View the latest news from departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences below.
In a piece for the University of Warwick's Knowledge Centre, Dr Chris Strelluf argues we should not simplify English spelling as the ancient hangovers, irregularities and frustrating rules of English spelling are what enables its continuity and a connection with billions of people across the globe argues. "We enjoy linguistic continuity because we endure bad spelling."
Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production: Contesting Concepts at Conferences Book Launch
Education Studies, University of Warwick – Book Launch/Webinar Invitation
Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production: Contesting Concepts at Conferences (Routledge, 2020)
by Emily F. Henderson
16th July 2020, 10:00-12:00 UK time (GMT+1), on Teams (here)
You are cordially invited to the book/launch webinar.
About the book: Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production
Waking up to the reactivity of concepts, to their myriad possibilities for signification, to the range and strength of affective responses they provoke, can happen at any time, in any place. Conceptual contestations shake up the comfortably consolidated foundations of sociological knowledge production, but they also have consequences for the ways in which lives are understood, researched and legislated for. This book is dedicated to exploring the definitional politics which surround the concept of gender in ‘live’ knowledge production. While conferences remain an under-researched phenomenon, this volume places conference knowledge production under the spotlight; conferences, in particular national women’s studies association conferences in the UK, the US and India, are explored as sites where definitional politics play out. The cumulative theorisation of ‘live’ conceptual knowledge production that is developed throughout the book draws on established constructs such as performativity, citationality, intersectionality, materiality and events, but works with them in combination in a new, unique way. The book as a whole calls for more attention to be paid to conceptual knowledge production, so as to make more space for potentially transformative conceptual change.
Emma Langley awarded ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
Dr Emma Langley of the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) has been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to continue her work on the psychological wellbeing of fathers of children with Intellectual Disability (ID). The one-year fellowship will begin in October 2019 and will build on her doctoral research in Education and Psychology which explored the psychological wellbeing of family members of children with ID and/or autism.
ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowships aim to provide researchers in the postdoctoral stage of their career the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, networks, and their research and professional skills. The scheme is very competitive, with 7 funded fellowships available across six universities in the Midlands Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).
During the fellowship Emma will analyse large-scale longitudinal data to investigate how paternal wellbeing affects the outcomes of children with ID. She will also be collaborating with a small group of fathers of children with ID to disseminate research findings and co-produce a practical guide for fathers based on their experiences.
“I am extremely grateful to the ESRC for this invaluable opportunity which provides me with the time to focus on my research activities and develop as an early career academic. More importantly, it allows me to continue to explore the psychological wellbeing of fathers of children with ID to be able to better understand their needs.”
Professor David Stark (CIM) and Professor Nick Chater (WBS) Event
First study of the impact of academisation on teachers’ pay and progression to be led by Warwick economists
Warwick researchers will carry out the first detailed study into the impact of English schools’ conversions to autonomous academies on the teacher labour market, thanks to a grant awarded by the Nuffield Foundation.
Around sixty per cent of English schools are now academies, with substantial autonomy over curriculum, teacher workload, school hours, and teacher recruitment and pay. The ways in which academies have used these freedoms to recruit and retain teachers, and any consequences for neighbouring community schools, will now be analysed for the first time.
The research team, led by Professor Victor Lavy of Warwick Economics, will use rich anonymised information from the Department for Education on teachers, including their wages and employing school, to explore what happens to teacher salaries and turnover in the wake of an academy conversion.
The team also includes leading education researchers Professor Stephen Machin of the London School of Economics, Professor Shqiponja Telhaj of the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and the University of Sussex, and Dr. Emma Duchini from Warwick Economics and CAGE.
To ensure that the project findings will be of practical use to policy-makers and practitioners, the researchers will report regularly to an advisory panel including members of the Department for Education and teachers’ representatives. Teachers, civil servants, members of the DfE and local authority education officials will also be invited to a workshop at the University of Warwick to discuss the project’s findings and draw up policy recommendations.
Professor Lavy said:
“This will be the first study to provide comprehensive causal evidence on how academy conversions affect teacher hiring, turnover and pay in converter schools, and on any spillover effects on neighbouring community schools.
“Studying these dynamics is important for several reasons. Teachers are the most important input for student achievement, but teacher shortage and high turnover are a matter of concern in England In particular, the number of qualified teachers leaving state-funded schools for reasons other than retirement has increased by almost 50% in the country, recently.
“At the same time, it is unclear how academies may affect the teacher labour market. They may exploit their autonomy over personnel management to attract and retain high-quality teachers. Or they might use it to increase teaching workload, which may discourage many teachers from joining academies, and push others to quit.
“This project aims to offer clear evidence on these alternative mechanisms, which we hope will be of interest to school leaders, teachers’ organisations, and Government.”
With their analysis, the research team hopes to offer sound policy implications. Dr Emma Duchini added:
“We hope that a better understanding of the relationship between school autonomy, pay setting, and teacher turnover will help the education sector tackle turnover and retention concerns.
“Providing evidence on the link between autonomy, pay policies and teacher turnover will be especially valuable to community schools now that autonomy over pay has been extended to all types of school.“In addition, by studying how neighbouring schools respond to academies’ personnel policies, the project will contribute to unfold the dynamics of competition across schools, a key issue for both policy makers and parents.
“Overall, this project will offer comprehensive evidence on the impact of school autonomy on pay policies and teacher recruitment and retention, which occupy a central role into any firm’s personnel practices.”
The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance social well-being. It funds research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare, and Justice. It also funds student programmes that provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in quantitative and scientific methods. The Nuffield Foundation is the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Ada Lovelace Institute. The Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit www.nuffieldfoundation.org
The University of Warwick ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) is pleased to invite applications for its first Postdoctoral Innovation Fellowship.
Warwick is one of 26 UK universities receiving funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which supports engagement activities with non-academic stakeholders such as policymakers, NGOs, businesses and public beneficiaries to enable the conversion of established research into impact.
As part of this programme, the ESRC IAA will fund four fellowships (one per academic year) to support students towards the end of their PhD to think about how their research could be applied to the needs and challenges of organisations across different sectors, and to develop proposals to put this into practice.
The Fellowship will be awarded for up to three months or part-time equivalent. Projects can commence any time from 14 October 2019, but must be complete by 31 March 2020.
This opportunity is open to applicants who will have submitted their PhD thesis for examination before their proposed Fellowship start date (the Fellowship can commence whilst awaiting viva) OR who will be within one year of having been awarded their PhD at the proposed start date. The PhD must be in a social science discipline and have been undertaken at the University of Warwick.
Those with a full-time, permanent, academic post are not eligible to apply.
For further information and details on how to apply please visit: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/impact/iaa/innovationfellow
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed job-related health risks, leading to fatalities amongst frontline health and social workers, and worsened physical and mental health for other essential workers as well as non-essential workers.
Chris Warhurst and Christian van Stolk
The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) is delighted to announce that we have reclaimed our place as number 1 for overall student satisfaction in the Russell Group in the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS). *
Other highlights amongst our Russell Group peers include:
- 1st for Assessment and Feedback
- 1st for Organisation and Management
- 1st for Learning Resources
- 1st for Student Voice
- 2nd for academic support
The 2020 results show that we are in 1st or 2nd place in the Russell Group for 6 of the 9 NSS categories, 1st on 12 questions and in the top 3 on 18 of the 27 questions.
With 5 years in either 1st or 2nd place on overall student satisfaction amongst the Russell Group, these results demonstrate our partnership with the student body and our sustained commitment to the student experience.
PAIS position in Russell Group for overall satisfaction
In the 2020 NSS our BA Politics degree received 95% overall satisfaction. Across all programmes with which we are involved - both single and joint honours - we achieved 88%. The Russell Group average for Politics was 79.65%.
These impressive outcomes are due to an outstanding team effort among our fantastic students, academic and professional services colleagues and demonstrate a partnership which we are extremely proud of. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work and support for our teaching and student experience in which has been a very challenging year for all concerned.
We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with our amazing students and dedicated staff to sustain and build on these strong results, which reflect our deep commitment to research-led teaching excellence. At the start of the new academic year we will feedback in greater detail to all students and we will discuss and take forward ideas for further enhancement of the PAIS student experience via our Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs).
In particular, we will intensify our work on liberating and decolonising the curriculum and building a sense of community and belonging. We will support and promote student wellbeing and work with partner Departments to ensure continued excellence across all programmes, in particular joint degrees.
*See the Office for Students website for more details and the full data. The results are based on the official Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) subject breakdowns and the 20 Russell Group institutions which met the publications threshold for Politics.
Department of Philosophy Ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2021
The University Guide, produced annually by The Guardian, has ranked the Department of Philosophy an impressive 6th place in its League Table for 2021. This new ranking builds on the Department’s performance from previous years, and reflects its growing reputation for inspirational course content, outstanding academic research and teaching expertise. Additionally, the University of Warwick is placed 8th in the 2021 League Table of Universities, which is also an advance from its 2020 ranking.
Are you interested in developing your skills, enhancing the student experience, and being paid in the process?
The Department of Sociology is currently inviting applications from finalist students for a number of 'Student Voice' Ambassador roles. Ambassadors will act as an interface between students and staff, feeding back both ways. The role will include, for example, inputting into departmental discussions on teaching policy and curriculum change.
If you are interested in this role, please send your CV and a supporting statement (of up to 350 words) outlining why you feel you would make a good 'Student Voice' Ambassador to the department’s Director of Student Experience, Dr Andre Celtel (A.Celtel@warwick.ac.uk).
The closing date for applications is 2 pm on Thursday 03 October 2019.