Biotechnology and the world of tomorrow

Elo Luik - runner up 150Elo Luik, a student at the University of Oxford, was joint runner up in Making Sense of Society, the ESRC’s writing competition 2017 in partnership with SAGE Publishing. This is her essay.

“Look at us! We are creating the world of tomorrow!” exclaims Mike. His words bounce off the walls of the high-tech fertility clinic we are in. Outside, the sun is slowly sinking into the smog of New Delhi’s skyline as the streets fill with commuters. The brutal socioeconomic inequality between the haves and the have-nots of India’s economic miracle is laid bare in rush hour traffic. Shiny luxury cars, taking wealthy businessmen from high-rise offices to palatial homes stop at the traffic lights outside. Beggars approach them, knocking on tinted windows to beg for a fraction of that economic wonder, a share of the spoils of India’s integration into global neoliberal trade systems, so that they can feed their family for the day. Continue reading

Marginal money, mainstream economy

Max Gallien - runner up 150Max Gallien, a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, was joint runner-up in Making Sense of Society, the ESRC’s writing competition 2017 in partnership with SAGE Publishing. This is his essay.

As I talk to him, Ahmed pulls his chair into his store to escape the hot Tunisian sun. He is a retired teacher – the years of screaming children can be counted in the rings framing his eyes. Behind him is his merchandise. To make up for a small pension, Ahmed is selling kitchenware in a market near the Libyan border. Over 400 tiny concrete garages surround him, goods piled high – clothes, bags, microwaves. It looks like any other market, but note an invisible detail: everything sold here is illegal. Every good in this market has been smuggled into Tunisia. Ahmed, though he may not look the part, is a smuggler. Continue reading

Living and looking for lavatories

Lauren White 150pxLauren White, a student at the ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, was joint winner of Making Sense of Society, the ESRC’s writing competition 2017 in partnership with SAGE Publishing. This is her winning essay.

 

It may be a turn of the stomach, a nervous flutter, a morning coffee or a sudden, unpredictable rush. You may look for a sign, if you are lucky enough to live in a society where they are readily available. There may or may not be a queue, often depending on the room of your gender. You may look for disabled access, whether you are in a wheelchair or whether you have an invisible illness. You may select a space based on who is there or your perception of the cleanliness. For some, it is an unwritten rule that one cannot go next to another person relieving themselves. What are you looking for? Continue reading

Once more, with feeling: life as bilingual

Whilhelmiina Toivo 150.jpgWilhelmiina Toivo, an ESRC-funded PhD student from the University of Glasgow, was joint winner of Making Sense of Society, the ESRC’s writing competition 2017 in partnership with SAGE Publishing. This is her winning essay.

 

My dad had a rather liberal philosophy of bringing up children, but he would always tell us off for swearing. As a result, I grew up feeling very uncomfortable using swearwords. Continue reading

How to get published: notes from an editor

untitled.pngMila Steele is Publisher at SAGE Publishing, where she leads the research methods textbook programme.

SAGE are partners in this year’s ESRC writing competition, Making Sense of Society. The winner and runners-up will be announced later today, and the shortlisted entrants will enjoy a ‘how to get published’ masterclass presented by Mila. Here she gives a few of her top tips.

Editors tend to love lists, and here are my top five pieces of advice that never go out of date. Continue reading