Scholarly Works - Sociology


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 148
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Professionalised Intimacy: How Dementia Care Workers Navigate Between Domestic Intimacy and Institutional Detachment
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018-06-17) Haeusermann, T; Haeusermann, Tobias [0000-0002-5880-7873]
    This paper reports an ethnographic study of the handover routines in Germany’s first Dementia Village, with a central focus on how care is balanced between domestic intimacy and institutional detachment. The term ‘professionalised intimacy’ is used for the vivid interplay between comfort and intimacy that renders the interaction between care workers and residents far more complex than previous theories have articulated. Because of the intimacy involved in community building, however, the promise of personalised care must clash with the bureaucratic structures of an official institution, potentially depriving the care workers of their public, respected identity in the process. The study further suggests that most care workers, in fact, support this division between domestic intimacy and institutional detachment. Even if they subscribe to a dementia village’s philosophy of personalised care, their medical training and enculturation has endowed them with a habitus compatible with the modern health profession, with incentives on achieving quantifiable health goals. The dementia village is thus illustrated as a pioneering health care experiment that negotiates rivalling discourses of intimacy, professionalisation, and medicalisation.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Restless legs syndrome is associated with major comorbidities in a population of Danish blood donors.
    (Elsevier BV, 2018-05) Didriksen, Maria; Allen, Richard P; Burchell, Brendan J; Thørner, Lise W; Rigas, Andreas S; Di Angelantonio, Emanuele; Nielsen, Maria H; Jennum, Poul J; Werge, Thomas; Erikstrup, Christian; Pedersen, Ole B; Nielsen, Kaspar; Bruun, Mie T; Burgdorf, Kristoffer S; Sørensen, Erik; Ullum, Henrik; Burchell, Brendan [0000-0002-8243-937X]; Di Angelantonio, Emanuele [0000-0001-8776-6719]
    BACKGROUND: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is characterized by uncomfortable nocturnal sensations in the legs making sedentary activities and sleep difficult, and is thus linked with psychosocial distress. Due to the symptomatology and neurobiology of RLS (disrupting brain iron and dopamine) it is likely that RLS associates with poorer health-related quality of life (HRQL) and depressive disorder. The objective of this study was to investigate the RLS-HRQL and the RLS-depressive disorder links in a generally healthy population that is not biased by medications. METHODS: Complete data, including the Cambridge-Hopkins RLS questionnaire, the 12-item short-form standardized health survey (SF-12), the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and education were available for 24,707 participants enrolled in the Danish Blood Donor Study from May 1, 2015 to February 1, 2017. Information on quality of sleep was available for all RLS cases. T-tests and multivariable logistic regression models were applied to examine the associations of RLS and MDI scores, and the physical and mental component scores (PCS and MCS) of SF-12, respectively. Analyses were conducted separately for men and women. RESULTS: RLS associated with poorer MCS and poorer PCS. Moreover, Participants with RLS were more likely to classify with depressive disorder. Poor quality of sleep was associated with depressive disorder and poorer MCS among RLS cases, and with poorer PCS in female RLS cases. CONCLUSION: Thus, we demonstrated that RLS is associated with a significantly lower HRQL and a higher prevalence of depressive disorder among otherwise healthy individuals.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    The Role of Gender Role Attitudes and Immigrant Generation in Ethnic Minority Women's Labor Force Participation in Britain.
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019) Wang, Senhu; Wang, Senhu [0000-0002-0065-7059]
    Although substantial research shows that in Britain some ethnic minority women have significantly lower labor force participation (LFP) rates than White British women, even after controlling for demographic characteristics and education levels, little is known about the reasons underlying the remaining ethnic differences. Using nationally representative data (2010-2011), I investigate the role of gender role attitudes in explaining the ethnic as well as generational differences in women's LFP rates. The results show that after controlling for demographic characteristics and education levels, LFP rates of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are significantly lower than that of White British women and about half of the ethnic gap can be explained by differences in gender role attitudes. Moreover, I show that the ethnic gap is less pronounced for second generation Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Indian women whose LFP rates are significantly higher than those of their first generation counterparts. Importantly, the higher LFP rates of second generation South Asian women can be largely explained by their relatively less traditional gender role attitudes. Drawing on my results, public policies could provide appropriate childcare services and flexible work arrangements to alter traditional gender role attitudes, thereby improving minority women's labor market opportunities.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Belarusian Format: An invisible reality
    (Informa UK Limited, 2010-06) Khitrov, Arseniy; Khitrov, Arsenii [0000-0001-5820-7619]
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Assessing the Realism of Police Series: Audience Responses to the Russian Television Series Glukhar’
    (SAGE Publications, 2019-01) Khitrov, A; Khitrov, A [0000-0001-5820-7619]
    This study builds upon and expands existing research on the perceived realism of media texts. I study debates that took place across several online forums about Russia’s most famous police series Glukhar’ at a time during which police legitimacy in many countries, including Russia, was in crisis. I address the questions of how media users assess the realism of Glukhar’ online. I outline 13 means of realism evaluation that media users employ, offering a more systematic and detailed model than those proposed by existing studies. I argue that media users’ concern with realism of fictional texts signals their longing for interpretations of the social issues which they think the text refers to. I conclude that media users indeed refer to the real police when they discuss the fictional police, and I identify four patterns in these discussions. I hypothesize that the openness of digital communication might motivate media users to evaluate a media text’s realism because they might believe that collectively they will be able to do this accurately.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Representations of the Police in Contemporary Russian Police TV Series: The Case of Glukhar
    (SAGE Publications, 2016-04) Khitrov, A; Khitrov, Arsenii [0000-0001-5820-7619]
    This article answers the question of how contemporary Russian TV series portray the police. The results derive from a single-case thematic and functionalist study of the popular Russian TV series Glukhar’ (which aired from 2008 to 2011). The show merits special attention because it was on air when the Russian police were undergoing a legitimacy crisis, which lead to the 2009 police reform. The series recognized the crisis and responded to it with a set of justifications. I analyze the show’s social and cultural contexts, its plot patterns, and the functions of its characters. I build a typology of justifications and claim that the show justifies the police through an open discussion about the reasons for and consequences of their lawlessness. The series shows that the legitimacy of the police is repeatedly questioned, but trust in the police is always restored because police officers are depicted as estranged from the state but not from the community. Thus, the show contains an interesting example of overcoming a legitimacy crisis through its recognition. The study opens the floor to further discussions about how popular culture resolves intense social debates about policing by symbolic means in a moment when police legitimacy is contested.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The extent and cost of corruption in transport infrastructure. New evidence from Europe
    (Elsevier) Fazekas, M; Tóth, Bence; Fazekas, Fazekas [0000-0002-8477-3961]
    Transport infrastructure provision from roads to waterways involves large amounts of public funds in very complex projects. It is hardly a surprise that all across Europe, but especially in high corruption risk countries, it is a primary target of corrupt elites. This article provides a state-of-the-art review of the literature on the cost of corruption and estimates the level of corruption risks and associated costs in European infrastructure development and maintenance in 2009-2014 using novel data on over 40,000 government contracts. Two forms of corruption costs are investigated in the empirical section: 1) distorting spending structure and project design, and 2) inflating prices. Findings indicate that corruption steers infrastructure spending towards high value as opposed to small value investment projects. It also inflates prices by 30-35% on average with largest excesses in high corruption risk regions. Contrary to perceptions, corruption risks in infrastructure are decoupled to a considerable extent from the national corruption environment. Source data and risk scores are made downloadable at
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Latency Through Uncertainty: the 1994 Matsumoto Sarin Incident as a Delayed Cultural Trauma
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-03) Ushiyama, R; Ushiyama, R [0000-0002-2703-0985]
    Cultural trauma theory has emphasised the role of social groups in narrating, and thereby attributing moral significance to, highly disruptive events. In contrast, this article draws attention to professions such as the police and the media, which act as “fact-finders” to establish the factual circumstances of events from which trauma narratives are created. The article offers a case study of the June 1994 Matsumoto Sarin Incident in Japan, a terrorist attack in which members of religious movement Aum Shinrikyō gassed residential streets using sarin. Factual uncertainties surrounding the attack, in combination with institutional failings by “fact-finders” that resulted in a false accusation, meant that carrier groups did not identify the event as one that brought a collectivity underlying values into question; in other words, cultural trauma as a discourse did not develop. It was only after Aum’s second sarin attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995, when the true perpetrators and motives were finally uncovered, that the Matsumoto belatedly became recognised as a traumatic assault on Japan’s civic values. This article suggests that a collaborative approach combining science and technology studies (STS) with collective memory studies could provide a fruitful avenue of further research.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Digital health: meeting the ethical and policy challenges
    (EMH Swiss Medical Publishers) Haeusermann, T; Vayena, Effy; Blasimme, Alessandro; Adjekum, Afua; Haeusermann, Tobias [0000-0002-5880-7873]
    Digital health encompasses a wide range of novel digital technologies related to health and medicine. Such technologies rely on recent advances in the collection and analysis of ever increasing amounts of data from both patients and healthy citizens. Along with new opportunities, however, come new ethical and policy challenges. These range from the need to adapt current evidencebased standards, to issues of privacy, oversight, accountability and public trust as well as national and international data governance and management. This review illustrates key issues and challenges facing the rapidly unfolding digital health paradigm and reflects on the impact of big data in medical research and clinical practice both internationally and in Switzerland. It concludes by emphasising five conditions that will be crucial to fulfil in order to foster innovation and fair benefit sharing in digital health.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Open sharing of genomic data: Who does it and why?
    (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2017) Haeusermann, Tobias; Greshake, Bastian; Blasimme, Alessandro; Irdam, Darja; Richards, Martin; Vayena, Effy; Haeusermann, Tobias [0000-0002-5880-7873]
    We explored the characteristics and motivations of people who, having obtained their genetic or genomic data from Direct-To-Consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT) companies, voluntarily decide to share them on the publicly accessible web platform openSNP. The study is the first attempt to describe open data sharing activities undertaken by individuals without institutional oversight. In the paper we provide a detailed overview of the distribution of the demographic characteristics and motivations of people engaged in genetic or genomic open data sharing. The geographical distribution of the respondents showed the USA as dominant. There was no significant gender divide, the age distribution was broad, educational background varied and respondents with and without children were equally represented. Health, even though prominent, was not the respondents' primary or only motivation to be tested. As to their motivations to openly share their data, 86.05% indicated wanting to learn about themselves as relevant, followed by contributing to the advancement of medical research (80.30%), improving the predictability of genetic testing (76.02%) and considering it fun to explore genotype and phenotype data (75.51%). Whereas most respondents were well aware of the privacy risks of their involvement in open genetic data sharing and considered the possibility of direct, personal repercussions troubling, they estimated the risk of this happening to be negligible. Our findings highlight the diversity of DTC-GT consumers who decide to openly share their data. Instead of focusing exclusively on health-related aspects of genetic testing and data sharing, our study emphasizes the importance of taking into account benefits and risks that stretch beyond the health spectrum. Our results thus lend further support to the call for a broader and multi-faceted conceptualization of genomic utility.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Populism as a logic of political action
    (SAGE Publications, 2019) da Silva, FC; Vieira, MB
    This article offers a new understanding of populism. The argument unfolds as follows: first, the populist literature is reviewed and two main approaches are identified: ontic and logic-oriented, the more important of which is the Schmitt-Laclau logic of enmity. While the authors broadly agree with Laclau’s criticism of ontic approaches, they endorse neither his ontological understanding of enmity, nor his claim that populism is politics, and enmity is the logic of populism. Next, the origins of populism are located in a paradox at the heart of democracy. Democracy defines itself as a community of inclusion, yet exclusion is constitutive of inclusion, including therefore democratic inclusion. Then is discussed what the authors believe to be the true logic of populism: resentment. Unlike enmity, which functions in Laclau’s populist theory as an ontology of non-identity, resentment operates within a rivalrous framework, which presupposes identification between the parts and refers to a set of normative commitments. Finally, the article concludes by presenting an understanding of populism as a specific logic of political action.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Remembering Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017)
    (Instituto Ciências Sociais da Universidad de Lisboa) Carreira da Silva, FM; Carreira da Silva, Filipe [0000-0003-2459-0802]
    At the time of his death, 9 January 2017, Zygmunt Bauman was one of the foremost social theorists in the world ...
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Three strategies for attaining legitimacy in policy knowledge: Coherence in identity, process and outcome
    (Wiley, 2018) Williams, K; Williams, K [0000-0002-2882-1068]
    At a time when truth and facts are highly contested, understanding how knowledge gains legitimacy is crucial. Creating valuable policy knowledge involves navigating ‘a space between fields’, where actors and ideas from different social worlds come into play. This article outlines a novel set of strategies for attaining legitimacy within this space. Drawing on mixed‐methods analysis of interview and publication data from 12 development research organizations, the article argues that legitimacy centres around three primary types of ‘coherence’. Coherence in identity is the demonstration of ‘proper’ goals via negotiation of organizational and individual identity. Coherence in process is the demonstration of ‘proper’ processes through maintenance of independence, integrity and transparency. Coherence in outcome is the demonstration of ‘proper’ outcomes via creation of the ‘right’ products, audience and impact. Mastery of these three areas makes possible the production of credible, distinctive and significant knowledge.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    A comparative review of how the policy and procedures to assess research impact evolved in Australia and the UK
    (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018) Williams, K; Grant, J; Williams, Katherine [0000-0002-2882-1068]
    This article offers a systematic review of the evolution of research impact assessment in Australia and the UK. We consider its inception and detail the development of relevant policy and procedures in each country. The article sets out the results of a comparative analysis of public policy documents, newspaper commentary, and academic literature in both countries. We examined the differences and commonalities between the two nations, revealing evaluation criteria and uncovering justifications for the adoption of impact assessment. The article highlights the convergence and divergence of the two countries’ policy and procedures, as well as the political and bureaucratic contexts that have shaped their design and implementation. The article shows that the synergistic, intermittent, and iterative development of relevant policy and procedures in the two nations has been mutually beneficial for the evolution of retrospective impact assessment.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    'Now She's Just an Ordinary Baby': The Birth of IVF in the British Press.
    (SAGE Publications, 2019-04) Dow, Katharine; Dow, Katharine [0000-0001-9412-3316]
    The birth of Louise Brown, the first baby born through in vitro fertilisation (IVF), in England in 1978 attracted worldwide media attention. This article examines how the contemporary British news media framed this momentous event. Drawing on the example of the Daily Mail's coverage, it focuses on the way in which the British press depicted Louise's parents' emotions, marital relationship and social class in a context of political and economic crisis and resurgent social conservatism. The British press framed the Browns as ordinary and respectable, noting their work ethic, family orientation and moral values. The article argues that the human-interest angle that the press used to represent this story created a dominant narrative in which IVF was simply a means of helping married heterosexual couples have babies and that this established a frame for subsequent depictions of IVF, as well as contributing to its rapid normalisation.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    A cross-national comparative study of work demands/support, work-to-family conflict and job outcomes: Ghana versus the United Kingdom
    (SAGE Publications, 2018) Annor, F; Burchell, B; Burchell, Brendan [0000-0002-8243-937X]
    This study compared relations between work demands and support, work-to-family conflict (WFC) and job outcomes in Ghana and the United Kingdom. Data were obtained from 217 Ghanaian employees and 198 British employees using structured questionnaires. Results from multigroup structural equation modelling analyses showed that job pressure was positively related to WFC in Ghana and the United Kingdom, whereas supervisor support was negatively related to WFC in Ghana only. WFC was negatively related to job satisfaction and positively related to turnover intentions in both countries. More importantly, the relationship between job pressure and WFC was stronger for British employees than for Ghanaian employees. Finally, job pressure was indirectly related to job satisfaction and turnover intentions via WFC in both countries, whereas supervisor support was indirectly related to job satisfaction and turnover intentions in Ghana only. The implications of these findings for cross-cultural research on the work–family interface and managerial practice are discussed.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Examining the Link Between Funding and Intellectual Interventions Across Universities and Think Tanks: a Theoretical Framework
    (Springer, 2018) Gonzalez Hernando, MJ; Williams, Kate; Gonzalez Hernando, Marcos [0000-0003-4699-6547]; Williams, Kate [0000-0002-2882-1068]
    Policy-oriented expert knowledge is increasingly applied, collaborative and socially accountable, created in a variety of organisations and institutions that display a diversity of funding patterns with a wide range of requirements and expectations. Given the complexities of knowledge production and recent changes in its funding environment (e.g. mode and availability of research funding and evaluation), few existing theoretical elaborations consider tensions between structural funding conditions and intellectual production in policy research contexts. This paper examines the role of funding in shaping the policy issues, format and content of intellectual output across two research contexts (universities, think tanks). It sets out a theoretical and methodological approach to understand the link between funding modalities and the type of knowledge and intellectual interventions they facilitate or thwart.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    The gendered effects of foreign investment and prolonged state ownership on mortality in Hungary: an indirect demographic, retrospective cohort study.
    (Elsevier BV, 2018-01) Scheiring, Gábor; Stefler, Dénes; Irdam, Darja; Fazekas, Mihaly; Azarova, Aytalina; Kolesnikova, Irina; Köllő, János; Popov, Vladimir; Szelenyi, Ivan; Marmot, Michael; Murphy, Michael; McKee, Martin; Bobak, Martin; King, Lawrence; Scheiring, Gabor [0000-0002-0775-8610]; Fazekas, Fazekas [0000-0002-8477-3961]
    BACKGROUND: Research on the health outcomes of globalisation and economic transition has yielded conflicting results, partly due to methodological and data limitations. Specifically, the outcomes of changes in foreign investment and state ownership need to be examined using multilevel data, linking macro-effects and micro-effects. We exploited the natural experiment offered by the Hungarian economic transition by means of a multilevel study designed to address these gaps in the scientific literature. METHODS: For this indirect demographic, retrospective cohort study, we collected multilevel data related to Hungary between 1995 and 2004 from the PrivMort database and other sources at the town, company, and individual level to assess the relation between the dominant company ownership of a town and mortality. We grouped towns into three ownership categories: dominant state, domestic private, and foreign ownership. We did population surveys in these towns to collect data on vital status and other characteristics of survey respondents' relatives. We assessed the relation between dominant ownership and mortality at the individual level. We used discrete-time survival modelling, adjusting for town-level and individual-level confounders, with clustered SEs. FINDINGS: Of 83 eligible towns identified, we randomly selected 52 for inclusion in the analysis and analysed ownership data from 262 companies within these towns. Additionally, between June 16, 2014, and Dec 22, 2014, we collected data on 78 622 individuals from the 52 towns, of whom 27 694 were considered eligible. After multivariable adjustment, we found that women living in towns with prolonged state ownership had significantly lower odds of dying than women living in towns dominated by domestic private ownership (odds ratio [OR] 0·74, 95% CI 0·61-0·90) or by foreign investment (OR 0·80, 0·69-0·92). INTERPRETATION: Prolonged state ownership was associated with protection of life chances during the post-socialist transformation for women. The indirect economic benefits of foreign investment do not translate automatically into better health without appropriate industrial and social policies. FUNDING: The European Research Council.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The wounds of post-socialism: a systematic review of the social determinants of mortality in Hungary
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018-01-02) Scheiring, G; Irdam, D; King, L; Scheiring, G [0000-0002-0775-8610]; Irdam, D [0000-0002-7587-4066]; King, L [0000-0002-5714-406X]
    Eastern Europe underwent one of the most dramatic economic and demographic changes in recent history with skyrocketing mortality rates in some countries during the 1990s. The case of Hungary among the post-socialist transition countries is puzzling for several reasons. Although the Hungarian transition has been often characterised as smooth and successful, a look at the human dimension of the transformation reveals large costs and a slow improvement. Based on the analysis of 29 articles we provide a systematic review of the empirical evidence about the social determinants of mortality in post-socialist Hungary establishing a hierarchy of causes. Socioeconomic position, mental health, social capital, alcohol consumption, stress, and social integration are the most important explanatory variables that received attention by the researchers. Although economic policies might have played a central role in the rise of mortality there is no empirical research on the political economy of health in Hungary. No critical analysis of post-socialism can be complete without assessing the human costs of economic transformation. Social scientists have much to learn from social epidemiologists who have designed robust methodologies and complex theoretical frameworks to analyse the political economic determinants of health.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Revisiting individualization: The transitions to marriage and motherhood in Chile
    (SAGE) Yopo Diaz, MI
    The life course of Chilean women has experienced profound transformations in the past decades. It has been argued that transitions to marriage and motherhood are being postponed as they are experienced by women at an older age and are becoming events that characterize an increasingly smaller part of the female population. These changes have been often interpreted as part of a process of individualization that would have had reconfigured the cultural norms and social practices regarding gender roles and family formation in Chilean society. Nevertheless, the prevalence and diversification of the practices and norms that shape the transitions to marriage and motherhood at an empirical level remain unexplored. This paper aims to assess the individualization of the life course of women in Chile by empirically analyzing the destandardization of the practices and norms that shape the transitions to marriage and motherhood. By analyzing data from Encuesta Nacional Bicentenario Universidad Católica – Adimark (2009), it demonstrates that changes in the prevalence of the transitions to marriage and motherhood and the diversification of the practices and norms that shape their timing are ambivalent regarding destandardization. These results suggest that the life course of women in Chile is becoming individualized to some extent, but that this trend of cultural and social change is not consistent and uniform, but rather partial and fragmented, nonlinear, and significantly conditioned by the social structure.