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British Journal of Sociology

Harland Prechel, Lu Zheng
The 2008 financial crisis was a systemic problem with deep-rooted structural causes that created opportunities to engage in financial malfeasance, a form of corporate wrongdoing. However, few quantitative studies exist on the effects of organizational and political-legal arrangements on financial malfeasance. In this paper, we examine the effects of organizational and political-legal arrangements that emerged in the 1990s in the FIRE sector (i.e., financial, insurance, and real estate) on financial malfeasance...
October 18, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Peter Thijssen
In this article a new theoretical framework is applied to a research field that is somewhat fragmented, namely that of intergenerational solidarity in ageing welfare states. Inspired by utilitarian considerations many scholars tend to problematize the lack of reciprocity characterizing intergenerational exchanges. As some generations are longer old and more numerous they may receive excessive state-administered support of the younger generations, especially in a democratic setting. However, in reality there is limited empirical evidence of intergenerational conflict and theoretical explanations of this paradox are rare...
September 28, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Steve Bruce
At the start of the twentieth century the religious differed from the religiously indifferent largely in being religious. Now they differ in a number of other social and demographic characteristics that reduce interaction between the two populations further than simple numbers would require. That some of the main carriers of religion are immigrants or adherents of recently imported faiths reinforces the sense that religion is what other people do. In the context of the stock of religious knowledge being depleted and religion-taken-too-seriously being unpopular, the narrow demographic base of the religious makes conversion unlikely and thus makes the reversal of secularization unlikely...
September 22, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Mariya Stoilova, Sasha Roseneil, Julia Carter, Simon Duncan, Miranda Phillips
This article explores how people who live apart from their partners in Britain describe and understand 'family'. It investigates whether, and how far, non-cohabiting partners, friends, 'blood' and legal ties are seen as 'family', and how practices of care and support, and feelings of closeness are related to these constructions. It suggests that people in LAT relationships creatively draw and re-draw the boundaries of family belonging in ways that involve emotionally subjective understandings of family life, and that also refer to normative constructions of what 'family' ought to be, as well as to practical recognitions of lived family 'realities'...
September 19, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Tracey Sagar, Debbie Jones, Katrien Symons, Jacky Tyrie, Ron Roberts
The Student Sex Work Project was set up in 2012 in the United Kingdom (UK) to locate students who are involved in the sex industry, to discover their motivations and needs, and in doing so provide an evidence base to consider the development of policy and practice within Higher Education. As part of this initiative, a large survey was undertaken comprising students from throughout the UK. Reporting on the findings from this survey, the article sheds some light on what occupations students take up in the sex industry, what motivates their participation and how they experience the work...
September 19, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Lisa Smyth
This paper considers the value of a normative account of the relationship between agents and institutions for contemporary efforts to explain ever more complex and disorganized forms of social life. The character of social institutions, as they relate to practices, agents and norms, is explored through an engagement with the common claim that family life has been de-institutionalized. The paper argues that a normative rather than empirical definition of institutions avoids a false distinction between institutions and practices...
September 14, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme
In recent years, there has been a growing argument that the end product of secularization may not be a disappearance of all things religious, but rather a polarization between a larger secular group in society and smaller religiously fervent and active communities. Yet, there has been little empirical testing of this theory in contexts of advanced secularization. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap by studying individual belief and religiosity trends over the past four decades in Great Britain, searching specifically for evidence of the population splitting more and more between religious 'nones' removed from all forms of religion, and actively religious individuals characterized by strong beliefs and favourable to the public involvement of religion...
August 8, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Paul Hodkinson, Jon Garland
This paper examines the significance of experiences and understandings of targeted harassment to the identities of youth subcultural participants, through case study research on goths. It does so against a context of considerable recent public discussion about the victimization of alternative subcultures and a surprising scarcity of academic research on the subject. The analysis presented indicates that, although individual direct experiences are diverse, the spectre of harassment can form an ever-present accompaniment to subcultural life, even for those who have never been seriously targeted...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Arpad Szakolczai
This article aims at exploring a long-term historical perspective on which contemporary globalization can be more meaningfully situated. A central problem with established approaches to globalization is that they are even more presentist than the literature on modernization was. Presentism not only means the ignoring of history, but also the unreflective application to history of concepts taken from the study of the modern world. In contrast, it is argued that contemporary globalization is not a unique development, but rather is a concrete case of a historical type...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Gareth Millington
This paper explores the empirical, conceptual and theoretical gains that can be made using cosmopolitan social theory to think through the urban transformations that scholars have in recent years termed planetary urbanization. Recognizing the global spread of urbanization makes the need for a cosmopolitan urban sociology more pressing than ever. Here, it is suggested that critical urban sociology can be invigorated by focusing upon the disconnect that Henri Lefebvre posits between the planetarization of the urban - which he views as economically and technologically driven - and his dis-alienated notion of a global urban society...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Liene Ozoliņa-Fitzgerald
This article presents an ethnographic study of politics of waiting in a post-Soviet context. While activation has been explored in sociological and anthropological literature as a neo-liberal governmental technology and its application in post-socialist context has also been compellingly documented, waiting as a political artefact has only recently been receiving increased scholarly attention. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork at a state-run unemployment office in Riga, this article shows how, alongside activation, state welfare policies also produce passivity and waiting...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Sean Hier
This article compares two analytical frameworks ostensibly formulated to widen the focus of moral panic studies. The comparative analysis suggests that attempts to conceptualize moral panics in terms of decivilizing processes have neither substantively supplemented the explanatory gains made by conceptualizing moral panic as a form of moral regulation nor provided a viable alternative framework that better explains the dynamics of contemporary moral panics. The article concludes that Elias's meta-theory of the civilizing process potentially provides explanatory resources to investigate a possible historical-structural shift towards the so-called age of (a)moral panic; the analytical demands of such a project, however, require a sufficiently different line of inquiry than the one encouraged by both the regulatory and decivilizing perspectives on moral panic...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Francesco C Billari, Aart C Liefbroer
Despite cohabitation becoming increasingly equivalent to marriage in some of the most 'advanced' Western European societies, the vast majority of people still marry. Why so? Existing theories, mostly based on various approaches tied to cognitive decision-making, do not provide a sufficient explanation of the persistence of marriage. In this article, we argue that feelings attached to marriage, i.e. the affective evaluation of those involved in a partner relationship concerning marriage as opposed to cohabitation, explain the persistent importance of marriage as an institution...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Bjørn Schiermer
This paper defends the concept of 'fetishism' as an explanatory parameter in sociological theorizing on Durkheimian grounds, while at the same time paying due attention to important insights regarding the role of objects in social life, originating from Actor-Network Theory (ANT). It critically assesses the current critique of the concept of fetishism propagated by ANT protagonist Bruno Latour. Latour and suggests a compromise between these two 'schools'. First, to place the paper firmly in context, I analyse some examples of modern fetishism and outline the themes of the ensuing discussion...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Daphne Habibis, Nicholas Hookway, Anthea Vreugdenhil
A new sociological agenda is emerging that interrogates how morality can be established in the absence of the moral certainties of the past but there is a shortage of empirical work on this topic. This article establishes a theoretical framework for the empirical analysis of everyday morality drawing on the work of theorists including Ahmed, Bauman and Taylor. It uses the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes to assess the state and shape of contemporary moralities by asking how kind are Australians, how is its expression socially distributed, and what are the motivations for kindness...
September 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Jennie Bristow
High-profile claims about the problem of the 'Baby Boomer' generation, made in media and policy circles in recent years, have contributed to an awakened interest in the sociology of generations. While many claims focus on resource issues arising from the existence of a relatively large cohort (for example, pensions and healthcare), they contain an implicit moral critique of the generation associated with the postwar 'boom' of the Sixties. This article examines the development of the cultural script of the Baby Boomer problem in British newspapers over a 26-year period, to examine how shifts in the discourse about the Boomer generation relate to wider social, economic, cultural and political trends...
July 29, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Mark McCormack, Liam Wignall, Max Morris
This article draws on in-depth interviews with 35 openly gay male undergraduates from four universities in England to develop an understanding of the changing nature of language related to homosexuality. In addition to finding a diminution in the prevalence of homophobic language, we demonstrate that participants maintain complex and nuanced understandings of phrases that do not use homophobic pejoratives, such as 'that's so gay'. The majority of participants rejected the notion that these phrases are inherently homophobic, instead arguing that the intent with which they are said and the context in which they are used are vital in understanding their meaning and effect...
July 14, 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Uriel Abulof
The study of political legitimacy is divided between prescriptive and descriptive approaches. Political philosophy regards legitimacy as principled justification, sociology regards legitimacy as public support. However, all people can, and occasionally do engage in morally reasoning their political life. This paper thus submits that in studying socio-political legitimation - the legitimacy-making process - the philosophical ought and the sociological is can be bridged. I call this construct 'public political thought' (PPT), signifying the public's principled moral reasoning of politics, which need not be democratic or liberal...
June 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Aaron Reeves, Robert de Vries
Following the shooting of Mark Duggan by police on 4 August 2011, there were riots in many large cities in the UK. As the rioting was widely perceived to be perpetrated by the urban poor, links were quickly made with Britain's welfare policies. In this paper, we examine whether the riots, and the subsequent media coverage, influenced attitudes toward welfare recipients. Using the British Social Attitudes survey, we use multivariate difference-in-differences regression models to compare attitudes toward welfare recipients among those interviewed before (pre-intervention: i...
June 2016: British Journal of Sociology
Yingyao Wang
Bourdieusian Field Theory (BFT) provided decisive inspiration for the early conceptual formulation of New Institutionalism (NI). This paper attempts to reinvigorate the stalled intellectual dialogue between NI and BFT by comparing NI's concept of isomorphism with BFT's notion of homology. I argue that Bourdieu's understanding of domination-oriented social action, transposable habitus, and a non-linear causality, embodied in his neglected concept of homology, provides an alternative theorization of field-level convergence to New Institutionalism's central idea of institutional isomorphism...
June 2016: British Journal of Sociology
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