This section highlights the types of activities we have engaged in so far! Sociology NORTH started out in September 2021 and since that first meeting the project has taken on a life of its own. So keep a look out as we will be updating this page regularly.
The Sociology Show Podcast
Feb 14th 2022
Members Emma and Jack, joined Matthew from, The Sociology Show, to talk about all things Sociology NORTH. In their interview Emma and Jack discussed, with great passion, the relevance of Sociology as a discipline and its relevance to our everyday lives. Click on the logo to listen in!
The Sociology Show is an extremely important resource for anyone with an interest in Sociology. Matthew is always on the look out for guest speakers, including students, so get in touch with him if you would like to take part in a podcast. Give him a follow & check out his amazing podcasts.
The Blog Writing Retreat
Feb 21st - 23rd 2022
Over the course of three days, members attended a blog writing retreat, at the Coach House Durhamhill in Dumfries and Galloway. As much as the trip was about writing blogs, it was also about bonding as a team. The retreat was the brainchild of Steph, one of our members, who applied to the university DOSH fund and was successful.
We were luck to be joined by Simon, who runs his own successful blog, Being Brave! a first time headteachers blog. Everyone is so grateful to Simon who provided us with guidance & feedback over the three days. You can follow Simon on Twitter .
A huge part of what we do, is to support other students with developing their own ideas, as that is how Sociology NORTH came about after all. Speaking of her own experience of writing at the retreat, Steph later commented, "This got really quite emotional as many people wrote about personal experiences, showing great vulnerability and leading to some extremely heartwarming and bonding conversations in the evening".
The retreat was such an experience in so many ways that we had not expected. There were games that brought out the competitive characters, we cooked together, we feed the Lamas and two Sociology songs were written and performed! To our amazement we actual did produce a total of 13 blogs. As Steph mentions, it was emotional, which in hindsight and given the subject matter, should have been expected. Yet, maybe pre-empting this, trying to work within a ridged and structured 'safe space', may have created barriers.
What occurred in response to that emotion was more fundamental than anything else over the three days. The shared space became a respectful and reflective one, where members expressed great warmth, compassion and empathy towards one another. While members read out their blogs, reflecting upon their experiences of poverty, others would get up and walk across the room to offer a supportive hug.
This respectful and reflective environment is not something that can be manufactured, or structured within a ridged framework. These were human responses to the stories of people’s lives, which has strengthened the bonds between our members.
Special thanks to Miss Juliet for accommodating us at The Coach House.
Jan 5th 2022
If you would like to make your own donation to Sunderland Foodbank, please click on the imagine below for more information.
As it approached Christmas in 2021, members began to think about the issues people were facing as a result of the pandemic. In thinking about our theme for the year, poverty, a discussion was had about how we could possibly help the local community. Members decided to use some of our funds to make a donation, of essential none food items that the local foodbank was in need of.
We felt passionately that this was not about some grand gesture and a photo opportunity. We discussed the problematic nature of programmes such as 'Benefit Street' & 'Jeremy Kyle' and were uncomfortable about having photos taken at the foodbank itself.
After reading about Sunderland Foodbank, we noticed from the website that they were open to working in partnership with others. In line with our core values, this provided us with an opportunity to introduce ourselves and see if there was any other way we could help them, other than making a donation.
When we delivered the items, which had been delayed due to Christmas and the pandemic, we met with the project manger and her colleague (who just so happened to have studied Politics & Sociology!). We talked about Sociology NORTH and what we were all about, then asked if they felt we could be of service in any way. YES was the answer!
As a result, staff involved in Sociology NORTH are in the process of developing a research proposal, to identify how those who have no choice to access foodbanks, can be brought into decision making processes. Members of Sociology NORTH will be involved in this research, as core to every Sociology degree is the development of research skills.