Many congratulations to Mark Fransham who has received the 2022 SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence for his paper Social Polarisation at the Local Level: A Four-Town Comparative Study on the Challenges of Politicising Inequality in Britain. Mark served as co-author along with Insa Koch, Sarah Cant, Jill Ebrey, Luna Glucksberg and Mike Savage.
Commenting on the paper the judges said:
This article shows an innovative and highly rigorous combination of ethnographic and quantitative secondary data analysis, which provides answers to a sociological phenomenon that speaks to a range of subfields in the discipline. By placing the focus on the local level, it challenges the methodological nationalism to which we tend to lean on many occasions, avoiding simplistic explanations and letting diversity emerge. This is achieved thanks to teamwork collaboration, including researchers at different stages of their career, clearly acknowledging the contribution of different team members in the research process.
Through multidisciplinary collaboration, this research showcases the strength of bringing together different traditions of sociological research. Going beyond the confines of methodological nationalism, the local focus is particularly valuable. It provides unprecedented systematic and fine grained insights into the concept and phenomenon of “polarisation”. The paper has a strong, innovative research design, bringing together different types of data and evidence. This research also lends itself to grassroots social dynamics, actions for change, and activism.