Author Archives: Robert Dingwall

Health Visiting and the MMR: a matter of mutual decline

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is reported to be concerned about the falling level of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination in the United Kingdom. The country has now lost its measles-free status… He has asked social media companies to block the spread of information from groups opposing vaccination (see previous post on this topic)… Read More »

Negotiating against a Script

Scripts or playbooks created by corporate managers to handle consumer and other claims reduce the discretion for negotiators to resolve individual disputes. How can one possibly “get to yes” by offering creative options to solve problems when the other party won’t even engage in basic negotiation behaviors (questioning and responses, information exchange, agenda setting, offers,… Read More »

Reflections on the Death of Doris Day

The recent death of Doris Day severed one of the last links with a Golden Age of Hollywood. Many tributes have been paid to a woman whose talent was rarely fully used in her screen roles. In the course of these obituaries and memorials, it is interesting to note the songs that are picked out… Read More »

What counts as “Real Sociology”?

…if one looks around a typical campus, it is striking how much sociology has abandoned to other fields. The consequence is that those fields have invented their own social sciences to compensate. Engineering has human factors, computer science has user experience, transport planning looks almost exclusively to behavioural economics. Students have the message that sociology… Read More »

Whatever happened to Conservative Social Thought?

…This post focusses mainly on conservative thinking, partly because it is increasingly difficult to identify when and where many students would meet a respectful presentation of this stream of ideas. How many social science departments actually teach a core component on Conservative Social Thought? Conservative social and political thought rests on three quite distinct foundations… Read More »

The Civic Responsibility of Ethnographers

…The core issue, then, is whether social scientists have some kind of moral duty to act as whistleblowers or, more pejoratively, as snitches, grasses or stoolies. Lubet’s position appears to be that accommodating or condoning criminal actions is inherently wrong, although it may on occasion be tolerated. Many participant observers would argue that a greater… Read More »