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New course launched for third sector linked to publication of public sociology as educational practice

Posted: 2nd November 2020

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh is launching a Postgraduate Certificate (Pg Cert) in Public Sociology aimed at workers, volunteers and activists in the third sector, at the same time as publishing an acclaimed new book on public sociology. With contributions from academics, graduates and students from QMU and other universities and third sector organisations, ‘Public Sociology as Educational Practice’ is deemed to be a ‘must-read’ for sociologists, educationalists, students, and community and social movement activists. It also provides a core text for the postgraduate certificate programme.

The Pg Cert Public Sociology provides an opportunity for those involved in community action and social movements to learn relevant social analysis. It explores how social analysis contributes to a range of professional, community action and social movement practices and encourages students to reflect systematically on the relationship between practice and theory in their current and future work in the community, voluntary and public sector. The course draws extensively on the experience of QMU and other academics, which is published in ‘Public Sociology as Educational Practice’. Edited and written by leading sociology academics, ‘Public Sociology as Educational Practice’ uses pedagogical case studies and inter-contributor dialogues, to develop and challenge thinking in the field. Divided into three sections on the publics, knowledges and practices of public sociology education, it looks beyond the boundaries of academia to deliver fresh responses to key disciplinary questions including the purposes and targets of sociological knowledge.

Published by Bristol University Press the new book is edited by Dr Eurig Scandrett, Senior Lecturer in Public Sociology at QMU and Programme Leader for the Pg Cert Public Sociology.  Along with his QMU academic colleagues and students on the University’s BSc (Hons) Public Sociology course, the book shares critically important insights from public sociology and transformative education to improve our understanding of knowledge democracy.

Dr Eurig Scandrett

Dip Kapoor from the University of Alberta, described the book as “a provocative dialogical appreciation for public sociology as praxis for contemporary labour politics. Politically stimulating and accessible, this book is a valuable contribution to critical sociology and popular education.”

Dr Scandrett explained: “This distinctive book includes contributors from throughout the university community – academic experts from healthcare and social sciences, sociology graduates and public sociology students, as well as activists, artists, third sector and community workers. Communities out with the University have a lot of expertise and can contribute to, as well as learn from academic knowledge. When academics engage in a dialogue with these communities, education really happens.”

Public Sociology as Educational Practice demonstrates that there are many situations where people working for social justice and basic dignity against the social structures that exclude and exploit them, turn to sociology to learn the tools that are useful to their struggles. Public sociologists are specialists in occupational therapy, public relations, social policy, languages, gender equality or refugee integration, and draw on sociological insights in their work as educators and activists.

Dr Scandrett confirmed: “We are at a critical point where society is experiencing rapid change and an escalation of inequality. There has never been a more interesting or important time for people to engage with the subject of public sociology and to use new learning to fight for social justice. We hope this book, which embodies public sociology as a radical education, will be a thought provoking resource for students, academics and practitioners.”

The book launch also coincides the launch of a new 10 week Pg Cert Public Sociology run by Queen Margaret University. Dr Scandrett explained: “The new short course will be of great benefit to those who want to learn how to make use of social analysis in the practice of working for social justice. Starting in early 2021, it will be particularly helpful to people working in the voluntary and public sector, or activists who are interested in resourcing their work with some social analysis.”

Eurig Scandrett’s new book Public Sociology As Educational Practice is out now and available at 20% discount when you order from Bristol University Press.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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