By Dr Ala Sirriyeh, Lecturer in Sociology
It has been a great pleasure this week to welcome the wonderful new first year Sociology students to Keele. As part of the Welcome Week activities, on Thursday we ran a workshop titled ‘The Big Sociology Project’. This workshop was in the style of a 'treasure hunt' and was essentially aimed at getting students involved in the practice of ‘being sociological’. The project introduced them to thinking about what sociology is and also about how you ‘do’ sociology by conducting a mini sociological study of Keele and the surrounding area.
Students were asked to get into groups and complete two out of these three tasks:
1) A report on local area using library resources
2) A photographic research task
3) An ethnographic observation task
In the photographic task students were asked to take photographs on various sociological themes (e.g. nature/culture, art on campus, branding, discipline). Students completing the ethnographic observations were asked to observe one or more of a selection of sociological themes (e.g. power relationships, gender and communication). They were asked to draw a poster reflecting on their observations.
Posters from the observations and photographs were emailed to us and the class selected the winning entry which was a photograph (water and trees) on the theme of Nature/Culture taken by Thomas Fleck. Commenting on the photograph Thomas said, "The picture was interesting as we had just stepped away from the lively campus and it was amazing to such a great secluded view of the local nature only few steps away from the bustling uni culture". The light and colours in this photograph also had us wondering for while if this was in fact a painting of a Keele nature scene.
Here is a small selection of some of the many images taken on the day.