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The Sociology Post

Power as a mode of control

17th February 2020

Power is central to sociological analysis. More has been published on power than on almost any other sociological concept. Yet, more needs to be said. Power must be integrated within more general theoretical frameworks. Reconsidering Talcott Parsons might offer us a way forward.

Twilight of democracy?

25th November 2019

Is parliamentary democracy broken? Are the current problems over the handling of Brexit perhaps reflections of something much more problematic about democracy? How should parliamentary democracy operate, what should be the limits on executive power, and how should we regard the rise of populism and alienation from parliament? 

Weber on Stratification

25th October 2018

It is commonly held that Weber identified three dimensions of stratification: class, status, and party. This has long been the standard view and has been repeated countless times. It is not, in fact, what Weber said, or even what he implied. I have tried to counter this interpretation before, but here goes again.

Reforming the Lords

13th March 2018

Much of my research has concerned status and the dominant classes in relation to political power. One focus has been on the role of the House of Lords in Parliament. This has changed considerably over time. The link between the House of Lords and an hereditary peerage has almost disappeared. Most members of the House today are Life Peers who are appointed by the main political parties or by an Appointments Commission as independent, crossbench members. The Lords today has to be viewed as a central part of the parliamentary system concerned with reflecting on, revising, and improving legislation. The important question is what further reforms are needed in order to enhance its role.