**Please note that this post has illustrations of sexual acts.**
Recently, and for the first time ever, Cosmopolitan Magazine published a list of sex tips and positions for “lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, queers- all lady-loving ladies in the crowd.” At first, as a member of the LGBTQQIAA community, I was shocked and excited at the seemingly legitimate public recognition of my sexual practices by the “sex gurus” themselves over at Cosmo. At a closer glance however, this list is a comical illustration that is not titillating to say the least, but ultimately is quite exclusionary in the understanding of lesbian sex. Needless to say, the lesbian sex Cosmo describes is not my sex, let alone a realistic portrait of most “lady-loving” relationships.
This is the second in a two-part guest post by Bea Moyes, who is an independent researcher based in East London. Having completed a Masters in Research at the London Consortium, Bea is working on ongoing research into the history of East London since the 1970s. Her work has often considered histories and narratives of urban space, particularly through the act of walking the city, and with dynamic and creative interactions which are generated in public spaces. She tweets
The first post can be found here
Michel De Certeau’s argument on the relationship between strategic powers and tactical resistances, has interesting implications in the history of the metropolis, and to the way with evolve our cities today. In pre-urban agrarian society, tactical resistances were common, with those without land re-appropriating resources in activities like poaching, gleaning and scrumping. These social and economic rituals were well worn valves of everyday life, oiling the relationships of power between masters and workers. However, during the industrial revolution, and particularly with the increasing organisation of power relations with urbanisation and land enclosures in Britain, this dynamic interplay became largely disconnected, contributing to the break -up of community structures which had existed before. This is obviously a simplified analysis of social networks between classes over nearly two hundred years, but it is surely no coincidence that during the nineteenth century in Britain, there was considerably unrest and protest by the urban working-classes.
In my own work researching the history of East London, (more…)
The boundary demarcating literature and anthropology seems to be porous; frequently subject to incursions but nonetheless heavily policed. Two decades ago, in the midst of the ‘Science Wars‘, Stephen Reyna suggested rather unflatteringly that “the literary anthropologist’s final product appears to be her or his impressions of Others’ gossip.” For now, the tables seem to have turned. Very few anthropologists or sociologists interested in money, finance and accounting can have carried out their inquiries without encountering the work of Mary Poovey, a Professor of English. The anthropologist Jane Cowan has emphasized the extent to which novels can “speak to socio-historical-political analysis,” acting as a spur to research, while an upcoming conference at the University of Kent plans to explore how far Science Fiction can be used as a tool of anthropological analysis. So, this week, in the final installment for the ‘Capital Ideas’ mini-series, the subject is the treatment of kinship, capital and inequality in John Lanchester’s 2012 novel, Capital. (more…)
Photo by: Howard Gees aka. Cyberslayer
Found on: Flickr Creative Commons
If you operate in a world of “market forces” well, then you should probably leave the social research to the social scientists. An August 23rd commentary in the Science and Technology section of the Economist magazine anonymously summarized an elegantly designed longitudinal quasi-experimental study in less than 500 words. Their summary concluded with two very basic possibilities (because as we know the range of human possibility is exactly two!) to explain the correlation between criminality and socio-economic status: either 1) the environment traps people in a culture of crime or 2) there is a genetic predisposition to being both poor and criminal. That is, the criminal gene prefers to hang around in the bottom 20% of income earners. Apparently, the “journalists” at The Economist are trying to revive the long dead nature vs. nurture debate as Sociology Lens addresses here and here. (more…)
This is a two-part guest post by Bea Moyes, who is an independent researcher based in East London. Having completed a Masters in Research at the London Consortium, Bea is working on ongoing research into the history of East London since the 1970s. Her work has often considered histories and narratives of urban space, particularly through the act of walking the city, and with dynamic and creative interactions which are generated in public spaces. She tweets
“For better or worse, [the city] invites you to remake it, to consolidate it into a shape you can live in.” (more…)
Do you believe that ‘The One’, your ‘soul-mate’, your ‘life-partner’ exists? Have you already found them? Hollywood movies, glossy magazines, and agony aunts repeatedly reassure us that, firstly, somewhere out there is Mr/Miss Right, and secondly, we just need the good fortune to find them – some auspicious occasion when true love will make its presence known. I was compelled to dwell on this when I read Julie Birchill’s recent article on the matter in the Spectator. I don’t want to debate whether or not there is one predestined mate out there for each of us (for the record I’m pretty sure there isn’t), but Birchill’s piece did make me dwell on how we meet partners in particular, and how we meet and make friends generally. In reality, this is often more about the social practices we engage in, rather than personality traits or, good fortune, which bring people together. As with a lot of sociology and psychology, it replaces the romantic with the mundane.
What is the relationship between global theory and feminist scholarship and activism? Even when global theories do not appear to relate to contemporary feminist dialogues, links can be drawn between global theory and women’s rights agendas. One example can be seen in the relationship between world-polity theory and gender mainstreaming.
World-polity theorists sought to emphasize the importance of cultural frames, even suggesting world cultural principles and institutions shape the actions of nations and individuals (Boli and Thomas 1997). World polity theory examined the flow of instrumental culture by focusing on the discourses of science/technology, human rights, and mass education as key mechanisms for the creation of an authoritative social order in a diversity of settings (Meyer 2000). The creation of a global instrumental culture emerged not only through relationships between nation-states, but also though collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). World polity theorists have suggested that as various non-governmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations continue to work together with multiple nation-states to promote changes in national policies, nation-states are becoming increasingly connected and dependent on each other (Chatfield 1997; Boli & Thomas 1997).
“Polished” by James Lee – originally posted to Flickr as Polished. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polished.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Polished.jpg
It is the same old tale, just spun with a different color thread: “Women: don’t get raped.”
Recently, four students (note that they are all male) invented Undercover Colors, a nail polish for women that changes color (like a mood ring) when it touches rape drugs commonly slipped into drinks. Now, I do applaud the men for recognizing the all-too-common issue of rape and taking the initiative to do something about it. Only, what they did still places the blame on women.
Next time you read research about young people ask why is it focussing specifically on their age. It is still taken for granted that the process of maturing from a child to adolescent to adult unfolds as a series of naturally occurring stages, that there is a right age at which children should develop certain competencies and acquire certain freedoms and responsibilities (Scott, 1999).
Contemporary sociological research, however, has “highlighted the blurring of boundaries between youth and adulthood and the destandardisation of the life course” (Reisinger, 2012, p96). Griffin (1993), Lesko (2012), and Seaton (2012)) argue youth’s development is complex, non-linear, sophisticated, and dynamic; it involves a mutually defining interaction between asynchronous biological changes and multidirectional environmental and social influences. Any research that fails to acknowledge this, by default, treats youth and age as a self-evident, timeless and unproblematic category. (more…)
The first two posts for this ‘Capital Ideas’ series were organised around Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, a work of economic sociology unusually attentive to the relationship (rarely made explicit) between kinship, capital and inequality. This week I turn to Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi, by the British novelist Rana Dasgupta, continuing my exploration of the treatment of merit and inheritance in three contemporary bestsellers (one academic, one journalistic, and one fictional). Certainly, Dasgupta’s has not been afforded quite the celebrity (or recognition in the business and financial press) as Piketty’s similarly-titled book. Nonetheless, his Capital is the product of an effortlessly deployed sociological imagination, which conveyed Dasgupta along through the phantasmagoric world of Delhi’s elite business families, shaped by the destructive transformation of Delhi ‘from Walled City to World City‘. (more…)