In light of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, ‘food apartheid’ has come under the spotlight. Food justice movements are expanding, and re-politicizing hunger in poor communities across US cities and beyond. Embedded structural and racialized inequalities are being exposed and challenged. Professor Mary P. Corcoran illuminates the extent of community-based activism around food justice in New Haven, CT in her research paper Beyond ‘food apartheid’: Civil society and the politicization of hunger in New Haven, Connecticut, published 9 June 2021.
Watch and listen to Professor Corcoran explain the key points of her paper in this video published on ScienceSocieties, YouTube:
Articles published in the Irish Times and The Irish Examiner discuss the The National Women's Council (NWC) of Ireland's new Increasing Gender Balance on Boards: The Case for Legislative Gender Quotas in Ireland report, authored by Dr Pauline Cullen fo the Sociology Department at Maynooth University. The NWC's report highlights that women remain significantly underrepresented in boardrooms of Irish companies and in senior leadership roles. Furthermore, they are facing a very slow pace of change, as well as evidence of stagnation and regression. The NWC has called for mandatory gender quotas to apply to corporate boards.
Read the articles here:
The Irish Times published on Thursday, 24 June 2021
The Irish Examiner published on Thursday, 24 June 2021
Dr Rebecca King O'Riain (Department of Sociology, Maynooth University) writes in the Irish Independent Opinion section about the many challenges faced by our resilient students during the pandemic.
Read the full article here.
Published in the Irish Independent on Friday, 30 April 2021
Professor Mary Corcoran writes why the lockdown's bad hair days are no laughing matter for RTE Brainstorm.
Read the full article here which was published on 23 March 2021.
In the Irish Times, Dr Pauline Cullen discusses how Gender Based Violence was ‘propelled’ onto the agenda by a large number of submissions to the Citizens Assembly ahead of its discussion of gender equality.
Read the full article here which was published on 13 March 2021.
Maynooth University Oireachteas submission calls for emergency state building programme
Submission also warns that the housing crisis will continue for years to come
Family Hubs restrict the capacity to live normal lives and have devastating impacts on family, adult and child wellbeing, a new submission to the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Meeting has stated. The submission has also called on the government to implement an emergency state building programme and a rights approach to housing which would lead to practical policy changes.
Proof that both the private market and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) are failing to realise social housing needs and rights is found in the reality of life in emergency homeless accommodation and the emerging Family Hubs. Hotels and hotels restrict the capacity to live normal family lives and curtail functioning in parenting, child development, education, employment and maintenance of family and social networks, with devastating impacts on family, adult and child well-being. There is no international research or evidence base to justify the emerging family hubs model and there have been no pilots or operational guidelines to demonstrate how they might work.
The submission highlighted five key strategies; prevention, building homes, enhancing HAP, mitigating the potential negative impacts of hubs, and addressing power imbalances through a rights approach, all of which are premised by the urgent need to act now. As a previous report, authored by Dr Mary Murphy and Dr Rory Hearne from Maynooth University, had also suggested, there is a core tension in trying to address the social housing crisis by over-relying on the private market to deliver investment in housing while disinvesting in social housing build. Early signals in the review of Rebuilding Ireland reflect a core conclusion; the primary mechanism to resolve social housing and homelessness must be state-led provision of social housing by local authorities.
Discussing the urgency noted in the submission, Dr Mary P. Murphy, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, said: “Sadly, our argument that homelessness will escalate has already been proven. Such is the scale of the homelessness crisis that our research on social housing and the over-reliance on the private sector launched in July 2017 is already out of date. The number of children homeless increased by over 30% since the 2016 publication of Rebuilding Ireland. We need nothing less than an emergency state building programme. If the Irish state could build 9,000 social houses in 1975 that, they can do so in 2018.
“The danger with ‘hubs’ is that they can work as a form of ‘therapeutic incarceration’ both institutionalising and reducing the functioning capacity of families. We have a long Irish history of gendered forms of social violence inflicted on poor mothers and their children who were made invisible, incarcerated and excluded from society. We caution that hubs may be a new form of institutionalisation of vulnerable women and children, and poor families (predominantly lone parent mothers, working class, migrant and ethnic minority women). Housing market failures will be forgotten as these families become the ‘problem’ that needs to be solved. While stressing the need for an urgent social housing building programme we argue short term stays in emergency accommodation hubs need to maximise family functioning, dignity and respect.
Dr Rory Hearne, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, added: “This housing crisis will continue for many years to come. Given the on-going mortgage arrears crisis, the private rental crisis, and the lack of private supply, HAP, even with reconfiguration, is unlikely to provide a stable and secure home for these families and families in hubs remain inadequately housed and exposed to institutionalisation. Hidden away, their homeless may be forgotten and ignored. We need political will to address this very real crisis and to implement a real emergency response, a state led building programme.”
The Maynooth University report is part of the European Union H2020 funded research project Re-Invest. Using a human rights and capability theoretical framework and a participatory approach, the research was conducted in Spring 2017 amongst homeless families in emergency accommodation, key workers providing support, housing NGO’s and policy makers
The Government’s 2016 housing plan “Rebuilding Ireland” made clear that this is the primary strategy for providing additional social housing. 32,000 households are expected to be provided with housing through HAP between 2017 and 2018. 87,000 units of housing are expected to be provided up to 2021. However, the Maynooth University report argues this approach further exposes lower income households to the inequalities of the private market.
A cost benefit analysis contained within the report shows that the state cost of funding a local authority home over 30 years comes to €800 per month. In contrast the average HAP rent in Dublin is €1,244 per month. This means over a 30-year period, the provision of a typical HAP dwelling in Dublin is almost €275,000 more expensive per unit than if it was provided through state funded local authority building of social housing. This makes the Rebuilding Ireland target of providing 87,000 private rental units €23.8 billion more expensive than providing these units via local authority building, over 30 years.
For more see Mary Murphy speaking on Family Hubs in Oireachtas Housing Committee on Oireachtas Report - at 10.30 – 13.40 minutes - Wed 20th September 2017.
Prof Mary Corcoran took part in a public discussion in the National Library, Dublin on the topic of 'Coming and going’ — Ireland and migration today' organised by History Ireland in conjunction with 'Beyond Leaving at the National Photographic Archive, Temple Bar'.
You can listen back at http://www.historyireland.com/podcast/coming-and-going-ireland-and-migration-today/
From their website - 'In the c. 120 years after the Great Hunger, half of the people born in Ireland ended up somewhere else. In previous centuries there had been waves of inward migration — Vikings, Normans, English, Scots, Huguenots, etc. But Ireland is not unique — the history of humanity has been a history of migration, of coming and going. The Celtic Tiger years witnessed a net inflow of people to Ireland for the first time in centuries, whilst its collapse has seen a revival of emigration, the subject of David Monahan’s current photographic exhibition. Ffor this round table discussion, History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, was joined by Mary Corcoran (Prof. of Sociology, Maynooth University), Susan McKeown (Grammy Award-winning singer & migrants’ rights activist), Joanna Siewierska (PolsksaEire festival).'
On the 17th of January Dr Paul Ryan from the Department of Sociology was speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1 on the topic of 20 years since the first divorce was granted in Ireland.
In particular, the discussion focuses on the social and legal issues contributing to the fact that Ireland has one of the lowest divorce rates in Europe.
You can listen back online at from this link
A public event on 'Data Politics, Data Markets and the Internet of Things' took place in the Science Gallery in Dublin on the 30th November, 2016.
Organised and co-chaired by Dr. Aphra Kerr (Department of Sociology, MU) and Dr. Rachel O'Dwyer (CONNECT, TCD and former Government of Ireland postdoctoral fellow at Sociology MU) it involved a range of speakers from different disciplines including: Rob Kitchin (MU), Alison Powell (London School of Economics), Anne Helmond (Univ of Amsterdam) and Liz McFall (Open University, UK).
The short talks were followed by a public question and answer session with a full house of attendees.
The event was made possible by support from CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications, The Programmable City Project, NIRSA, Maynooth University Social Science Institute (MUSSI) and Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.
On Sat. the 6th of Feb. 2016, Dr. Aphra Kerr from the Sociology Department in Maynooth University, Jamie McCormick from Advanced Marcomm Services and Colman Noctor, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Lecturer in Trinity College Dublin discussed digital games, online culture, children and parenting with Sarah Carey on her show Talking Point on NewsTalk radio.
The discussion starts off with a focus on the videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops III and violence, moves on to discuss chat and communication in online games, sexism and the work of community managers.
You can list back to the podcast at https://www.newstalk.com/Gaming-Moral-Panic-Mainstream-Culture-What-to-do or by clicking below.
It is about an hour long in total.
Colin Coulter appeared on the Dave Fanning Radio Show recently to review 'List of the Lost', the debut novel by legendary Mancunian crooner Morrissey.
You can listen back to the conversation here.
Professor Mary Corcoran of the Sociology Department recently interviewed Baroness Nuala O'Loan and the interview was published in the alumni magazine, The Bridge and online (2014).
Baroness O'Loan is currently Chair of the Maynooth University Governing Authority, and was formerly Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland.
In a wide ranging discussion they deal with curriculum changes, staff student engagement, the position of women in the Roman Catholic Church, the need for truth and reconciliation, and policing transparency and her time in Africa.
Watch the interview back below.
The President of Ireland’s Ethics initiative is organized in collaboration with Ireland’s third level universities and seeks to explore throughout all aspects of society the topic of ethics and the challenge and invitation of living ethically. The Maynooth University Department of Philosophy in conjunction with the Royal Irish Academy hosted a talk recently under the aegis of the President's Ethics Initiative.
The invited speaker was Henryk M. Broder, Polish-born German journalist, author and TV personality, known as one of the most outspoken personalities in public German discourse and winner of the Ludwig-Börne-Preis. His talk "In praise of intolerance" examined the concept of tolerance in our political and social life. For Broder, tolerance became one of the pillars of the enlightened liberal society. You can choose your religion, your political belief, your partner, even your gender as you will. And no one will blame you. But every progress comes with a price tag. He argued that we are becoming incapable of defending our liberties. Where does tolerance end? Where should intolerance begin? And how do we cope with neighbours and cultures who prefer violence over tolerance?
Professor Mary P. Corcoran was one of the invited respondents to Mr. Broder's talk. Corcoran took issue with many of the precepts of Mr. Broder's argument including the notion that tolerance is a tranquilizer in society, enabling us "to pity those who mess up their lives". On the contrary, she argued that sociology had inherited from Max Weber the notion of verstehen, the obligation to try to understand subjective meanings, motivations and values. This understanding gives us insights into the human condition and a means of interpreting human action.
Corcoran argued for an approach to analysis that is systematic, rigorous, comparative and empathic rather than scatter shot and eclectic. She noted that tolerance can be viewed as a complex of values that must be underpinned by a regulatory framework such as one provided by the state. Indeed, it is only an institution such as the state that can provide an ethical floor in society. She noted that a value system is worked out by a community or society in the context of their particular social and cultural location at particular points in time. These vary across time and are negotiated constantly. There is not always consensus about the core value system even in the liberal democratic tradition, and we know this because of the frequent debates on issues such as sex workers (rights bearers or victims) and the death penalty (accepted in the U.S. but abhorred in Europe). Tolerance she said is the acceptance of difference. Intolerance is unconscionable because it leads to prejudice, discrimination, institutional racism, stereotyping and scapegoating.
This debate took place on October 10th, 2014 at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin."
(Behind) Prof Mary Corcoran, Sociology, and Dr. Susi Gottloeber of the Philosophy Dept.
(Front) Senator Sean Barrett, President Philip Nolan, Maynooth, Henryk Broder, Liz O'Donnell and Dr. Michael Dunne, Philosophy.
Dr. Mary Murphy, a lecturer in Politics in the Department of Sociology, took part in a number of public and media events around the Budget with a focus on social justice and inequality.
She took part in a public forum event in Tallaght on the 8th of Oct. See poster below.
She spoke on tax in the budget on RTE television's Prime Time last night, on the 12th of Oct. (Please note the RTE player links expire after a period of time).
She took part in a Morning Ireland debate on RTE Radio 1 on the 16th of Oct. discussing issues in the budget for the low paid.
She took part in an Irish Local Development Network event on the 17th of Oct. in Dublin.
Dr. John O' Brennan took part in a discussion on the forthcoming elections on the Today show with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One. The discussion focused on the upcoming elections to the European Parliament and the extent to which apathy can be evinced in Ireland and elsewhere across the European Union.
The other discussants included Lucinda Creighton TD, former Minister for European Affairs and Stephen Booth, of the Open Europe think tank.
You can listen back to the discussion online.
During the summer of 2013 the Irish Museum of Modern Art hosted 'The Situation' by Turner Prize nominee Tino Sehgal.
They also hosted a public conversation in the National Concert Hall with one of the participants in 'This Situation', Prof. M. Corcoran of Sociology at Maynooth University on 'The Role of the Public Intellectual' (Thursday 11 July, 5.30pm). A full podcast of the discussion is available online at https://soundcloud.com/nui-maynooth
Prof. M. Corcoran is currently head of the Sociology Department in Maynooth University.
Dr. Mary P. Murphy of the Sociology Department has been a guest panellist on Prime Time, RTE1 Television, a number of times but unfortunately these programmes expire on the RTE Player.
However, you can hear her speaking at the following public events on a range of issues.
Left Unity Conference: Special Conference on Political Change, People and Power. 5th Feb 2011. [12.5 minutes]
Mary Murphy input into Greaves Summer school, Ireland 90 years on State, Serenity, Democracy. The relevance of Republicanism after 90 years of the Irish State. 2012. [15 minutes]
Amnesty International Ireland, ESCR Conference, The law is not enough, 22nd November, 2012.
Professor Mary P. Corcoran joined colleagues from a number of disciplines including planning, paleobotany, medicine and anthropology for a special seminar on the contemporary city at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin's Parnell Square on Saturday March 28th, 2015.
The seminar followed the installation developed by Vagabond Reviews, which saw 47 Missing Titles (books that have not yet been written on the city) exhibited in the gallery as part of the Phoenix Rising Art and Civic Imagination.
For more information see here
Dublin Talks is a new series of talks by and about Irish people with big and interesting ideas. Speakers have just six minutes to tell a public audience about their big idea - there’s something to suit everybody’s interests!
Prof. Mary Corcoran of the Sociology Department spoke on public space, civic affiliations and 'places where strangers meet'. You can watch a video of her talk online.
There are a range of other online resources archived also.
Dublin Talks is organised by Dublin City Council, the Royal Irish Academy and Science Foundation Ireland, as part of Innovation Dublin.