Management at the college have taken the unprecedented action of de-recognising the union in the latest phase of a bitter dispute over the imposition of new contracts. Please take a moment to sign the online petition which calls on the… Read More ›
Archive for June 2010
Is feminism as a movement no longer indispensable? Is it redundant or too aggressive for contemporary society? In The Aftermath of Feminism Angela McRobbie argues that the contemporary social and cultural landscape (especially in the global North) could be called… Read More ›
One of the most curious features of the recent UK election was the ambiguous media treatment enjoyed by David Cameron’s class background. While the fact of his privilege was unassailable, with Cameron himself telling ITV that his was a “very… Read More ›
Academic publishing can often be a frustratingly slow affair – particularly for those attempting to engage with a social world which seems to change at an ever increasing rate. Therefore we are looking for contributions of polemics: shorter and sociologically informed commentaries… Read More ›
Universities Minister David Willetts at Oxford Brookes giving his first keynote speech on education to an audience of university vice-chancellors:
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Why do you care about your research? What is it that makes you want to spend your time exploring this area of the social world? What does it mean for you to gain understanding of these aspects of social life?… Read More ›
I’m sure I wasn’t the only person looking forward to Zygmunt Bauman’s reading of the financial crisis. I imagined that such an analysis might represent the culmination of his work on liquid modernity, decisively unpicking the antinomies which led the… Read More ›
Today is United for Education day and there’s a range of protests and events taking place across the country. Details can be found here. For those who can’t make it: sign the petition online here.
As a follow up to yesterday’s review:
At a time of historically unparalleled intellectual oversaturation it was surely inevitable that dissecting the financial crisis would become something of a cottage industry within academic publishing and highbrow journalism. What’s surprising is how long it has taken for a… Read More ›
Death of Educational Opportunities march on 21 June in Birmingham I am writing to give you advance notice that there is going to be a march taking place from Alpha Tower to Matthew Bolton campus of Birmingham Metropolitan College on 21… Read More ›
Charles Wright Mills’ body of work was substantial by any standards but for someone who died at the age of forty-five it was remarkable. The range and substance of Mills’ work is impressive but even more so is its originality,… Read More ›
It might come as a surprise that this is not actually a book about David Cameron. It does however shed more light upon the political and historical significance of the new Prime Minister than any book about the man himself ever could. As Richard Seymour puts it, “the real subjects of this book are the historical forces galvanising the Tory leadership … the deep structural transformations that have taken place in the UK in the generation since the zenith of Thatcherism”. The Meaning of David Cameron is a broad and compelling survey of the last 40 years of British history which emerges at a profoundly opportune moment: the neo-liberal project stands in crisis at the same time as the apotheosis of this project ascends to high office.
The relative brevity of this book is belied by its laudable scope. It is an ideology critique taking aim not just at ‘progressive conservatism’ but the broader language of modernization and meritocracy which prepared the discursive ground for this latest vacuous instantiation of such rhetoric. It is an economic and social history offering a potent and comprehensive account of the structural and cultural changes which facilitated the emergence of Thatcherism, New Labour and now Cameronism. It is a passionate rehabilitation of the conceptual categories of class and struggle at a time when such theoretical tools are less in fashion and more in need than ever before.
The Idea of a University will be exhibited at Mead Gallery in the Warwick Arts Centre at Warwick University, 24-26 June as part of Fierce! Festival’s Interrobang: Regeneration (see here). The Idea of a University maps the spatial and historical… Read More ›
A new coalition government pledges an unparalleled age of fiscal austerity and a new universities minister promises radical ‘reform’ of higher education: what does the future hold for the British university in an age of fiscal austerity? What is this… Read More ›
For the last month and a half staff and students in the Middlesex Philosophy department have been waging a campaign against its closure. As a hugely successful department, its mandated closure by the university’s administration (background here) placed those involved… Read More ›
Review of ‘Practising Public Scholarship: Experiences and Possibilities Beyond the Academy’ Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Wiley-Blackwell. 2008
Post-PhD, my career as a sociologist has not been a conventional one. I’ve done much of what sociologists do on a daily basis: I’ve taught in universities, conducted research projects, published scholarly articles and books, applied (sometimes successful for grants),… Read More ›