Back to Poppleton! 4

March 26, 2004

I was disappointed to find Laurie Taylor making fun of feminist research by singling out my presentation for the British Sociological Association conference "Wax, pluck or thread: Normalising hair removal in the beauty salon".

It reflects badly on sociology as a discipline when senior sociologists trivialise feminist studies of women's mundane practices. Hair removal is a normative practice for the majority of UK women and supports a multimillion-pound depilation industry.

Taylor acknowledges that the York sociology department is renowned for its "first-class research" in conversation analysis - ironic then that he should choose to ridicule my paper, which reports conversation analytic work carried out with the help of world-famous conversation analysts in this very department.

I am sorry that Taylor did not attend my talk: I was looking forward to discussing with him the importance of sociological research on the relationship between ordinary taken-for-granted actions and their social and political context.

Merran Toerien
Postgraduate research student
York University

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