims of abuse, would free such people from multiple requests for information regarding these events. And considering Sociology’s widespread use of the open-source statistics framework R, including its open repository infrastructure, mean that the scarcity of OA to research software in Sociology is disappointing. In sum, Sociology could benefit greatly from all the areas of Open Science, yet has yet to take up this potential.


open science principlesHow does Sociology most differ from other fields as regards the uptake of Open Science?

Besides the prevalence of OA to literature, the most striking difference is the level of hesitancy to Open Science that exists among sociologists, despite the potential benefits I just described and the good infrastructural conditions, for example, provided for Germany by GESIS or the R-environments. I think this can, however, be partly explained by the inherent characteristics of the discipline. There are, for example, important sub-disciplines like theoretical sociology which deal with scientific reflection upon the discipline itself and hence do not produce any data or software itself. Another particularity is the privacy issue: Sociology frequently uses very sensitive data whose non-anonymized disclosure is of course impossible, but which are worthless in an anonymized form.


Where do you see Science Open in five years? What are the main challenges to come?

Fueled by increasingly stringent funder policies and mandates, OA to sscientific objects like text, data and software will continue to increase. This will also be true for books, albeit to a lesser extent than for journal articles. As for Open Review, I am more skeptical. Although I myself like the idea, I don’t think open peer review will establish itself in Sociology. In metrics, I would like to see a proliferation of metrics whose data and parameters are openly visible and re-usable and can be read via open APIs. However, I rather suspect that commercial actors such as Elsevier and Thomson Scientific for citation or MacMillan as a provider of Altmetric or Ebsco as a provider of PLUM will prevail. It is to be assumed that those providers won’t open up their data. I hope that Sociology takes up Open Science to most fully realize its potential, albeit with the caveat that Open Science must be adapted to the aforementioned disciplinary specificities.

Successful ESRC Festival of Social Sciences in EBC today

Slide1Slide2This afternoon Prof. Jonathan Parker introduced the final of three session in the Executive Business Centre under the title ‘Enhancing social life through global social research: Part 3. Social science research in diverse communities’.  This session was well attended and coveredwas a wide-range of interesting social science research topics.

Professor of Sociology Ann Brooks started off the session with her presentation on ‘Emotional labour and social change.’   She was followed by Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen who gave an overview of research in Nepal.  FHSS PhD student Andy Harding introduced his thesis research into ‘Information provision and housing choices for older people.’  At this point Prof. Brooks gave her second talk on ‘Risk and the crisis of authenticity in cities’. Social Anthropologist Dr. Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers spoke about her research on ‘Reconciliation and engaged ethnography in the Balkans.’  Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim highlighted her study on ‘North Korean defectors in the UK’ and the session was completed by Dr. Mastoureh Fathi who presented her analysis of parenting books for Muslim parents in the UK.

ESRC banner (2)

This was the last day of the ESRC Festival of Social Science at which Bournemouth University was extremely well presented!


Thank you to my colleagues for organising this and the ESRC for funding the events!


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

(medical sociologist)

Congratulations to Prof. Brooks

BU Professor Ann Brooks has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).

  Ann Brooks

Ann Brooks is Professor of Sociology at Bournemouth University since January 2015. Ann has held senior positions in universities in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand and has held visiting fellowships and scholarships in Singapore and the USA. She was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Health and Community at Plymouth University in 2014 and was previously a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of Academic Women (Open University Press, 1997); Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms (Routledge, 1997); Gender and the Restructured University (Open University Press, 2001); Gendered Work in Asian Cities: The New Economy and Changing Labour Markets (Ashgate, 2006); Social Theory in Contemporary Asia (Routledge, 2010); Gender, Emotions and Labour Markets: Asian and Western Perspectives (Routledge, 2011) and Emotions in Transmigration: Transformation, Movement and Identity (Palgrave 2012) (with Ruth Simpson). Recent books include: Consumption, Cities and States: Comparing Singapore with Cities in Asia and the West (Anthem Press, 2014) (with Lionel Wee); Popular Culture, Global Intercultural Perspectives (Palgrave, 2014); and Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (Routledge, New York, 2014) (edited with David Lemmings). Her latest book is: Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacies and Desire: Theories of Changes in Emotional Regimes from Medieval Society to Late Modernity (2016 Routledge, New York).

Further information on this year’s new Fellows can be found here!



Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen