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Sociology

SOCIOLOGY, SUFFERING AND HUMANITARIANISM

British Sociological Association Presidential Event: Sociology, Suffering and Humanitarianism

Friday 3rd February 2012, 10:00 – 16:00

The British Library Conference Centre, London

 

Confirmed speakers:

Craig Calhoun (London School of Economics)

Iain Wilkinson (University of Kent)

Larry Ray (University of Kent)

Kate Nash (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Gillian Bendelow (University of Sussex).

 

The magnitude and force of critical events of human suffering mark out modern times as an unparalleled ‘age of extremes’.  The scale of military conflict, the vast numbers of people trapped in systems of totalitarian oppression, the accumulation of conditions of mass humanitarian disaster and the entrenched poverty of the new ‘mega-slums’ leave many of us shocked and appalled by the harms we inflict on one another.

It is also now widely understood that we have created social conditions in which the maintenance of an affluent lifestyle and pursuit of consumer aspiration at one end of the globe are structurally implicated in the intensification of forces of violent oppression at the other. In this respect, the problem of suffering has changed not only in relation to the catastrophes that break apart societies, but also in accordance with the extent to which these are understood to be generated by social practices that at their point of origin may seem quite harmless and benign.

The brute fact of human suffering is frequently taken as a prompt for us to question the social, political and cultural circumstances in which we are made to live. It makes sociologists of us all. In almost every instance, the most significant developments in sociology have been inspired under the attempt to better understand the conditions that give rise to human misery; and further, how these can be re-fashioned for the project of building humane forms of society.

This BSA Presidential event is dedicated to the ongoing attempt to devise a sociological account of causes and consequences of human suffering. It also aims to cultivate a broad-ranging debate over the role of humanitarianism within our culture and the vocation of sociology itself.

Please visit the event website www.britsoc.co.uk/events/presidential to register and for further event details.

For more details about joining the BSA please visit www.britsoc.co.uk/join

Please direct any enquiries to the BSA office at events@britsoc.org.uk

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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Critical Sociology

CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY REVIEW ESSAYS

Critical Sociology‘s book review section will now begin focusing on publishing more comprehensive review essays. Such essays of approximately 5,000 words in length generally examine three to four books of a similar topic through a scholarly lens. For example, we currently have four titles that examine the economic crisis from a critical/left perspective. They are:

1. McNally, David. Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance
2. Lilley, Sasha. Capital and its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult
3. Albo, Greg, Sam Gindin, and Leo Panitch. In and Out of Crisis: The Global Financial Meltdown and Left Alternatives
4. Calhoun, Craig and Georgi Derluguian. Business as Usual: The Roots of the Global Financial Meltdown

Alternatively, a review essay may draw on a single book title and discuss its relevance along a broad  framework such as contemporary scholarship, or in light of recent e vents, or its utility in an activist setting, etc.

In addition, Critical Sociology welcomes review essays concerned with contemporary media and cultural productions, including but not limited to fiction, cinema, and independent music. These review essays should meet the same criteria set out for book review essays, discussed above.

If you are interested in writing a book review essay for the journal or proposing a potential review essay of your own, please contact the book review editor, George Sanders, at the following e-mail: critsoc.reviews@gmail.com

If you are interested in writing a culture review essay (concerned with fiction, cinema, music, photography and the graphic arts, etc.) for the journal or proposing a potential review essay of your own, please contact the media and culture editor, Graham Cassano, at the following e-mail: critsoc.mediaculture@gmail.com
*****
Professor David Fasenfest
Dept of Sociology
Wayne State University
Editor, Critical Sociology 
crs.sagepub.com
Series Editor
Studies in Critical Social Science
www.brill.nl/scss

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Karl Marx

MARX AND THE ALTERNATIVE TO CAPITALISM

Kieran Allen
Released June 6th 2011
PB / £ 16.99 / 9780745330020 / 215mm x 135mm / 248pp

If we are serious about finding a different way to run the post-credit crunch society, we must start by introducing alternatives to undergraduates. Kieran Allen begins the task with an accessible and comprehensive look at the ideas of Karl Marx.

Dispensing with the dryness of traditional explanations of Marx, Allen shows how Marx’s ideas apply to modern society. The first section briefly outlines Marx’s life and the development of his work, then goes on to clearly explain his key theories, including historical materialism and surplus value. The second section examines alternatives to capitalism, the concept of ‘anti-capitalism’ and provides concrete, contemporary examples of Marx’s theories being put into practice in today’s world.

This book provides a crucial alternative for undergraduates in sociology and politics.

Kieran Allen is a sociology lecturer at University College Dublin. His books include Max Weber: A Critical Introduction (Pluto, 2004) as well as a number of works on Irish society and politics.

For further information, to request a review copy or to speak to the author please contact Jon Wheatley at jonw@plutobooks.com or on 0208 374 6424

PLUTO BOOKS

345 ARCHWAY ROAD, LONDON, N6 5AA
TEL: 0208 3482724 FAX: 0208 348 9133 http://www.plutobooks.com

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Karl Marx

MARXISM AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY: NEW CRITICAL ENGAGEMENTS

CALL FOR PAPERS

For Proposed International Sociological Association 2012 Panel:

Title: Marxism and IPE: New Critical Engagements

Abstract:

Accumulation through dispossession, new enclosures, rent becoming profit, general intellect, immaterial labor, multitudes and the common. All of these are Marxist concepts of some variety or another which although prevalent in geography, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies still have not made their way into International Political Economy, where Marxist perspectives remain marginal and somewhat parochial (limited to historical materialist and world-systems analyses).

This panel calls for papers interested in exploring issues of global capital and empire from fresh theoretical angles such as those offered by autonomist Marxists like Hardt & Negri, Christian Marazzi, Sandro Mezzadra, Franco Berardi (bifo), and Silvia Federici, normative Marxists like George Caffentzis, Massimo de Angelis, David Graeber, and Harry Cleaver and Marxist geographers like Saskia Sassen, David Harvey, and Jamie Peck.

We welcome both theoretical engagements with questions of accumulation and valorization in internation al politics as well as more specific studies of the politics of everyday life, e.g., financialization, labor, education, consumption, culture, identity and ecology.    

Please submit your papers titles and abstracts to the conveners, Wanda Vrasti wndvrst@googlemail.com and Nicholas Kiersey kiersey@ohio.edu, by May 25th.

Note, please, that we intend to make this panel the basis of an edited book volume, should it be accepted. Thank you!

International Sociological Association: http://www.isa-sociology.org/

Universities in Crisis (an ISA blog): http://www.isa-sociology.org/universities-in-crisis/

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

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Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

World Crisis

SSPT ANNUAL CONFERENCE: 16-17 JUNE 2011, UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

‘FORMS OF DOMINATION AND EMANCIPATION’

STUDIES IN SOCIAL & POLITICAL THOUGHT (SSPT)

[T]he fact above all which so demoralizes the modern world [is] that the greater the efforts made, the more terrible are the new forms in which the old social problems reappear- C. L. R. James

Research students and scholars working in philosophy, social, political or theory more broadly construed are invited to submit an abstract of up to 400 words on any topic related to the conference theme ‘Forms of Domination and Emancipation’. Please ensure the abstract is prepared for blind review. Presentations will likely be 20-30 minutes in length.

Keynote speakers include Chris Arthur (ex-Sussex) on “Dialectic of Domination and Emancipation” and Stathis Kouvelakis (Kings College London) on “The Actuality of Revolution?”

Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in the Winter 2011 issue of Studies in Social & Political Thought.

The deadline for submissions is 15 April 2011

Notification of acceptance will be sent out within two weeks.
Abstracts or questions should be addressed to: sspt@sussex.ac.uk

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
Forms of domination – Capital; (neo-)Liberalism; Patriarchy; Imperialism and (neo-)Colonialism; Hegemony; Ideology; Biopolitics; Discipline; Governmentality; Psychology and Psychoanalysis; Legality and Legitimacy.

Forms of emancipation – Communism and Communization; Radical Democracy; the State; Politics of Difference, Otherness, Non-Identity; Anarchism; Multitude; Psychology and Psychoanalysis; New Social Movements.

Possible thinkers include but are not limited to:

Alain Badiou; Walter Benjamin; Judith Butler; Gilles Deleuze; Frantz Fanon; Michel Foulcault; Antonio Gramsci; G.W.F. Hegel; C.L.R. James; Freud and Lacan; Henri Lefebvre; Rosa Luxemburg; Karl Marx; Antonio Negri; Evgeny Pashukanis; Jacques Rancière; Edward Said; Early Frankfurt School; Neue Marx-Lektüre; Value-Form Theory; Théorie Communiste.

Some participants might also like to consider the relations between different thinkers and forms of domination and emancipation.

END

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World Crisis

Utopia

BSA SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION STUDY GROUP ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2011 

Religion and Social Theory: Developing a New Agenda for the Sociology of Religion

Monday 11th – Wednesday 13th April 2011         

Woodbrooke Conference Centre, Birmingham

** EARLY BOOKING DEADLINE APPROACHING – 24 Feb 2011 **

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Bryan Turner (City University of New York)

Professor Steve Bruce (University of Aberdeen)

An engagement with sociological theory holds great promise for the study of religion. The founders of sociological thought gave a great deal of attention to the questions of religion in modernity; after this golden age for the sociology of religion, mainstream sociology and sociological theorising seemed to lose interest in these questions. Of late, religion seems to be back on the agenda, although often such reflections are not well informed by the kinds of substantive expertise that sociologists of religion are able to offer. This presents sociologists of religion with real opportunities to engage in new ways with the core of the sociological enterprise. This conference will begin to develop a new agenda for sociology of religion and its engagement with social theory, both in its more abstract and concrete empirical forms. As such, the conference aims to promote an engagement with theory-which by no means suggests a wish to neglect empirical concerns.

SOCREL is the British Sociological Association’s study group on Religion.

To register and for further Conference details please visit: http://www.socrel.org.uk/conferences/Birmingham%202011/index.html

For Conference booking enquiries please contact: gillian.rae@britsoc.org.uk  Telephone: (0191) 383 0839

For further details about the study group please visit www.socrel.org.uk

Please direct any enquiries to Andrew McKinnon (andrew.mckinnon@abdn.ac.uk) or Marta Trzebiatowska (m.k.trzebiatowska@abdn.ac.uk)

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Sociology

ONLINE FIRST FOR CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY

Critical Sociology now publishes accepted articles on-line, in advance of their appearance in the pages of the print journal.  Anyone at an institution getting the journal has access to the online version of Critical Sociology, which includes all back issues from Vol.1 Issue 1, as well as the online first articles (these are removed from the web site and appear online in the journal version).

You can sign up for table of content alerts and announcements of additions to the OnlineFirst page by going to the link below and registering.

See: http://crs.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts/etoc

(Potential authors–this counts as a publication date and the Document Object Identification [DOI] serves as a direct link to the article.)

The most recent additions to Critical Sociology OnlineFirst are:

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Articles
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Neoliberal Globalization and Trade Unionism: Toward Radical Political Unionism?
Martin Upchurch and Andy Mathers
Crit Sociol published 11 January 2011, 10.1177/0896920510396384
http://crs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0896920510396384v1?papetoc

The Four Horsemen of the Fair Housing Apocalypse: A Critique of Fair Housing Policy in the USA
Robert Silverman and Kelly L. Patterson
Crit Sociol published 11 January 2011, 10.1177/0896920510396385
http://crs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0896920510396385v1?papetoc

Independent Travel: Colonialism, Liberalism, and the Self 
Kristin Lozanski
Crit Socio l published 11 January 2011, 10.1177/0896920510379443
http://crs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0896920510379443v1?papetoc

Urban Workers’ Leisure Culture and the ‘Public Sphere’: A Study of the Transformation of the Workers’ Cultural Palace in Reform-era China
Guoxin Xing
Crit Sociol published 11 January 2011, 10.1177/0896920510392078
http://crs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0896920510392078v1?papetoc

— 
Professor David Fasenfest
Dept of Sociology
Wayne State University

Editor, Critical Sociology 
crs.sagepub.com

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Capitalism

UNEVEN AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT AND CONTEMPORARY WORLD POLITICS

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to announce that Queen Mary’s Centre for the Study of Global Security and Development will be hosting a symposium on ‘Uneven and Combined Development and Contemporary World Politics’ on Wednesday, Februaury 9, 2011 between 2-6pm.

The programme is below. If you wish to attend please contact Rick Saull – r.g.saull@qmul.ac.uk – in advance of the symposium.

Regards,
Rick Saull
Director, Queen Mary, Centre for the Study of Global Security and
Development

Symposium on UNEVEN AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT AND CONTEMPORARY WORLD POLITICS

Wednesday, February 9, 2-6pm (room Arts G.02), Queen Mary, Mile End Campus, London, E1 4NS

Programme/Presenters

Session 1, 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Alex Anievas (Cambridge)
‘Origins and Extensions of Uneven and Combined Development in the History and Theory of International Relations: The Case of the First World War’ This paper aims to contribute to recent debates on ‘international historical sociology’ specifically regarding the potential utility of Leon Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development (U&CD) in advancing a theory of modern inter-state conflict. The paper first re-examines recent debates over the theoretical status of U&CD considering, in particular, the various socio-historical and spatial registers covered by the idea as deployed by the different positions within the debates. Considering the possible benefits and pitfalls of stretching the concept to a generalized theory of ‘the international’ throughout history, the paper argues that a central challenge remains. This regards the development of a sufficiently historically-differentiated conception of ‘unevenness’ and ‘combination’-one capable of theorizing the radical historical disjuncture represented by the international relations of capitalist modernity while nonetheless capturing aspects of inter-societal relations common to all historical epochs and thus forming a crucial causal element in the transition to capitalism itself. Developing such a perspective, a theory of U&CD could take up John Hobson’s (and others) charges of ‘Euro-centricism’ with a more historically-sensitive interpretation of the internationally-pressurized multiple paths to capitalist modernity and their crucial ‘feed-back’ effects in restructuring processes of inter-state competition. Drawing on and further contributing to the theory, the second half of the paper sketches an alternative approach to the causes of the First World War distinctively combining ‘geopolitical’ and ‘sociological’ modes of explanations into a single framework. This highlights how the necessarily variegated character of interactive socio-historical development explains the inter-state rivalries leading to war. Contextualizing the sources of conflict within the broad developmental tendencies of the Long Nineteenth century (1789-1914) and their particular articulation during the immediate pre-war juncture, the paper aims further develop the theory of U&CD in and through the rich empirical terrain of the pre-war period thereby providing a much needed empirical contribution to recent debates.

Ben Selwyn (Sussex)
‘Trotsky, Gerschenkron and the Political Economy of Late Capitalist Development’
The study of late capitalist development is often characterised as a battle between protagonists of market-led vs state-led development. For the latter position, Alexander Gerschenkron looms large, as one of the most significant theorists of state-led development under conditions of relative backwardness. There are striking similarities between Gerschenkron’s explication of the advantages of backwardness and Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development and the privilege of backwardness. (These similarities have been commented upon often but rarely subject to closer comparison): Indeed, both men share a common problematic – the comprehension of how economically backward countries could skip stages of development in order to join the ranks of economically advanced countries. This paper compares their conception of this problematic and illustrates how in a number of areas the two are complementary. These are: Their rejection of unilinear patterns of capitalist development, their appreciation of the role of states and institutions in facilitating late development, and their understanding of development as a disruptive social process.  However, in crucial areas the two diverge. These are: Their comprehension of international economic and political relations, the role and position of labour in late development, and ultimately, the potential for late capitalist development to unleash social upheavals and further, non-capitalist transformations. Overall, I suggest how Trotsky and Gerschenkron’s approaches can complement each other, but that ultimately they represent fundamentally opposed approaches to human development.

Coffee Break, 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Session Two, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Mick Dunford (Sussex)
‘Combined and Uneven Development: A Geographical Perspective’

John Hobson (Sheffield)
‘What’s at Stake in the Neo-Trotskyist Debate? Towards a Non-Eurocentric Historical Sociology of Uneven and Combined Development’
This piece seeks to advance what is being termed ‘third wave historical sociology of IR’ (HSIR). In particular I consider how a third-wave ‘non-Eurocentric’ HSIR could be developed by entering into the extant internecine debate that is raging within the newly emergent neo-Trotskyist school of HSIR. At one extreme lies Justin Rosenberg who argues that the concept of uneven and combined development (U&CD) should be historically generalised while the majority position insists that U&CD is specific only to the modern capitalist era (e.g., Ashman, Davidson, Allinson and Anievas). Here I provide some support for the Rosenberg position, by arguing that failure to historically generalise the concept beyond modern capitalism leads into the cul-de-sac of Eurocentrism. As a counter, I spend the majority of the piece sketching the outlines of a non-Eurocentric theory of U&CD by considering the ‘rise of the West’ as a case of a late-developing civilization; and in the process sketching the basis for an adequate third-wave non-Eurocentric HSIR.

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Socrates

DEMOCRACY IN EVOLUTION

Call for Papers
Democracy in Evolution
First International Conference
Los Angeles, Saturday July 16, 2011
http://www.condition.org/confer.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~
“We don’t have too many choices now. We are a society that is one hundred percent dependent on science. We’re going to go up in our population in the next 40 years; we can’t deal with the population we have without destroying our environment.”
-J. Craig Venter -60 Minutes -November 22, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are a small group researching the further evolution of democracy as a function of underlying evolutionary biology. Our findings tell us that democracy is, in fact, a stage into a further and inevitable mode of human interaction.

This is a call for papers for that first international conference tentatively scheduled for Los Angeles, Saturday, July 16, but subject to change per response – further notices continuing.

BRIEFLY STATED
1 – All government/economy so far has evolved out of the neonate ignorance and pecking order of human origins as warm-blooded, cerebrating vertebrates -but-

2 – Continuing existence under genetic imperative defaults to science as the best and only agency of that existence.

Findings so far are broadly laid out in the two short essays: – Democracy and Further   http://www.condition.org/oped.htm and (more detailed) – How We Came to ‘Democracy, The Best Form of Government’ – Why It Isn’t and Where It’s Going, http://www.condition.org/democ.htm

These findings take us into considering evolution of democracy well beyond the Constitution. Given such ‘aperture into the unknown’, papers are expected to cover a lot of territory.

MISSION STATEMENT
The continuing evolution of democracy entails successively greater interaction with science. What are the dynamics of that interaction? What are the implications of those dynamics and the consequences and logistics entailed?

ABSTRACT
Deadline is May 16, but the sooner we receive abstracts and responses, the better we understand the nature of this singularly new inquiry and the earlier our updates and communications.

Abstracts should be limited to 250 words – all formats accepted.
OPENING SPEECH
Dr. David Scholler will discuss the evolutionary nature of problems and their frequently conflicting institutionalizations as they exist in democracy today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is our intention to hold this exploratory, no-fee conference in a Los Angeles centrally-located area on Saturday, July 16 of 2011. Material and discussion coming from the natural sciences primarily and their governmental relationships in general -biology, anthropology, environmental science, economics, political science, social science, legislative process et cetera.

Your response in any aspect of this unique undertaking would be greatly appreciated.

Perry Bezanis

For the DH Group
perryb@condition.org
(310)833-8231

~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Education

SUMMER INSTITUTE IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH: PUTTING THEORY TO WORK
Director: Professor Maggie MacLure
Monday 19 – Friday 23 July 2010,
Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Dear Colleague

We are pleased to announce that the outline programme, keynote abstracts and further details are now available. These can be viewed online at: http://www.esri.mmu.ac.uk/siqr/index.php

PLENARY KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Patti Lather, Ohio State University. ‘The State of Qualitative Inquiry: Methodology 2.1’
Stephen Ball, Institute of Education, London. ‘Challenges of Policy Analysis in Hard Times’
Erica Burman, MMU. ‘Washing Dirty Linen in Public: Performing Gender, Generation and Class in Neoliberal Times’
Neil Mercer, University of Cambridge. ‘Analysing Classroom Dialogue: Theory and Method’
Nick Lee, Warwick University. ‘Researching Childhood, Growth and Change: Bio-politics, Affect and Attractors’
Maggie MacLure, MMU. ‘The Offence of Theory’
Bridget Somekh, MMU. ‘Localisation or Globalisation? The Dynamics of Action Research’
Lorna Roberts, MMU. ‘Critical Race Theory’
Ian Parker, MMU. ‘Psychoanalytic Theory’.
Rachel Holmes, Liz Jones, Maggie MacLure, Christina MacRae, MMU. ‘Encounters with Art Theory’

————————-
Standard delegate fee: £195 (including all lunches, teas & coffees, plus 2 wine receptions).

The Registration Form can be downloaded at:

http://www.esri.mmu.ac.uk/siqr/index.php

For further details or enquiries, email the Summer Institute Administration: SIQR@mmu.ac.uk

—————————
The Summer Institute will be of interest to researchers and research degree students, particularly in education, the social sciences and the health and caring professions.

THE EDUCATION AND SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ESRI) AT MMU is a leading centre for applied social and educational research, with a world-class reputation for the development of theory and methodology. It is one of the top ten UK education research establishments, according to the latest Research Assessment Exercise. Find out more about ESRI online at: http://wwwesri.mmu.ac.uk

Professor Maggie MacLure
Institute of Education
Manchester Metropolitan University
799 Wilmslow Road
Manchester M20 2RR, UK
phone: +44 (0)161 247 2053
email: m.maclure@mmu.ac.uk
BOOK: DISCOURSE IN SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
http://mcgraw-hill.co.uk/html/0335201903.html

Jean Davidson
Manchester Metropolitan University
Institute of Education, Research Centre
799 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury
Manchester
M20 2RR, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2318
Fax: +44 (0)161 247 6353

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