Welcome to the newly developed Department Blog. Reflecting our commitment to interdisciplinary research, members of staff and postgraduates participate within a wide range of interdisciplinary research based in the Department and across the University. Initially we will have a new blog entry every two months and, in the longer term, intend to have monthly posting updates (past blogs will be archived and available).

Siblings and Sociology

Siblings are the subject of much media fascination. From the big plot twist in Disney’s Frozen, where the act of ‘true love’ on which the story hinges is one of sisterly

The queerest place on the internet?: Queer belonging on Tumblr

Written by Dr Briony Hannell, University of Sheffield This post is published to mark the beginning of LGBT+ History Month. Over the past decade, few social media platforms have been as hypervisible in their ability to attract young queer (i.e. those broadly aligned under the LGBT+ umbrella) users as the multimedia microblogging platform Tumblr. At…

‘Taking a knee’ in English football: the silent roar of the three lions

Written by Victoria Knowles, University of Sheffield Originally used by NFL-player Colin Kaepernick in 2016, the ‘take a knee’ gesture was born in protest of the police brutality faced by African-Americans and gained further prominence during the resurgent Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. The England men’s national team first used the gesture in September…

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It takes work: Building reasonable research cultures in STS

Written by Warren Pearce, University of Sheffield Photo by Aubrey Odom-Mabey on Unsplash: “Harvard Faculty Club”     Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg’s story of sexual harassment and exclusion at the Harvard STS Program continues to reverberate within the global Science & Technology Studies (STS) community, and beyond into wider academia, in tweets, Zoom calls and corridor conversations. While…

Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism: Pockets of possibility?

Written by Dr Laura Connelly, University of Sheffield and Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, University of Manchester Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism – published by Manchester University Press in late 2021 – was initially borne out of our frustrations as PhD students with an academia that we saw as being disconnected from the urgent issues of the real world. Perhaps…

Platforming environmental imagery: the increasing role of algorithms in ordering knowledge.

Written by Warren Pearce Environmental imagery online How does one represent something that is both as ubiquitous and abstract as ‘the environment’? This question is becoming ever-more important and urgent, as human-caused environmental damage becomes increasingly serious and debates about political choices increasingly fraught. The ways in which these debates play out depend, at least…