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Sociological Research Online

Sociological Research Online

Published in Association with British Sociological Association
Other Titles in:
Research Methods | Sociology

eISSN: 13607804 | ISSN: 13607804 | Current volume: 25 | Current issue: 2

As of 1st August 2017, Sociological Research Online (SRO) is published by the BSA and SAGE and all journal content is available via the SAGE Journals platform.

If you are a reader based outside an academic institution, please contact to gain free individual access to SRO. If you are a member of an academic institution, we encourage you to access the journal via your institutional library.

Sociological Research Online is:

• fully peer reviewed and permanently archived
• recognised by the Research Excellence Framework
• indexed by the ISI, IBSS, Sociological Abstracts and other major abstracting and indexing services
• managed by the British Sociological Association and SAGE Publishing

SRO was launched as the first online-only peer-reviewed sociology journal in 1996. Readers can enjoy direct access to original qualitative and quantitative audio, visual and video data, thematic special sections and rapid response calls.

The journal is published quarterly and all articles are fully peer reviewed by a distinguished Editorial Board. We publish theoretically engaged and empirically rich articles across a wide range of sociological topics using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Rapid Response/Sociology Online
SRO was one of the first journals to make electronic publishing a reality and has innovated new ways of publishing and communicating. One such innovation has been the introduction of rapid response publishing where sociologists have been invited to contribute to sociological debates about topics in the public arena. These have included collections on the themes of the Stephen Lawrence murder enquiry, war and genocide in relation to the Kosovo conflict, the genetic modification of food, the future of Sociology and Sociology and prediction. These are published alongside regular issues.

Thematic Collections
These innovative collections bring together articles, reviews and research resources published in earlier issues, gathered together around particular themes. The contents change and collections grow as new material is published. These collections have proved to be ideal for lecturers to include on reading lists and for students who are studying particular aspects of sociology.

Sociological Research Online is an international, peer-reviewed journal published in English that promotes rapid communication among sociologists without limitation of topic or approach. It publishes high quality applied sociology, focusing on theoretical, empirical and methodological discussions that engage with current political, cultural and intellectual topics and debates. Articles published by Sociological Research Online are concerned with the application of sociological forms of analysis to a wide range of public issues and private concerns, thereby demonstrating the wide social relevance of sociological research and theory to understanding contemporary social issues.

Kahryn Hughes University of Leeds, UK
Angharad Beckett University of Leeds, UK
Greg Hollin University of Leeds, UK
Jason Hughes University of Leicester, UK
Lucie Middlemass University of Leeds, UK
Anna Tarrant University of Lincoln, UK
Katy Wright University of Leeds, UK
Review Editors
Edwin van Teijlingen Bournemouth University, UK
Katharine Venter University of Leicester, UK
Karen Lumsden University of Nottingham, UK
Nigel Gilbert, CBE University of Surrey, UK
Editorial Board
Daniela Aidley (née Rudloff) Fachhochschule Westküste, Germany
Sally Brown Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Karen Bullock University of Surrey, UK
Daniel Burdsey University of Brighton, UK
Ciaran Burke University of Derby, UK
Punita Chowbey Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Roxanne Connelly University of Edinburgh, UK
Jon Dean Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Paddy Dolan Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Sally Dowling University of the West of England, UK
David Farrugia University of Newcastle, Australia
Thomas Fletcher Leeds Beckett University, UK
Brendan Halpin University of Limerick, Ireland
Kerryn Husk University of Plymouth, UK
Joseph Ibrahim Leeds Beckett University, UK
Yuwei Lin University of Roehampton, UK
Wendy Martin Brunel University London, UK
Hiroaki Matsuura Shoin University, Japan
Robert Meadows University of Surrey, UK
Leon Moosavi University of Liverpool, UK
Yvette Morey University of the West of England, UK
Christian Morgner University of Leicester, UK
Rense Nieuwenhuis Stockholm University, Sweden
Maria Rovisco University of Leeds, UK
Erin Sanders-McDonagh University of Kent, UK
Bjorn Schiermer-Andersen Universität Erfurt, Germany
Raphael Schlembach University of Brighton, UK
Bindi Shah University of Southampton, UK
Tracey Skillington University College Cork, Ireland
Michael RM Ward Swansea University, UK
Associate Editorial Board
Julia Bennett University of Chester, UK
Laura Davies Leeds Beckett University, UK
Sara de Jong University of York, UK
Jan Dobbernack Newcastle University, UK
Elvira Doghem-Rashid King's College London, UK
Eva Anna Duda University of Bradford, UK
Mastoureh Fathi Bournemouth University, UK
Kirsty Finn Lancaster University, UK
Jamie Harding Northumbria University, UK
Kate Hardy University of Leeds, UK
David Hill York St. John University, UK
Sumi Hollingworth London South Bank University, UK
Suzana Ignjatovic Institute of Social Sciences, Serbia
Kimberly Jamie Durham University, UK
Nicholas Jenkins University of the West of Scotland, UK
Demelza Jones Aston University, UK
Helen Kim University of East London, UK
Charles Leddy-Owen University of Plymouth, UK
Adrian Leguina Loughborough University, UK
Nick Manning King's College London, UK
Ana Oliviera Centro de Estudos Sociais Colégio S. Jerónimo, Portugal
Jane Pilcher University of Leicester, UK
Roberta Ricucci University of Torino, Italy
Karem Roitman The Open University, UK
Paul Simpson Edge Hill University, UK
Ala Sirriyeh University of Liverpool, UK
Simon Stewart University of Portsmouth, UK
Chris Till Leeds Beckett University, UK
Tom Vickers Nottingham Trent University, UK
Adam White University of Winchester, UK
Suen Yiu Tung The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Irene Zempi Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • Business Source Corporate
  • Clarivate Analytics: Social Science Citation Index
  • Criminal Justice Abstracts
  • Current Contents / Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Current Contents/ Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Family Index
  • Family Index Database
  • Periodical Abstracts
  • ProQuest
  • Research Alert
  • Scopus
  • SocINFO
  • Social SciSearch
  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Sociological Research Online (SRO)

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    For Book Reviews, please read our Book Review Guidance before submitting.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of SRO will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    Before submitting to SRO, please ensure that:

    -    Your main document contains the title, abstract, keyword list, main text, figures and/or images, and reference list. Please see section 4.2 for information on figures and illustrations. 
    -    Your paper is fully anonymised according to the guidelines in section 2.1 below.
    -    You have submitted a title page as a separate Word document, with contact details and biographies for each author.
    -    Your paper does not exceed the journal’s limit of 8000 words (this includes the abstract, tables, endnotes, figures and captions, and the reference list). 


    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to SRO, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    SRO welcomes:

    Research Articles of between 5000 - 8000 words. The word count includes the abstract, tables, endnotes, figures and captions, and the reference list. Any revised versions of the paper must also adhere to this word limit. Papers which are over the word limit will be returned to the author.

    Rapid Response Articles of approximately 3000 words - From time to time, the journal editors will put out specific calls for Rapid Response articles focused on particular sets of recent events. Rapid Response articles are peer reviewed, academic 'think pieces' from a sociological perspective relating to the event/s in question. The Editors are open to suggestions from authors/readers as to topics for a Rapid Response call, but we cannot accept unsolicited Rapid Response articles.

    Special Sections: The Editors welcome proposals for special sections of the journal focused on particular sociological themes or questions. Special sections may be published throughout the year alongside general issues. Prospective guest editors should read the journal's special section guidelines special section guidelines and submit a special section proposal to the editors outlining the provenance of the collection, the theme of the special section, its relevance to the journal's audience and a profile of possible articles and authors.

    Review Articles of up to 5000 words in length on suitable topics and areas of sociological work. Review articles are commissioned by the Editors in consultation with the Review Editors, and reviewers should seek to place their discussions in the broader context of current debates within the sub-discipline(s) represented by the reviewed publications. Review articles are subject to the same process of anonymised peer review as all other articles. Unsolicited review articles will not be accepted, although suggestions for suitable topic areas for review articles are welcomed and should be sent to the Editors.

    Book reviews of between 500-700 words in length across the entire spectrum of sociological interests and concerns.

    If you would like to write a book review, please first send a request to the Review Editors at with the details of the book you would like to review and a brief outline of your background in the subject area. Please do not submit your book review until you have had your request approved.

    Book reviews are not peer reviewed, but may still require revisions as requested by the Review Editors. The Review Editors may also make their own edits before final acceptance.

    Book reviews should be written so as to provide readers with an overview of the scope of the contents as well as a critical evaluation of the same. The evaluative content of reviews should, however, be constructively expressed; overly or destructively critical reviews will not be accepted. Please see our Book Review Guidance for more information on writing your review.

    Book reviews should be prefaced with bibliographic information in the following form:

    Title of Book

    Author/s or Editor/s Personal then Surname/s

    Place: Publisher



    Price, hb or pb


    Please do not send books to the BSA or SAGE for review, as we are unable to send them out to editors and reviewers. Any unsolicited books received will be donated.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    SRO adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties.

    SRO uses double-blind peer review, which requires that manuscripts be fully anonymised. If manuscripts contain any identifying information when they are submitted, they have to be corrected before they can be sent out for review. This slows down the reviewing process. To avoid delays, please follow these guidelines:

    -    Remove all mentions of author name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) from the paper (including page headers).

    -    Make sure to remove identifying information from the footnotes and acknowledgements (including of sources of funding).

    -    Avoid phrasing in which you refer to previously-published work that you have authored. (For example: "Elsewhere I have argued....").

    -    If you must refer to your own work in a way that reveals your authorship, replace your name in the text with "Author". (For example: " demonstrated in previous work (Author 2010).") In the case of multiple authors, create a series as appropriate ("Author A", "Author B" and so on).

    -    Check the reference list to make sure that author references are removed. If you were unable to avoid referring to your own work in the paper, these citations should appear at the beginning of the reference list as "Author Citation" with the date of publication. (For example: Author Citation. (2010)).

    The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    [FOR SINGLE BLIND JOURNALS: Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.]

    [FOR DOUBLE BLIND JOURNALS: Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.]

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.3.2 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    2.4 Funding

    SRO requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgments page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    SRO encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    2.6 Research ethics and patient consent

    Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

    For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.

    Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.

    Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    SRO and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    SRO offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    Please submit yout paper as a Word document.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    Please place figures or images in your main document as they should appear in the published article and include a caption for each. Each figure or image should also be submitted as a separate .jpg, .png or .gif file. 

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online.

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style

    SRO adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    Use endnotes, not footnotes. Endnotes should be indicated by superscript numbers in the text. They should be collected (in double spaced format) at the end of the text. If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    SRO is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to log in and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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    6. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process please contact the Editorial Office at:

    Individual Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Subscription, E-access