Sociology - Doctoral Theses

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 35
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    The sociology of unpopular music: permanent liminality in post Celtic Tiger Ireland
    (University College Cork, 2020-05) Corcoran, Robert; Szakolczai, Arpad; Keohane, Kieran; Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
    The central focus of this thesis involves the combined application of reflexive historical genealogy and liminality theory to investigate emergent forms of social networks organized around specific forms of cultural activity, specifically in this instance, the realm of independent alternative music. This liminal borderland of cultural and subcultural activity is characterized in the context of globalized neoliberalism as instantiated in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. These undertakings are achieved by constructing a large theoretical edifice which is periodically supplemented with a wide range of empirical data and hermeneutical analysis invoked illustratively, selectively and strategically throughout. The range of research is spread across four major research chapters which apply this theoretical framework and the concomitant methodology to topics surrounding the emergence and ultimate decline of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy, the periodic renegotiation of music and noise over the last century, the emergence of ‘alternative’ as an aesthetic and socio-cultural designation quite distinct from its original meaning as the inverse of mainstream practices. This discussion highlights a variety of social science research initiatives into the relationship between youth groups and popular/fringe music forms to evaluate if any privileged relationship between the two can be established. Once such a framework is advanced in suitable detail, the focus is switched to the manner with which contemporary communications technology has modified such activities, paying particular attention to the conditions which both give rise to such technology and the forms of consumption and communication which they subsequently instantiate. The final section of the research attempts to assess how the major themes and discussion up to this point are discernable within the contemporary context via the incorporation of observational, ethnographic and hermeneutic methods.
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    No ordinary death: the Disappeared of Northern Ireland's conflict
    (University College Cork, 2022-08-31) Peake, Sandra; Lynch, Orla; Windle, James; University College Cork
    This study is set within the context of the Northern Ireland Conflict, also known as the Troubles. The aim is to explore the impact of enforced disappearances on first and second generation family members. The study relates to the families of a group of people abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles. The research considers the influence of disappearances on the interpersonal relationships in the families involved and in the communities in which they lived. The project also examines the historical significance of intra-community deaths and of interactions with other elements of society that make up our society such as the church, health professionals, members of the police and government bodies from the period following the abduction to the present day. Disappearing individuals is a phenomenon that occurs and has occurred outside of NI’s Conflict. The researcher draws on the experiences of families in other conflicts around the world, whose loved ones were also disappeared by paramilitaries, to examine how the context to the violence impact on the individual and family experiences. The study was carried out using a Grounded Theory framework and involved interviewing 40 people (repeat measures) - parents, siblings, children and other family members of those abducted. The researcher is an insider researcher as she worked with and works as an advocate for the interviewees, both nationally and internationally, for a period in excess of twenty years. Analysis of the data gathered produced eight theoretical higher order concepts, underpinned by a number of higher and lower order categories. These concepts have been developed into a new theoretical framework called ‘Orchestrated Loss’, which explains the impact of enforced disappearance within a conflict situation on individuals, families and communities. This new theoretical framework offers an insight into the unique situation in which the families of those disappeared in politically motivated, conflict-related situations find themselves. It also offers a basis and future direction for additional research in an area that has been under researched, and which is complex and conceptually immature.
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    Emile Durkheim: the narrative of a liminal subject
    (University College Cork, 2021) Flannery, Sophia; Szakolczai, Arpad; Balfe, Myles
    Since 1939, Anglo-American biographers have presented a non-political narrative of Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) that has rendered subordinate the political assessments of Edward Tiryakian (1979) and Robert Alun Jones (1986). This is despite evidence existing that corroborates these latter researchers understanding. To elucidate the circumstances behind this disparity this thesis examines these biographies to discover if they display an engagement with rhetorical literary practices. This is to consider if these have caused them to make discursive statements that preclude the valuations of Tiryakian and Alun Jones in the same location from being given full recognition with the effect they limit knowledge formation around Durkheim’s identity. Additionally, it is to explore the situation whereby Tiryakian’s particular offering triggered Durkheim’s identity and this narrative to incur a state of liminality (Van Gennep, Turner) while more modern western biographies on Durkheim activated these to experience a state of permanent liminality (Szakolczai, 2009). To support these efforts, the concepts of liminality and permanent liminality are employed as a conceptual framework while Marie-Laure Ryan’s (2007) view of narrative and Judith Butler’s (1997) understanding of textual silences in conjunction with Foucault’s archaeological method and Derrida’s Theory of Deconstruction are utilised as an analytical framework. The objective is to locate points of agreement within Anglo-American biographies on Durkheim that can be analysed to confirm if the statements they make are exclusionary in form. To additionally enable this process these statements are analysed against others presented by more historically directed researchers. The intent is to unveil points of reference within these texts that connect Durkheim with French politics between 1858 and 1917. To broaden this research scope even further an examination of the level of reflexivity (Bourdieu) that underlies the above situations occurs. The aim is to affirm which of the above interpretations of Durkheim holds legitimacy in the contemporary context (Van Leeuwen, 2007). Moreover, it is to establish if beyond the observations of Tiryakian and Alun Jones, the information that biographies on Durkheim present has the capacity to confirm Durkheim as political in the republican sense and a ‘subject’ (Foucault) of the French Third Republic.
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    ‘Ceci n’est pas du terrorisme: this is not terrorism’: representation of far-right and jihadi terrorism in the terrorism studies literature
    (University College Cork, 2021) Ahmed, Yasmine; Lynch, Orla; Swirak , Katharina
    This thesis examines how terrorism is imagined, constructed, and researched by examining the output of scholars in key research journals. The aim of this work is to understand exactly what it is we are talking about when we research about terrorism, not to examine how we define terrorism, but how we define the problem of terrorism. This representation becomes manifest in the research areas we prioritise, the different ways we talk about different ideological motivations, the methods we use to gather data and to analyse terrorism in two of its major manifestations: jihadi terrorism, and far-right terrorism. By examining how we define the problem of terrorism it becomes clear that as an area of study, Terrorism Studies as a manifestation of its time and place (western and post 9/11), is imbued with conservative notions of securitised state centred narratives and is influenced in its analysis by the ideological claims of the perpetrators. This thesis will demonstrate that the way we talk about jihadism as opposed to how we talk about the far-right is a manifestation of the field of terrorism studies. It will also demonstrate that in order to further the academic endeavour of research into terrorism we need new ways of thinking about the field, moving away from the influence of Western, state-centric dominant definitions and towards a framework that prioritises on an empirically based and grounded approach to understanding what the problem appears to be.
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    Suspicion, control and desire - a criminological analysis of secretive conduct and smart devices
    (University College Cork, 2022) Szakolczai, Janos Mark; Boland, Tom; O'Neill, Maggie
    The topic of this thesis is the connection between secrecy and the onlife reality, a blurring line between being online and offline. Specifically, it offers a novel criminological perspective on how the smart technological devices integrated in the onlife ecology (with its technologies, features, design, instant online access, and messaging) aid specific instances of 'secretive conduct', involving regular and mundane episodes of suspicion, control and desire towards our kin, partners, co-worker, and perfect strangers. While most studies on smart technology (phones, pc, homes, watches, cars) concern privacy and security, as well as the elements of isolation and social disintegration - this thesis offers an innovative contribution in the field of criminology. The elements which protect our devices, such as touch ID and face recognition have created an un-accessible wall against other users, both online and offline; the character of such elements and their effects is a central concern of this thesis, revolving around suspicion, control and desire such a condition induces. Using a cultural criminology perspective, this work will theorize the ecology of onlife reality, the secretive conduct that characterises its environment; interpreting how tools of monitoring and control appear to have taken over any 'space' - from public to private. It appears that not only is anything observable - but it is done in a covert and discreet manner - the Goffmanian front & back stage result constantly under scrutiny. In this context, the users become increasingly effected by this covert scrutiny. The smartphone functions as a quintessential tool that allows such a blur - leading into the onlife question of crime and cybercrime. Advancing an experimental 'hybrid' methodology that attempts to unite both digital and 'in-person' ethnographic considerations, the research makes use of informal and incidental 'confessions' of smart technology users, such as their personal or witnessed secretive conducts. The analysis concentrates on specific abusive episodes in which the use of onlife devices allow all sorts of secretive conducts, with direct or indirect elements of harm: these are treated as social 'vignettes', and include parents secretly monitoring their children, partners making assumptions on the other's whereabouts, perpetuating elements of stalking, blackmailing, monitoring, all in a remote and apparently 'secured' environment. This work contributes to cultural criminology with analysis of the blasé approach to such elements of secretive conduct becoming integral in the onlife habitus of smartphone users. Secrecy is becoming a central element of onlife ecology, taking place unwillingly, and mostly unknowingly. To act in secret, to monitor in secret - wanting to see, control, and observe all become central elements of the onlife.