Recommended Event – Translanguaging in pedagogy: Multilingual realities in migrant language education – James Simpson, 9 May

Speaker: Dr James Simpson, University of Leeds

Date/Time: Tuesday 9th May 2017 at 2:00-3:30pm

Venue: Room 1.20, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square, BS8 1JA.


Multilingual people in migration contexts typically translanguage as a matter of course, drawing upon a multilingual repertoire as appropriate for a particular situation. The main, or dominant, language of the country is part of that repertoire, but might not always be the most important language needed in social or work life. At the same time, in national policy circles and in educational practice across the post-industrial global north, access to the dominant language is regarded as the sine qua non of integration and little attention is paid to students’ multilingual language resources.

The aim of this session is to explore approaches to (language) education that value the entire range of students’ linguistic and semiotic repertoires. We begin by examining data from a large study of urban multilingualism, the AHRC-funded Translation and Translanguaging (TLang) project, looking at salient aspects of language use and meaning-making in work, social and home settings in Leeds, in the North of England.

In the second part we look at examples of translanguaging in pedagogy from a variety of educational contexts, designed to enable the full range of students’ communicative repertoires to be brought into education as resources for meaning-making, for the expression of identity, and for engendering a sense of belonging. To end we will discuss implications for language education policy practice in contexts with which participants are familiar

About the speaker: Dr James Simpson is Senior Lecturer in Language Education at the University of Leeds, where he leads the Language Education Academic Group.

Relevant Publications

Simpson J and Whiteside A (eds.) Adult Migrant Language Education: Challenging Agendas in Policy and Practice (London: Routledge, 2016)

Simpson J, Bradley J, ‘Communication in the contact zone: The TLANG project and ESOL’, Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, 27.2 (2017), 4-18 Repository URL:

Nam Peri’s work on India’s unofficial cramming-college capital inspires a piece in The Economist

Graduate School of Education’s doctoral student Narasimham Peri has been doing some highly innovative work in the area of knowledge production in traditional industries and livelihood alternatives to post-compulsory education. So much so that his blog post Emerging discontinuities in employment-led education has been picked up by The Economist and used as a basis for a fascinating account of how one of Hyderbad’s neighbourhoods has become an unofficial IT training hub, developing ‘salary-boosting skills at warp speed’. The piece was published on 30th March 2017 and is available online.

We are thrilled to see that Narasimham’s academic work resonates with the general public and is having a real impact both within and outside academia.

Editor’s note: Narasimham (Nam) Peri is a doctoral candidate affiliated with the Research Network Globalisation, Education & Social Futures in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. His research has been supervised by Professor Susan Robertson, Professor Roger Dale and Dr Angeline Mbogo Barrett.

FreshEd – Year in Review – with Susan Robertson and Roger Dale

Susan Robertson and Roger Dale, co-editors of the journal Globalisation, Societies, and Education, speak to Will Brehm to reflect on the year in research and point to future directions.

In their conversation, they discuss a range of issues facing education, including: the limitations of mobility studies, the increase of migration worldwide, the rise of populism and anti-globalization movements, the role of trade deals in education, and the Hayekian world in which we find ourselves where individuals — not societies or governments — are at the centre of social imaginaries and how this relates to educational privatisation, private debt, and the discourse of choice.

Susan Robertson is Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge (Contact:; and Roger Dale is Professor of Education at the University of Bristol (Contact: Both Susan and Roger are members of the research network Globalisation, Education and Social Futures.

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Conference on Validation of Non Formal and Informal Learning: A Report by Nam Peri

Lifelong Learning, validation of non formal skills, migrant integration into education and labour markets, stakeholder dilemmas, funding and mechanisms to monitor employability: all these topics came together at a conference organized by CEDEFOP the European centre for vocational education and training, in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on 28-29 November, 2016. With a wet, cold weather as a backdrop, over 200 delegates from over 30 countries discussed and debated the imperatives of non formal education pathways under the theme of “how to make learning visible”?

The conference stood out in two ways. The diversity of thought and anecdotes that seem to emerge through the working groups juxtaposed with individual country contexts and their limitations of funding and mechanisms; and secondly, the voices of policymakers, varied in their pace and extent of credentialising non formal learning outcomes, yet positioning the effort of validation as a desired direction across the EU. In short multiple contradictions jostling to move in a single direction.

At the Sessions

The opening sessions by Mara Brugia, Deputy Director of CEDEFOP emphasized the competencies, skills and knowledge becoming the currency of employment, and a re-engineered role of existing institutions that can play a role in validation of non formal skills. Mara also underlined the individual being put in the centre of the conversation, particularly when the formal systems are not completely equipped to absorb or interpret indigenous or tacit knowledge. This becomes problematic from multiple stakeholders’ viewpoint and requires a prioritization and convergence, the very idea for this kind of conference.

Ana Carla Pereira of the European Commission refreshed the European Council recommendations on Non-Formal and Informal Learning of 2012 and signposted the way forward for meeting the deadline of 2018, by which EU member states should have validated experience into qualifications. She posed 4 questions under the banner WHY should we make learning more visible?

  • Reaching the same or equivalent standards of qualifications for non formal learning, as obtained through formal education
  • An increased awareness through information and guidance available to individuals as well as organisations
  • Providing a currency value on the labour market for skills acquired through non formal means
  • A “focus” on disadvantaged groups and individuals, through skill audits that might expose mechanisms to improve, include and strengthen.

CEDEFOP’s research teams presented the two-decade history of validation in Europe, with an update on the 2016 European inventory of non formal and informal skills. The snapshot of the presentation shows the lag in the efforts required across almost all parameters seen in the pale pink bar graphs: Arrangements, Information and guidance, link to NQF, Standards equivalence, Quality Assurance, Professional Development, Credits and Skill Audits.


You can find the guidelines and inventory here.

Four Parallel sessions engaged participants through a workshop mode, on validation of key user groups. For over three hours, two key questions from each individual bubbled up through discussions into several themes.


On the second day, a non-European perspective on validation was presented by Canada and New Zealand. The latter highlighted the assimilation of indigenous learning mechanisms and a co-existence of such learning ecosystems with formal efforts. A panel representing stakeholder groups from policy, civil society and UNESCO’s Institute of Lifelong Learning, responded to categorized questions from groups of participants.

From the Sessions

There are, from my perspective, two key takeaways from the sessions. The first is an understanding of the international contours of Non Formal Education in the discourses of contemporary education. Secondly, from my current work in the vocational and non formal education, I raised the questions repeatedly in the discussions that gave me some clues, not answers. How much of the non formal mechanisms that have stayed strong in indigenous environments, should we validate or credentialise? Is a full credentialisation the only path to offering a respectful livelihood existence to practitioners who may not be current beneficiaries of the skill regimes? Are these “south skills”?

Beyond the Sessions

Thessaloniki: A city that is steeped in history, all the way to the years of Aristotle. The Philosopher lived not far from here, and was mentor to, amongst others, Alexander the Great. The city with its seafront promenade would have been great on a good-weather day. But alas, it was not to be! The 4degrees was just a tad better than Bristol! So much for the Greek sunshine.


A colleague at the conference and I braved the rain in the evening to go look for an Indian dinner. The only restaurant, in the vicinity of the Hagia Sofia (yes, there is one in Thessaloniki too) took us on a journey of strangering – the art of asking directions from passing strangers. But we soon gave up and reluctantly allowed google maps to come to our rescue. The colourful restaurant tucked away deep in an alley off the main street did not disappoint on the gastronomic scale. It was named Nargis, after a famous actress of yesteryears’ Bollywood.


Thessaloniki at night, with its iconic Tower seen on the far left.

Editor’s note: Narasimham (Nam) Peri is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, where he is researching frameworks relating to knowledge production in traditional industries, work-based and workplace learning, TVET and livelihood alternatives to post-compulsory education. Email:

Uganda’s high court orders closure of Bridge International Academies

Judge Patricia Basaza Wasswa of Uganda’s high court has recently ordered the closure of a chain of low-cost private schools backed by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, whose operations have been investigated by, amongst others, the University of Alberta researcher Curtis Riep. Curtis’s research led to his arrest by Ugandan police earlier this year on charges of impersonating a BIA officer and trespassing. Subsequently, Curtis was cleared of all charges. Professor Susan Robertson has reflected on these, and related, developments in a recent post: When private corporate interests into public education do not go: the case of Bridge. 

Below is a reaction from human rights organisations to the closure of Bridge International Academies in Uganda, originally reported by Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on 10 November 2016.


Kampala, Uganda, November 10, 2016

The 15 organisations endorsing this statement take note of the decision taken by the High Court of Uganda sitting in Kampala on Friday 4th November which confirms that the process followed by the Ugandan Government to decide to close schools run by Bridge International Academies (BIA) was fair and legal. The judgment, which BIA says it will appeal, confirms that Bridge International Academies could have been operating illegally in Uganda. We call on governments and investors in BIA to commit to the full implementation of human rights standards in dealing with the aftermath in Uganda as well as other countries where BIA is operating.

The Government announced yesterday that they would transfer Bridge children to nearby schools as they close Bridge schools. While closing schools is always highly regrettable, it appears that the Government was left with no other alternative after several reports found that BIA was failing to meet  minimum education standards. In line with previous civil society statements, we call on the Ugandan Government to ensure timely and orderly transition of affected students to nearby government schools to ensure the uninterrupted full realisation of the right to education of all children. It is critical that no child is deprived of access to education due to school closure and there is minimum loss of instructional time.

Uganda’s neighbouring government in Kenya has been facing similar challenges in dealing with BIA, which has over 400 schools in Kenya. It appears that the Kenyan Ministry of Education has held various meetings with BIA to ask the company to comply with regulations, and wrote to the company at least twice on 17th November 2014 and 17th February 2016 to reiterate its demands based on internal reports raising concerns about BIA’s compliance with the law, apparently without success. The Kenya Ministry of Education wrote again to BIA on 31st August with a 90 day deadline until 30th November this year to comply with guidelines and standards.

Abraham Ochieng, from the Kenyan organisation East African Centre for Human Rights (EACHRights) commented: “The story emerging from Uganda is strikingly similar to our experience in Kenya. It seems that BIA continues to flout national regulations despite repeated calls to comply. No education provider is above the law, and we hope that the process in Kenya will similarly lead to Bridge schools either respecting national standards or closing.” 

Yet, the Kampala High Court judgement further demonstrates that, contrary to what the company has claimed, BIA had been duly informed by the Ugandan government of the legal requirements it had to follow, but had not taken appropriate action to meet those requirements. This confirms the concerns that although BIA,  a multi-million dollar company, has the means and resources to comply with regulations, it appears to have ignored multiple requests to meet the educational standards of the countries in which it operates.

Salima Namusobya, from the Ugandan organisation Initiative for Economic and Social Rights (ISER) added:  “The judgement has proved that BIA is not serious about respecting the law. BIA schools did not respect the Government Guidelines on Basic Requirements and Minimum Standards for Schools for example regarding infrastructure, purposefully used unqualified teachers in order to reduce costs, in violation of Ugandan laws, and were running a for-profit business without the agreement and proper oversight of the authorities.”

It is a domestic obligation in Kenya and Uganda, as well as an obligation under international human rights law, for governments to set and enforce minimum educational standards for all schools. Both Kenya and Ugandahave recently been called on their obligations to regulate private schools by UN human rights monitoring bodies and the African Commission, and a July 2016 Human Rights Council Resolution equally called for adequate regulation in the face of the growth of commercial actors in education.

Sylvain Aubry, of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) commented: “Multiple human rights monitoring bodies and the UN Human Rights Council have raised serious concerns regarding the fast-paced and unregulated growth of private education providers, in particular commercial ones. States have human rights obligations to adequately regulate private actors through national law, as the Government of Uganda has done in this case. Education providers, especially international companies with a lot of resources must respect national standards and laws.”

In this context, the organisations signing this statement are very concerned that BIA’s shareholders, among them high profile investors such as Mark Zuckerberg, Omidyar, Novastar, the World Bank Group, the British development agency and the U.S. Government’s development finance institution could be failing on their due diligence obligations and responsibilities, which might have legal implications. Human rights practice, domestic legislation in several countries and various companies’ codes of practice require shareholders to strive to prevent any violation of the law by the company they invest in, and the UK has already been told twice by human rights bodies to refrain from funding commercial schools, which would include BIA. The organisations signing this statement call on BIA investors to ensure that BIA immediately complies with the law wherever it operates and that it remedies parents, children or other stakeholders where it has failed do so, including by reimbursing parents who may have to leave BIA schools due to the company’s failure to meet the law.

Tanvir Muntasim, from ActionAid International, reacted: “The developments in Uganda should act as a cautionary tale for countries planning to allow commercial schools without appropriate regulation or oversight in place and for investors planning on investing in school chains which are premised on low-standards in order to maximise profit”.

The organisations supporting this statement are ready to work with the Governments of Uganda, Kenya, and other interested authorities to support the development of a quality public education system in which all schools comply with human rights norms and standards.


Key Documents

Key Contacts


  • ActionAid International
  • ActionAid Uganda
  • African Network Coalition on Education for All (ANCEFA)
  • Amnesty International
  • East African Centre for Human Rights (EACHRights)
  • Equal Education Law Centre
  • Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC)
  • Global Campaign for Education (GCE)
  • Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Global Justice Now
  • Initiative for Economic and Social Rights (ISER)
  • International Federation of Centers for Training in Active Education Methods (Ficeméa)
  • Public Services International
  • Right to Education Project
  • The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University

Note for editors: Background on Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies Ltd (BIA) is an American based company registered in Delaware. Operating for-profit the company runs a commercial, private chain of nursery and primary schools. With over 400 institutions and 100,000 children enrolled in BIA schools, it is the largest chain of commercial private schools worldwide.

BIA has received funding from several large corporations, investors and development partners including the Omidyar Network founded by the billionaire creator of eBay, Pearson (the world’s largest educational business), Novastar Ventures, Kholsa Ventures, philanthropist Bill Gates, Facebook founder’s Zuckerberg Education Ventures, the International Finance Corporation (a branch of the World Bank Group), the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (with funds from the Department for International Development – DFID) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

BIA opened its first school in Mukuru kwa Njenga slum in Kenya in 2009, by 2015 the company had 405 schools in Kenya. The company expanded further with 2 schools opened in Nigeria in 2015 and 63 schools opened in Uganda by 2016, and has made plans to open schools in India. Most recently BIA has entered a pilot public-private partnership with the government of Liberia. Through the program “Partnership Schools for Liberia” the government has outsourced 92 of its public pre-primary and primary school. BIA is running 23 primary schools in the pilot. BIA seeks to grow further with the aim of reaching 10 million students by 2025.

Vacancies: MPhil/PhD Programmes in Sociology and/or Social Policy at Lingnan University, HK

We would like to bring to your attention MPhil/PhD opportunities under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) established by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong, which are currently being advertised by Lingnan University. See their message below.

The Scheme is aimed at attracting the best and brightest students from around the world to come for PhD studies in Hong Kong. Each fellowship awardee will be provided HK$20,000 per month (US$1=HK$7.8) and the intention is to make this Scheme prestigious and highly international. Lingnan is Hong Kong’s only liberal arts university and was named by Forbes as one of the “Top 10 Liberal Arts Institutions in Asia” in 2015.

Our small size, top international faculty and strong emphasis on close staff and student relationships offer a unique environment for the pursuit of advanced studies in this exciting part of the world. The University offers MPhil and PhD programmes in the Arts, Business and Social Sciences disciplines. Our top value is student-centred learning hence, for graduates, to ensure close and supportive thesis supervision.

At Lingnan, students establish peer-type working relationships with world-class scholars who offer expert and close-contact supervision in their respective areas. Our compact working environment where research students relate as peers with world-class scholars has enabled Lingnan to maintain a track record in HKPFS Fellowships Scheme. One strong area in which Lingnan offers both doctoral and MPhil studies in Hong Kong is Sociology and Social Policy.

In the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, teaching and research cover many exciting areas in these two related disciplines ( In terms of research locations, we have expertise in Hong Kong, China and many other countries of the Asia-Pacific (including, for example, Korea, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, and Myanmar) and other regions.

Applicants may seek admission to our PhD programmes in two ways as follows:

  • Applicants may seek admission via the HKPFS during the period from 1 September to 1 December 2016 (Hong Kong Time 12:00 noon). Students who apply for and do not get the fellowship can still be considered for the regular PhD places at Lingnan.
  • Applicants may apply to the University directly from 1 November 2016 to 27 January 2017. Normally, full-time PhD students will be awarded Postgraduate Studentships which offer a monthly stipend of HK$15,760* (amount subject to review).

*To be raised to HK$16,080 after confirmation of candidature.

The University also offers our popular and excellent research-based 2-year MPhil Sociology and/or Social Policy programme. Applicants may apply for admission to our MPhil programmes directly from 1 November 2016 to 27 January 2017. Full-time MPhil students will also be awarded Postgraduate Studentships which offer a monthly stipend of HK$15,540 (amount subject to review).

A copy of the poster is attached for your reference. For more details regarding application methods and requirements, please visit our website at

Should you have any queries, you are most welcome to contact the Registry (Tel.: (852) 2616 8750; Email:

‘Decolonising the curriculum’: Seminar 1

Editor’s note: Susan L. Robertson, Faculty of Education, Cambridge

The Decolonising Curriculum in Theory and Practice seminar series kicked off yesterday  at the University of Cambridge to a great turn-out. This provocative and important series has been convened by Drs Arathi Sriprakash (Education), Adam Branch (POLIS), Monica Figueroa (Sociology) and Manali Desai (Sociology). This initiative has been  funded by the Centre for Research in Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge. More details can be found at

This blog post was written by Lottie Hoare to capture the conversation.


Question: Can we change the structure of universities? From the outset it was obvious that this event was not an opportunity to present ‘decolonising the curriculum’ as an easy answer to all the struggles universities face today. Instead it was a chance to interrogate why this idea has come to the fore now in the UK and to ask how ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ can be used to introduce an experience of learning that does not leave students graduating with a shiny photograph of themselves in an antiquated outfit symbolizing ‘qualifications’, a huge debt and a body of knowledge which has reinforced the assumptions, experiences and limitations of past generations of scholarship.

Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor of Sociology, who runs the UK’s first Black Studies degree at Birmingham City University, opened the discussion with a reminder that it was no coincidence that ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ had become widely discussed in the UK at the very time that fees had been raised to 9000K. Universities are concerned, up to a point, to offer students courses that they want. Modules that build on students’ awareness of societies’ entrenched inequalities attract attention. If someone is going to take on that debt it soothes their conscience to know that they are researching problems that urgently need attention. However, as Kehinde pointed out, the university, as a ‘progressive institution’ is a relatively recent concept, perhaps dating from the 1960s. Historically universities in the UK have been ‘the master’s house’ reproducing inequalities and devising and propagating ideas such as Eugenics. The audience was reminded that it was not simply a case of seeing the university as a racist institution, it has been argued that the university IS racism.

Kehinde conveyed conviction and optimism about how despite these contradictions there is no point in wallowing in apathetic despair about the predominantly white neoliberal university, that has developed out of a troubled legacy of intellectual elitism. Instead we need to use the privileges of the space of the university to have discussions, write books that will be read and crucially, genuinely break down the divides between universities and every one else.

The audience and the other two speakers were then left to juggle with the tensions around how we break down that very divide when much of universities income is drawn from asking young people to borrow large sums of money to buy an identity which sets them apart from everyone else.

Kerem Nisancioglu,  a Lecturer in international relations from SOAS, spoke next about the problems of working in a field such as international relations, which remains relatively silent on the topic of Empire. Kerem observed that using a word like ‘decolonising’ without deconstructing what it means brings pitfalls. Decolonizing the curriculum is in danger of becoming ‘buzz words’ and being co-opted, as diversity has sometimes been, as a means of an institution drawing attention to itself to say ‘How great are we!’

Kerem pointed out that decolonizing anything can be a project of complete chaos and asked how we can find a way to ‘be toxic’ to universities as institutions and yet at the same time rescue the university as a safe space for shared learning. Can we de-colonise our minds and contribute to the construction of new ideas and practices through training and research that is informed by a university community that reflects a genuine widened participation?

Sarah Radcliffe, Professor in Latin American Geography, University of Cambridge, spoke next of the strengths of geography as a discipline which has a long history of introducing the destructive impact of colonialism to students, not just through an understanding of the ‘colonial present’ for example in the Middle East but also in looking at how the domination of the natural world can also be understood as a form of colonialism. She however acknowledged that she was working with a mainly white group of students and staff who both actively enjoy their research and simultaneously become disillusioned about the world in which they were living and working. She also referenced research that reveals how working in unfamiliar underprivileged communities does not often change the mindset of those who go with good intentions. Often the condescension of neo-colonialism lives on through travel.

The audience participation at this gathering grappled with how we find a realistic way to work in universities so that we don’t reinforce the culture of those who can easily afford the costs filling all the places. If in the process of decolonizing the curriculum we become so unwilling to compromise with those in powerful positions in universities, because the nature of their power was built on decisions with which we do not wholly agree, do we then unwittingly put off certain students from even applying?

Those for whom no predicted family inheritance will pay off their debts and who chose to ask difficult questions about society which mean that a career working to help their local community seems a more ethical choice than finance – will they be put off from signing up for degrees at all? The ensuing discussion also touched on how global power networks can ignore local antagonisms; why anti-austerity protesters are so often white; how universities may play a part in exacerbating certain problems around the pay gap for Black students and whether the curriculum needs to be decolonized from primary school onwards to really challenge long held assumptions?

The underlying tension loomed up in conversation, namely that some universities avoid concrete change in their curriculums because they perceive the debates within white scholarship to be the rigorous and established debates. However, students spoke up to acknowledge respect for the appointments that were made where staff had the courage and the experience to tackle those fears about how curriculums evolve across the centuries. We were left with a compelling problem of how we pull the struggles together and recognize that activism plays a part in learning. Kehinde observed that we are working within boundaries in a university and in the long term those boundaries might become untenable, but in the here and now we need to work ‘in, through and against’ the university, all at the same time.

About the author:

Lottie Hoare is a PhD Candidate (AHRC 2013-2016) in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, and  Research Assistant for ‘Sir Alec Clegg Revisited’

Seminar on global regionalisms and higher ed – by S. Robertson, R. Dale and QA. Dang, 27 October 2016 12:30 – 14:00 IoE, London

Global regionalisms and higher education: from projects to politics and theory.

  • Thursday, 27 October 2016 12:30 – 14:00
  • Room TBC, UCL Institute of Education
  • Susan L. Robertson, University of Cambridge
  • Roger Dale, University of Bristol
  • Que Anh Dang, University of Bristol


Drawing on their recently published book on Global regionalisms and higher education (published by Edward Elgar, 2016) Robertson, Dale and Dang argue that despite the proliferation of various region-building projects around the world as a reaction to globalisation – from Europe to Latin America, Africa and Asia – that there has been very little, if any, systematic engagement by higher education scholars in theorising these developments.

The presenters outline some lines of theoretical and empirical enquiry developed by the different authors in the book, which open up some new ways of thinking about regionalisms and inter-regionalisms, where higher education is both a key sector in regional development.

Collectively the chapters make the case that globally, higher education is being transformed by regionalising and inter-regionalising projects aimed at resolving ongoing economic, political and cultural challenges within and beyond national territorial states.


All seminars are free and open to the public. No advance booking required.


You can watch this seminar via CGHE’s livestream link

The seminar will draw on a recent publication by the presenters: Robertson et al., Global Regionalisms and Higher Education, published by Edward Elgar – see here for more details.

The Sociological Review’s Early Career Event – November 24th, Manchester, 9.30-18.00

For over a decade public sociology has been a mainstream topic of discussion within the discipline. While practices prior to the 2004 address by Michael Burawoy to the American Sociological Association, its identification and elaboration on an intellectual level was crucial to its popularisation. But is it possible that the voluminous literature that emerged in the years following has left us with a public sociology that is overly-discursive? While undoubtedly important, is there a risk that theorising about public sociology gets in the way of its practice? This event organised by The Sociological Review’s Early Career Forum takes as its starting point David Mellor’s 2011 argument that “we don’t need to debate public sociology anymore; we need to get good at it“. We invite early career researchers who share this aim to join us for a day of workshops, discussion and debate about how we can collectively improve our practice of public sociology.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Maddie Breeze, Queen Mary University
  • Mark Carrigan, The Sociological Review
  • Ipek Demir, University of Leicester
  • Lambros Fatsis, University of Southampton
  • Ruth Pearce, University of Warwick

Confirmed Workshops/Sessions

  • Working with Print and Broadcast Media: Aaron Bastani, Novara Media
  • Teaching Public Sociology: Maddie Breeze, Queen Mary University and Karl Johnson, Queen Mary University
  • Working with Social Media: Mark Carrigan, The Sociological Review
  • Working with Community Groups: Dan Silver, Social Action & Research Foundation
  • Working with Photo Archives: Ben Kyneswood, Photo Mining

This event is free, but registration is compulsory. You can register here:

Places are extremely limited due to the size of the venue. Please do not sign up to this event unless you are sure you can attend. If you can no longer attend, please cancel your ticket asap by emailing Jenny Thatcher

For academic inquiries related to this event, please contact Mark Carrigan

For all other inquiries related to this event, please email Jenny Thatcher

ECRs and PGRs Travel Bursaries

Sociological Review’s Early Career Board have a small number of travel bursaries available for early career researchers and postgraduate research student who would require assistant with travel costs. You can apply for by following this link:

The deadline for travel bursary applications is Sunday 30th October 2016, 00.00 GMT


EPAA/AAPE: Special Issue on Discursive Perspectives and Education Policy (Open Access)

EPAA/AAPE just published a Special Issue on Discursive Perspectives and Education Policy, Part 1: Critical Discourse Analysis and Education Policy, guest edited by Jessica Lester, Chad Lochmiller, and Rachael Gabriel 


Special Issue Introduction: Locating and applying critical discourse analysis within education policy  Lester, J. N., Lochmiller, C. R., & Gabriel, R. 

Complicating the rhetoric: How racial construction confounds market-based reformers’ civil rights invocations Hernandez, L. E. 

A critical discourse analysis of the New Labour discourse of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) across schools in England and Wales: Conversations with policymakers  Emery, C. 

An analysis of how restrictive language policies are interpreted by state departments of education and individual school districts Jimenez-Silva, M., Bernstein, K., & Baca, E. 

Too much too soon? An analysis of the discourses used by policy advocates in the debate over early childhood education Little, M. H., & Cohen-Vogel, L.

Political contestation and discourses of meaning:  Revising Minnesota’s school integration revenue statute  Mattheis, A.

Reforming for “All” or for “Some”: Misalignment in the discourses of education reformers and implementers Lenhoff, S. W., & Ulmer, J. B.