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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Monday, 17 March 2014

GBCS comment out

My comment on the Great British Class Survey is now published in Sociology's OnlineFirst section and I've taken the pre-publication version down from my website - though the long version is still there. 

Four contributions, my own, Harriet Bradley's, Danny Dorling's and Nicola Rollocks' are grouped together in a section called Class Debate. It's an interesting title. I'm curious as to where the "debate" is? Certainly it's not among the four contributors who scarcely overlap in their commentary.

Savage et al have promised a reply which "expands on the implications of the GBCS for class analysis". I have no idea what this looks like as I haven't seen it yet, though apparently it won't contain direct answers to the substance of my paper this being deemed one of the "subsidiary responses" that are to be relegated to a blog post.

Funny, I thought the point of a debate is that you deal directly with the claims of those that want to contend with you. That means showing where, if you can,  in fact and logic they are wrong. That, I would have thought, means addressing the issues they raise directly. If you don't, then the unsophisticated could be forgiven for thinking that you were being, well,  a tad evasive. So much for debate; as I've pointed out previously it is sometimes the last thing that apparent enthusiasts for it want.


Primula Monkey said...

Ta for letting my Tony Benn chat pass. I'd say more about the details of the GBCS debate except I've no had academic uni access since forever. At a superficial level, I would say the lense of Mike Savage's own work over time strikes me as being an interesting slant on sociology as a whole.

By this I mean, contra Harriet Bradley, Mike is someone who has clearly wrestled with establishing explicitly relational approaches to class to an extent that became increasingly silly (in some of his his edited collections - go, go Karl Renner!).

He's similarly wrestled with notions of ethnicity, place, gender and class (as per an edited work a certain Colin Mills contributed to). This in turn addresses the chat off yer man Rollock and Dorling.

So really I reckon the question becomes one of why did Mike focus on constructing the kind of tosh categories a marketing firm churns out every other Sunday given he genuinely knows better - why Mike, why?

That and why do sociology big dogs just fall into line when it comes to trotting out what are presented as critiques that actually come across as no more than prejudice burps?

I mean seriously, Mike Savage gave sociology a national stage at a time of galloping social inequality and social science cutbacks - the tenured academic response? Hmmm, that's as maybe, but if I ignore his earlier work I get to trot out my prejudices that make clear how groovy I am.

Colin said...

... why, Mike, why? Perhaps we'll find out when the reply to the critics finally sees the light of day, or maybe it will just be a lot of blather. Given the number of people involved it's likely to be a horse designed by a committee.