Timely book takes new approach to understanding public sociology as education

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University academics, graduates and students have contributed to an acclaimed new book on public sociology which is deemed to be a ‘must-read’ for sociologists, educationalists, students, and community and social movement activists.

At a period when there are so many global challenges threatening societies, the new book ‘Public Sociology as Educational Practice’ offers a timely and thought-provoking contribution to debate about public sociology education.

Edited and written by leading sociology academics, it 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 and Programme Leader in Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University (QMU). Along with his QMU academic colleagues and students on the University BSc (Hons) Public Sociology course, the book shares critically important insights from public sociology and transformative education to improve our understanding of knowledge democracy.

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 PgCert 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.

Notes to Editor

Book details

‘Public Sociology as Educational Practice: Challenges, Dialogues and Counterpublics’ is part of a new series of public sociology books published by Bristol University Press, which addresses public and community engagement and the relationship between sociologists and their publics. To find out more visit: Public Sociology As Educational Practice .

Dr Eurig Scandrett is Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University and an activist in University and College Union Scotland. Read more about Dr Scandrett and his research interests at Dr Eurig Scandrett.

PGCert Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University: To find out more about the new 10 week course visit: PgCert Public Sociology

BSc (Hons) Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University: Dr Eurig Scandrett is a senior lecturer on the BSc (Hons) Public Sociology degree at Queen Margaret University. The course encourages rigorous critical thinking on complex and challenging social issues, opening the door to a wide range of careers. This was the first undergraduate public sociology degree in Scotland and it ranked 100% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019. Find out more about the course at: BSc (Hons) Public Sociology.

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh on E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk, M: 07711 011239. 

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