What are the roles that applied sociologists take on? What skills and methods do they apply in order to carry out their work? What workplace issues do they face? How do they manage their professional challenges and celebrate their triumphs?
As I’ve previously written here on Sociology at Work, there is a small but dedicated scholarship on the general principles of applied sociology. Yet there are not enough first-hand accounts about how sociologists experience and carry out their client work. Our online journal Working Notes is trying to fill this void, by including profiles on applied sociologists and their research, activism and general adventures working outside academia. We need more of these stories to demystify the work we do.
This is the first post in a series where I will reflect on the knowledge, difficulties and opportunities that applied sociologists navigate.This includes the issues we face working with clients and colleagues who do not fully understand what sociologists can do. The next post will describe the types of environments that applied sociologists work in, followed by a post offering advice on how to negotiate client relationships at the beginning of a new project. Future posts will cover, amongst other topics:
- dealing with issues of ethics in workplaces that do not see research in the same way;
- working in interdisciplinary teams;
- sustaining a professional identity when you are the only sociologist in your workplace;
- using social media to effectively communicate sociological ideas; and
- contributing to visual products.
I will also feature posts directed at sociology students and recent graduates on topics such as:
- time-planning your thesis as training for future job deadlines;
- negotiating relationships with thesis supervisors and what to expect from your future managers;
- transitioning research skills into the workplace;
- career planning;
- job hunting;
- blogging about your evolving research.
Do you have any suggestions about professional issues you’d like to see covered in our blog? Get in touch!
Would you like to share your story with the Sociology at Work community? Submit your work profile or write an article for our journal Working Notes. We welcome personal stories about what it’s like to be an applied sociologist in different professional settings and in different parts of the world.This includes work experiences, projects, activism or issues that you’re passionate about. We prefer short, conversational-style pieces so there’s no need for academic references. We also offer an option of submitting longer scholarly articles for peer-review. For guidelines and submissions, see Instructions for Contributors.