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Sociology Research

 

Many of the research projects in the Department are funded by grants from the major research councils and funding bodies. Recent awards held by members of the Department include the following:

Current Grants and Projects

A Comparative Study of Gendered Violence: India and South Africa

Violence against women affects almost 1 in 5 women across the world, and has risen over the past 20 years. This violence takes various forms ranging from rape, domestic emotional and physical abuse, female infanticide, sex-selective abortion, forced trafficking, and sexual harassment. These cut across the public-private...

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Alternative Metrics of Impact in Multilateral Agencies: The Potential for Knowledge for Sustainable Human Development

This project , run by Dr Kate Williams, aims to investigate whether alternative metrics of research impact ('altmetrics') can provide useful indicators of wider research impact for multilateral agencies, and whether these indicators, in turn, shift understandings of knowledge production, use and evaluation. [ Image Credit...

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Building research and policy capacities and capabilities for health and healthcare in conflict zones and humanitarian crises

Two billion people across the world live in areas of conflict and fragility. This has led to the greatest forced migration crisis since the Second World War. The impact of this migration crisis includes socio-economic, political and environmental change in neighbouring frontline countries. There is now specific concern...

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CancerScreen: Screening for cancer in the post-genomic era: diagnostic innovation and biomedicalisation in comparative perspective

There is an extensive body of interdisciplinary research on the political economy of pharmaceutical innovation, and the role of drug firms as corporate “engines of medicalisation”, but we know relatively little about the part played by diagnostics firms in bringing new technologies into routine clinical practice, or their...

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Changing Fertilities

Alongside the rapid expansion of assisted fertility services worldwide have come changes in how both fertility and infertility are perceived, defined and experienced. Once aimed at the infertile population, modern ART marketing is increasingly aimed at the fertile population, and at new sectors such as the LGBTQ community...

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Dish Life: The Game

In 2016, our interdisciplinary collaboration between the Cambridge Department of Sociology and Stem Cell Institute produced Dish Life, a documentary short film which explores stem cell researchers’ affective relationship with their in vitro cells. Since then, the film has been in the official selection and won awards at...

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Examining the transition to adulthood in an urban poor context

There is a renewed focus to examine the transition to adulthood among the urban poor, a vulnerable population that is growing in low and middle income countries. Therefore, this project will explore adolescents’ transition to adulthood in an urban poor setting using a mixed methods approach. The study first aims to...

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IVF History

Sarah Franklin is the principal investigator of this British Academy-funded project, which runs from May 2012 to May 2022. This project explores the history of IVF using archival and interview sources, as well as through analysis of media representations and ethical debate. The aim is to provide a historical sociology of...

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Life in Translation

Life in Translation is a collaborative project led by Professor Sarah Franklin , Dr Noémie Merleau-Ponty and Karen Jent . The project explores from social scientific and ethnographic perspectives a contemporary emphasis in the biosciences on biomedical translation, and examines the varied interdisciplinary techniques and...

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Managing Post-Traumatic Stress within the Police Force

Dr Jessica (Jess) Miller is working with Dr Brendan Burchell to investigate the impact that trauma exposure has on individual resilience and on working conditions in contemporary UK policing. Jess will be working with the Police Dependants’ Trust and several forces across the UK to pilot post-incident processing sessions...

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Putting evidence into policy: The health and wellbeing impacts of Active Labour Market Programmes in the United Kingdom

This research , lead by Dr Adam Coutts , aims to demonstrate how and why participation within ALMPs affects the mental health and wellbeing of unemployed job seekers in the UK. This will be done by examining the ‘business as usual’ interventions of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and a new intervention (Group...

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Rise of Illiberalism

The recent illiberal turn of Hungary and Poland has puzzled researchers and pundits alike. It is perplexing how Hungary with earliest and deepest international integration, and least amount of nationalist mobilization during the nineties, ended up with the most illiberal regime. The rise of illiberalism is also remarkable...

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Sociology and Social Policy

Dr Hazem Kandil was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize 2014, which consists of a research grant that will run from 2015 to 2018. Dr Kandil's ground-breaking research on the Egyptian regime and the 2011 uprising were put forward as examples og his outstanding academic contribution by the Leverhulme Trust. Image: 'Protest'...

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The Military Origins of Freedom and Oppression

Hazem ’s project seeks to explore how social involvement in war undermines authoritarian rule, pursuing the hypothesis that popular engagement in war forces political concessions from leaders under the threat of street violence. To make this argument, it will be necessary to show not only that increased popular engagement...

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The survival and reproduction of historical revisionism in Japanese public discourse: 1996-present

This project, led by Dr Rin Ushiyama seeks to explain why and how historical revisionism has persisted in Japan in the post-war period, despite its lack of academic credibility. In recent decades, there has been a resurgence of Japanese neo-nationalism, which seeks to reinstate Shinto as a state religion, establish a new ‘...

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Through a Looking Glass: A Sociology of UK IVF in the Late-Twentieth Century

Sarah Franklin is principal investigator of this project, funded by The Wellcome Trust and running from October 2013 to September 2017. This project aims to chart the emergence of clinical IVF in the UK during a distinctive era of basic scientific investigation of mammalian developmental biology. Drawing on interviews with...

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Past Grants and Projects

A new method to analyse occupational gender segregation

Dr Brendan Burchell was the principal investigator on this research project, funded by the European Commission, which investigated gender segregation by occupation. The research project was completed in 2015 and resulted in a final report published by the European Comission and authored by Dr Burchell, Mr Vincent Hardy...

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Beyond Identity?: Markets and Logics of Democratization in Post-1991 India

The principal investigator of this research project was Dr Manali Desai . The research project was funded by a Leverhulme Research Project Grant and it ran from 2011 to 2013. Dr Desai's main aim in conducting this research project was to explore the history of markets and logics of democratization in post-1991India. Image...

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ChainReact: Making Supplier Networks Transparent, Understandable and Responsive

Ella McPherson is principal investigator, Monica Moreno Figueroa is co-investigator, and Richard Mills is research associate for this Consortium research project funded by the Horizon 2020 ICT Call 10 – 2015 (Research and Innovation Action) and running from January 2016 to December 2018. ChainReact is an effort to make...

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China ReproTech

In recent years the development and use of assisted reproductive technologies have exploded in China. Since China's first IVF baby was born in 1988, over 350 treatment centres have opened, potentially offering services to the over 90 million estimated infertile individuals in the country today. In addition to IVF, prenatal...

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Concentration and Innovation in the Book Publishing Industry

Professor John B. Thompson was the principal investigator of this research project, funded by the ESRC, and which ran from 2005 to 2008. This research project was concerned with the changing structure of the book publishing industry in Britain and the United States since 1980 with particular reference to trade publishing...

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Critical Condition? Mental Health and Civil Society in Transitional Europe

Dr Peggy Watson was the principal investigator on this research project, which was funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant. The research project ran from 2009 to 2011 and Dr Watson's principal aim in carrying it out, was to examine the impact Europe's state of transition might have on mental health and civil...

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Deconstructing AI-Shabaab and ISIS: a cross-cultural exploration of news reports on terrorism across the British and Ugandan press

The research project, awarded to Dr Levis Mugumya, explores news reportage on terrorism in Uganda and Britain. Research on terrorism since 2001 has largely focused on America and European states which are largely and directly affected by terrorist acts. Whereas the African continent has equally been affected by terrorism...

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Deepening the health and safety discourse on zero hours employment

Dr Brendan Burchell was the principal investiagtor on this research project, which he conducted with Dr Alex J. Wood. The research project was funded by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Programme and ran in 2015. Burchell and Wood's main aim in conducting this research, was to explore the health and safety discourse...

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Dish Life

Dish Life is a documentary short about stem cell scientists' emotional relationship to the cells they grow in the laboratory. As live beings, in vitro cells need constant care - nourishing food, a clean environment and enough space - to flourish. Scientists, in tireless efforts, have to assume the role of parents to keep...

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Ethics and Governance of Autonomous Systems and Machine Learning in the Digital Society

A project led by Dr Ella McPherson examines whether the significant trend in the digital age is the rise of autonomous systems, which use big data to inform algorithms through machine learning. One significant consequence of this trend has been the expansion of these autonomous systems into areas previously the preserve of...

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Family, gender and young people's aspirations to get into science

Professor Jackie Scott was the principal investigator of this research project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation , and which ran from January 2010 to April 2010. This project investigated young people’s interest in careers in science, engineering and technology (SET), by conducting a secondary analysis of data from 11-15...

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Gender and working conditions

Dr Brendan Burchell was the principal investigator of this research project, which was funded by the European Foundation and conducted and completed in 2012. The study examines the extent of occupational segregation by gender and how it impacts on the quality of women’s and men’s working lives. The final report summarising...

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Gender Inequality in Production and Reproduction

Professor Jackie Scott was the director of this ESRC Research Priority Network, which ran from 2004 to 2010. This was the largest research multi-disciplinary network of its kind in the UK. Scott co-ordinated projects across eight institutions that were investigating the processes of selection and exclusion that reflect and...

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(In)fertility, Education and Reproductive Health

This project is led by Professors Jacqueline Scott and Sarah Franklin and helps address three interlinked projects concerning (in)fertility, education and reproductive health. The first involves a large-scale quantitative analysis of the differential patterns of fertility by education, in the UK. The second uses cross-...

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Institutional racism and the logics of the contemporary Mexican state

Dr Monica Moreono Figueroa is the principal investigator on this research project conducted with Dr Juan Carlos Martinez , CIESAS-Pacífico Sur. The project is funded by a Newton Advanced Fellowship from the British Academy and it will run from 2016 to 2018. The aim of the project is to examine institutional racism and the...

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INTERCO: International Cooperation in the SSH: Comparative Socio-Historical Perspectives and Future Possibilities

Patrick Baert is a principal investigator of this project, funded by EC FP7 (Collaborative Project) and running from March 2013 to February 2017. The INTERCO project sets out, firstly, to assess the state of the SSH in Europe. Secondly, it aims to outline future potential pathways that would promote cooperation across...

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IVF Cultures and Histories

Sarah Franklin was principal investigator of this project, funded by the ESRC and running from September 2013 to August 2015. This seminar series proposed to host an extended discussion of 'IVF Cultures and Histories' focussing on the interrelation of three main themes: its technological development and visual emergence as...

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Latin American Antiracism in a 'Post-Racial' Age

Monica Moreno Figueroa is the principal investigator of this ESRC-funded project, which will run from January 2017 to December 2018. This project will investigate anti-racist practices and ideologies in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The project will contribute to conceptualising and addressing problems of racism...

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Life in Glass: a programme of public engagement

Professor Sarah Franklin is the principal investigator of this research project, which is funded by a Wellcome Trust Provision Award . The project will run from 2015 to 2018. Professor Franklin received this award as a means to enable a high level of public engagement in relation to the Life in Glass research project. Life...

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Men's Attitudes to Intimate Life

Dr Robert Pralat is the principal investigator of this British HIV Association -funded project on the reproductive health of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men, which runs from October 2015 to October 2017. Project Description More than 77,000 people receive HIV care across the UK. The overall number of new HIV diagnoses...

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Multiculturalism in Latin America: a Study in the Diffusion of Ideas

Dr David Lehmann was the principal investigator of this research project, which examined questions concerning multiculturalism in Latin America with a particular focus on the ways in which ideas can spread and disperse. The research project was funded by an grant awarded by the British Academy , and it ran from 2006 to...

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MYWeB: Measuring Youth Well-Being

Maria Iacovou is a principal investigator of this project, funded by EC FP7 (Project led by the University of Essex) and running from February 2014 to August 2016. MYWeB takes a balanced approach to assessing the feasibility of a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People (ELSCYP) through prioritising both...

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Nuclear Families: Understanding the experiences of the test veterans community

Dr Mwenza Blell works on the Nuclear Families: Understanding the experiences of the test veterans community project, which is being delivered by the University of Southampton. The project aims to provide a contemporary approach to understand the lives of the families of British nuclear test veterans, exploring this group...

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Privatisation and Mortality in Post-Communism: A Multi-Level Indirect Demographic Analysis

Lawrence King is Principal Investigator of this project, funded by the EC FP7 (ERC Advanced Investigator), and running from September 2011 to August 2016. This study proposes a new methodology for studying the impact of economic policies on public health, and in so doing advances an emerging new research tradition that the...

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Secularism: a reappraisal of institutional arrangements for religious regulation

Dr David Lehmann was the principal investigator on this research project, funded by the AHRC and the British Academy, and which ran from 2007 to 2010. The main aim of this research project was to create an interdisciplinary and international network of experts to try and find a common basis for the analysis and eventually...

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Self-employment and family life: A study of workers in Ghana's informal sector

Dr Brendan Burchell and Dr Francis Annor have recieved a ~£6000 Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund to expand upon their research investigating the impacts of informal labour on family life in Ghana. This research builds on Dr Annor's PhD thesis, which concluded that employment within the informal sector in Ghana...

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Social Media, Human Rights NGOs, and the Potential for Governmental Accountability

Ella McPherson is Principal Investigator of this ESRC and Isaac Newton Trust-funded project, which runs from March 2014 to August 2017. This project examines, via digital ethnography, how the use of social media at human rights NGOs is being incorporated into traditional fact-finding and advocacy practices, with a focus on...

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SurrogARTs: Assisted Reproduction Beyond the Nation State and Nuclear Family?

‘SurrogARTs – Assisted reproduction beyond the nation state and nuclear family? Transition to parenthood and negotiating relatedness in gay father families created through transnational surrogacy’ This research project focuses on surrogacy as an assisted reproduction technique (hence the short title ‘SurrogARTs’). It takes...

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The Digital Whistleblower: Fiscal Transparency, Risk Assessment and Impact of Good Governance Policies Assessed

Lawrence King and Mihaly Fazekas are the principal investigators of this project, funded by EC Horizon 2020 (Innovation Action) and running from January 2015 to December 2017. Increasing both transparency and efficiency of public spending in the age of austerity presents formidable challenges for European societies...

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The Digital Revolution in Publishing

John Thompson was principal investigator of this project, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and running from April 2013 to March 2016. This project provided an in-depth account of the how the book publishing industry is being transformed by the digital revolution, analysing this process as it occurs and drawing out...

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The Human and Social Costs of Economic Crisis

Manuel Castells and John Thompson are principal investigators of this project, funded by The Balzan Foundation and running from January 2014 to February 2016. This project will explore the ways in which individuals and groups in different parts of Europe live through and experience the economic crisis, how it affects them...

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The Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

Peter Webb was a prinicipal investigator for this AHRC-funded project, which ran from August 2013 to July 2015. Dr Webb's strand of this project, called Riotous Youth, looked at the history of UK riots of the 1980s and compares them to the recent riots in London. It also looked at the representation of riots through...

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The Temple of Solomon: a study in the neo-Pentecostal imaginary

Dr David Lehmann was the principal investigator of this research project, which was funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant. The research for this project was conducted in 2012. Dr Lehmann's main aim in conducting this research was to develop an improved understanding of the neo-Pentecostal imaginary, using the...

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Practising Gender Equality in Sciences

Professor Jackie Scott was the principal investigator of this EU-funded project, which studied good practices in enhancing women's participation in science-oriented academic and research institutions throughout Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The key aim in conducting this research...

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Quality of Employment: The Horse Racing Industry

Dr Brendan Burchell is the principal investigator of this research project, which is funded by the Racing Foundation. The research project will run from September 2015 to September 2016. The main aim of this research project is to examine the quality of emplyment for people who are working within the horse racing industry...

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Redrawing religious boundaries and identities: Messianic Jews and Christians

Dr David Lehmann is the principal investigator of this project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust , which runs from 2014 to 2016. Project Description The study focuses on Messianic movements among people from Jewish and evangelical backgrounds in Brazil, Israel, the UK and the USA. It approaches it as a global phenomenon...

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Reproducing the Environment

Reproducing the Environment is a collaborative project led by Katie Dow and Janelle Lamoreaux. The project brings together scholars working on the diverse and important intersections between reproduction and the environment in many different parts of the world and in many different species. It grew out of a shared interest...

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Risks, Rights, Responsibility: A Comparative Study of Occupational Health and Metal Manufacture in Poland 1949-1989

Dr Peggy Watson was the principal investigator of this research project. Dr Watson's main aim in conducting this study was to carry out a comparative study of occupational health and metal manufacture in Poland between 1949 and 1989. The research project was funded by a grant awarded by the Wellcome Trust and it ran from...

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Self-employment programmes for young people: a review of the context, policies and evidence

Dr Brendan Burchell was the principal investigator of this research project, which was funded by the International Labour Organisation. The research project ended in 2015 with the publication of a working paper on self-emplyment programmes for young people, written with Adam Coutts, Edward Hall, and Nick Pyewhich. The...

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The Political Economy of Suicide in India

Dr Jonathan Kennedy was principal investigator of this project, 'The Political Economy of Suicide in India,' which was funded by the Philomathia Foundation . The research project ran from April 2014 to December 2014 and resulted in the publication of " The political economy of farmers’ suicides in India: indebted cash-crop...

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The Political Economy of Adjustment: IMF Conditionality, 1987-2012

Lawrence King was the principal investigator of this project, funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and which ran from January 2013 to December 2014. This project created a systematic and publically available database of macroeconomic and structural conditions in all IMF loan agreements signed after 1986. The...

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The rise of French existentialism, 1944–1947: a sociological explanation

Professor Patrick Baert was the principal investigator of this research project. The research project was funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant from 2011 to 2013 and a Leverhulme Fellowship from 2012 to 2013. The aim of this project was to provide a sociological explanation to the rise of French existentialism...

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