Hearing from textbook thinkers at UCL!

28th January 2020

On Thursday the 23rd a group of Brampton’s Sociology students embarked on a lecturing adventure at UCL. We sat in the lecture hall amongst 500 other Sociology students and teachers, anticipating the likes of Louise Archer, Carol Vincent, Paul Gilroy, Dr Ozan Akoy, Becky Francis and Dr Morag. It was rather exciting as the names ‘Archer’, ‘Gilroy’ and ‘Francis’ are significant thinkers in our textbooks, so it was interesting to draw name to face.

Archer used Bordieu’s ideas to explore the reproduction of unequal power relations, and the impact of one’s surroundings and upbringing which affects the subjects they choose. She spoke about how the exposure to certain topic areas can determine the decisions we make. Ozan Akoy, claiming to be from ‘the dark side’ of Sociology, used quantitative methods as prime in finding patterns. He definitely took a more mathematical stance, whilst Becky Francis took a more personable one using the expectations of women as the focal point. She also discussed how children’s toys are already aimed at specific sexes, and how boys’ ones encourage more cognitive thinking, whilst the girls’ toys do not. However, she sees discipline in classes as being focused on the boys. I learnt how even though this was ‘negative’ attention, it was still attention regardless – which is crucial to learning.

As well as listening to all these esteemed sociologists, there were Q&As at the end of each talk, making it interactive and engaging. Archer was excited about the first Sociology undergraduate course being installed at UCL, which we were too. Overall, it was a day to gain further understanding of Sociology and how it can be presented in a university environment.

By Ava Weinbrecht


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