Robert Dingwall

Robert Dingwall is a professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University. He also serves as a consulting sociologist, providing research and advisory services particularly in relation to organizational strategy, public engagement and knowledge transfer. He is co-editor of the SAGE Handbook of Research Management.

Social Precognition and Sociology: The Case of Resistentialism and ANT

In the last 20 years or so there has been much excitement, particularly in science and technology studies, about Actor-Network Theory. One of its most distinctive features is the way in which it ascribes agency to material objects. Perhaps we should not be crediting Bruno Latour or Michel Callon with the original insight – but an English humourist, Paul Jennings.

3 years ago
2463
Slavers and traders inspect slave

Understanding the Slave Trade

Our Robert Dingwall says he has long thought that sociologists should read more history. It might correct some of their sweeping generalizations about the emergence and development of Western societies. This reflection has been reinforced by a recent book, ‘A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution.’

4 years ago
3896

Reflections on the Death of Doris Day

Ruminating on the late Doris Day – and in particular her rendition of ‘Que sera sera’ – our Robert Dingwall draws a comparison with the Greek Stoics , Western educational trends and the restraint that was once a feature of sociological inquiry.

4 years ago
1086

Whatever Happened to Conservative Social Thought?

In the wake of Brexit, Robert Dingwall asks a series of probing questions about the eclipse of Conservative Social Thought at universities, such as when did the social sciences last have a serious engagement with the institutions of the bourgeoisie, even though by income and status many of us would belong to that class?

4 years ago
1665
David Hume and Adam Smith

Why is Social Theory So Boring?

The roots of sociology lie among a group of engaged, engaging and vibrant people who often risked their well-being, or even their lives, to advance their ideas. So what happened to suck much of the life out of the discipline?

4 years ago
2867

The Civic Responsibility of Ethnographers

What duty do social scientists have to report illegal activity that they witness as part of their fieldwork? If you answered quickly, you may not have thought about the issue all that deeply.

4 years ago
1394
Charles Ponzi

Academic Morale and Ponzi Schemes

The pool of PhDs and postdocs has expanded far more rapidly than the long-term career opportunities in higher education, a situation Charles Ponzi would have recognized- and which Felicity Callard captured with a late-November tweet.

4 years ago
1793

Reflections on the Centenary of the Armistice

At the 100th anniversary of the end of World War, Robert Dingwall asks how has English sociology asked questions about the experiences and the legacy of the war — or if it even has broached those issues.

4 years ago
1038

Why the Chinese Government Should Read Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer’s examination of ‘militant’ societies, argues our Robert Dingwall, proves to be a cautionary tale for the present Chinese government and its attempts to micro-manage society through the ‘social credit’ scheme.

4 years ago
2059