New BSA Curriculum in Applied Sociology
The British Sociological Association (BSA) special interest group Sociologists Outside of Academia (SoA) has developed a curriculum in applied sociology, now available as a free resource for UK higher education institutions. The launch of the curriculum took place on 11 April at the 2018 BSA conference in Newcastle and was well-attended, with around 25 people present including officers and staff of the BSA. Speakers were co-convenors Nick Fox and Tina Basi, Ricky Gee and Teresa Crew. Visit the curriculum pages to explore the content.
Why this curriculum?
Sociology is foundationally a subject that faces outward: toward a world of people and their social groups, organisations and institutions; toward the natural and built environment that people inhabit; toward the ideas, beliefs, values and norms that people use to constitute their social worlds on a day-to-day basis; and toward the processes of power and resistance that mark out both divisions, stabilities and continual change within society.
In the US and some other countries, sociologists are regularly making use of their specialist knowledge to address not only the big problems that face society, but also the daily issues that need addressing at work, at home or in the community. There they call this work ‘clinical sociology’. Here in the UK, it is being called ‘applied sociology’.
Applied Sociology is ‘solution-focused sociology, analysing and intervening to address, resolve or improve everyday real-world situations, problems and interactions practically and creatively’ http://appsoc.org.uk/
This curriculum in applied sociology is launched because sociologists have the concepts, the theories and detailed knowledge of organisations and human interactions to both explain and improve many everyday situations, from the gender pay gap to the effects of climate change on well-being and health. The curriculum identifies what a graduate needs to practice as an entry-level applied sociologist; the sociological knowledge required to analyse situations and offer practical solutions, as well as generic skills such as communication, problem-solving and observation.
Read a letter of support from president of the US Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology.
Read Sociology Lens’ 2017 interview with SoA co-covenor Nick Fox, discussing the aims of the group and plans for the new curriculum.