Tag Archives: sociology

International Relations, Politics and Sociology annual postgraduate day proves to be a great success

003The International Relations, Politics and Sociology Programme held its Annual Postgraduate Day on 22 June 2016. This mini-conference was a showcase for work being done both by research students and the current MA International Studies cohort. Prospective MA students and online viewers were able to take part via livestream.

Dr Stephen Hurt, course lead for MA International Relations (formerly International Studies), reports that he was delighted to welcome Dr Juanita Elias (pictured, being introduced by Dr Molly Cohran) from the University of Warwick, where she is an Associate Professor in International Political Economy, for a lecture on ‘Gender, IPE and Labour Migration: Perspectives from South-East Asia’. Her lecture covered some of the key findings of her recent academic publications. Starting from the key feminist claim that a focus on social reproduction is vital, Juanita convincingly demonstrated how the role played by domestic workers is central to an understanding of the political economy of South-East Asia. In doing so she argued that social reproduction is becoming increasingly marketised, with states like Malaysia and Singapore encouraging inflows of migration to this effect.

“We are very grateful to Dr Elias for joining us and for prompting a very lively and interesting Q&A session after her lecture”

After the session broke for lunch, guests heard from three current doctoral research students from the department. Kian Pourkemani outlined some of the themes of his project, which is looking at the right of self-determination within international law. Huw Houssemayne Du Boulay set out the design of his research, which seeks to explore the ‘idea’ of Crimea and how this has varied over time in relation to notions of Russian national identity. Emily Cousens then spoke to some of the work she is doing on an interdisciplinary project with Philosophy on the concept of vulnerability within the history of feminist thought.

The International Relations, Politics and Sociology annual postgraduate day concluded with two sets of parallel panels where current MA students gave short presentations on their summer dissertation projects.

These presentations demonstrated the fascinating range of topics that our MA students are conducting research on. The following projects are just a sample to demonstrate the breadth of their interests:

  • ‘To what extent will the continued automation of labour impact social stratification in the global political economy?’.
  • ‘The relationship between scientific knowledge and political ecology in correcting environmental justice’.
  • ‘How a civil society organisation – Pelitit – is promoting food sovereignty and agro-ecological farming practices in Greece’.
  • ‘Producing in/security and its objects: discourse analysis of the reproduction of French citizen after the Charlie Hebdo attacks’.

Find out more about MA International Relations, or research at Oxford Brookes. Keep an eye on the Department of Social Sciences events page to take part in the next postgraduate day in June 2017.

PhD studentships now available for September 2016 start!

8460 800 by 430The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University is pleased to offer a number of full-time PhD Studentships across a range of subject areas for a September 2016 start.

The successful candidate will receive an annual payment of £14,000 as a stipend towards living expenses for a maximum of three years.  Home/EU fees will also be covered by the relevant Department for a maximum of three years.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences spans a diverse range of disciplines that include social sciences, history, philosophy, religion, education, law, English and modern languages, and has a long tradition of producing world-class research. The REF 2014 results confirm our ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ research status in a range of subjects, and serve as official recognition of the expertise, dedication and passion of our academic community. We are now accepting applications for the following PhD studentships:


Department of Social Sciences

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in ‘Lemurs as protectors of the forest: Lemur seed dispersal, forest regeneration and local livelihoods in the littoral forest fragments of Madagascar’ The supervisory team will be led by Dr Giuseppe Donati (Primatology/Biological Anthropology), with Professor Kate Hill  (Anthropology). This proposed PhD project will examine the assumed role of lemurs’ forest regeneration and the likely value of this to local human populations.

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in Challenging Security Anew: Probing the Bases and Limits of Critical Security Studies. The supervisory team will be led by Dr Tina Managhan (International Relations) with Dr Doerthe Rosenow (International Relations). This proposed PhD project will explore the ontological and philosophical underpinnings of post-structuralist Critical Security Studies with the aim of furthering its critical ethos and politics.

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in Exploring family, care work and fatherhood in the ‘age of migration’. The supervisory team will be led by Professor Tina Miller (Sociology) with Dr Maja Cederberg (Sociology). This proposed PhD project will investigate the role of fathering and examine the emotion work involved in transnational migration, focusing on fathers who are migrants coming to the UK. In particular it will explore how men who are fathers navigate expectations of paternal care and associated emotion work across their home and host country, and how parental obligations and responsibilities are understood, maintained and practiced over time and across borders.


Department of English and Modern Languages

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in ‘Avant-Garde Writing, Technology and the Everyday’. The supervisory team will be led by Professor Alex Goody (Twentieth-Century Literature), with Dr Eric White (American Literature).  We are interested in proposals that examine the interactions between the avant-garde writers of modernism and its aftermath and the technological world of the twentieth century. The proposed research should aim to produce a new account of the relationship between the modernist ‘revolution of the word’ and the contingencies and externalities of living in a modern world radically reconfigured through technology (such as transport, inscription, information, communication, surveillance, prosthesis, augmentation and warfare).


Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in ‘The Art of Pre-Raphaelite Criticism’. The supervisory team will be led by Professor Christiana Payne, (History of Art) with Dr Dinah Roe (19th Century Literature). The proposed project will examine the role of contemporary criticism in the development of the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, with particular reference to the work of William Michael Rossetti and Frederic George Stephens.


Sociology Lecturer receives funding award from the British Academy

DSC_0018 news cropDr Tamsin Barber, senior lecturer in Sociology, has been successful in receiving a grant from the British Academy for her project: Becoming East Asian: Race, Ethnicity and Youth Politics of Belonging in Superdiverse Britain (with Dr. Diana Yeh, City University, London).

Tamsin’s research project examines emerging East Asian youth identities and social spaces in urban Britain to investigate the changing significance of race and ethnicity in superdiverse contexts (a mix of ethnic and migrant minorities).

The concept of superdiversity has become widely adopted to describe and analyse the ordinary multiculture of everyday urban life in the context of new migrations, but it has been criticised for neglecting issues of power, inequality, exclusion and racism . Her project addresses these absences by examining the significance of race and racism for invisible minorities.

Due to migration, East Asians in Britain are now one of the fastest growing ‘ethnic’ groupings, with the highest percentage of international students; yet they remain invisible in both academic and policy debates on citizenship, integration and multiculturalism. This project investigates how and why young people in London and Birmingham are engaging in racial and pan-ethnic ‘Oriental’ group-making when recent social surveys suggest that race is losing its significance as a dominant identity.

The research will be divided between London and Birmingham, two cities with significant East Asian populations, to allow for a comparative analysis. The research team will conduct in-depth interviews with young Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Korean and Malaysian men and women who use East Asian social spaces, such as events aimed specifically at East Asian youth as well as research on social networking sites.It will provide rich multifaceted data to show how and why young people are ‘becoming East Asian’, as they negotiate the politics of belonging in superdiverse Britain.

Her work will contribute to debates on how political mobilization and belonging are changing under superdiversity, and lead to a research agenda on emerging East Asian youth politics in Britain whilst contributing significant new knowledge on the hitherto ‘uncharted territories’ of invisible youth, who until the 2011 Census were classified as a subcategory of ‘Chinese’, as ‘Chinese: Other’. 


If you’d like to find out more about studying Sociology at Oxford Brookes University, take a look at the subject page.

Oxford Brookes lecturer acts as guest editor for sociology journal


Oxford Brookes sociology lecturer Professor Tina Miller has guest edited a special issue of the journal ‘Families, Relationships and Societies’ alongside Professor Esther Dermott (Bristol University), which is now available online. This special issue focuses on contemporary fatherhood in Europe, with contributions from Denmark, Italy, Sweden, France and the UK.

Tina Miller set up the Oxford Network of European Fatherhood Researchers (ONEFaR)  following a British Academy Grant award in 2011. Since its inception the Network has organised research events in the UK, Italy and Sweden and presented in panel discussions at several European conferences. The Network is currently working on a book proposal with Policy Press on researching fatherhood and family lives, and will next present their work at the University of Roskilde, Denmark in November 2015.


Professor showcases research in week-long feature on BBC Oxford

Tina-Miller_Bio_Pic_2015Tina Miller, Professor in Sociology at Oxford Brookes University will be taking part in a series of short radio features all next week on BBC Oxford to highlight her research into managing modern family lives (21-25 September)

Tina was awarded a one year British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship in 2014 to carry out a project entitled Managing modern family lives: public understandings and everyday practises of caring and paid work.

Professor Tina Miller said: “Societal ideas about who cares for children have often assumed that women are naturally more able to care than men. These ideas arise from arguments about women’s biology and destiny, and men’s historical association with paid work.

“But as more women contribute in significant ways to the workplace and may decide not to have children, ideas of biologically-determined capacities to care come under scrutiny and provide opportunities to think in new ways about men as carers too.”

As part of the project, Tina has collaborated with BBC Radio Oxford to put together a series of short features on managing work and family life, with a particular focus on family experiences in Oxfordshire.

The live features will be included in BBC Oxford’s mid-morning show with presenter Kat Orman starting Monday 21 September and concluding on Friday 25 September with a phone-in from listeners on their experiences of managing work and family life, child care issues and so on.

The features will take the listener through the social, political and historical changes which have led to the family configurations and patterns of paid work and caring responsibilities that are seen today. The ways in which other countries, such as Sweden, support families organising care and paid work will also be explored as well as the current, often complicated, child care arrangements that working families in the UK have to negotiate.

She continues: “This is a fascinating opportunity to share topical research findings with a large audience of radio listeners, many of whom will have first-hand experience of the daily challenge of combining paid work and caring responsibilities. Is a balance possible, who’s involved in providing care and could new policies support families in more helpful ways? These are some of the questions we will be exploring.”

Guest contributors will also include Professor Lars Plantin of Malmö University in Sweden and the historian Professor Joanne Begiato (Bailey) also from Oxford Brookes University.

Tune in to BBC Radio Oxford from 10am all next week. You can also listen online and listen again to any features you miss via their website.

British Academy fellowship given to sociology academic

TinaMillerTina Miller, Professor of Sociology, has been awarded one of only  38 British Academy Mid-Career Fellowships to support research during the next academic year. Only 15 per cent of applications for these prestigious fellowships are successful.

Professor Miller, whose research interests focus on parenting, caring and working, will use the award to continue her research in this area.

Her project, Managing Modern Family Lives: public understanding and everyday practises of caring and paid work, will see her carrying out workshops with young fathers, fathers of older children, and single mothers. She will also plan and produce a radio programme, complete a monograph and disseminate her findings in various ways, including at the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

Professor Miller said, ‘It’s just the most wonderful opportunity and I can’t quite believe it. I’ll have an uninterrupted year to focus on all these research activities.’

Swedish funding for Oxford Fatherhood network

Tina MillerThe Oxford Fatherhood network established by Professor Tina Miller following a dissemination event as part of a British Academy award has been awarded funding of just over 29,000 Euros (£25,000) by a Swedish funding organization RIKSBANKENS JUBILEUMSFOND.

The award is a result of a successful application made to the funding body by Professor Lars Plantin of Malmö University, who is a member of the network. The network comprises a collaboration between 15 researchers from 12 universities in the UK, Italy, Sweden and Denmark and the funding will facilitate the production of a special issue of the journal, Families, Relationships and Societies to be published in January 2015. A series of meetings allied to the special issue and the development of future research bids will be hosted at Oxford Brookes University, Bristol University, Malmö University and the Catholic University in Milan throughout the coming year.

Professor Tina Miller said she was delighted at the outcome of the Swedish application, adding that: “This is a very welcome and significant boost to the continuation of the Fatherhood research being undertaken at Oxford Brookes University. The special issue of the journal will bring together a timely and comprehensive overview of current scholarship on fathering and fatherhood drawing on different European contexts. The meetings will also support planning for a future (2020 Horizon) European funding application which the network plans to submit”.

Professor Lars Plantin, Malmö University, said the award “would do much to sustain the momentum of the network in the development of this important special issue. It will also be key in supporting the collaborative nature of the research by enabling all the members involved to benefit from valuable face-to-face discussion.”

The first meeting, hosted by Dr Esther Dermott, took place on 28–29 November 2013 at Bristol University, with the second scheduled for 20–21 March 2014 in Milan.

Professor Tina Miller publishes paper on father’s involvment in parental leave

Tina MillerProfessor Tina Miller has been invited to write a piece for Juncture the journal for the The Institute for Public Policy Research. The piece is on policy and parental leave (Volume 19, Issue 4).

It has just been published online and is available as hard copy.

Oxford Brookes to host the second international workshop on Fatherhood

Tina MillerOn Friday 5 April 2013, Oxford Brookes University will host the second international workshop on Fatherhood, with invited delegates from the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Italy. Chaired by Professor of Sociology, Tina Miller, it follows an inaugural workshop, which took place in September 2011, as part of a British Academy funded project on Men, Work and Family Life – a comparative study undertaken in collaboration with a team of colleagues from the Catholic University of Milan.

This second meeting will focus on the content of a special issue of the journal, ‘Families, Relationships and Societies’, and members of the network will be joined by Professor Brid Featherstone (Open University) and Emeritus Professor David Morgan of the Morgan Centre for the Study of Relationships and Personal Life at Manchester University, for this purpose.

Welcoming the opportunity to consolidate further the network of academics working in this field, Professor Miller said:

“This will be an important forum, enabling us to consider multiple perspectives, both geographically and also in terms of individual approaches. Fatherhood continues to be a highly topical issue, debated by politicians and in the media, as well as by academics. The key, overarching question, given the changes/continuities in men’s lives as fathers and workers, is whether anything is actually new when we consider men’s practices of fatherhood, caring and paid work? “

Brookes Professor invited to join MP’s expert panel on fatherhood

Dr Tina MillerFollowing the recent publication of her book ‘Making Sense of Fatherhood: Gender, Caring and Work’, Dr Tina Miller, Professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University, has been invited to join an expert panel being convened by MP David Lammy’s office to review New Labour’s policy on fatherhood.

In addition, Tina’s longitudinal research on men’s experiences of transition to first-time fatherhood has led to her being appointed as an advisor on a project being conducted by the Fatherhood Institute.

This project focuses on supporting couples as parents and is being run in association with other organisations including the Department of Education.

Dr Miller’s research on transition to first-time fatherhood follows an earlier longitudinal study she carried out on transition to first-time motherhood.
She is currently in the process of applying for British Academy funding in order to return to her original samples so that later episodes of their parenting experiences can be collected.

This follows a successful British Academy award which enabled collaborative research to be undertaken with colleagues at the Catholic University in Milan. This study explored cultural constructions of masculinities and fatherhood, and culminated with a dissemination event held at Oxford Brookes in September 2011.