Sociology and Criminology Update May 2014

  DL for Sociology and Criminology - Helen Jones ( Twitter @HEA_Sociology Facebook You can register to receive newsletters and updates via our My Academy service  


The Social Sciences newsletter has a wide range of information on funding, events and news from around the sector this month. I’m really impressed by the amount of information in the May edition. If you do not already subscribe to it check out our ‘My Academy’ service. 

Discipline News

 BSA Annual Conference 

HJonesBSA2014The British Sociological Association annual meeting was held in Leeds this year with the theme of ‘Changing Society’. I represented the HEA, both on a table in the exhibition hall and also as a delegate.  One of the highlights for me was a paper given Chrissy Buse of the University of Kent entitled ‘It’s Part of Me’: Handbags, Identity and Privacy in Dementia Care’. The presentation explored the role of handbags in the everyday lives of women with dementia. She sensitively explored how handbags are significant to the identities of women as they transition to care homes and how handbags of women with dementia can ultimately be discarded. The research will be published later this year in the Journal of Aging Studies (Buse, C. and Twigg, J. Women with dementia and their handbags: Negotiating identity, privacy and ‘home’ through material culture).  The paper made me consider how sensitive we need to be when teaching such topics within our undergraduate programmes. Although the topic of handbags would seem light hearted and frivolous on the surface, they connect with the sensitive issues of life. If this is a topic of interest to you, please consider attending our free event taking place in Liverpool in June (Booking essential)  Teaching sensitively was also on my mind in the stream I attended later in the conference where Azrini Wahidin of Nottingham Trent University presented on her research on incarceration in Northern Ireland: ‘Troubling Women? Voices of Former Female Volunteers in the Irish Republican Army and Their Experiences of the Violence of Incarceration’.  She presented an incredibly insightful account of an issue rarely spoken about. A book will be published later this year (The Unofficial Story: The Experiences of Former Female Politically Motivated Republican Prisoners, Palgrave).  // had the great pleasure of awarding the BSA/HEA National Teaching Prize to Carol Stephenson, Programme Director and Principal Lecturer in Sociology, Northumbria University. As the award is made between courses at the conference dinner it is never easy to gain the attention of everyone present but with a little ingenuity I manged it this year and got a round of applause into the bargain! I hope that you will consider applying for the 2015 award and that I'll be there in Glasgow to award the prize.  The conference can best be summarised by David Mellor who said on Twitter: “Enjoyed #britsoc14 conference last week. Old friends, new friends, and a few interesting papers. Good food and the backdrop of Leeds. Great” ( More information about the conference, together with video reflections and photographs will be available in due course on the BSA website:  This blog article is Steve Fuller’s reflections on his keynote which was “framed around the conceit of the great science fiction writer HG Wells’ candidacy for the first UK chair in sociology, at the London School of Economics in the first decade of the 20th century” 

Victims Network 

The British Society of Criminology launches a new specialist Victims network. This network exists for those in the criminology community who have interests around victims of crime and social harm, survivors and resilience. There is a growing interest in the study of victimology and victims of crime, evidenced by an expanding body of published work in the field and the growing number of ‘victim’-centred/oriented abstracts and papers submitted to the BSC Annual International Conference in recent years. Work around criminal and non-criminal victimisation, social harm, community safety, injustice and resilience all connect to the criminological/victimological enterprise: theory building, empirical study and policy and teaching/practice development. Key contact - Dr Pamela Davies For more information visit the BSC website network pages: 

Survey request 

Please help a major research project to understand how you use books. OAPEN-UK, an AHRC and Jisc-funded project on open access monographs, is currently running a survey to understand how researchers in the humanities and social sciences use books, and especially monographs. The survey design has been informed by a range of funders including HEFCE and Jisc, and the findings will help build an evidence base for future policies to support monograph publishing in the UK. No identifiable data will be made public or shared beyond the OAPEN-UK project team. All respondents to the survey can enter a prize draw to win up to £100 of Amazon vouchers. The survey takes approx. 10-15 minutes to participate, and to help the researchers understand what you want as both authors and readers of books. The survey can be found here: If you have any questions, please contact the survey researcher, Ellen Collins, on



The QAA will be starting consultations on five revised subject benchmark statements: Architectural technology; Early childhood studies; Earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies; Housing studies; and Theology and religious studies. The QAA welcomes responses from staff and students within higher education; employers; professional, statutory and regulatory bodies; and any subject networks or organisations. ESRC: an invitation to join GRANT ASSESSMENT PANELS - As you may be aware, the ESRC is now inviting applications from suitably experienced persons to act as members of the Grant Assessment Panels (GAP). Panel membership is drawn from all areas of the social sciences, representing a broad range of expertise, skills and approaches. However, following the retirement of some current GAP members they are currently looking for applications in the following disciplinary areas: Demography Macro-economics Economic and Social History Environmental Planning Human Geography Linguistics Political and International Relations Psychology Social Policy Social Work Socio-Legal Studies (includes CRIMINOLOGY) Political Sociology Further details about the role of GAP members can be found on the ESRC website (deadline 16 May): 

Workshop and Seminar Series

The HEA offer a range of free workshops and lots of other opportunities to network. Check out our events scheduler for more information: You can find reports of previous workshops along with presentations and resources here: 

Other Events 

Police ethics and integrity: A one day international conference, 9 May 2014, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK Full details and how to register here The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) 8th international conference on restorative justice, Beyond crime- Pathways to desistance, social justice and peacebuilding`, 11-14 June 2014, Belfast. Registration deadline is 20 May 2014. All information, call for papers and registration forms related to the conference are available online at  

BSA Social Network Analysis Group - Mixed   Methods Approaches to Social Network Analysis (organised   with with University of Greenwich and Middlesex University)12 May 2014 Middlesex University, UK

BSA Applied Qualitative Health Research   Special Interest Group One Day Symposium14 May 2014 Newcastle University, UK

BSA West Midlands Medical Sociology   Group: 'Under-served' or 'Hard to Reach'? Community and participatory   approaches in health research16 May 2014 Coventry University, UK

BSA Regional Postgraduate Event: The   Sociology of Technologically Mediated Reproduction 29 May 2014De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

4th Annual Equality Lecture - Tom   Shakespeare on Enabling Equality: from disabling barriers to equal   participation30 May 2014 British Library Conference Centre, London, UK

BSA Teaching Group Regional Conference31 May 2014 University of Surrey, UK

The Cultural Life of Death in Punishment, 1 September 2014, Senate House, London. Convenors: Lizzie Seal, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Sussex and Evi Girling, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Keele University. The seminar is free to delegates and includes lunch and refreshments. Places are limited. Reasonable travel costs for those presenting a paper. Deadline for the submission of abstracts is 23 May 2014. Further information here:  Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference 2014, 1- 3 October 2014, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney Camperdown, Australia. 


ELiSS is your open access journal, one of many supported by the HEA. For more on this article and others please see:  Special Issue Call for Papers - Sociologies of Everyday Life. Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2014. The Editors welcome contributions on relevant topics in any field of social science engaging with sociological research, from early career and established academics, and from those outside academia.


And finally 

I came across an interesting blog recently by Janni Aragon. Janni works at the University of Victoria in Canada and writes on a range of Higher Education topics. Her work helps to highlight that the issues we tackle in the UK often have resonance elsewhere. Her recent posting about course evaluations certainly suggests this and she writes:  ‘Much of academic life is filled with judgment. We get assessed by our peers, by our department, reviewers of scholarly presses, others up the academic food chain, and by the government and public … We judge and assess student work, yet somehow we are uncomfortable with this singular act of student assessment of our course or courses. Why?’ read more here: I hope to see you at our Social Sciences conference (entitled ‘Teaching forward: the future of Social Sciences) in Birmingham. and remember there is more news available in the Social Sciences newsletter. Sign up to My Academy to receive these straight to your inbox.

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