Author Archives: Robert Dingwall

Interrogating Ethnography – and Coming Up with the Wrong Answers?

Sociological research reports rarely attract high levels of public controversy. Alice Goffman’s 2014 book, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City is an exception… The book has been widely acclaimed for its account of the survival strategies of young black men facing aggressive policing and other forms of institutional racism. It has, however,… Read More »

Presumed Consent for Organ Donation – Key 1995 Review available again

The regulation of organ donation is substantially devolved within the UK. The Welsh government has legislated to introduce a policy of presumed consent, which allows doctors to assume that a suitable patient would agree to the removal of their organs, unless they have previously recorded an objection. The Scottish government is planning to introduce a… Read More »

Alternative Medicine

A new link on the video page to a commentary for Press TV about what counts as alternative medicine, who uses it, what the regulatory challenges might be and how it fits into the global picture of health care.

Remembering Peter M Hall

The death has been announced of Peter M Hall, who was one of the leading scholars in the interactional study of organizations. This has been a major tradition in symbolic interactionism, although less fashionable in recent years. Peter did much to sustain that interest. He was a generous supporter of colleagues, junior scholars and students… Read More »

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants – Trent Institute Report available again.

In the mid-1990s, various colleagues and I were commissioned by the UK Department of Health to produce comprehensive narrative reviews of the literature on nurse practitioners and on physician assistants to inform policy discussions. These reviews were published in a single report, ‘The Mid-Level Practitioner‘ by the Trent Institute for Health Services Research (Discussion Paper… Read More »

Sexual harassment and universities

When you have worked in the academic business for a long time, you remember moral panics from previous times around. Sexual harassment is one such….Nevertheless, we are confronted with claims about the ‘discovery’ of this behaviour as a new social problem. Developing an effective response, however, may require us to consider questions about institutional memory,… Read More »

Robot Care of the Elderly and other videos

I have added new content to the Video page of this site, mostly the work that I have done for Press TV, an online TV channel. The most recent programme looks at the potential applications of robots and other smart technologies for use in the care of older people. Earlier programmes focus on trust, moral… Read More »

Let the REF Games begin

Now that the definitive rules have been published for the 2021 research excellence framework, we can settle down to consider which actions will best favour the institutions that we belong to or advise. Winners develop strategies: losers complain about “gaming”… …The great humorist Stephen Potter defined gamesmanship as the “art of winning games without actually… Read More »

Monitoring the transition to open access: December 2017

Universities UK has recently published a report from its Open Access Coordination Group, which aims to build on previous findings, and to examine trends over the period since the major funders of research in the UK established new policies to promote open access. The research was delivered by a partnership involving Research Consulting, the University of… Read More »

The ‘Rule of Optimism’ Revisited

Another attempt to correct the usage of this description of the organizational culture of child protection work has just been published in the British Journal of Social Work by Martin Kettle and Sharon Jackson. The authors extend the analysis by a wider consideration of the role of optimism in everyday professional life. “As an idea,… Read More »