Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Is Sociology For? Bad Music?

Emile Durkheim
Emile Durkheim (Photo: Wikipedia)
by , Global

Dear Maude, that is information we should bury and all agree to never mention again:
“One is the UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs with responsibility for overseeing emergency relief in disaster-hit areas, the other is a chart-topping singer-songwriter. But what Lady Amos and James Blunt have in common is that both are sociology graduates and have used the knowledge gained in their degrees to forge successful careers. Amos held various roles in local government and was chief executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission before becoming the first black leader of the House of Lords and moving on to her position at the UN. Meanwhile, Blunt says his degree has proved useful to his music. “There are some aspects that are relevant to the songs I’m writing - about the way humans interact, the way we are as social beings - those topics are kind of relevant,” he says.”
Although the article is not very original in its career outlook for sociology majors:
“Sociology graduates leave university with a broad range of transferable skills. These include being able to work to deadlines, make reasoned arguments and think creatively.
Through doing presentations you will have learned how to present ideas orally and in writing, and developed strong research and IT skills. You will also be able to apply theoretical sociological perspectives to everyday life.”
How un-sociological. Sorry but one of the major skills sociology majors possess is the capacity to generate, process, and analyze data critically. In the knowledge economy, this is essential. 

Those kinds of skills are useful in business, marketing and advertising and anything that has to do with analyzing social data.

Being a sociology major does not condemn one to social work (one should major in, oh, I don’t know, social work), and welfare agencies. And I think we should get more sociologists in development, a field largely abandoned to economists, with the brilliant results that we have seen.

Also, more sociologists are needed in journalism, considering the amount of BS spewed out by major newspapers, magazines, and TV shows on social issues.

Here is Dalton Conley discussing the same subject:

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