“The diffusion of responsibility is the phenomena whereby one considers that one is less responsible for some action when others are present- they absorb some of the responsibility or another might even be perceived to take it all, for example in cases where an authority is present. The government is not only not the bystander it wants us to think it is, but it has the knowledge and power to act so is responsible nevertheless. Public intellectuals, including social scientists, need to reinforce this idea or things will never change and we similarly act as irresponsible deferrers of responsibility. Those individuals responsible for disability assessments that label dying people fit for work, cut their benefits, and might as well just kill those they assess, should be vilified until held to account. As an extreme example, but using the same logic, if we don’t hold these people to account, then the Nazis who “just drove the trains” are not culpable for their role in the holocaust.” … More The Responsibility of Public Intellectuals in Holding Governments to Account | The Diffusion of Responsibility in Bureaucracy | The Connection Between the Holocaust & Welfare Cuts | Dedicated to Hannah Arendt
“For this series, I would like to give a taste of what it is sociology, as one of the most denigrated sciences online, is actually like. The structure of this assignment, which I am reproducing here mostly unedited, was quite unusual compared to most work undertaken for this subject- essays and some fieldwork- but I think illustrates the variety of ways final year study is done.
In this seminar we discussed whether the digital generation really exists and how we, as part of it, use technology.” … More What Do Final Year BSc Sociology Students Actually Do? | Media & State Studies Seminar Part 1: Simulated Identities & the Digital Generation
“A new study in the Sage Journal of Health and Social Behaviour reports that social class influences US independent psychotherapists’ decisions of whether to offer access to their mental health services. In this article I discuss some limitations which I feel may have been overlooked by the original author however, the authors writing includes important references to the scientific literature and there is plenty of discussion of the limitations of the study not mentioned by me, which show that the author is self-aware, and hopefully this article doesn’t imply otherwise. This work is both important and necessary for researchers of social inequalities and this potential research programme, although in its infancy, should be commended on designing a study which looks cheaply replicable- a rare feat in social sciences.” … More Mental Health Help Access: It helps to be middle-class. | New Empirical Evidence of Social-Class Based Discrimination