Society explored in new magazine

A new monthly online magazine of social research and policy analysis has been launched.

October 6, 2013

 

Discover Society aims to overcome “a serious risk of a democratic deficit” and to offer the general public “a better understanding of the social context in which politics takes place”.

The magazine, which went live this week, already includes contributions on everything from sustainable consumption and 21st-century relationships to multilingual citizenship to “the rise of the British comedy snob”.  

“Along with many others, we have lamented the absence of social research at the heart of public debate,” said co-editor John Holmwood, professor of sociology at the University of Nottingham.

“There is a ‘folk memory’ within the disciplines of sociology and social policy of the old days of New Society, which published [in this area] from its launch in 1962 to its demise in 1988 and had contributions from many British academics,” he said, adding that the new magazine sets out to fulfil a similar function through research-based articles, “viewpoints” (on current social issues), “policy briefings” and reports “on the frontline” of austerity Britain.

“We think that there should be a better understanding of the social context in which politics takes place,” Professor Holmwood went on.

“There is a serious risk of a democratic deficit if the drive toward evidence-based policy means that researchers focus on informing policy-makers, rather than the wider public.”

Another stimulus was the late Baroness Thatcher’s famous statement: “There is no such thing as society. There are only individual men and women, and there are families.”

Though families are “frequently invoked in political debates (especially ‘hard-working’ ones)”, co-editor Sue Scott, professor of sociology (and currently pro vice-chancellor) at Glasgow Caledonian University, argued that they are “frequently misunderstood and their varied nature misrepresented”.

Since setting up the magazine, Professor Holmwood reported that many organisations “have said to us that they had been thinking of doing this for some time, ‘but hadn’t found a business model; how have you done it?’ Answer: We didn’t look for a business model, we just did it!”

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest