Social Sciences

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Citizenship, migration and human rights

Our research focuses on issues relating to the socio-legal framework which influences human rights, citizenship and migration, examined from sociological, political, education and socio-legal perspectives.

Natural Resources and Human Rights: An Appraisal (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Jérémie Gilbert

In this book, Jérémie Gilbert argues that human rights law can play an important role in ensuring a more effective and sustainable management of natural resources, putting forward the idea of a human rights-based normative framework for natural resource management. Advocating for a less market and corporate approach to the control, ownership, and management of natural resources, this book supports the development of holistic and coherent integration of human rights law in the overall international legal framework governing the management of natural resources.

Education, Democracy and Inequality: political engagement and citizenship education in Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) 

Bryony Hoskins

In times of political disaffection, frustration and polarisation, it is particularly important to uncover why young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to engage politically, and to help inspire future generations to use their voice. Bryony Hoskins addresses the issue in Education, Democracy and Inequality: political engagement and citizenship education in Europe demonstrating how education systems - and in particular the English education system - are recreating and enhancing entrenched democratic inequalities.

The Politics of Listening: Possibilities and Challenges for Democratic Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Leah Bassel

This book explores listening as a social and political practice, in contrast to the more common focus on voice and speaking. Analysis across diverse settings considers whether and how a politics of listening, which demands that the roles of speakers and listeners change, can be undertaken in adversarial and tense political moments.

Diversity and personal life

Our focus on social justice intersects with the key demographics of gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. Drawing on a range of qualitative methodologies, work in this area explores everyday personal experiences within broader social structures and cultural trends.

Monstrous Ontologies: Politics Ethics Materiality (Vernon Press, 2021)  

Caterina Nirta and Andrea Pavoni ed.s 

The aim of this volume is to free monsters from their assumed transgressive nature and offer new conceptual tools that may help approach the study of what is monstrous away from the typical characterisations of good/evil, right/wrong, dangerous/safe and so forth. Monstrous Ontologies: Politics, Ethics, Materiality is the result of a research collaboration with Andrea Pavoni (DINÂMIA'CET, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal) and emerges from the Social Sciences Conference organised by Caterina Nirta in July 2019 and funded by Digby Stuart College.

The governance of female drug users: Women’s experiences of drug policy (Bristol University Press, 2015)

Natasha Du Rose

In this book, Natasha Du Rose explores the ways in which the governance of illicit drug use shapes female dependent drug users’ lives. It argues female drug users’ subjectivities, and hence their experiences, are shaped and regulated by drug policies. Du Rose subverts popular misconceptions of female users which condition oppressive interventions with the hope of contributing to the formulation of drug policies based on empowerment, gender equity and social justice.

Discovering Sociology (2nd ed) (Red Globe Press, 2021)  

Mark McCormack

The second edition of this major new textbook uses lively prose and a series of carefully crafted pedagogical features to both introduce Sociology as a discipline and to help students realise how deeply sociological issues impact on their own lives.

European Sexual Citizenship: Human Rights, Bodies and Identities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Francesca Ammaturo

This book is an innovative and critical contribution to the study of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people in the context of Europe. Combining legal and Foucauldian approaches, Francesca Ammaturo investigates the ways in which current discourses about LGBTIQ rights in Europe are tightly bound to contemporary debates about national and trans-national citizenship, defining and analysing the concept of 'multisexual citizenship' to illustrate new, flexible forms of sexual and gendered citizenship that could radically transform practices of citizenship and the current human rights framework in Europe.

Marginal Bodies, Trans Utopias (Routledge 2018)

Caterina Nirta 

Through a radical reconceptualisation of the time and space of utopia, this book proposes a new reading of the forces, intensities and modes that constitute transgender subjectivities and offers new insights into the everyday challenges faced by these subjectivities.

Nirta helps the reader to understand trans as ‘unity’ rather than as a ‘mind-body mismatch’. Contributing to the reading and understanding of trans lived experience, this book will be of interest to postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Transgender Studies and Sociology of Gender.

Social and political crime and violence

We explore socio-legal, cultural and ethical approaches to violence from the local to global levels, notably focusing on the impact of violence on under-represented groups.

Honour-Based Violence: Experiences and Counter-Strategies in Iraqi Kurdistan and the UK Kurdish Diaspora (Routledge, 2015)

Aisha K. Gill

'Honour'-based violence - a form of intimate violence committed against women (and some men) by husbands, fathers, brothers and male relatives - is an historically common social phenomenon, with its most extreme example - 'honour' killing - tragically remaining widespread. Over the last decade, national and international efforts, including new policy development and activist campaigns, have begun to challenge the practice. Based on a pioneering and unique study, conducted collaboratively by the Centre for Gender and Violence Research, University of Bristol, the University of Roehampton and Kurdish Women's Rights Watch, this book is at the forefront of this new and challenging policy direction.

Reconciling Rwanda: Unity, Nationality and State Control (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 2014)

Jennifer Melvin

In Reconciling Rwanda: Unity, Nationality and State Control, Jennifer Melvin analyses the highly controversial Rwandan Patriotic Front and its vision of reconciliation to determine who truly benefits from the construction of the new post-genocide Rwanda.

Health policies, illness and well-being

Our research also draws together social, cultural and biological perspectives on physical health and mental well-being.

Smoking, stigma and tobacco ‘denormalization’: Further reflections on the use of stigma as a public health tool. A commentary on Social Science & Medicine's Stigma, Prejudice, Discrimination and Health Special Issue (67: 3) (Social Science & Medicine, 2010)

Kirsten Bell

Through an examination of the unique contours of tobacco control policy, this article suggests that stigmatizing smoking will not ultimately help to reduce smoking prevalence amongst disadvantaged smokers. Rather, it is likely to exacerbate health-related inequalities by limiting smokers’ access to healthcare and inhibiting smoking cessation efforts in primary care settings.


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