Job opportunities — The COVID generation: Identifying risks and protective factors for young people’s pathways through the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland

For the project “The COVID generation: Identifying risks and protective factors for young people’s pathways through the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland”, the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS) and the Institute of Sociology at University of Neuchâtel are recruiting:

– A post-doctoral researcher (80-100%) in Lausanne

– A scientific collaborator (50%) in Neuchâtel

Application deadline: 10th of December.

Postdoc Labour Market & Survey Research, Hannover

As part of the Horizon Europe project “European Labour Markets Under Pressure – New Knowledge on Pathways to Include Persons in Vulnerable Situations” (PATHS2INCLUDE) they have a vacancy at the Leibniz University Hannover for a postdoctoral position (100%) in the field of labour market and survey research to start on 1 March 2023. The application deadline is on 14th December 2022. 

Please find the job offer online on

Intro to sociology as cartoon

Daniel Burnier and colleagues have just published a cartoon to introduce sociology as a discipline using a cartoon. The cartoon is available in French.

The cartoon is both a personal account of the main author, and a general introduction to the discipline. Contrary to PhD Comics, this book isn’t about academia, but much more a reflection about what sociology can contribute to the world — the usefulness of the discipline. This introspective focus on what the discipline can do for society more broadly may be something sociologists like doing, but the book doesn’t stop there.

We get an introduction to several (male) key thinkers and many sociological topics like gender roles, social movements, or poverty. I was happy to see the key thinkers banished to the appendix because I’m still struggling with any presentation of a discipline by individuals rather than their thoughts.

Given that the story is told by a male protagonist, I was glad to see an explicit section on female sociologists — but honestly it felt a bit like an afterthought. Perhaps the (personal) storyline made it difficult to do otherwise?

The kind of sociology presented is sociological theory and qualitative research. While this is certainly part of sociology, many of us use experimental and quantitative approaches — and do not struggle that much to see usefulness in what we do (perhaps the occasional reflexivity would do no harm in those quarters…).

Despite these comments, I did enjoy this cartoon and honestly, there’s potential for an English version…

Decolonizing [insert your discipline here]

Reading up on decolonizing sociology — and other disciplines of the social sciences — I often come across the objection that it “would not make sense to have an African/Asian (etc.) physics”.

This objection implicitly focuses on human universals, and often is rejected on the grounds that the context is different — arguing for unique interactions between context and human universals. Thinking about this a bit, it struck me that we don’t have to argue for (potentially) unique interactions or different contexts — even if they most probably exist: an African/Asian (etc.) physics actually is not problematic as implied by the objection! Why? Because local physics would identify the same regularities! It might not be efficient to build parallel systems, but in terms of discovery it wouldn’t be as bad as normally implied.

PhD Opportunities at Utrecht

Dr. Valentina Di Stasio is recruiting two PhD students who will join her team for the project TARGETS, funded by the European Research Council (ERC StG 2021), and starting in September 2022. The projects will be embedded within the ICS, the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, and are based at ERCOMER (European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations), Utrecht University. 

TARGETS is a multi-disciplinary and multi-method project bringing together insights from sociology, socio-legal studies, organizational and social psychology, management and organization studies, with the aim to understand the conditions under which people are recognized as targets of discrimination (both in the workplace and in the courtroom), and the strategies that members of vulnerable groups adopt to avoid becoming targets.

You can find more detailed information on the two PhD projects at these links:

Project 5 (Discrimination Attributions)

Project 6 (Coping strategies)

The deadline for applying is April 11. More information on the application procedure can be found here: