Working Notes Issue 1

Banksy - RadicalsWelcome 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 we provide a brief background about the editors and the papers in this first edition.

 

Sociology … counts

 

Michael HughesAccounting for Sociology in a World of Auditors. By Michael Hughes, UK

Michael is the Director of Studies and Knowledge for the Audit Commission, UK, reviewing reports on local government services. He tells us why we should ‘never underestimate the value of a sociology degree in providing a foundation of skills and concepts for understanding other disciplines and their models’.

 

Applied Quantitative Sociologist‘Knowing That My Work Makes a Real Difference’: The Career of One Applied Quantitative Sociologist. By Tony Alderton, UK

Tony reflects on his career in civil service and his current role as a researcher for Early Years and Childcare with the Kent County Council in the UK. He talks about how he uses statistics and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in his job.

 

Sociology … cares

 

Pain CentreAn Organisational Perspective: Applying Sociology to the Health Sector. By Christine Walker, Melbourne, Australia

Christine answers some questions about her work as Chief Executive Officer for Chronic Illness Alliance in Melbourne, Australia, which connects not-for-profit groups with government and academics in order to advocate for better healthcare for people with chronic illnesses.

 

Sociology … educates

 

Lea CampbellWar and Peace in Educational Disadvantage. By Lea Campbell, Melbourne, Australia

Lea works as a researcher for a social welfare organisation in Australia. She seeks out to answer the question: ‘How do we bring students, parents, teachers and stakeholders together to have powerful and respectful conversations around the educational, social and emotional needs of students?’ Lea makes a case for constructive conflict in educational policies.

 

Sociology … governs

 

Adrian LuiStrengthening Business Through Sociology: The Work of a Council Coordinator. By Lui Wing Shek Adrian, Hong Kong

Adrian works for a global membership organisation for the business community. He tells us how his general sociological skills help him to work with businesses in order to strengthen their services. Adrian shows that ‘Realising the promise of sociological imagination is a long and winding road.’

 

ConsumeristConsuming Sociology: Working for State Government. By Stephen Leyden, Melbourne, Australia

Stephen works as a Research Officer for Consumer Affairs Victoria in Australia, a government agency more accustomed to focusing on business and legal concerns rather than on sociological issues. Stephen says some of the rewards of job involve ‘adding to the organisation’s knowledge by demonstrating the social/historical factors that influence behaviour.’

 

Sociology … organises

 

Anthony HoganBeyond Merciless Critique: Reflections on the Contribution of Sociology in the Social Policy Space. By Anthony Hogan, Canberra, Australia

Anthony is a Fellow with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health at The Australian National University. His paper argues that sociology could make a stronger impact on social policy if it went beyond criticism and engaged with the imperfect aspects of decision making.

 

Workers of the World UniteAdvice for Students Who Want to Work as Social Activists: A View From a Trade Union. By Gary Pattison, UK

Gary provides advice for students interested in becoming trade union officials, including how he moved into his profession and how sociology helps him achieve better conditions for workers. Gary discusses the challenges of bringing sociology into his job, but he notes the benefits are, ‘That I get to use my professional salary to challenge the state and capitalism. Seriously.’

 

Sociology … guides

 

Annika CoughlinDefining Sociological Identity and Community: The Work of the Sociologists Outside Academia Group. By Annika Coughlin, UK

Annika is one of the convenors of the Sociologists Outside Academia Group, which is part of the British Sociological Association. She answers questions about the issues facing their members.

 

Becoming an Applied SociologistBecoming an Applied Sociologist: A Personal Journey From Student to Academic to Public Servant. By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, Australia

Zuleyka has a position as Sociologist in the Australian Public Service. She provides a reflexive case study of her career. She argues that sociology students need better vocational training and career planning strategies.