In this podcast I talk to Nick Crossley about his recent book Towards Relational Sociology. The interview covers relational sociology, interdisciplinary approaches to social theory, the future of social theory and the contested status of quantitative methods.
In this podcast Simon Williams talks about his new book the Politics of Sleep. While sleep is often taken to be a entirely private and natural part of human life, in recent years it has been the subject of a rich vein of interdisciplinary research.
As well as exploring the political dimensions to contemporary discourses and practices of sleep, the interview addresses some of the broader questions which sleep raises, situating these issues in terms of theories of modernity and human nature.
In this podcast Stephen Turner, plenary speaker for the theory stream at this year’s BSA conference, talks about his new book Explaining the Normative. The discussion explores changing theories of normativity and the different meanings they hold for philosophy and social science.
Apologies for the poor sound quality of the recording. We had trouble finding a venue for the interview so it was conducted in a bar.
In this podcast Dave Elder-Vass talks about his new book The Causal Power of Social Structures. The interview covers a wide range of topics within social theory: emergence, causality, agency, social structure and normativity.
Along with Stephen Turner’s recent book on normativity, this will be the topic for Theory stream plenary session at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in April.
In this podcast Catherine Coveney uses the case study of Modafinil (a revolutionary ‘wakefulness’ drug reportedly subject to increasingly widespread use amongst students, academics, professionals and shiftworkers) to explore the status and practice of cognitive enhancement within contemporary society.
A round table session from Discourses of Dissent investigating how academic research, with a particular focus on social theory, might help us articulate and work towards a positive vision of shared futures which escape the discursive constraints which have defined the public life of the UK since the 1980s.
The session will also explore the practical resolution of the tensions facing the university system. What are the most pressing issues faced by universities? Is a satisfactory resolution of these tensions possible without radical reform? Is there a need to move beyond critique?
Steve Fuller, University of Warwick – What are we defending when we defend public universities?
Dan Hind – Media Reform and the Public University
John Holmwood, University of Nottingham – The idea of the public
In this podcast Mark Carrigan (a researcher focused on asexuality) and Michael Dore (an asexual mathematician) lead an introductory workshop about asexuality. For more information about asexuality visit http://www.asexuality.org, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network.
A couple of articles about asexuality which have featured on Sociological Imagination:
The Campaign for Social Science was launched in January this year by the Academy of Social Sciences. It aims to raise the profile of social science with the public, media and parliament at a time of great crisis and uncertainty. In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to Stephen Anderson (executive director of the campaign) and Professor A D H Cook (former Pro-vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield) about the campaign, the context within which it has emerged and the issues it seeks to confront. The interview covers a wide range of topics including the status of social science vis-a-vis natural science, public misunderstanding of it and the need for public engagement, as well as popularisation, in order to increase its visibility in wider society. Find the Campaign online through its website or twitter feed.
In this podcast Mark Carrigan talk to Kate Arnold, a 1st year student in Sociology at the University of Warwick, about Left Overs, a project setup by undergraduates across a range of departments which is trying to break down the boundaries between speaker and audience, between organisers and attendees, so as to create a new space for intellectual dailogue and discussion outside of the pressures and pitfalls of formal institutional structures. As well as being fascinating and worthwhile in its own right, projects like this represent an opportunity for academics to practice public engagement within the university.
In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to Hilary Pilkington, who has conducted two research projects on drug use in Russia, about researching drugs cultures.
The interview encompasses the findings of the research in Russia, as well as wider theoretical and methodological issues which drugs cultures pose for social researchers.