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Socheolas, UL Journal of Sociology Launched


Socheolas Sociology Journal

Socheolas contributors, Stephanie Anketell, Margaret Kennedy, Patricia Neville & Lisa Healy.

The Department of Sociology at UL launched their 2nd Journal of Sociology, Socheolas.This year's edition includes submissions from 6 students covering topics from alcohol related problems amongst males, women, welfare and the state and Irish identity.

Among the articles included is a piece entitled 'The Negative Stereotyping of Lone Mothers' by Niamh Ní Chearúil. Ní Chearúil establishes the existence of stereotypes and explains their functionality in supporting a neo-liberal agenda. Ní Chearúil compares Ireland to Sweden in it's welfare spend and number of lone mothers in the workforce; "In direct comparison to Ireland, where 18.2% of GDP is spent on social welfare and 23% of its lone mothers work, Sweden spends 32% of its GDP on social welfare and 61% of its lone mothers work. Sweden's attitude towards lone mothers and social welfare differs dramatically from Ireland's, and it shows up in the make-up of its economy. It has more people contributing to the economy for the good of the country, because its welfare system facilitated them in reaching this accessing sustainable employment."

Irish College Males' perspective of alcoholism, alcohol abuse and heavy drinking is explored by History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies student, Yichen Jiang.  The research reports on a small scale qualitative study focused on interviewing three third-year college males at the University of Limerick. The interviews investigated their drinking behaviours and their experiences which revolve around alcohol consumption. The results show that the young men's popular opinions related to alcohol lead them to believe that they are not in danger from heavy drinking in their daily lives. There is significant, documented, evidence in college males' lifestyles of a lack of restraint in alcohol consumption. This research explores their drinking behaviours and concludes with a need for enhanced awareness of, and further education on alcohol and its related problems, aiming to create a supportive environment that helps young people make healthy choices.

 

Socheolas Sociology Journal

Dr. Eoin Devereux, Prof. Peadar Kirby, Dr. Amanda Haynes

 

Stephanie Anketell's article 'Women, Welfare and the State' poses a number of important questions with regards to women and their role both historically and currently in the Irish State Welfare system. It sets out to highlight the inequalities which suppressed females and those that continue to do so, the adaptation of roles within a socio economic welfare system and the important changes which have occurred in order to combat those inequalities and the improvements which have yet to come. Anketell states; "It is an imperative in our modern welfare state that both men and women begin to dominate equally the superior positions of authority inemployment, politics, wages and society in general.

'Talking your way to the top' a sociological examination of the role of elite education in the reproduction of privilege in Irish society by Margaret Kennedy examines the role that elite schools play in the reproduction of privilege in Irish society. The author states; "Ireland's elite schools have very strong connections to the top of the social hierarchy with their alumni containing a disproportionate number of individuals in key leadership positions in Irish society. Yet to date, the role these schools play in determining who has access to power in our society has received little attention."

Psychology and Sociology student, Lisa Healy investigates 'Capitalism and the Transforming Family Unit: A Marxist Analysis'. The author states; "An analysis of the family in capitalist society is provided, which is both powerful and pervasive, as it illuminates the nuclear family's instrumental role in the preservation of capitalism and the inherent inequalities it perpetuates. Marxist premises concerning the inequitable arrangement of society are readily applicable to understanding the
marginalisation of lone parents."

Irish Identity is Far From 'Ideal' by Fiona O' Donovan presents a sociological analysis of current Irish identity. O'Donovan states; "The Irish culture, landscape, society and economy have undergone overwhelming transformation in an incredibly short space of time. However, as the wave of the Celtic Tiger recedes, the Irish are left floundering, struggling in a shallow puddle between the safe, sandy, beach of 'old Ireland' and the vast ocean of globalisation and neo-liberal capitalism. The polarised ideals of the 'Paddy Irishman' and the cosmopolitan, global Irish do not correspond sufficiently to the current Irish collective."

Speaking at the launch, Professor Peadar Kirby said; "As social scientists it is very important that we communicate with conviction to policy makers and the wider public the value of what we do. It is particularly important in Ireland where we are under more and more pressure to make our research conform to a narrow technical paradigm. Yet, as the current crisis in our economy and society shows only too clearly, we need to value the critical research that social scientists carry out into the nature of social structures and processes. If such research had been taken more seriously by policy makers and acted upon, we would not find ourselves in the situation we are now in."

 


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