On Monday December 10th, all Sociology students attended the ‘Sociology in Action’ conference which was held in central London and designed to broaden A level sociology students’ general and subject knowledge. For me personally it did so much more. There was a range of speakers from different fields who were all clearly passionate about their respective specialisms.
One of the speakers was a Professor of Criminology from City University who addressed the interesting topic of victimology. He explained why middle-class females such as Madeline McCann are ‘ideal victims’ in the eyes of the media, and get disproportionately more coverage than missing or murdered people from other backgrounds. I found this interesting as there were clear disparities in the portrayal of different types of victims, and it was interesting to learn why this is the case.
Another speaker, a Professor at Surrey University, analysed the functions of the education system. One of my favourite speakers was Dexter Dias QC, who spoke about his experiences of what some people would consider ‘defending of the indefensible’, such as terrorists. He described how that experience changed him mentally and allowed him to gain a broader perspective. Another speaker was an Oxford University Professor who contemplated the potential trade and economic implications of Britain leaving the EU. Lastly Baroness Warsi talked about her experiences as a Muslim woman in the House of Lords.
Overall I find it hard to pinpoint one ‘favourite speaker’. They all were distinguished experts who introduced a wide range of topics and perspectives to the audience. In all what I learned from the day was how important it is to possess good critical thinking skills and the importance of being able to analyse situations, their causes and possible solutions. It encouraged me to go home and research the topics that the speakers had presented to us. The conference left a long-lasting impression on those who attended.
Ahmed Naas, 1st year A level student