Since the emergence of type 2 diabetes as a public health threat around the middle of the 20th century, accounts of disease causation have focused predominately on lifestyle or genetics, or both, while the role of broader structural issues such as psychosocial distress has been downplayed. Yet in the years prior to this emergence, when diabetes remained the preserve of the upper classes, medical experts drew upon multiple narratives when considering the condition, the most popular of which being the role of social organisation and the interplay between mind, body and environment.
New evidence contained in Eichmann Before Jerusalem, a recently published book by Bettina Stangneth, throws a new light on the Nazi commander's personality and role in the Final Solution. It also shows how his later confidant Willem Sassen, a member of the SS, escaped to Argentina equipped with documents supplied by the Irish civil service.
Craig Calhoun discusses the complex relationship between sociology, national traditions and cultural peculiarities. Calhoun points to the tensions and potential contradictions that arise when sociological concepts that were coined at a specific time and refer to a specific place are applied to different conditions and contexts. Other problems come to mind: the dominance of the English-speaking world in academia, issues of cultural domination, even imperialism. The interview closes with suggestions as to how these issues can be addressed practically and the role that a more reflective world sociology can play in solving some of these questions.
A special edition of the Irish Journal of Sociology is now available. This edition focuses on Sociology and Nationhood and features an interview with LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun. The entire interview is available to download.