Posted in General Sociology

BSA Teaching Group National A-Level Sociology Competition for Students!

The BSA Teaching Group’s National A Level Competition invites essays and short videos from sociology students allowing you to win an Apple iPad Mini and £500 for your school. Enter now via by emailing your submission to Claire Simmons, Membership Development Officer.

The A Level Competition is open to anyone currently studying at A Level, AS Level, Scottish Higher Level or equivalent post-16 qualification in sociology, and we encourage you to be as creative as possible with your answers!

This year’s question ‘What can Sociology contribute to the debate about “fake news”? The aim of this question is to get you thinking about news and public information and to link to the modules you have studied or are about to study. To enter all you need to do is submit a 2,000-word written piece or a 10-minute podcast or video clip. The closing date for this is Friday, 15 December 2017.

Entries are expected to refer to results obtained from their own primary method of research using a suitable sample.  This could be an observation, an interview or a questionnaire based study.  All research carried out for this competition has to abide the ethical guidelines of research, as stated in the BSA’s Statement of Ethical Practice. If you have any questions regarding the competition criteria, please contact: Claire Simmons.

How to enter:

Please email your entry with a completed entry form to Claire Simmons or post it to:

Claire Simmons,
Membership Development Officer
British Sociological Association
Bailey Suite
Palatine House
Belmont Business Park
Belmont
Durham
DH1 1TW

Terms and conditions:

  • Entries must be accompanied by confirmation from a Sociology teacher that it is the work of the pupil.
  • Entries must be lone submissions (not joint).
  • Reports must be around 2,000 words (excluding bibliography, figures, tables etc.)
  • Filming your project as a presentation or podcast/YouTube entry (must not exceed 10 minutes).
  • We reserve the right to check submitted works for plagiarism using online tools.
  • Reference to other scholars (including teachers, books, articles and web sites) should be acknowledged.
  • All work must be written or presented in the English language.
  • The judges’ decision is final and we reserve the right to publish your entry with your permission.
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Posted in A2 Sociology: Crime and Deviance, A2 Sociology: Religion, AS Sociology: Education

WELL SAID

 

Letter to The Guardian (Thursday 11 August 2011)

One of the first things that disappears when considering disturbances such as these is perspective. One loses sight of the fact that nine out of 10 local residents aren’t rioting, that nine out of 10 who are rioting aren’t local to the area, and that nine out of 10 of these non-locals aren’t doing it to commit crime. That is to say, it is a tiny minority who are participating and, of those that are, it’s a tiny minority who are doing so solely to commit crime. Crime is a motive, but crowd behaviour is a more complex process, and it is sociology as a discipline that best understands crowd behaviour.

Crowds are irrational. Crowds don’t have motives – that’s far too calculating and rational. Crowd behaviour is dynamic in unpredictable ways, and reason and motive disappear when crowds move unpredictably. But has anyone made a connection with the two media events that dominated media coverage on the same day – the irrationality of crowds on the streets and of traders on the stock market? Both sorts of behaviour are moved by emotion not reason, passions not predictability, and reason disappears. Economists are lauded for their accounts of the irrationality of the market traders, but sociologists get criticised for suggesting that allegations of criminality are a poor account of the irrationality of crowds (Was this the mayor’s Katrina moment?, 10 August).

Sociologists seek to explain – not explain away – these events. An understanding of the impact of social inequalities and deprivation, youth unemployment, racism and ethnic conflict, and crime and policing forms a large part of the concerns of UK sociology. Since most politicians and the police seem to have been taken unawares by the events of the past few days, it seems we need more understanding and explanation, not less, if we are to be able to draw lessons from the current events and prevent their recurrence. The British Sociological Association would be happy to put London’s mayor and his staff in touch with sociologists who could add real understanding to the all-too-easy condemnations of these disturbing events.

Professor John Brewer President, BSA

Howard Wollman Vice-chair, BSA