Author Archives: grahamscambler

On and Off Route 66 – 3

This is the third and final blog of the drive from Atlanta to Los Angeles, San Diego and back, a way of filling and slightly exceeding a mid-semester break in teaching at Emory University. Saturday 14 March It was not the earliest of starts as we made the trip to downtown El Paso, parking as… Read More »

On and Off Route 66 – 2

This is the second blog of our long mid-semester drive to and beyond the Grand Canyon in 1998. Tuesday 10 March We were relieved to find it dry and sunny when we awoke. We completed the final 80 miles to a highly organized tourist complex, stopping only for a swift coffee at the most up-market… Read More »

On and Off Route 66 – 1

During our mid-term break as visiting Professors of Sociology at Emory University (in Atlanta, Georgia) in 1998, Annette and I went for a drive. Intending to get as far as the Grand Canyon, we ended up targeting more distant horizons. As we progressed I kept a diary for my father, then in his 80s, and… Read More »

Emory University Summer Programme, 1976-2011

The link with sociologists at Emory University in Atlanta in southern USA has run like a thread through my academic and personal lives. This short blog is a celebration and expression of gratitude to the friends I’ve made, plus one or two reflections on change. Dick Levinson lit the spark in 1976 by approaching Margot… Read More »

Habermas, Civil Society and the Public Sphere

This blog is the second in a short series on the work of Habermas and issues that arise from it. The focus is on the notions of civil society and the public sphere and how these have changed as spaces of resistance and unrest. Habermas’ early study of the rise of the bourgeois public sphere,… Read More »

Twelve Favourite Living Medical Sociologists

I have yielded to the temptation to identify ‘12 favourite living medical sociologists’ for two reasons. First, it allows me to celebrate the work of colleagues I admire; and second, it will hopefully provoke a continuing debate about who does what, as well as what matters, in our volatile worlds of sociology and financial capitalism.… Read More »

REF: ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’

Last time round, I was a sociologist in a laboratory-based Department of Medicine. Even before the RAE peeped over the horizon I was summoned by my HofD, whom I had not yet met during the several years of his tenure, to explain who I was and what I did. He was not overly harsh, agreeing… Read More »

The Greek Games at Olympia

Watching an absorbing BBC4 programme on ancient Delphi brought back memories of a family visit to this magical, mountainous place many years ago. It was a trip that started in Aegina, involved picking up a rental car in Athens, and took us not only to Delphi but to Olympia and Corinth as well. Like Olympia,… Read More »

Twelve Career-Nudging Books for a Sociologist

Lists can be enticing, but risky too. The list is of those 12 books that played a formative role in the development of my own thought, and it so happens that the authors are men. This is open to interrogation of course: my gender, the timing of my babyboomer’s career trajectory, my chosen interests, and… Read More »

A Chronology of Social Formations

A few years ago I used to run a special option for medical students on social change in modern Britain. It was a bit like the general studies we had to take in the sixth form at school, intended to broaden outlooks. While my focus was on the volatility of the present, it is not… Read More »