Sociology Seminar Wed 11 Jan 2012

Published: 16 January 2012

Professor Yvette Taylor: Fitting into place? ‘Public sociology’ and ‘city publics’

Professor Yvette Taylor (London South Bank University)
Fitting into place? ‘Public sociology’ and ‘city publics’
4.30pm, Room 916, Adam Smith Building

Drawing on a forthcoming book ‘Fitting Into Place? Class and Gender Geographies and Temporalities’ this talk raises questions about who becomes the proper subject for (non)academic attention in a time when 'city publics' might be positioned as democratising and open or, conversely, as curtailed and shaped through specific and pre-determined economies of value and use. The use of the city and its residents are echoed in regeneration politics and objectives, attached to and brought forward by specific 'regenerative' subjects, now deemed 'resilient' and capacitated. Such rhetorics of inclusion and measurable impact are echoed within ideas of a 'public sociology', which the engaged researcher should practice as she re-engages differently located spaces and subjects. Here, questions are raised about the place of a 'public sociology' as part of a 'city publics', where understanding local disseminations and disparities is important in considering where different users, interviewees and indeed researchers are coming from. Ideas of public sociology – as with an open 'city publics' - often assumes that all users are interested, willing to hear and appear as equal members of a 'community'. In contrast, the experience of engaging a user group may involve dis-engaging the research-researcher-researched and here we provide disruptions to a straightforward 'travelling through' research space as we walk through our research methodologies. Here Professor Taylor present reflections on research experience as well as interpretative accounts of navigating fieldwork and city space.

All Welcome

Supported by the McFie Bequest

Enquiries about the seminar programme should be addressed to: Dr Kirsteen Paton, Sociology, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow. G12 8RT. Tel.: 0141 330 5070 or email:

First published: 16 January 2012