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Shamus Khan discusses his research on elites

Shamus Khan discusses his, and others’, research on elites

Public Lecture: ‘Understanding elites’ – Professor Shamus Khan (Columbia University)

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Since the financial crises of the late 2000s, and the uneven recovery since, elites have increasingly been the focus of political and scholarly attention. This lecture draws upon the work of a range of scholars to both give a portrait of the contemporary elite, and, outline the ways in which contemporary scholarship makes sense of them.

Shamus Khan is Associate Professor in the sociology department at Columbia University. His work is primarily within the areas of cultural sociology and stratification, with a strong focus on elites. He is the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton 2011); The Practice of Research (Oxford 2013, with Dana Fisher), and he is completing Exceptional: The Astors, Elite New York, and the Story of American Inequality (Princeton, forthcoming). With Dorian Warren, he is the director of a Russell Sage Foundation working group on “The Political Influence of Economic Elites;” he also serves as the principal investigator on a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project using the New York Philharmonic archives to uncover the character of their subscribers from the 1870s-present.  In addition to his primary focus, he also writes in the areas of gender theory, deliberative politics, and research methodology. He recently served as an opinion columnist for Time Magazine and continues to write about sociology in the popular press.

All welcome.

Eventbrite - Public lecture: 'Understanding Elites' - Shamus Khan

Beyond Anti-Austerity: The Possibilities and Limits of Movements Resisting Neoliberalism

Wednesday 3 December 2014, 3.30-5.30pm

The wave of protests instigated by the financial crisis in 2011 has already developed new tactical repertoires and targeted both economic and political elites across a wide range of national contexts. In Europe, the loudest rallying cry has become ‘Anti-Austerity’, bringing mass protests against a seeming consensus among governments that stringent cuts to welfare and services are the only economically viable route to recovery. Early hopes among the left that the financial crisis might kickstart a shift away from market-centric orthodoxies have been disappointed as it has become obvious that for those in power the answer to neoliberalism’s crisis is further neoliberalism. Do these new movements offer anything novel in opposing this old enemy? Is this conflict purely motivated by defence of what is left of the welfare states? Does the current conjuncture raise new opportunities or pose new limits for resistance to neoliberalism?

Beyond Anti-Austerity? will be a roundtable event to elaborate and explore these questions and many others. Chaired by Gemma Edwards (UoM, Sociology), we’ll ensure there is plenty of time for discussion after opening contributions from our panel:

  • Marianne Maeckelbergh (Leiden University, Anthropology): Can anti-austerity move from resistance to revolt?
  • Colin Barker (MMU): What about the workers?
  • Carl Death (UoM, Politics): Conceptualising resistance to neoliberalism: ‘counter-conducts’?
  • Jamie Matthews (UoM, Sociology): What forms of action and identity are possible in austerity?
  • Nadim Mirshak (UoM, Politics): Building counter-hegemony through education?

More information and to ticket booking (free)

Translating social science into public policy: challenges and opportunities

Monday 8 December 2014

Sociology at Manchester in association with MICRA


Chair: Dr Wendy Bottero (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Manchester)

Social scientists can play a significant role influencing the direction of public policy. Researchers are now urged to demonstrate that their work has been taken up and used by policy makers, and practitioners, or has led to improvements in services or business. But getting social research into the public arena raises challenging issues in terms of changing dominant narratives around particular problems, influencing elite groups and opinion formers, and challenging vested interests. This Symposium will address these issues by taking two case studies of attempts to influence policy agendas, these involving issues around social exclusion in later life, and ethnic inequalities in health. The Symposium will also consider the broader debate around the ‘public value of social science’ and future developments in this area.

Seminar 2.00pm-4.00pm, free networking lunch from 1.00pm

Register on eventbrite for a free ticket


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