Friday, 12 May 2017

Dates confirmed for 2017/18 'suite' of CA skills training courses:

1. Turn-Taking: 28-30 Nov 2017

2. Sequence Organisation: 12-14 Dec 2017
3. Repair: 17-19 April 2018
4. Word Selection: 22-24 May 2018
More details to follow soon

Conversation Analysis: An Introduction and Overview 12 June 2017

In the last thirty years, Conversation Analysis has become the preeminent method for the analysis of naturally occurring interaction. Despite its name, CA studies all forms of talk-in-interaction in institutional or work related settings as well as in ordinary conversation. It also studies embodied behaviours such as gaze, gesture, and movement. 

In this course, we introduce the history and principles of CA, sketch some of its main analytic procedures, and show how it offers a indepth view of how we use talk in social interaction, and how these analytic practices inform a radical methodology in sociology.

This course is recommended for people with no prior knowledge of CA who just want to get a basic understanding of its distinctive approach, and those who intend to go on to take the more technical CA skills training programmes offered in the Department.

Course Leaders: The course team will be Robin Wooffitt and Darren Reed
Location: University of York, Research Centre for Social Sciences (RCSS)
Fee: £75 (which includes tea/coffee and materials
Please contact Sarah Shrive-Morrison to reserve your place 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Traversing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Social Research

The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, The University of York

25 May 2017, 9:15am – 5:30pm

Keynote speakers: 
Dr Mark Coté, Kings College London
Professor Felicity Callard, Durham University
Dr Des Fitzgerald, Cardiff University

We are pleased to announce our conference for postgraduate students and researchers interested in Interdisciplinary Social Research. There is increasing interest in interdisciplinary research within the Social Sciences due to its ability to create impactful new knowledge and insights. But, what does this mean in practice? 
What kinds of interdisciplinary research are taking place?
How can we use theoretical approaches across disciplines?
What methodologies are employed?

How are methods implemented in or adapted for interdisciplinary research?

What impact can be made?
What are the challenges?
Who sets the research agenda?
Further questions can be sent to:

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Antinomies of data-driven public services: the case of regionalisation of adoption in England

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Speaker: Dr James Cornford, University of East Anglia
The adoption of children from care is a form of state-led family making – what Derek Kirton (2013) has called ‘Kinship by design.’ As a practice, it is reliant on a variety of forms of data that are gathered, organised and interpreted to inform the various agencies involved, including children and prospective adopters, social workers, psychologists and clinicians, the family courts, as well as policy makers and academics. The recent regionalisation of adoption, which can be traced back to Michael Gove’s time as Minister at the Department for Education, has sought to ‘radically redesign’ the whole adoption process, building systems around ‘the needs of children,’ incorporating the statutory and voluntary sectors to deliver ‘evidence-based decisions’ and ensuring that ‘the right accountability’ is in place (DfE, 2016). Reform has built on a greater use of large-scale data within the whole adoption system and a more systematic analysis and interpretation of that data (Dickens et al. 2014; Selwyn and Masson, 2014; Farmer and Dance, 2015).
This paper, part of a wider set of studies of how public services ‘think family’ (Cornford et al. 2013), examines the interaction different cultures of data in the reform of the adoption process in England drawing on action research in one regionalisation project. Different perspectives on data associated with different epistemological and moral positions give rise to a set of antinomies – retrospective versus prospective, population-level versus individual case- level, static versus dynamic, representational versus performative – that structure the field. The tentative conclusion is that creating a more data-driven adoption process is a more complex matter than at first might be imagined.
James Cornford


Cornford, J., Baines, S., & Wilson, R. (2012). Representing the family: how does the state ‘think family’? Policy and Politics, 41(1): 1-18.
DfE (2016). Adoption: A vision for Change (March). London: DfE.
Dickens, J., Beckett, C., & Bailey, S. (2014). Justice, speed and thoroughness in child protection court proceedings: Messages from England, Children and Youth Services Review, 46: 103–111.
Farmer, E., & Dance, C. (2015). Family Finding and Matching in Adoption: What Helps to Make a Good Match? British Journal of Social Work, 46(4): 974-992.
Kirton, D. (2013). ‘Kinship by Design’ in England: reconfiguring adoption from Blair to the Coalition, Child and Family Social Work, 18: 97-106.
Selwyn, J., & Masson, J.M. (2014). Adoption, special guardianship and residence orders: a comparison of disruption rates. Family Law Journal, 44: 1709-1714.
Location: Environment Building (next to Sociology), Lecture Theatre ENV/005

Vigilante Science: Examples, Trends and Causes

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 12.00pm to 1pm

Speaker: Dr Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé (SATSU Visitor)
I employ the term “Vigilante Science” – in analogy with the vigilante heroes in comic books – to describe cases whereby self-appointed individuals policing the claims, methods and governance of the scientific community have not been recognised by its members as legitimate authorities. Recent examples of vigilantism in science have occurred in climate science, social psychology and nutrition science. I will discuss the possibility of interpreting the alleged “Climategate” scandal, the “replication crisis” in psychology and the “sugar conspiracy” as evidence of a wider social trend of public suspicion, if not complete distrust, towards certain scientists. I will outline two historical and sociological causes for this trend: first, the progressive integration, over the last century, of the disputed sciences into government agendas and industries; and second, the expansion of formal education and the consequent emergence of a better-informed and more self-confident citizenry that is suspicious of the declared political autonomy of scientists.
Biography: Dr Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé is The Sociological Review Fellow of 2017. Prior to being awarded this writing fellowship based at Keele University, she was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London. In November 2015 Meritxell obtained a Ph.D. in STS from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis that examined the roles of trust and scepticism in science. Her academic interests are in the sociology of science and research methodology.
Location: Wentworth College W/243

After Prison: Can we leave Imprisonment Behind?

Thursday 11 May 2017, 2.00pm to 17:00

Speaker: various
The UK prison system is under unparalleled strain, and for many, is simply not working. Statistics from the Ministry of Justice (2016) show that in 2014 approximately 56,000 adult offenders were released, of whom 45.5% re-offended within one year. This symposium is a direct response to these challenges. It offers researchers and academics a space to collaborate and reflect on current issues with incarceration in the UK and to consider a future system of punishment that is effective and humane for both the individual and society. We will discuss a diverse range of ideas including alternatives to imprisonment, re-offending rates, desistance, and even abolition.  
This interdisciplinary event is provided free of charge to support the launch of CrimNet at the University of York. 
Location: University of York - ReCCS Training Suite, Room YH/001B 

Inside the Asylum: Material Life in Lunatic Asylums in Victorian and Edwardian England

Wednesday 10 May 2017, 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Speaker: Dr Jane Hamlett, Royal Holloway, University of London
This talk will explore the material worlds of 'lunatic asylums' (as they were known to contemporaries) in Victorian and Edwardian England. The asylum often figures in the popular imagination as a dark and forbidding place, in which inmates were incarcerated indefinitely. However, recent research has revised this picture, examining the agenda behind the treatment and care provided for patients. In this talk I will examine the material culture of the asylum – using a survey of surviving archives to show how asylums were built and planned, how they were organised on an everyday basis, and the routines and rituals by which patients lived. While the built environment was used to control patients, it could sometimes allow small freedoms, and material goods such as personal items and clothing might be the means of building or maintaining a sense of self within the institution. 
The talk focuses on six institutions that I studied in depth including three public asylums for pauper patients, Hanwell, Brookwood and Long Grove; institutions for middle and upper-class patients including Ticehurst, Holloway Sanatorium and Bethlem Hospital, as well as the criminal lunatic asylum Broadmoor. The built environment of these institutions were often remarkably different and were shaped by contemporary ideas of class and gender. However, from the mid-century, they were all heavily influenced by prevailing ideas of middle-class domesticity and they developed surprisingly homelike interiors, often decorated in the style of a middle-class parlour or drawing room. While the imposition of domestic life was the ideal in these places, an investigation of their day to day material operations reveals a turbulent, battered and patched material world in which discipline and order often failed. Where possible I will explore patient responses to their environments, and in addition to the records produced by the institutions themselves I will draw on a rare cache of patient letters to show what patients thought and felt about the material worlds that were created for them.
BiographyDr Jane Hamlett is a Reader in Modern British History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her early research explored the material culture of the Victorian middle-class home and was published in her first book Material Relations: Middle-Class Families and Domestic Interiors in England, 1850-1910 (MUP, 2010). She recently led the ESRC-funded At Home in the Institution Project at Royal Holloway, examining the material world of asylums, schools and lodging houses. Her second book At Home in the Institution: Material Life in Asylums, Schools and Lodging Houses in Victorian and Edwardian England came out with Palgrave in 2015. She is currently leading a new AHRC-funded project on 'Pets and Family Life in England and Wales, 1837-1939'. At Royal Holloway she is Deputy Head of Department for History and co-directs the Centre for the Study of the Body and Material Culture. 
Jane Hamlett  Broadmoor Dorm  Holloway Sanatorium
Location: Biology B/B/006 (Was ENV/005)