Our Psychiatric Future

Our everyday lives are increasingly intertwined with psychiatry and discussions of mental health. Yet the dominant medical discipline of psychiatry remains surrounded by controversy. Is there an ‘epidemic’ of mental ill health in contemporary societies? Is mental distress really an illness like any other, treatable by drugs? Can psychiatrists differentiate … Read More

Artifictional Intelligence

The trouble with artificial intelligence research is that its aim is reproduce the brain not the person. But people aren’t brains. Some critics of artificial intelligence have argued that the body is crucial but this is too narrow a view. To reproduce human intelligence one must understand where human intelligence … Read More

Why global health needs more attention – reflections on writing a book on this topic

In our latest book Global Health: An Introductory Text we have drawn upon a social scientific lens to critically consider this topic area, because we believe that the social determinants of health should be at the forefront of analyses in this area. That is not to say that the physical … Read More

A new look at culture as such

Shakespeare is our contemporary. So is Aristotle, and El Greco, and Murasaki Shikibu, the Japanese court lady who, a bit more than a thousand years ago, wrote The Tale of Genji, considered by many to be the first psychological novel in the whole world. They are our contemporaries because what … Read More

Affinities

Why does a woman who discovers relatives she never knew she had, feel so moved when she recognises a family resemblance with them, and how is it that family resemblances can feel uncanny, or spooky, or even magical? What is happening when someone feels an affinity with a place, or … Read More

Pain: A Sociological Introduction

Whenever I mention that I have written a book on the sociology of pain the most common reaction is “What is the connection between sociology and pain?” This was also the initial reaction of many students whom I taught on pain management programmes and courses, which was one of the … Read More

Sex Media

Sex sells. Our world has been pornified. Culture is sexualized and it’s making our children grow up too quickly. Porn is everywhere. Porn changes your brain. There is an epidemic of porn addiction. Porn is a public health crisis. Sexting is a growing problem. Raunch culture is damaging girls. Virtual … Read More

Green Utopias

In the shadow of looming climate crisis and political failures to tackle climate change in the wake of the Paris climate agreement it might seem that there is not much hope around for a better, greener future. But visions of sustainable and satisfying societies have emerged in strange places over … Read More

New book explores impact of social media on hospice patients


Daniel Miller is the author of The Comfort of People, a new book featuring the stories of hospice patients and their use of social media. Here he explains how the book took shape.

The primary topic of this book is the social universe of the hospice patient. Potentially this … Read More

Essential Concepts in Sociology, 2nd Edition

Concept development in a discipline like sociology is a process and any attempt to identify that discipline’s ‘essential concepts’ must necessarily be a snapshot taken at a specific moment in time. Creating that snapshot is pretty much what we have tried to do in this book. Of course, it means … Read More