Public Sociology as Pedagogy, Research and Practice: Threats and Opportunities Today

Public Sociology as Pedagogy, Research and Practice: Threats and Opportunities Today

An Early Career Forum Regional Event

29 June 2017 (10am-4pm)
Nottingham Trent University, Department of Sociology, Newton Building, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham

This symposium will bring together early career sociologists, postgraduates, undergraduate students, and community partners, to explore the challenges and opportunities of practicing public sociology. Through the course of this one-day event we will discuss and test out the suggestion that public sociology can be a form of critical dialogue that connects teaching, research and practice.

The incorporation of public sociology into aspects of teaching and student research is of particular relevance for early career sociologists, many of whom spend a large part of their time in student-related activities. Burawoy (2004) notes that students are academics’ ‘first public’; they are also sociological practitioners in their own right, and are embedded in a wide range of publics. Public sociology practiced by academics, students and practitioners is often discussed in isolation from one another: this event is distinctive in bringing them together.

The event will address the question of what public sociology should mean in Britain today, in a context marked by multiple forms of crisis, including:

the global capitalist crisis;
crises of the environment, ecology and sustainability;
mass forced migration coming up against restrictions imposed by nation states
widespread war and terrorism;
social crisis within Britain and many other countries involving an increasingly precarious existence for millions of people;
deep-rooted political uncertainty about the nature of the British state and its relationship to Europe and the rest of the world in the context of Brexit.
We will ask what kind of public sociology we need today, in such an uncertain and rapidly changing context? Learning from past and current examples we will discuss practical visions for a public sociology of the future.

The symposium will include a series of interactive sessions, focusing on research, teaching, and practice. Speakers in each session will offer short introductions followed by open group discussions. Confirmed speakers include:

Malia Bouattia, National Union of Students
Dr Kehinde Andrews, Birmingham City University
Daniela Scotece, Prostitution Outreach Workers, Nottingham
Service Learning Students, Nottingham Trent University
Andrea Lyons-Lewis and Sharon Hutchings, Nottingham Trent University
Dr Lucy Mayblin, University of Warwick
Bea Giaquinto, Renewal Trust
Everybody is invited to join us for drinks and a meal at a nearby establishment following the event, if you would like to join us for food please let us know so we can book enough places (the cost of the evening meal is unfortunately not included in the event booking).

Call for Posters

Participants are welcome to present posters; all posters will be accepted. Participants must confirm that they are bringing a poster by 1 June 2017. Please contact the organiser for further details about format.


A limited number of bursaries are available to cover registration costs and travel expenses for low-waged community activists, practitioners, early career sociologists and postgraduate students, funded by the BSA Early Career Forum, the BSA Activism in Sociology Forum, and the Department of Sociology at NTU. Contact Tom Vickers at tom.vickers@ntu for details.

Categories: Conferences


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