22nd December 2020

Nationally and globally, society has faced unprecedented challenges this year from the pandemic and its associated lockdowns to racial conflict and political upheaval, all of which have exacerbated existing social inequalities.

Our aim at Transforming Society is to publish articles that help us to understand these challenges as well as contributing to the conversations and debates that will, we hope, be a step towards addressing them.

This list of the articles that have received the most attention this year is undoubtedly a snapshot of the extraordinary times we have lived through.

  1. Dismantling the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy
    Helena Liu, author of Redeeming Leadership, explains why we must stand shoulder to shoulder with antiracist feminist communities and join their struggles for life beyond imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist and patriarchal oppression.
  2. Are the coronavirus lockdown regulations lawful?
    Joshua Rozenberg explains Simon Dolan’s proceedings against the government on whether the COVID-19 lockdown regulations are lawful, and compares them to the two Brexit-related challenges brought by Gina Miller that he analyses in his book, Enemies of the People? How Judges Shape Society.
  3. Conducting research on sensitive and traumatic topics during a pandemic
    Alison Gregory, Emma Williamson and Maria Barnes discuss the impacts the COVID-19 lockdown is having on domestic violence research, and on the researchers themselves, and offer tips for researchers now working at home.
  4. Critical and radical social work practice in neoliberal times
    Steve Rogowski, author of Social Work: The Rise and Fall of a Profession, discusses the impact neoliberalism has had on social work, and explains that we need critical and radical social work practice to challenge and change the socially unjust and unequal neoliberal world we currently inhabit.
  5. “Come on! Now beer is racist?” Well, yes and no
    Reporting on the research behind their new book Beer and Racism: How Beer Became White, Why It Matters, and the Movements to Change It, Nathaniel G. Chapman and David L. Brunsma join the new narrative challenging the entrenched whiteness of craft beer in the US.
  6. Vulnerability and disadvantage in times of COVID-19
    Vulnerability is strongly influenced by the social context in which people live. Gottfried Schweiger, one of the editors of Absolute Poverty in Europe, shows how this is becoming more evident with the COVID-19 pandemic as people already affected by poverty, exclusion and other disadvantages are suffering the additional challenges of the virus even more than most.
  7. The hidden scourge of modern slavery
    Gary Craig, co-editor of The Modern Slavery Agenda: Policy, Politics and Practice, looks at the extent of modern slavery, who is affected and what needs to be done.
  8. ‘We are tired, traumatised and fatigued’: Black Britons’ ongoing fight for mental health and rights
    Patrick Vernon calls for the decolonisation of UK mental health policy to show we really believe in black lives matter and to shift the structural racism of the last 60 years.
  9. Coronavirus: an opportunity to reassess the social contract
    How we as societies respond to the challenges and opportunities arising from the global crisis of coronavirus could lead to fundamental changes in the social contracts across these societies. Jonathan Wistow shows how this is an opportunity to reassess the kind of deal we have with the state and other interests and influences.
  10. A time for radical empathy
    Terri E. Givens, author of the forthcoming Radical Empathy, explains why we need to move beyond walking in someone else’s shoes to taking action to improve our society, setting out the path to this in six distinct steps.


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