Wiley: The British Journal of Sociology: Table of Contents

Social origin, field of study and graduates’ career progression: does social inequality vary across fields?



Research on stratification and mobility has consistently shown that in the UK there is a direct impact of social origin on occupational destination net of educational attainment even for degree‐holders. However, only a few studies applied a longitudinal and dynamic perspective on how intergenerational mobility shapes graduates’ working careers. Using multilevel growth curve modelling and data from the 1970 British cohort study (BCS70), we contribute to this research by looking at the emergence of social inequalities during the first ten years since labour market entry. We further distinguish between graduates of different fields of study as we expect social disparities to develop differently due to differences in initial occupational placement and upward mobility processes. We find that parental class does not affect occupational prestige over and above prior achievement. Separate analyses by the field of study show that initial differences in occupational prestige and career progression do not differ between graduates from different classes of origin in STEM fields, and arts and humanities. It is only in the social sciences that working‐class graduates start with lower occupational prestige but soon catch up with their peers from higher classes. Overall, our results indicate no direct effect of social origin on occupational attainment for degree‐holders once we broaden our focus to a dynamic life course perspective.


15 August 2019, 3:00 am
Transnational queer sociological analysis of sexual identity and civic‐political activism in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China



The sociology of homosexuality lacks engagement with queer theory and postcolonialism and focuses primarily on the global metropoles, thus failing to provide a plausible account of non‐Western non‐normative sexual identities. This research adopts the author’s newly proposed transnational queer sociology to address these deficiencies. First, it critiques the Western model of sexual identity predominantly employed to elucidate non‐Western, non‐normative sexualities. It does so by examining not only the queer flows between West and non‐West but also those among and within non‐Western contexts to produce translocally shared and mutually referenced experiences. Second, the proposed approach combines sociology with queer theory by emphasizing the significant role of material, as well as discursive, analyses in shaping queer identities, desires and practices. This article employs the approach to examine young gay male identities, as revealed in 90 in‐depth interviews conducted in Hong Kong (n = 30), Taiwan (Taipei, n = 30) and mainland China (Shanghai, n = 30) between 2017 and 2019. More specifically, it highlights the interplay between the state and identity by investigating the intersection and intertwining effects of these young men’s sexual and cultural/national identities, revealing three different forms of civic‐political activism. The article both demonstrates the way in which sexuality and the state are mutually constituted and provides nuanced analysis of the heterogeneity of contemporary homosexualities in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. In applying a new sociological approach to understanding sexuality, this research joins the growing body of scholarship within sociology that is decentring the Western formation of universal knowledge.


12 August 2019, 4:43 pm
Everyday self‐defence: Hollaback narratives, habitus and resisting street harassment



Street harassment is recognized as an ‘everyday’ form of violence against women. Influenced by contemporary sociologies of everyday life, this article examines women responses to street harassment, drawing on over 500 first person narratives submitted to the website of Hollaback London. The narrative structure highlights women’s actions, which (like street harassment) have generally been considered inconsequential. Quantitative content analysis reveals the extent and variety of strategies employed by women, including speaking back, calling on others for help, physically fighting back, walking away and an array of ‘small’, everyday actions and gestures that aim to resist harassment. I argue that these responses comprise everyday self‐defence practice. Furthermore, the notion of narrative habitus is employed to argue that Hollaback narratives do not just describe harassment, but that reading narratives can generate dispositions for self‐defence. Narrative analysis reveals the way that satire is employed to make space for women’s successful self‐defence. I argue that Hollaback narratives do not just offer storylines or scripts for resisting street harassment but foster a style for doing so. Analysis considers the limits to narratively motivated self‐defence. This research demonstrates that, in order to ‘see’ women’s resistance, we need to pay close attention to the everyday as the site of both oppression and moments of liberation.


12 August 2019, 4:37 pm
Responsibility, planning and risk management: moralizing everyday finance through financial education



The individualization, privatization and marketization of risk management represent a fundamental dimension of the financialization of everyday life. As individuals are required to engage with financial products and services as the main way of protecting themselves from risks and uncertainties, their economic welfare and security are construed as depending largely on their own financial decisions. Within this setting, the concept of financial literacy and accompanying practices of financial education have emerged as a prominent institutional field handling the formulation and communication of the attributes and dispositions that arguably constitute the proper financial actor. This article analyzes financial education programmes currently conducted by state agencies in Israel, examining the notions and principles they articulate when defining and explaining proper financial conduct. The study indicates that moral themes and categories occupy a salient place in the formulation of the character traits that constitute the desired literate financial actor. Notions of individual responsibility, planning ahead and rational risk management are presented not merely as instrumental resources, but as moral imperatives. Through these notions, the programmes moralize a broad array of everyday practices of personal finance such as saving, investing, borrowing and budget management, thereby connecting the sphere of financial matters to the domain of moral virtues. Offering a representation of particular modes of financial conduct as constitutive components of morally virtuous personhood, these practices imbue the financial field as a whole, especially its current generalized logic of individualized and marketized risk management, with moral meanings, hence contributing to the normalization and depoliticization of the financialization of everyday life.


2 August 2019, 2:59 am
Class and ambition in the status attainment process: A Spanish replication



There are two principal theoretical schools that seek to explain status outcomes in early adulthood: those focusing on intergenerational transmission of class privilege and those emphasizing individual characteristics, particularly ambition. The first may be called the structuralist school and the second the psycho‐social school, following the Wisconsin Model of Status Attainment. A second structuralist perspective, Segmented Assimilation, highlights transmission of socio‐economic status across immigrant generations, but emphasizes the positive role of co‐ethnic resources for upward mobility and preventing downward assimilation. We examine these alternative predictions using a large longitudinal sample of youths in Spain that includes both children of native parentage and children of immigrants. Spain possesses characteristics that make it uniquely suitable to examine these predictions. Results show that both family socio‐economic status and ambition, measured by adolescent educational aspirations and expectations, play important roles in educational and occupational attainment, but the influence of family status persists even after controlling for ambition. The influence of co‐ethnic nationalities disappears after these controls, except among Chinese and Filipino youths, a result consistent with segmented assimilation. Predictive models of status attainment yield identical results for children of immigrants and children of natives, indicating that in Spain, they have become part of a common youth universe. Theoretical and practical implications of the analysis are discussed.


21 July 2019, 11:14 pm
The sociological imagination in the era of thought experiments

The British Journal of Sociology, EarlyView.

18 July 2019, 3:47 am
The economic recession and civic participation: the curious case of Rotterdam's civil society, 2008–2013



This paper investigates how the 2008–9 recession affected civic participation in disadvantaged and affluent neighbourhoods in the city of Rotterdam. We hypothesize that levels of civic participation may either diverge or converge across neighbourhoods with a different socioeconomic status. We build upon a recent wave of studies examining how civil society has been affected by the 2008–9 recession. Using five waves from the Rotterdam Neighbourhood Profile survey (N = 63,134; 71 neighbourhoods), we find converging trends in civic participation. Between 2008 and 2013, civic participation declined in affluent neighbourhoods but increased slightly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This convergence is partly due to the level of perceived problems in the neighbourhood and differences in the types of volunteering found in disadvantaged and affluent neighbourhoods. In addition, we argue that these converging trends can be better understood by considering the neighbourhood organizational infrastructure and local policy configurations. Next to examining the impact of the 2008–9 recession on civic participation, we contribute to research on civil society by comparing the UK and Dutch context.


9 July 2019, 3:00 am
Cultural narratives and their social supports, or: sociology as a team sport

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 708-720, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Status, stand, capital, class: what do stratified patterns of cultural tastes mean?

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 882-886, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Understanding social status: a reply to Flemmen, Jarness and Rosenlund

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 867-881, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
For a ‘sociology as a team sport’

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 769-779, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Omnivorousness and openness: comments to Tak Wing Chan

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 807-815, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
The challenge of inequality in US society

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 755-760, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Beyond the neoliberal moment: self‐worth and the changing nature of work

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 747-754, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Who’s ‘having’? Who’s ‘being’? A response to Lamont

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 731-738, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Money and relationships online: communication and norm formation in women’s discussions of couple resource allocation



Research on intra‐household resource allocation practices has largely ignored the role of communication within but especially beyond the household. This article shows that discussions engaged in outside of the household shed light on intra‐household deliberation and also contribute to an understanding of how norms are formed and used in discussions and negotiations. Using data from the website Mumsnet, and grounding our analysis in a framework that combines the literature on gender norms in allocation practices with insights from the study of online communication, we contribute to the sociological literature on household distribution in three ways: first, we show that women use discussion sites like Mumsnet to clarify and sometimes contest social norms regarding money and relationships; second, we show that users conceive the ability to communicate with partners as a source of ‘relationship power’ and use online discussion with other women to develop that skill; third, we argue that sites like Mumsnet provide fresh insights into household resource allocation processes. The article concludes with a broader discussion of the role of communication in household distribution and the value of online data for understanding such processes.


13 June 2019, 3:00 am
Christophers, B. The New Enclosure. The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain Verso 2018 362 pp £20 (hardback)

The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 70, Issue 3, Page 1095-1097, June 2019.

13 June 2019, 3:00 am

British Journal of Sociology

British Journal of Sociology is published on behalf of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is unique in the United Kingdom in its concentration on teaching and research across the full range of the social, political and economic sciences. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, the LSE is one of the largest colleges within the University of London and has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence nationally and internationally.

Mission Statement

• To be a leading sociology journal in terms of academic substance, scholarly reputation , with relevance to and impact on the social and democratic questions of our times

• To publish papers demonstrating the highest standards of scholarship in sociology from authors worldwide;

• To carry papers from across the full range of sociological research and knowledge

• To lead debate on key methodological and theoretical questions and controversies in contemporary sociology, for example through the annual lecture special issue

• To highlight new areas of sociological research, new developments in sociological theory, and new methodological innovations, for example through timely special sections and special issues

• To react quickly to major publishing and/or world events by producing special issues and/or sections

• To publish the best work from scholars in new and emerging regions where sociology is developing

• To encourage new and aspiring sociologists to submit papers to the journal, and to spotlight their work through the early career prize

• To engage with the sociological community – academics as well as students – in the UK and abroad, through social media, and a journal blog.