The UK public supports greater equality in principle, but not in practice.

Attitude Polls such as this one from the JRF (2004) and this research from the British Social Attitudes Survey suggest that about 75% of the population believe that the income gap in the UK is too great. The graphic below shows how the difference between what people in the UK think people should earn in certain […]

Do we have an innate sense of fairness?

This provides a potential missing link between system and agency in explaining why inequality leads to violence such as riots… How Growing Inequality Hurts the Middle Class by Robert H. Frank (2007) – Even though it’s not focussed on those suffering real deprivation – if inequality hurts those in the middle this much – it can surely […]

Oil and Globalisation – not working for Equitorial Guinea

This extract from Peter Maas’ excellent ‘Crude World’ illustrates how Equitorial Guinea hasn’t benefitted from ‘capital-intensive invesment’ by the oil industry – – I’m sure  this kind of thing is pretty much what’s going on with China’s expansion into Africa… The book obviously talks about a lot more than what’s below, focussing on how the extraction and […]

Anyone for tea – just don’t make it Tetley’s

I’ve started obsessing about ethical consumption recently – And as I’ve just run out of tea and had to buy some more – I did some digging – The British drink  165 million cups of tea every year, but some of our most popular tea suppliers perpetuate great environmental and social harms in the process of […]

Book Plug – Why Marx was Right, Terry Eagleton

Why Marx was Right refutes ten criticisms levelled at Marx and Marxism over the years by drawing on material from Marx and Engel’s original writings and by looking at how Marxism has evolved over the last century and a half. Just some of the ten criticisms of Marx Eagleton refutes – in ten chapters -include […]

Statistical Overview of the Food Crisis – useful links

  What with the UK news focussing on the riots and the financial crisis, you may also have missed the fact that 12.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and other countries in the region. The World Food Programme has put together a very useful web site  to provide information […]

World Humanitarian Day

You probably missed the fact that it was World Humanitarian Day on 19th August – in it’s honour The Guardian put together a list of the countries who provide the most humanitarian aid – this basically being emergency relief, rather than development aid. The total amount spent last year was approx £5 billion, with the UK providing approx. one […]

Thinking Allowed – summary of some recent research on gangs and parenting

Nice Thinking Allowed podcast that demonstrates Cameron is irresponsible to blame gangs for the looting, if nothing other than the fact that the term ‘gang’ is such a loose concept. The podcast blurb starts – Are we right to blame the parents? Is there anything they could do? Laurie Taylor speaks to two researchers behind […]

That swimsuit becomes you – An experiment on the effects of objectification

That Swimsuit Becomes You – Is an interesting  body image experiment designed to test Objectification theory (B. L. Fredrickson & T.  Objectification Theory (part of it at least) posits that culture has socialised women (men too, but more so with women) to base their self-esteem on how slim/attractive they believe they are (hence judging themselves by the […]

Where have all the Criminologists gone?

A whole host of pundits, journalists and bloggers have chipped in with their views on the causes of the UK Riots, while The Guardian is doing an excellent job of tracking the state’s response, but where is the commentary from professional sociologists and criminologists? There seems to be a lack of empirically and theoretically informed analysis […]