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Teaching Sociology in Higher Education: Pedagogical Practices & Possibilities

A BSA Presidential Event

8 May 2024 (10am-1.30pm)

About the Event

As Sociologists “our students are our first and captive public” (Buroway 2004: 265), yet the pedagogy of sociology within UK higher education has lacked attention. British sociology has rarely found the time to consider the ways in which we might teach sociology. This stands in contrast to our sociological peers across the Atlantic where the pedagogy of sociology is a regular feature of debate and discussion (see for example, The American Sociological Association (ASA) journal Teaching Sociology).

This event brings together those with an interest in the pedagogy of sociology within UK higher education. It seeks to foster a collaborative and collegial space where pedagogical practices can be shared and afford the time to reflect upon the various ways in which we might teach sociology to best bring alive the discipline and/or transcend conventional pedagogical approaches.

The event will include a range of individual papers followed by a panel discussion. Panellists’ contributions will centre around the power of partnership working and collaboration, using podcasts as a teaching tool and co-creation in the curriculum and centring working-class voice (more information to follow!).The panellists’ interventions will be followed by open discussion and Q&A.

We anticipate that the event will be of interest to all those with an interest in teaching sociology within UK higher education, from doctoral students looking to develop their pedagogy, to established professors looking to revitalise their practice, as well as those in working in educational enhancement/support roles.



Introduction, Dr Carli Rowell (University of Sussex) and Professor Rachel Brooks (University of Surrey)


Theme 1 (2 x 15 minutes each to present, 20-minute joint Q&A = 50 minutes total)

  • Dr Emma Jackson (Goldsmiths University), Walking sociologically, reaching on the move.
  • Dr Peter Manning (University of Bath), Exploring questions of responsibility with and for a sociology of human rights.


Theme 2 (1 x 15-minute presentation, 10 minute Q&A)

  • Dr Vassilis Galanos (University of Edinburgh). ChatGPTeaching or ChatGPCheating? Reflections after a year with Generative AI in the not-so-automated social science classroom.


5 minute comfort break


Theme 3 (2 x 15 minute presentation, 20 minute joint Q&A)

  • Dr Nazneen Ismail, Ms Sophie Harris and Professor Julie Scott Jones, (Manchester Metropolitan University), “What’s the fucking point in this?”: Using playful pedagogy to empower sociology students with quantitative methods.  
  • Dr Stefanie Doebler (Lancaster University), Decolonising quantitative methods teaching in Sociology, a work-in-progress example.


Theme 4 Panel Discussion (3 x 15-minute presentation, 20 minute joint Q&A)

  • Dr Gemma Ahearne (University of Liverpool), Living Lab at Liverpool: Studying Society.
  • Professor Michaela Benson (Lancaster University)
  • Dr Carli Rowell (University of Sussex), Adopting “A View from Within”: Exploring class inequality from a WC perspective.


Reflections & Close, Professor Rachel Brooks (University of Surrey) and Dr Carli Rowell (University of Sussex)


This event will take place on Zoom and is free to attend, however, registration is required.  Registration will open in due course.