Social research for social justice : Alva and Gunnar Myrdal and Viola Klein and the history of social science researchStina Lyon, E. January 2011 (has links)
This thesis addresses questions about the tension in the history of sociology between academic self-description and the practical actuality of ‘doing sociology’ in traditionally broader social and political contexts. In focusing on the work and careers of three socially committed sociological researchers: Gunnar and Alva Myrdal and Viola Klein, it aims to show that activities in the margin of a discipline in themselves constitute an important field of inquiry illustrating the inherent dilemmas and tensions of the discipline: between science and values, theory and practice, the ideological and the pragmatic, the public and the domestic, the institutionalised and the free-lance, and finally between different kinds of values in relationship to the ‘social’. One of the main arguments of the thesis is that the explicit egalitarian and democratic value orientation of the Myrdals and Klein became both the source of their fame and the curse that left them, and the topics to which they theoretically and empirically addressed themselves, marginalised in the discipline. The ten published papers that form the main part of the thesis were written over a period of ten years each with its own particular research focus, but all within the overall aim of contributing to a broader and more contextual and international history of sociological activities. Several papers address the social context of the work and intellectual careers of the Myrdals and Klein as individual contributors to the discipline. Three papers have a special focus on mutual correspondence and collaboration as a source of information about the learning trajectory of individuals, but also about the development of the discipline and its many dilemmas, contradictions and shifting boundaries. A further two papers raise more general questions about the errors and pitfalls in writing intellectual biography and about the changing social and political context of being a public intellectual.
This thesis concerns the entry of black women into local authority social service departments as qualified social workers in the 1980s. It argues that this entry needs to be understood in the context of a moment of racial formation and social regulation in which specific black populations were managed through a regime of governmentality in which 'new black subjects' were formed. These 'new black subjects' were constituted as 'ethnic-minorities' out of an earlier form of being as 'immigrants'. Central to this process of reconstitution was a discourse of black family forms as pathological and yet governable through the intervention of state agencies. As such, social work as a specific form of state organised intervention, articulated to a discourse of 'race' and black family formations. This articulation suggested that the management of those black families who could be defined as pathological or 'in need required a specific 'ethnic' knowledge and in this way a space for the entry of black women into qualified social work was created. This process also intersected with a time of riotous rebellion in many inner city areas and a moment of municipal socialism in which demands on the part of social movements for social reparation for inequality had been incorporated into the manifestos of political parties. This made it incumbent on such authorities to promote equality of employment opportunity within their departments. Whilst the discourses of 'race'/ethnicity and equal opportunities provided the impetus for the employment of black women as qualified social workers the understanding and experience of this employment was mediated through a sense of organisational and managerial exclusion. Thus the thesis ends with a consideration of the accounts of numerous black women social workers and their multi-racial, female and male managers.
Statham, June A.
Despite a growth of research documenting attempts to counteract sex role stereotypes in the school and work environments and in the media, little is known about non-traditional sex role-socialisation within the home. This study explored the aims, philosophy and reported practice of thirty white, middle-class parents committed to non-sexist childrearing, who between them had eighteen daughters and twelve sons aged six months to eleven years. Data was collected through semi-structured interviewing, mostly carried out in 1979 and 1980, and four case-study' families were visited over a three-year period. The main finding was that the conception of non-sexist child-rearing held by these parents was more complex than the social learning position originally stressed by the Women's Liberation Movement, with its emphasis on controlling the child's environment in terms of toys, clothes, books, parental models and reinforcement patterns. The parents in this study also took account of the child's active participation in the socialisation process, of psychological factors within themselves and the dynamics of their relationship with their children, and of the role of economic and structural factors in limiting the possibilities for sex role change. They adopted an androgynous conception of sex roles and saw themselves as opening up more options for their children rather than as trying to reverse traditional sex roles or to make both sexes more masculine or more feminine. Non-sexist childrearing was perceived to be more difficult with sons than daughters, and most parents expressed greater ambivalence about raising sons in a less sex-stereotyped way. The emphasis in non-sexist childrearing was on altering the socialisation of daughters, and the impetus for sex role change came from women
The disproportionate rate of adverse police-black encounters, instances of unfair and unequal treatment by the police, in addition to the over-representation of black people in the total and remand prison population raises questions about the nature and extent of discrimination and racism in the criminal justice system. Reasons for the apparent differential treatment of black people in the criminal justice process remain contested. Much research on 'race' and criminal justice issues has produced contradictory findings and attempts to isolate a 'race' effect in criminal justice decision-making has been difficult. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, this thesis explores issues of 'race', racism and criminal justice focusing on bail and remand. From a statistical analysis of data from a bail survey at two north London magistrates' courts, it is argued that black males are remanded in custody at a higher rate than their white counterparts and overrepresented among those remanded in custody when compared to their proportion in the general population. Overall, even when significant factors such as seriousness of offence and age are taken into account, unexplained racial differences in bail decision-making remain. An analysis of qualitative data from black defendants and criminal justice practitioners supports the proposition that discrimination operates within the bail system and extends this argument to other stages of the criminal justice process. This thesis also examines how issues of racism and criminal justice have been 'explained' theoretically. From a critical examination of key theoretical positions of neoconservatism, critical criminology and left realism, it is argued that criminological theorising may never be able to fully 'explain' issues of racial discrimination. It is further argued that notwithstanding the important insights to the debate put forward by critical criminology, it still does not go far enough in such 'explanations', while neo-conservatism and left realism paint a distorted picture. Drawing on several existing themes from critical criminology, the notion of 'virtual criminality' is suggested as a way forward.
Humphrey, Judith Ann
The thesis uses a synthesis of feminist and literary theory to analyse the way in which girls' school-stories challenge and subvert traditional societal constructs and provide images of liberation for girls and women. The literary implications of a woman-centred universe are addressed in a study of plot and character. The texts provide a challenge to traditional literary representations of passive femininity, replacing them with images of active girls and women. There is tension between the domestic discourse and the discourse of adventure, but this is overcome by stress on character. The use of an interrogative subject position and of multiple and morally complex focalisers ensures that the identifying reader can maintain a position as subject within the text without being subjected to its ideology. The liberating images of the books are seen in education, games, religion and friendship. Girls were educated either to serve or to please men; the intellectual woman was an affront to the natural order as decreed by medicine and theology. School-stories challenge this by presenting for identification girls who find study exciting and fulfilling and professional women who have chosen a life connected with learning. Games for girls fundamentally questioned the construct of frail femininity shored up by medical theories of finite energy, by Darwinism and by the eugenics movement. Religion was an significant part of life, and the texts provide a rigorous analysis of faith. The role of the Headmistress, simultaneously omnipotent and strongly maternal, subverts the traditional image of woman and of God. Women have been defined socially by their relations to men and have been seen as incomplete without them. Close friendship for women was defined as diseased and problematic by the sexologists working at the beginning of the century. These relationships are reclaimed in school-stories in terms of deep, abiding love.
Humans are unique in the extent and complexity of their cultures. As a species, we generate extensive knowledge and innumerable norms, attitudes, traditions, skills, beliefs and technologies that we share with those around us through teaching, imitation and language. These cultural practices have their roots in our uniquely potent ability for social learning. This thesis sets out to elucidate the process of cultural evolution using a series of mathematical and computational models. These models first investigate the evolution of the capacity for social learning, the rare ability to teach, and the evolution of the smart and strategic use of social learning, in the animal lineage. They go on to investigate the implications of these strategies and mechanisms for culture and find that the form human culture takes is dependant on the amount and nature of social learning as well as on the underlying learning strategies deployed. The thesis also investigates the effect that culture has had on the human evolutionary niche. Cultural practices fundamentally change the selection pressures to which humans are subject and these in turn change both our cultures and our genes through gene-culture coevolution. Finally, a demographic cultural niche construction model is presented, which investigates the application of cultural evolution modelling, cultural niche construction theory and demographic models to the growing problem of sex-ratio imbalance in modern China and considers the implications for policy-making. The analyses presented in this thesis support the argument that the uniquely potent human ability to transmit acquired information through teaching, imitation and other forms of social learning, and through this to shape our cultural and ecological environments, has played and continues to play a central role in human evolution.
The origins of post war British sociology. 1850-1950 : a study in the struggle for intellectual hegemony : social scientists as the "absent centre"Cox, Leonard Christopher January 1993 (has links)
No description available.
Domestic violence is recognised as an area that requires more detailed research, particularly on the general population. Indeed the lack of authoritative statistics on the extent of domestic violence is considered to restrict the development of preventative or remedial action to alleviate the problem. This thesis is concerned, therefore, with the development of a methodology in order to generate data on the incidence and prevalence of domestic violence, the relationship of this to current theory and the implications for policy. The main research component involved a victimisation survey adapted to deal with the specific problems of researching domestic violence. It utilized sensitive interviewing techniques, carefully worded questionnaires, a self-complete questionnaire (the 'piggy-back' method) and vignettes detailing 'conflict' situations which could lead to violence. 571 women and 429 men were interviewed which makes it the largest survey on domestic violence to be conducted in Great Britain. A qualitative component was additionally incorporated into the methodology in order to fully explore the experience of domestic violence. The primary focus of the research was on women's experiences of violence from husbands and boyfriends, including ex-partners, although additional information was collected on other forms domestic of and non-domestic violence against both men and women. The project investigated the extent of domestic violence; its variation by subgroup; the nature, context and impact of the violence; definitions; levels and patterns of reporting to the various agencies and satisfaction with the response; the relationship of domestic to stranger violence; the location of domestic violence and non-domestic violence and the gendered distribution of violence. The examination of so many areas could not have been achieved without the use of a multiplicity of methods. This thesis, however, deals not only with the development of methodology and the subsequent findings arising from the research project. It also analyses four major criminological theories (classicism, including the new administrative criminology; positivism; feminism and left realism) in relation to domestic violence. It delineates the main principles of each theory, details how it attempts to explain, research and tackle domestic violence and identifies both strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, the empirical data generated by the research project enables the testing of hypotheses derived from the theoretical literature about the nature of violence, particularly with respect to its social and spatial patterning. On examination, the approaches of radical feminism and left realism are singled out as having the greatest purchase on the Phenomenon and a synthesis of these positions is demarcated: a feminist realism within criminology. Finally, both the research findings and theoretical discussion inform the policy recommendations. Both long-term and short-term initiatives are considered and an emphasis is placed on development of policy that is both multiagency and woman-centred.
Discourses on women and shoplifting : a critical analysis of why female crime mythologies past and present operate to legitimate the incompatibility between female gender roles and the idea of women as active agents of crimeGamman, Lorraine January 1999 (has links)
This thesis looks at what has been said and what can be said about women and shoplifting. The first section introduces and discusses oral history as a method and includes original oral history material through the testimony of Shirley Pitts, who lived in London between 1934-1992 and who earned her living as a professional thief. The purpose of this oral history material, and discussion of the oral history method, is not to introduce a 'hidden' or 'subjugated' truth about the 'essential' nature of women and shoplifting into the debate. Instead, using a methodology associated with Michel Foucault's I Pierre Riviere [FOUCAULT, M., I Pierre Riviere. Having Slaughtered My Mother. My Sister. and My Brother: Case of Patricide in the 19 Century] this oral history material is discussed in order to understand what insights 'unofficial' discourses can offer about women and shoplifting. This approach attempts to ensure 'through the re-appearance of this ... disqualified knowledge that criticism performs its work'. [FOUCAULT, M., Politics. Philosophy. Culture: Interviews and Other Writing] The second section takes up discussion raised in response to the oral transcript of Shirley Pitts about wider issues concerning women, shopping, consumerism and identity. It investigates why official knowledge about women and shopping as well as women and shoplifting has often operated to conceal the idea of women as active agents of crime. The source material for this section of the investigation is intentionally diverse and examines a number of discourses - including those that are historical, sociological, psychological, psychoanalytic, criminological, consumerist, anthropological and media led etc. - in order to reveal an incompatibility between narratives of 'femininity' and 'criminality' in both historical and contemporary discourse. It is during these discussions that theoretical ideas about discourse, associated with Michel Foucault, are further mobilised to draw attention to silences, contradictions and other problems of information about shoplifting. Consequently, the critical focus herein leads towards consideration of why female crime mythologies, originally linked to an inappropriate model of human nature, construct women as sad, mad or bad. Such mythologies have been reiterated in many diverse ways so that even contemporary criminal statistics are not always helpful when trying to refute inappropriate mythologising of the activities of women who shoplift. Lastly, it is the intention of this thesis to use critical investigations of different types of discourse to consider not only women's relationship to shoplifting, but the relationship of theft to what Guy Debord describes as 'the society of spectacle' [DEBORD, GUY, Society of the Spectacle]. This is because overall, the thesis argues that issues about consumer tactics and visual seduction connect the behaviour of women shoppers and women shoplifters in ways that have been overlooked by official discourses.
Settler colonies arose out of a form of European colonialism where a white collectivity was installed permanently on territory formerly occupied by non-European 'indigenous' peoples. In British colonies where white settlers formed the majority population - the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - the political, economic and cultural infrastructure has historically privileged whites over 'indigenous' groups. -In recent years territorial appropriations, which formed the basis of national wealth in these places, have been the focus of struggles for self-determination by 'first peoples'. This thesis focuses on the colonisation of New Zealand to show that although there were commonalities between white settler colonies, generally the historic specificity of nation building in each place, together with the way in which racial hierarchies were interpreted by colonialists, meant that national formations developed differently. New Zealand was the last of the 'dominions' to be settled and it became a commonplace that this was the most successful British colony in terms of racial harmony, largely because of a treaty made with the Maori. However recent reinterpretations of the nation's history have shown that while this treaty has functioned as a symbol of nationhood, notions of 'civility' which were brought to bear on the Maori people meant the terms of the treaty were never honoured. The thesis examines, through analyses of a variety of cultural artefacts, - from nineteenth century travel writing to contemporary cultural forms - films, television and museums -, the way 'civilising discourses' underpinned a matrix of ethnic, gendered and class-based differences which legitimated the privilege of the settler majority. In recent years reinterpretations of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the severing of ties with Britain, have led to new forms of nationhood constructed around the 'indigenisation' of the 'treaty partners' - Maori and Pakeha. Drawing on Cultural Studies approaches to representation and ethnicity, the thesis addresses issues which arise specifically from the way in which these shifts have challenged the hegemony of 'whiteness' in the colonial context.
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