A brief introduction on applied sociology By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, 23 May 2009.1 The aim of this article is to broadly sketch what it means to be working as an applied sociologist. I begin with a general introduction into the discipline of sociology, before providing a definition of its applied branch. I then provide a concise […]
Sociology at Work provides articles, videos, podcasts, graphics and other resources to promote the excellence of applied sociologists and to support the career planning of sociology students. Our site was created as a network to help practitioners who work beyond academia. Make sure to write comments and questions, and connect with us on social media […]
Issue 1, June 2010 Welcome to the Inaugural Edition of Working Notes. By The Editors Working Notes is the online journal for Sociology At Work. We provide a platform for applied sociologists to share their work experiences, with a view to expanding recognition of what sociologists can do and enhancing how the discipline of sociology promotes sociological practices. […]
Here’s a brief visual overview about how sociology is used beyond universities. Applied sociology is the use of sociological concepts and methods to answer specific client questions and to address community concerns. This video covers: what is sociology? What sorts of questions and problems can applied sociology address? What type of work do applied sociologists do?
“In their active engagement with various publics, sociologists become more aware of emerging issues and responding to those issues in their research. This elevates the field of sociology in the eyes of the 99.99% of the world outside of our field…. Because of their direct and immediate proximity, collaborative partners often raise questions and concerns based on local knowledge that the researchers may not even know about. Making these adjustments strengths the research by making it more relevant to the publics involved.”
Here’s a fun read by E. W. Burgess, who was writing in 1916 about the importance of social surveys as a “constructive service by departments of sociology”:
“Indeed a case might well be made for the statement that the social survey was an invention of the sociologist. In every department of sociology in the country beginners in the science have been initiated into this method of community study.”
Dear colleagues: if you’re celebrating the new year – do you have resolutions? Here are some ideas for enhancing our collective sociological practice!
We’re on our way with the first one… number six is a bit tricky to say the least. (We have our work cut out for us with the rise of ultra conservative politics in many parts of the world.)
What else should we work towards?
[Image: text card with 6 goals: 1) Exercise sociological imagination. 2) Practice intersectionality daily. 3) Celebrate little wins in client work. 4) Make self-care a priority. 5) Share our unique stories. 6) Overthrow imperialist White supremacist capitalist patriarchy.*]
I have finally come to the realisation that I am a sociologist, but some times I have felt like a ship without a rudder. I have drifted off course without the benefit of others around me to steer me back, and I have had to work hard to stay headed in the right direction. I have in the last year completed an Honours degree in Sociology and left the protective bosom of University to find my place in a working world. I no longer have the privilege of being surrounded by people that share my view point on the occurrences that arise continually around me. Here is my story about the discovery of my sociological imagination, and how never having worked inside the realm of academia, my conviction that I am a sociologist has been challenged.
Sociology not only offers us the tools to analyse and assess the society around us but, in addition, it allows us to consider our own experiences and assumptions. Because of its wide focus on the relational dynamics within society, sociology provides the opportunity for a broad range of app roaches to understanding life, promoting inquisitiveness and innovation by integrating both “theory” and “practice”. Sociology not only studies dynamics, it is dynamic. Thus, sociology is often delivered by engaged teachers who ask their students to analyse the society around them and (re)consider their assumptions: promoting analytical thought that is creative and meaningful. The following discussion outlines the context of teaching sociology “outside” academia. It considers the benefits for both students—in terms of fostering the development of analytical skills and opportunities for achievement—and for teachers, in providing a rewarding and enriching environment. This work takes my recent experience of teaching within an enabling course as a case in point.