Scientists call for increased diversity in genomic research
Posted: 07 Jan 2019

Work by Professor Melinda Mills and Dr Charles Rahal has highlighted a lack of diversity in the people studies in genetic discovery research, with over 70% of subjects coming from either the UK, the USA, or Iceland.  Read the full article here.

Melinda Mills is Nuffield Professor of Sociology

‘Why should I trust you with my money?’ - New Article in the BJC
Posted: 11 Dec 2018

Professor Federico Varese's article " ‘Why should I trust you with my money?’: Credible commitments in the Informal Economy in China" looks at the illegal transfer of money in China, and has been published in the British Journal of Criminology.

Federico Varese is Deputy Head of Department, Taught Courses Director (2017-18), Professor of Criminology, Director of EXLEGI

Research by Professor Stephen Fisher in The Guardian
Posted: 10 Dec 2018

Research by the Department of Sociology's Professor Stephen Fisher featured strongly in a Guardian article on the “ethnic penalty” faced by minority ethnic candidates in elections last week.  The article discusses both the problems facing minority ethnic candidates and the fairness of selection processes, and you can read the full piece here.

Stephen Fisher is Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor in Political Sociology, Fellow of Trinity College and Department Disability Lead

Being born working class is bad for your health...
Posted: 12 Nov 2018

...and moving up the social ladder doesn’t compensate.  Patrick Präg and Lindsey Richards' article "showed that both origin and destination class matter. In fact, it seems that they each exert around the same level of influence. This means that your social class during childhood has a long reach and you cannot escape the health consequences of your social origins, even after climbing the social ladder all the way to the top."

Their article in The Conversation was picked up in the Independent, and their study was also published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The Hoods: Crime and Punishment in Belfast by Professor Heather Hamill - now available in paperback
Posted: 15 Mar 2018

In The Hoods, Heather Hamill explains why an informal system of policing and punishment developed and endured and why such harsh punishments as beatings, "kneecappings," and exile have not stopped hoods from offending.

A distinctive feature of the conflict in Northern Ireland over the past forty years has been the way Catholic and Protestant paramilitaries have policed their own communities. This has mainly involved the violent punishment of petty criminals involved in joyriding and other types of antisocial behavior. Between 1973 and 2007, more than 5,000 nonmilitary shootings and assaults were attributed to paramilitaries punishing their own people. But despite the risk of severe punishment, young petty offenders--known locally as "hoods"--continue to offend, creating a puzzle for the rational theory of criminal deterrence. Why do hoods behave in ways that invite violent punishment?

In The Hoods, Heather Hamill explains why this informal system of policing and punishment developed and endured and why such harsh punishments as beatings, "kneecappings," and exile have not stopped hoods from offending. Drawing on a variety of sources, including interviews with perpetrators and victims of this violence, the book argues that the hoods' risky offending may amount to a game in which hoods gain prestige by displaying hard-to-fake signals of toughness to each other. Violent physical punishment feeds into this signaling game, increasing the hoods' status by proving that they have committed serious offenses and can "manfully" take punishment yet remained undeterred. A rare combination of frontline research and pioneering ideas, The Hoods has important implications for our fundamental understanding of crime and punishment.

Further information

Heather Hamill is Associate Professor in Sociology, Fellow of St Cross College