Call for Papers: 28th Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph
Complicity: Methodologies of power, politics, and the ethics of knowledge production
Editors: Greg Hollin (University of Leeds, UK) and Ros Williams (University of Sheffield, UK)
Global inequalities, colonial legacies, and the innumerable power imbalances striating the social world have never been more pertinent to social studies of health and illness. It is thus vital to interrogate how exactly we research these issues, as well as the ethics and politics of knowledge production relating to them. We ask, what problematic and productive complicities might we as researchers engage in as we endeavour to produce this knowledge? We understand ‘complicity’ as a broad, explorative term for thinking through the methodological politics of contemporary sociological research into health and illness.
The 28th Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph will bring together contributions from social scientists working with diverse methods, and across different empirical domains, in order to provide a distinctive sociological perspective on the ways in which we might engage in, and respond to, various forms of complicity in our work. We invite submissions which consider qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and digital methods and which are oriented towards matters of power, politics and ethics in medical sociology. Contributions may address (but are not limited to) the following themes:
Centres of power: We invite contributions which consider the ways in which sociological research is shaped by diverse centres of power. We seek perspectives which consider, for example, how research practices and findings are shaped ‘colonising’ methodologies and ‘methodological whiteness’; the demands of dominant funding bodies, priorities, and framings; the needs and wishes of medical authorities.
Modes of ownership: We encourage contributions which theorise and explore questions of data and research ownership. In the age of ‘platform capitalism’, those interested in health issues on social media may be forced into fiscal and proprietary agreements with social media companies. At the same time impact, public engagement, and data storage obligations are altering our relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. Topics might also include relationships between health research and diverse forms of capitalism; and the dis/enfranchisement of those we study/work with.
Productive complicities: We seek submissions which move beyond thinking of power and complicity in straightforwardly negative terms. We invite submissions that assess topics such as normative agendas and SHI-as-activism. We also invite considerations of friendship and rapport which concern themselves with the instrumentalization of, and obligations toward, research participants.
We particularly encourage contributions from, and will endeavour to work with, researchers based in the Global South; early career researchers; and those based in non-traditional academic institutions. The monograph will be published in September 2022.
Potential contributors should send an abstract of up to 600 words to g.hollin by 21st August 2020. Abstracts should clearly indicate the proposed paper’s sociological importance. Informal enquiries prior to submission are welcome and encouraged. The name of the author(s) should be supplied, including full contact details.
Proposals will be reviewed by the monograph team and potential contributors notified by 30th September 2020. Short-listed authors will be invited to submit their work by 31st January 2021. Submissions will be refereed in the usual way and should follow the journal’s style guidelines.