Society, Culture and Arts

Culture – the beliefs, behaviours and objects common to the members of a particular group – is a fundamental part of the infrastructure on which our societies depend, and a wellspring from which we can reflect and reinvent when faced with the urgent need to find ways to better co-exist on our planet.

Our publishing promotes Goal 3: Good health and well-being, through recognising the role culture plays in our lives, in our most disadvantaged communities, in old age and in the making of government policy. By listening to different societies, and different cultures within those societies, we can often find new perspectives and different approaches to tackling the problems that cut across all cultures.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Society, culture and arts, we aim to address the following goal: 

Society, Culture and Arts

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 76 items for

  • Type: Journal Article x
Clear All Modify Search
Approaching, Contextualizing, and Embodying Sense-Making Practices in Alternative Cultures

The concept of ‘subculture’ is an invaluable tool to frame the study of non-normative and marginal cultures for social and cultural scholars.

This international collection uncovers the significance of meaning-making in the processes of defining, studying and analyzing subcultural phenomena.

Examining various dimensions of interpretivism, the book focuses on overarching concerns related to interpretation as well as day-to-day considerations that affect researchers’ and members’ interpretations of subcultural phenomena. It reveals how and why people use specific conceptual frames or methods and how those shape their interpretations of everyday realities.

This is an unprecedented contribution to the field, explaining the interpretive processes through which people make sense of subcultural phenomena.

Restricted access
Humour and Offensiveness in Contemporary Culture and Politics
Author:

We’re accustomed to seeing humour as a diversion from the serious side of life, but humour also permeates some of the most troubling political developments in recent years. From the resurgence of white nationalism to the erosion of democratic norms, jokes force-feed us objectionable ideologies while we gasp and splutter at all the side-splitting shenanigans.

This book explores the relationship between humour and offensiveness in contemporary society. Drawing on examples from philosophical thinkers and popular culture, it invites readers to consider the dark side of humour.

Weaving together cultural analysis, political discussion and philosophical reflection, the book provides an antidote to positive thinking about laughter and a roadmap for navigating different types of offensive humour.

Restricted access

This article contributes to debates on international collaborations by examining contradictions between the decolonial turn and the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund which imposed Global North leadership on Global South partners. Through the lenses of compromise and complicity, the article explores how collaborators strive to work together equitably within the constraints of a UK government Official Development Assistance funding scheme. Drawing on focus group discussions with members of a research team, the article traces, first, their engagement with political and institutional constraints and, second, their articulation of collaborative compromise and productive complicity. The article foregrounds the generative potential of complicity as a productive concept that can help partners to navigate the challenges of interdependence and partnership entailed in North–South, South–South, cross-sector and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Open access
The Construction of Publics in Datafied Democracies

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence

This book addresses new challenges to the formation of publics in datafied democracies. It proposes a fresh, complex and nuanced approach to understand ‘datapublics’, by considering datafication and public formation in the context of audience, journalism and infrastructure studies.

The tightly woven chapters shed new light on how platforms, algorithms and their data infrastructure are embedded in journalistic values, discourses and practices, opening up new conditions for publics to display agency, mobilise and achieve legitimacy.

This is a seminal contribution to the debates about the future of media, journalism and civic practices.

Open access
The Next Chapter

How do we respond to harm faced by young people beyond their front doors? Can practitioners keep young people safe at school, in their neighbourhoods or with their friends when social care systems are designed to work with families?

The Contextual Safeguarding approach has transformed how policy makers, social care leaders, practitioners and researchers understand harm that happens to young people in their communities and what is required to respond. Since 2015 it has been tested across the UK and internationally. This book shares stories from child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation and peer violence about what has been learnt on this journey.

For anyone interested in how we safeguard young people beyond their front doors, this book shows how much we have achieved and raises big questions about what more we need to do to ensure young people are safe – whatever the context.

Restricted access
Between Meaning and Matter

Written by leading social scientists working in and across a variety of analytic traditions, this ambitious, insightful volume explores interpretation as a focal metaphor for understanding the body’s influence, meaning, and matter in society.

Interpreting body and embodiment in social movements, health and medicine, race, sex and gender, globalization, colonialism, education, and other contexts, the book’s chapters call into question taken-for-granted ideas of where the self, the social world, and the body begin and end.

Encouraging reflection and opening new perspectives on theories of the body that cut through the classic mind/body divide, this is an important contribution to the literature on the body.

Restricted access
Measurement, Meaning and the Media
Author:

Do numbers have a life of their own or do we give them meaning? How do data play a role in constructing people’s perceptions of the world around them? How far can we trust numbers to speak truth to power?

The COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique moment to answer these questions. This book examines how politicians, experts and journalists gave meaning to data through the story of seven iconic numbers from the pandemic.

Shedding light on a new dawn of data, this book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the relationship between numbers, meaning and society.

Restricted access
Representations, Theory, and Practice

A book on queer themes and science communication is timely, if not well overdue.

LGBTIQA+ people have unique contributions to make and issues to meet through science communication. So, bringing ‘queer’ and ‘science communication’ together is an important step for queer protest, liberation, and visibility.

This collection examines the place of queer people within science communication and asks what it means for the field to ‘queer’ science communication practice, theory and research agendas.

Written by leading names in the field, it offers concrete examples for academics, students and practitioners who strive to foster radical inclusivity and equity in science communication.

Restricted access
Beyond Resistance

Analyses of humour often focus primarily on the Global North, with little consideration for examples and practices from elsewhere. This book provides a vital contribution to humour theory by developing a Global South perspective.

Taking a wide-ranging view across the whole of the continent, the book examines the relationship between humour and politics in Africa. It considers the context of the production and reception of humour in African contexts and argues that humour is more than just symbolic. Moving beyond the idea of humour as a mode of resistance, the book investigates the ‘political work’ that humour does and explores the complex entanglements in which the politics, practices and performances of humour are located.

Restricted access
The Ideological Contours of Public Scientific Controversies

When the utility of masks or vaccinations became politicized during the COVID-19 pandemic and lost its mooring in scientific evidence, an already-developing crisis of expertise was exacerbated. Those who believe in consensus science wondered: “How can ‘those people’ not see the truth?

This book shows that it is not a ‘scientific’ controversy, but an ideological dispute with ‘believers’ on both sides. If the advocates for consensus science acknowledge the uncertainties involved, rather than insisting on cold, hard facts, it is possible to open a pathway towards interaction and communication, even persuasion, between world views.

As the crisis of expertise continues to be a global issue, this will be an invaluable resource for readers concerned about polarized societies and the distrust of consensus science.

Restricted access