Dr Justin Cruickshank

Dr Justin Cruickshank

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Address
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Justin entered higher education as a mature student studying an interdisciplinary social science foundation course with the Open University and then went to the University of Kent as a full time student to study for a degree in Politics and Sociology. After that he went to the University of Warwick to study for an MA in Philosophy and Social Theory followed by a PhD in Sociology.

He researches and teaches in the areas of classical and contemporary social and sociological theory, the philosophy of the social sciences and the sociology and politics of knowledge production.

He welcomes applications from people seeking to undertake doctoral research in the areas of:

  • critical pedagogy and the sociology of higher education
  • neoliberalism, big data, the quantified self and audit culture
  • classical and contemporary social theory
  • the philosophy of the social sciences, especially issues concerning critical realism and ontology, pragmatism and problem-solving, and theories of dialogic knowledge development
  • the sociology and politics of knowledge, especially as applied to the issues of public intellectuals, expertise and the democratisation of the public sphere

A full list of publications is available at Academia.edu: https://bham.academia.edu/JustinCruickshank

Justin is a member of the Contemporary Philosophy of Technology Research Group.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Warwick) Sociology (Awarded 2000)
  • Warwick Teaching Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education (Awarded 1999)
  • MA (Warwick) Philosophy and Social Theory (Awarded with Distinction 1995)
  • BA (Hons) (Kent) Politics and Government and Sociology (Awarded with First Class Honours 1994)
  • Rotary International Prize Awarded Summer 1994

Biography

Justin studied politics and sociology as an undergraduate and philosophy and social theory at MA level. His PhD was on the critical realist turn to ontology in the social sciences. He has since moved away from critical realism to a concern, broadly speaking, with the sociology and politics of knowledge production and the role of technology, including audit culture, in shaping knowledge and selfhood. Justin has been a ‘Visiting Scholar’ in the History and Philosophy of Science Dept. at the University of Cambridge and has given invited talks at the European University Institute, Oxford University (International Migration Institute) and Edinburgh University on the philosophy of social science, and at Manchester Metropolitan University on the TEF and neoliberalism.

Justin was one of the authors who wrote the Alternative White Paper for Higher Education (published by the Convention for Higher Education and Sage), which was launched at the Houses of Parliament in June 2016. Justin is part of the collective running the Contemporary Philosophy of Technology Research Group, which is an interdisciplinary research group based at the University of Birmingham with members from a variety of disciplines and universities. 

Teaching

Justin teaches social theory and the philosophy of social science.

He currently teaches on the following modules:

Social Theory: Contested Knowledges (core course on the MA in Social and Political Theory) [convenor]

This modules address post-positivist conceptions of knowledge and the relationship of science to critical social theory and democracy.

‘Freedom’, Control and Critique (core yr 3 course on the Sociology BA programme) [convenor]

On this course we explore to what extent (if at all) the promises of liberal individualist capitalism and digital technology increase the freedom of individuals. Topics explored include: neoliberalism and neoconservatism, the prison-industrial complex, ‘Prevent’ and education, platform capitalism, the quantified self, the ‘gig’ economy, concepts of ‘utopia’, and the politics of Open Data and corporate use of Big Data.

Modern Social Theory (core yr 2 course on the Sociology BA programme)

Justin lectures on Systems Sociology and Micro Sociology for this course.

The Sociological Imagination (core yr 1 course on the Sociology BA programme) [convenor]

This covers the following questions: what is society ? (conceived of in normative terms about the 'good' society' in relation to private property); what is sociology? and the 'structure - agency problem'.

Postgraduate supervision

First Supervisor:

  • David Ridley (2014 start) 'Dewey and the case for citizen sociology'
  • Julius Elster (2015 start) 'Metareflexivity and youth transition in Haringey'

Second Supervisor:

  • Onur Acaroglu (2015 start) 'The Fatsa Commune and the problem of transition in Marxist analysis' (with Will Leggett).
  • Tai Ling (2015 start)  ‘Performativity in Modernity: The fate of performativity and cultural aesthetics in relation to the media and technology’ (with Ross Abbinnett).

Research

Research and academic interests

  • Big data and the quantified self
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Philosophy of social science (especially critical realism, pragmatism, hermeneutics, critical theory)
  • The sociology of public intellectuals, experts and epistemic hierarchies
  • The sociology of education, especially audit culture and higher education
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences
  • Social Theory

Publications

2017

Cruickshank, J. and Sassower, R. 2017. Democratic Problem-Solving: Dialogues in Social Epistemology (London: Rowman and Littlefield [Philosophy: 'Collective Studies in Knowledge and Society' series]). Information about the book can be found here

Discussion on ‘Democratic Problem-Solving’ in the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective’: https://social-epistemology.com/category/books-and-book-reviews/

Cruickshank, J. 2017. ‘Meritocracy and Reification’, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (5): 4-19. [Commentary, stemming from the book’s discussion]. Available at: https://social-epistemology.com/2017/05/05/meritocracy-and-reification-justin-cruickshank/

2016

Cruickshank, J. 2016. ‘Critical Realism’ (Chapter 23) in L. McIntyre and A. Rosenberg (eds), pp. 270-280. Routledge Companion To Philosophy Of Social Science. New York: Routledge.
 
Cruickshank, J. 2016. ‘Review of: C. Smith “To Flourish Or Destruct: A Personalist Theory Of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, And Evil”’. Chicago: University Of Chicago. American Journal Of Sociology 122 (2): 657-658.

Cruickshank, J. 'Rowan Williams And Hans-Georg Gadamer Contra Jürgen Habermas: Rethinking The Problem Of Religion For Liberals As A Problem Of Dialogue'. Current Perspectives In Social Theory vol. 35 (Restructuring Social Theory, History and Practice): 171-191.

Cruickshank, J. et al. 2016. The Alternative White Paper For Higher Education. In Defence Of Public Higher Education: Knowledge For a Successful Society. A Response To ‘Success As A Knowledge Economy’, BIS (2016). J. Holmwood, T. Hickey, R. Cohen and S. Wallis (eds). London: Convention for Higher Education. Available at: https://heconvention2.wordpress.com/alternative/

Cruickshank, J. 2016. ‘Dialogue And The Development Of Ideas In The Political And Social Sciences: From Critical Realism To Problem-Solving Via Colin Hay And The Rejection Of The Epistemic Fallacy’, European Journal Of Cultural And Political Sociology (3): 1. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23254823.2016.1162664

Cruickshank, J. 2016. ‘Putting Business At The Heart Of Higher Education: On Neoliberal Interventionism And Audit Culture In UK Universities’, Open Library Of Humanities (special issue: ‘The Abolition Of The University’), edited by L. Dear (Glasgow) and M. Eve (Birkbeck), 2 (1): 1-33. Available at: https://olh.openlibhums.org/articles/10.16995/olh.77/

2015  

Cruickshank, J. 2015. ‘Anti-Authority: Comparing Popper And Rorty On The Dialogic Development Of Beliefs And Practices’, Social Epistemology: A Journal Of Knowledge, Culture And Policy 29 (1): 73-94. 

See the replies:

Reed, I.A. 2013. ‘Science, Democracy And Sociology In The 21st Century: Response To Cruickshank’s “Anti-Authority”’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 2 (12): 40-45. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2013/11/15/science-democracy-and-sociology-in-the-21st-century-response-to-cruickshanks-anti-authority-isaac-ariail-reed/

Sassower, R. 2014. ‘A Bridge Over Turbulent Waters: A Reply To Justin Cruickshank On Comparing Popper And Rorty’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (3): 57-59. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/02/19/a-bridge-over-turbulent-waters-a-reply-to-justin-cruickshank-on-comparing-popper-and-rorty-raphael-sassower/

Sassower, R. 2014. ‘Problem-Solving Critical Contingencies: Popper And Rorty According To Cruickshank’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3(6): 30-32. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/05/05/problem-solving-critical-contingencies-popper-and-rorty-according-to-cruickshank-raphael-sassower/

Sassower, R. 2014. 'Beyond Lamentations: Comments On Justin Cruickshank's Public Intellectuals, Education And The Need For Dissatisfation', Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (7): 50-54. Availble at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/06/26/beyond-lamentations-comments-on-justin-cruickshanks-public-intellectuals-education-and-the-need-for-dissatisfaction-raphael-sassower/

Sassower, R. 2014. ‘Appealing To Academics To Become Public Intellectuals: A Reply To Justin Cruickshank And Ioana Cerasella Chis’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 2 (11): 42-45. Available at:
http://social-epistemology.com/2014/10/16/appealing-to-academics-to-become-public-intellectuals-a-reply-to-justin-cruickshank-and-ioana-cerasella-chis-raphael-sassower/

Sassower, R. 2014. ‘Radical Public Intellectuals’, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (1): 57-63. Available at:
http://social-epistemology.com/2014/12/30/radical-public-intellectuals-raphael-sassower/

And the responses :

Cruickshank, J. 2014. ‘Problem-Solving And The Social Production Of Knowledge: A Reply To Isaac Reed’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (2): 24-33. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/01/14/problem-solving-and-the-social-production-of-knowledge-a-reply-to-isaac-reed-justin-cruickshank/

Cruickshank, J. 2014. ‘From Ex Cathedra Legislators To Dialogic Exemplars? Popper, Rorty And The Politics And Sociology Of Knowledge. A Reply To Raphael Sassower’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (5): 30-41. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/04/03/from-ex-cathedra-legislators-to-dialogic-exemplars-popper-rorty-and-the-politics-and-sociology-of-knowledge-justin-cruickshank/

Cruickshank, J. 2014. ‘Public Intellectuals, Education And The Need For Dissatisfaction: Comments On Raphael Sassower's Discussion Of Popper, Rorty And Democracy’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (7): 1-4. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/06/01/public-intellectuals-education-and-the-need-for-dissatisfaction-comments-on-raphael-sassowers-discussion-of-popper-rorty-and-democracy-justin-cruickshank/

Cruickshank, J. and Chis, I.C. 2014. ‘Exit, Voice And Loyalty In The Public Sphere: On The Hollowing Out Of Universities And The “Trojan Horse” Attack On The Muslim Community In The UK. Continuing The Dialogue With Raphael Sassower’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (9): 57-70. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/08/29/exit-voice-and-loyalty-in-the-public-sphere-on-the-hollowing-out-of-universities-and-the-trojan-horse-attack-on-the-muslim-community-in-the-uk-justin-cruickshank-and-ioana-cerasel/

Chis, I.C. and Cruickshank, J. 2014. ‘The Cost Of Public Intellectuals: Reflections On Raphael Sassower’s Call For Intellectuals To Influence Elites And Their Publics’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 3 (3): 16-26. Available at: http://social-epistemology.com/2014/12/08/the-cost-of-public-intellectuals-reflections-on-raphael-sassowers-call-for-intellectuals-to-influence-elites-and-their-publics-ioana-cerasella-chis-and-justin-cruickshank/

Cruickshank, J. and Chis, I.C. 2015. ‘Big Data, TTIP And The Hubris Of Techno-Capitalism’, Social Epistemology Review And Reply Collective 4 (3): 45-55. Available at:
http://social-epistemology.com/2015/02/21/big-data-ttip-and-the-hubris-of-techno-capitalism-justin-cruickshank-and-ioana-cerasella-chis/

 

Cruickshank, J. 2014. ‘Democracy versus the Domination of Instrumental Rationality: Defending Dewey’s Argument for Democracy as an Ethical Way of Life’, Humanities 3 (1): 19-41. Available at: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0787/3/1/19

Cruickshank, J. 2014. ‘Reply to Hartwig and Elder-Vass’, Understanding society (blog): http://understandingsociety.blogspot.co.uk/

2013

Cruickshank, J. 2013. Entry for ‘Epistemology’, Oxford Online Bibliography in Sociology. Oxford University Press. [Peer reviewed; 12, 500 words.]

Cruickshank, J. 2013. Review of: I. A. Reed ‘Interpretation And Social Knowledge: On The Use Of Theory In The Human Sciences’, Cultural Sociology 7 (1): 104-105.

2012

Cruickshank, J. 2012. ‘Positioning Positivism, Social Constructionism And Critical Realism In The Health Sciences: A Philosophical Orientation’, Nursing Inquiry: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On Policy And Healthcare 19 (1): 71-82 (special issue on critical realism). First published online in July 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2011.00558.x.

2011

Cruickshank, J. 2011. The Positive And The Negative:

Assessing Critical Realism And Social Constructionism As Post-Positivist Approaches To Empirical Research In The Social Sciences’, Paper 42, International Migration Institute Working Paper Series, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford. Available online at: http://www.imi.ox.ac.uk/publications/working_papers

2010

Cruickshank, J. 2010. ‘Knowing Social Reality: A Critique Of Bhaskar And Archer’s Attempt To Derive A Social Ontology From Lay Knowledge’, Philosophy Of The Social Sciences 40 (4) 579-602. First published online in July 2009.DOI: 10.1177/0048393109340664.

Cruickshank, J. 2010. ‘Structures, Agents And Criticism: Assessing Bhaskar’s Fact-To-Value And Value-To-Fact Arguments’, Politics 30 (3): 168-173. First published online in Sept. 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9256.2010.01380.

Cruickshank, J. 2010. ‘The Importance Of Nominal Problems’ in C. Valentini (ed) On Objective Knowledge In The Social Sciences And Humanities: Karl Popper And Beyond’ . European University Institute Working Papers in the Max Weber Programme (2010/37). ISSN 1830-7728. PP. 61-71. Also available online at: http://www.eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/MaxWeberProgramme/Publications.aspx

2008

Cruickshank, J. 2008. ‘Some Realistic Considerations On The Death Of Philosophy’, Journal of Critical Realism 7 (2): 314-329.

[A review article dealing with: G. Calder ‘Rorty’s Politics Of Redescription’.]

2007

Cruickshank, J. 2007. ‘The Usefulness Of Fallibilism: A Popperian Critique Of Critical Realism’, Philosophy Of The Social Sciences 37 (3): 263–288.

Clark, A.M., Macintrye, P. D., and Cruickshank, J. 2007. ‘A Critical Realist Approach To Understanding And Evaluating Heart Health Programmes’, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal For The Social Study Of Heath, Illness And Medicine 11 (4): 513-539. 

Cruickshank, J. 2007. ‘Seeking The Tower Of Babel’, Sociology 41 (4): 741-748.

[A review article dealing with: P. Baert ‘Philosophy Of The Social Sciences’; B. Berberoglu ‘An Introduction To Classical And Contemporary Social Theory’; S. Clarke ‘From Enlightenment To Risk’ And G. Delanty ‘Social Science’.]

Cruickshank, J. 2007. Entry for ‘Essentialism’ in M. Hartwig (ed.) A Dictionary Of Critical Realism. London: Routledge. PP.180-181.