In defence of Sociology
It’s time we take sociology seriously
Let's face the facts here. I'm a third year student who has six hours a week of lectures and seminars, most of my essays consist of rewording other people's theories and the majority of my first year content was mainly A-Level theories. So, I get it. It sounds like a joke me telling you that I willingly pay £9,000 a year for that? Don't worry, I ask myself that question multiple times a day too but studying a social science degree such as BA Sociology isn't as bad as you think. Before you click off this article, let me explain myself.
A lot of the time, people ask me what on earth Sociology is and I usually reply with the generic response of, "it's the study of society, super interesting" with them responding with a confused, uninterested yet impressed nod of the head. But, I retract that statement. For me, Sociology is about becoming more open minded to the reality of the diverse world that we live in. From politics, inequalities and class to popular culture, gender and the paranormal there is something for every aspect of society.
Where other degree subjects are more restricted we are liberal and full of variety. I mean, we had a whole week devoted to memes, where during the seminar we were shown a powerpoint of, you guessed it, the most viral memes to ever exist. MEMES! Beats studying cells and numbers any day…
Ok, back to the six hours a week of lectures. It sounds weak, I know but surprisingly enough there is a ton of serious work to be getting on with. From a never ending supply of readings to do, research to conduct and dissertations/essays to write, there is always something to do (or in my case, procrastinate from doing by going to many a cocktail bar).
In my defence, first year was a breeze. Second year was more intense and third year seems extremely overwhelming. Overall there are 26,000 words to be written this year and if that number doesn't make you take my course seriously and not regard it as a doss course then I don't know what will. This year I am writing assignments on horoscopes, emotions in popular culture and writing a dissertation (which I'm weirdly excited to write, who am I?) on gendered singleness in 'The Bridget Jones' Diary' films. It might sound like easy topics but the truth behind it is that it's actually rather complex and daunting. Sure, maybe your course has more essays, practicals or exams but that doesn't mean we should write off all sociologists. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be spending hours writing about Bridget Jones than Quantum Physics which I know nothing about and would probably fail in.
If the study of Bridget Jones and memes isn't enough to wet your appetite then let me point you towards the ever growing opportunities within the dreaded career ladder. Compared to studying Archeology which sets you up for mainly Archaeology careers (shock horror), Sociology sets you up for pretty much any career that you desire. From journalism, communications and charity work to the criminal justice system, teaching and politics there are a bunch of different industries you can go down. To me, that is the most important thing about university. Whilst we are all paying £9,000 for our degrees, the one thing I didn't have a clue about was a career. Now, I know I want to become a journalist but perhaps if I had chosen a different degree then maybe I wouldn't even be considered for any journalist roles. Sure, I don't study a specific degree on the subject but sociology is still a great degree that is opening doors for me. It means I can still go after the things I want and dream of even if it isn't specifically about Durkheim and good old Karl Marx.
So, next time you try and tell me that my degree isn't difficult or as important as another let me point you back to this article. Unless you study sociology, you will never understand how frustrating Foucault or SPSS can be or how wonderful Dave Beer is.