Our growing Sociology list has a global outlook featuring high-quality research across emerging and established areas in the field, such as digital sociology, migration, gender, race and ethnicity, public sociology, and children and families.
Our series include the bestselling 21st Century Standpoints, in collaboration with the British Sociological Association, and the Sociology of Diversity and Public Sociology series.
We publish leading journals in the field, including Emotions and Society in association with the European Sociological Association's (ESA) Research Network on Sociology of Emotions (RN11) as well as Families, Relationships and Societies and the Journal of Gender-Based Violence.
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It is becoming increasingly clear: platforms, formerly hidden behind the veils of entrepreneurship, are (re)shaping the world of work and workers. As Amazon has become a forerunner in setting these trends, this book examines two key and contrasting Amazon platforms: its e-commerce platform and its digital labor platform, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). By accessing the workers of the (digital) shop floor, it explores how different organizations of platforms estrange and alienate workers, and how, despite these conditions, workers organize within their political-economic contexts to express their agency. To do so, it differentiates between the nature of the platform and the nature of the work. While the former can be location-based or web-based, the latter refers to a traditional time-wage or gig wage. The case of Amazon's e-commerce platform, meaning the workforce in its warehouses, resembles a location-based traditional time-wage platform, whereas MTurk is an example of a web-based gig piece-wage platform. By investigating these platforms within their political-economic context and approaching their workers on a (digital) shopfloor level, this book argues that the nature of the platform and the nature of the work organize and alienate workers in different ways, with different repercussions for their collective organization, which make themselves felt in traditional and more alternative ways. In doing so, this book shares insights into the different ways in which platforms are structured and reproduce historical continuities in organizing workers and their labor, as well as into contemporary developments that reshape labor realities and how workers organize themselves within these.
Farm occupation is a recent tactic and enacts a politics of sight, which makes visible hidden animal violence by the animal industry complex. Animal justice citizen activists (AJCAs) identify and enter farms to protest lawful violence against animals by documenting and sharing images from the inside. This article examines activists’ subjective experience of immersion in animal violence. The analysis shows that a politics of sight requires and introduces extreme, conflicting emotional demands on AJCAs, requiring a level of emotional reflexivity and negotiation that is sufficiently grasped by existing conceptions of emotional habitus and moral shock. The empirical study seeks to contribute to filling this gap. To do so, I investigated the role of emotional reflexivity during, and after, AJCAs’ bodily immersion in the context of animal violence. The latter is also at its core of an unexpected moral shock for which there is not an established emotional repertoire among AJCAs. Thus, I explored the conflictual tension and the emotional consequences that AJCAs must manage during and after immersion in animal violence.
In this article, we consider how heterosexual young people navigate emotionality in their early dating practices. We draw on the ‘cold intimacy’ thesis (; ; ; ) that posits that emotions have increasingly become things to be evaluated, measured, quantified and categorised. Within the context of intimate relationships, research suggests that while young people are often open about the physical aspects of casual sex, they are reluctant to demonstrate emotional attachment, with vulnerability deemed shameful (). Drawing on in-depth interviews with UK-based dating app users aged 18–25, we find that emotional attachment is rarely articulated, and is seen as a sign of weakness in the early stages of a relationship. For our participants, emotions become bargaining chips, with the ‘winner’ being the party with the least to lose, the least invested and the least emotionally attached. While this applies to both the young men and women interviewed, our findings demonstrate a gendered imbalance of power in intimate relationships, as female participants express a fear of emotional hurt, while male participants work to avoid potential rejection and humiliation. As a result, most connections remain suspended in what we identify as the ‘failed talking stage’. This is underpinned by the removal of channels of accountability, coupled with entrenched heteronormative sexual scripts shaping gender roles at this stage.
Relatively few studies have addressed the division of labour during the first pregnancy, a period in which the couple is restructured as a result of its new parental role. This study is aimed at exploring how heterosexual couples residing in Santiago de Chile organise the division of paid, domestic and caregiving work, and what arguments support their choices. A qualitative, cross-sectional and multiple-case methodology was employed. Interviews were held with ten couples during their first pregnancy. A hybrid thematic analysis revealed that the transition to parenthood is marked by the traditionalisation of gender roles, with certain differences related to socioeconomic status being observed. Results are discussed in light of co-responsibility and gender norms in Latin America, while their implications for family dynamics and public policy are presented.
Chapter 1 examines the alternative of communism, in theory and attempts in practice. Lessons from attempts at communism are drawn out for alternative economies and social experiments in capitalism. The chapter moves from society-wide collective ownership to co-operative ownership on a small scale within capitalism. It discusses the principles and benefits of co-ops and the challenges they encounter. There is a discussion of Cooperation Jackson in the US. The chapter discusses participatory economy proposals for self-management, remuneration, mixed job combinations, and collective self-planning of the economy. It covers alternatives to this, for abolishing work, an economy without money, and decisions about the economy according to pull rather than plan. The chapter discusses examples of participatory budgeting internationally, and communal democracy in Barcelona (Spain), Fatsa (Turkey), Marinaleda (Spain), and Chiapas (Mexico). The chapter also looks at proposals for a society with less paid work and slow society, including their benefits, practicalities, and challenges. It moves on to eco-localist and confederalist alternatives, including in the Global South, post-development, degrowth, bioregionalism, permaculture, transition towns, and social ecology in Rojava (Syria). The chapter discusses digital alternatives to surveillance capitalism and proposals for a democratic public media.
This chapter discusses alternative societies at a global level. It looks at the emergence of the anti-globalization movement and attempts at alter-globalization. It is argued that global government is unlikely to be successful because of the difficulties of finding common agreement across divisions of ideology and material interest between actors internationally. The chapter makes the case that pursuing change at an international level is more effectively done through sub-global internationalism between actors with shared ideological goals or geopolitical interests. It is argued one way change can globally lead to alternative globalization is through open borders for the free movement of people. Arguments for open borders based on freedom, obligations, and equality are outlined. Myths about the scale of international migration and its negative economic and social effects are countered with evidence. The chapter argues that open borders would not lead to huge unmanageable population movements. It contends that evidence on attitudes to migration shows more potential for support for open borders than it seems at first. What an alternative global society with open borders would look like is outlined.
In a time of great gloom and doom internationally and of major global problems, this book offers an invaluable contribution to our understanding of alternative societies that could be better for humans and the environment.
Bringing together a wide range of approaches and new strands of economic and social thinking from across the US, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, Luke Martell critically assesses contemporary alternatives and shows the ways forward with a convincing argument of pluralist socialism.
Presenting a much-needed introduction to the debate on alternatives to capitalism, this ambitious book is not about how things are, but how they can be!
The conclusion summarizes the chapters and their main coverage. It outlines how the book has covered both alternatives in theory and alternatives being tried now or in the past in practical, realizable forms. It reiterates and reasserts the main core of the book, which is for utopianism in many forms, materialist and free, and pluralist socialism that includes liberalism, ecology, feminism, decolonial alternatives, and collective ownership, local and national, in an inclusively democratized form. It reiterates the argument of the book against dichotomous approaches and false oppositions, and for a pluralist, multilevel socialism both in the means of alternative society – political and extra-political; local, national, and international; in combination and not opposed – and the form it should take – socialist but with liberalism and diversity – not a pluralism that includes socialism but a socialism that includes pluralism.
Chapter 5 discusses democratizing the economy, including alternatives from the ‘populist’ Left and the COVID and post-COVID periods that involve collective ownership and control. The chapter supports democratic socialism over social democracy, and a focus on pre-distribution and asset ownership as well as redistribution of income. It outlines community wealth building, which favours social ownership, social goals, and local wealth retention, and provides examples in places like Preston and Cleveland. Community wealth building is outlined as an approach that involves a circulatory rather than extractive economy. The challenge of ensuring participatory consciousness is addressed. The chapter discusses methods for responding to resistance that democratizing the economy would encounter. It looks at the scaling up of local initiatives and the allying of civil society and local politics with national politics, in multilevel socialism. The chapter also outlines the role of society-wide public ownership, arguing that it needs to be inclusive of multiple groups and democratic, making the case for central planning, raised as a possibility out of the COVID-19 period, under popular democratic control.
The introduction sets out the aim of the book to go beyond critique of present society and look for alternatives. It outlines: the breadth of alternatives covered, in theory and practice, current and future; the thrust of the book in going beyond polarizations and dichotomies and its argument for pluralism and complexity in pursuing alternatives; the emphasis on socialism as coming out of the many alternatives but also how socialism is pursued in the book, seeing the need for a pluralist and liberal approach. The introduction explains why the following themes were chosen for more in-depth analysis: utopianism, socialism, the democratic economy, and local/global levels. The chapter outlines how the book is international, discussing alternatives at a global level and located and relevant internationally, including in the Global South. The introduction also outlines how the book is designed for students and lay readers as well as experts.