What is sociology? Why is it important? Sociologists’ Tales is the first book to offer a unique window into the thoughts and experiences of key UK sociologists from different generations, many internationally recognised, asking what sociology means to them. It reveals the changing context of sociology and how this has shaped their practice. Providing a valuable insight into why sociology is so fascinating, it gives advice to those wanting to study or develop a career in sociology reflecting on why the contributors chose their career, how they have managed to do it and what advice they would offer the next generation. This unique volume provides an understanding of sociology and its importance, and will have wide appeal among students, young sociologists thinking about their future and professional sociologists alike.
Katherine Twamley is John Adams Research Fellow at the Social Science Research Unit, University College London. Her research focuses on intimacy, parenting, health and sociology of the family.
Mark Doidge is a research fellow in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton. He researches extensively on political activism in football fandom.
Andrea Scott is a senior lecturer in the Sport Development and Management Department at the University of Chichester. Her research interests largely relate to healthcare practices in sport.
The three editors are convenors of the British Sociological Association Early Career Forum.
Foreword ~ Judith Mudd;
Introduction ~ Mark Doidge, Katherine Twamley and Andrea Scott;
Part 1 What can sociology do?;
The sociologist as voyeur ~ Liza Schuster;
Sociology as a science/technology of freedom ~ Zygmunt Bauman;
Why sociology matters ~ Anthony Giddens;
Passion, curiosity and integrity ~ Beverley Skeggs;
Sociology as democratic knowledge ~ John Holmwood;
Pushing at the boundaries of the discipline: politics, personal life and the psychosocial ~ Sasha Roseneil in conversation with Katherine Twamley;
Growing up as a sociologist in rural Shropshire ~ John D Brewer;
On the right-of-way ~ Judith Burnett;
Living sociology ~ Les Back in conversation with Katherine Twamley;
Part 2 What does it mean to be a sociologist?;
Sociology for some, someone’s sociology ~ Yvette Taylor;
Imagining social science ~ Ann Oakley;
From accidental to ambitious sociology ~ Linsey McGoey;
Sociographer by design? Boundary crossings and interdisciplinarity ~ Yvonne Robinson;
I am a sociologist, but what exactly is a sociologist and how do you become one? ~ Claire Maxwell;
Sociology: from committing to being? ~ Paul Hodkinson;
Drift, opportunity, and commitment: the shaping of a professional career ~ John Scott;
A passion for empirical sociology ~ Eileen Green;
Me, myself and sociology ~ Gayle Letherby;
Turning to the psychosocial: drawing on sociology to address societal issues ~ Ann Phoenix;
Part 3 How does one become a sociologist?;
A long haul ~ Berry Mayall;
Putting sociology to work in the NHS ~ Jocelyn Cornwell in conversation with Mark Doidge;
Clinging to the precipice: travails of a contract researcher in sociology ~ Mel Bartley;
The pursuit of a sociological career overseas and the navigation of an outsider perspective ~ Lara Killick;
Tales from the field: applied policy research and the sociological imagination ~ Carol McNaughton Nicholls;
What sociology means to me: exploring, imagining and challenging ~ Kate Woodthorpe;
Social science which engages with the real world ~ Anthony Heath in conversation with Andrea Scott;
A sporting chance? Notes on an ongoing career in the sociology of sport ~ Richard Giulianotti;
Sociology: involvement and detachment ~ Robert Mears;
A career spent orbiting sociology ~ Eric Harrison;
Researching children’s lives: on becoming and being a sociologist in education ~ Daniela Sime;
Following my star ~ Jeffrey Weeks in conversation with Andrea Scott;
‘The epoch of belief … the epoch of incredulity’ ~ Howard Wollman.
"Sociology is not just a career or a discipline but a vocation and way of thinking, and Sociologists' Tales conveys this movingly at a time of increasing university neoliberalism." British Journal of Sociology
“A fascinating and wide ranging collection, the book weaves a rich tapestry of narratives which together tell the story of a very British sociological imagination.” Claire Alexander, Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester
“Immensely beneficial for students studying sociology at A-level and for teachers attempting to enthuse their students to maintain a passion for the discipline.” Jayne Kumi, Head of Social Science, Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College, UK
??“These excellent reflections on sociologists’ lives tell an often inspiring, sometimes sobering tale. A must read for novices and seasoned scholars alike.” Kathy Charmaz, Sonoma State University, USA?
“A remarkable book joining together the guilty pleasure of the higher gossip with genuinely powerful self-reflection--bluntly, hard to put down.” John Hall, Professor of Comparative Historical Sociology, McGill University, Canada
“A richly textured collection of reflections that provides a useful reminder of the potential for sociologists to contribute to a better understanding of our societies in these troubled times.” Professor John Solomos, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick
“Thirty-three British sociologists reflect on what they consider the purpose of their discipline, how they became personally involved in that discipline, and what advice they would give to students contemplating a career in the field.” Y. R. Magrass, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
"The authors are brilliant writers able to captivate the reader." - Sosiologia-Journal
"What a delicious, down-to-earth collection of essays, offering exciting adventures in, through and beyond sociology. They show how, deep-down, everyone is a sociologist but what a privilege it is to do sociology for a living." Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley
"While focusing on British sociology – and sociologists – this inspiring book takes stock of international debate on the discipline and its future. A brilliant celebration of sociology. Highly recommended." Carmen Leccardi, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
“A valuable collection for anyone interested in sociology – as a subject to study at school or university, as a field of research, or as a way of life.” John David Horne, Professor of Sport and Sociology, University of Central Lancashire