Sociology

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 Gender and Sociology, Global Migration and Social ChangeSociology of Children and FamiliesSociology of Diversity and Public Sociology.

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.

Sociology

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This chapter introduces and contextualises the international arms trade. It explores the links between the activities of state and corporate elites through the lens of warrior-protector and bourgeois-rational models of masculinity. The legitimate arms trade is defined and monitored, over and against illegitimate trading as a criminal activity, through ‘nested’ hierarchies of male-dominated elites. Visual analysis shows how the overtly gendered masculinity of moralised patriarchy interacts with covertly gendered humanness. In that way money-making in the national/international arms trade is sanitised as patriotic. Taking the UK as a particular state-agent, the chapter shows how legitimating strategies invisibilise policy contradictions and human rights-violations.

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This chapter takes readers to the very pinnacle of global power where nation-states, military establishments and commercial interests come together at international arms fairs. At those venues arms traders and weapons-manufacturers address their legitimacy-deficit. Their strategies are stabilised by reinscribing the heterosexual certainties of the gender-order hierarchy of masculinity over femininity. Gender-sensitive ethnography, informed by performativity, explicates this in detail, with particular attention to the role of women. In turn weapons-company promotional videos do this similarly with the race-class order to stabilise themselves politically. This conjuncture is dominated by American ‘defence’ spending and thus by ‘western-liberal’ norms. Legitimation then works against any idea of hypocrisy and subterfuge.

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This chapter considers the anti-militarism activisms which confront the imbrication of weaponry and masculinity that the preceding chapters have outlined. Those activisms include both men and women. However, they have a particular and often problematic relationship with feminisms and with feminist activists. Moreover those groups and movements include a variety of understandings of, and internal conflicts about, critical approaches to masculinity. Rather than typologising any masculinities therein as somehow ‘alternative’, the analytical focus here is on grassroots efforts to delegitimise weaponry and militarism. Some queer activists attempt to do this by destabilising the gender-order hierarchy directly. This chapter avoids descriptive typology and relates instead to great-power politics.

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Gender is widely recognized as an important and useful lens for the study of International Relations. However, there are few books that specifically investigate masculinity/ies in relation to world politics.

Taking a feminist-inspired understanding of gender as its starting point, the book:

  • explains that gender is both an asymmetrical binary and a hierarchy;

  • shows how masculinization works via ‘nested hierarchies’ of domination and subordination;

  • explores the imbrication of masculinities with the nation-state and great-power politics;

  • develops an understanding of the arms trade with commercial processes of militarization.

Written in an accessible style, with suggestions for further reading, this book is an invaluable resource for students and teachers applying ‘the gender lens’ to global politics.

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This chapter genders the supposedly gender-neutral founding concepts of the study of international relations. The security dilemma arises in and through the ordered hierarchies of male-dominated institutions. The state is rightly conceived as masculine and masculinising. The great-power politics of the international system is thus coincident with the militarisation and weaponry through which nation-states compete. This international ‘normality’ is legitimated by the gender-order hierarchies of male dominance. That order of dominance is legitimated in turn by the nation-state in masculinising practices and weapons-displays. States without a military establishment are thus queer, yet normalised into the ordered hierarchies of militarism by other means, such as national sporting prowess.

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This chapter explains that gender is not simply a binary. It is also a hierarchy of masculinity over femininity. Within that hierarchy there are ‘nested’ hierarchies of some men over others. This chapter also distinguishes between domination and hegemony, which is domination by consent. And it explains that masculinity and femininity are asymmetrical. Men can stand for generic, de-gendered humanity. When they are gendered as overtly male, that representation is moralised as good. Moral badness is then displaced into a generic human nature. Women have only the overtly gendered option. Men thus accumulate power within hierarchies of domination and subordination by mutual consent.

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A Practical Guide

Nearly 20% of the population has a disability. Despite this, mainstream research often does not explicitly address the methodological and practical issues that can act as barriers to disabled people’s participation in social research. In this book, Aidley and Fearon provide a concise, practical introduction to making it easier for everyone to take part in research.

Requiring no prior knowledge about accessible research methods, the book:

• explains how removing barriers to participation will improve the quality of the research;

• covers the research process from design, to collecting data, to dissemination and publication;

• includes checklists and further reading, as well as useful examples and vignettes to illustrate how issues play out in practice.

This book will be invaluable to researchers from a variety of backgrounds looking to increase participation in their research, whether postgraduate students, experienced academic researchers, practitioners or professionals.

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In this chapter we discuss accessibility in the context of face-to-face research with people. This focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on qualitative research data collection.

The advice in this chapter covers choosing a suitable location, ensuring participants can reach the venue, closing and follow-up for the session, and ways to address accessibility issues in individual and group interviews. The guidance is based on the principles of Universal Design (UD) (see Chapter 2) and focuses on offering ways to participate that are flexible and that accommodate varying access needs. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to take part. The checklists in this chapter cover several eventualities, so some points won’t apply to every situation and others may not be feasible at the research location.

There are three important points to bear in mind:

  • This book gives generalised advice so plans can be made in advance. The most important thing is to check with and listen to participants, consider ways in which researchers can be flexible to their individual needs, and find solutions that work for both participants and researchers.

  • Make a back-up plan. For example, if someone can’t come to a face-to-face interview, they may be able to continue with a telephone or video interview.

  • If there is no choice about the location or the facilities that are available, it’s important to be realistic with participants about what we can and cannot do to facilitate access, given the constraints of the setting.

The guidance in this chapter is based on a combination of academic references, professional or patient group guidance for specific needs (see Appendix 2) and personal experience.

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The starting point for this book is the observation that current research methods and methodologies constitute potential barriers for disabled people to participate in research. It is our experience that, outside research explicitly focusing on disability, accessibility is rarely, if ever, seen as a concern in the research planning stage (see also Berghs et al, 2016). We both feel strongly that, as researchers, it is our responsibility to make research more accessible, both for ethical and methodological reasons, and we want to use our joint expertise to offer practical advice on steps researchers can take to ensure more people can participate, and more voices are heard.

In doing so, we want to make sure that this book is clear and accessible to researchers, particularly those not yet familiar with the current debates surrounding the definitions of and perspectives on disability. Thus, for readers with a background in disability-focused or adjacent research, most of the theoretical considerations in this book will be very familiar. Generally, however, our focus is explicitly on practical advice, and, while we will provide some introduction to key concepts, this will be kept brief. Instead, we will recommend additional sources where key concepts can be explored in the ‘Further reading’ sections at the end of each chapter.

This book comprises nine chapters. In this chapter, we give a brief overview of disability prevalence globally, and set out the ethical and methodological case for accessibility, particularly in relation to validity and research quality, and the benefits of conducting research in an accessible way.

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In this chapter we explore the reasons why researchers use more than one data collection method in their research, and the potential benefits this can have for including disabled participants. We look at the use of triangulation, mixed methods and mixed media, and then go on to discuss the accessibility issues linked with a range of individual research methods

Triangulation 1 refers to an approach that strategically uses more than one method, theory or researcher to collect and analyse data. The intended outcome is to derive a more consistent answer by validating the findings using more than one source. It can also mean analysing the same data with different methods, via ‘triangulation of data analysis techniques’ (Lauri, 2011). It can be used as an analysis strategy, where different members of the research team conduct analysis independently and then compare their findings, a tactic known as intercoder reliability (in qualitative research) or interrater reliability (in quantitative research) (O’Connor and Joffe, 2020). Crucially, triangulation is used to examine the same underlying concept or variable through different means:

The logic of triangulation is based on the premise that no single method ever adequately solves the problem of rival explanations. Because each method reveals different aspects of empirical reality, multiple methods of data collection and analysis provide more grist for the research mill. (Patton, 1999, p 1192)

However, it is not a given that the different approaches lead to consistent answers. Mathison (1988, p 15) argues that:

[i]n practice, triangulation as a strategy provides a rich and complex picture of some social phenomenon being studied, but rarely does it provide a clear path to a singular view of what is the case.

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