Video: Applied Sociology

I made this video for Sociology at Work, the professional network that I manage. I give an overview of sociological theory and methods as well as the work of applied sociologists. I also talk about the aims of Sociology at Work, which focus on promoting the professional excellence of sociology practitioners and supporting the career planning of sociology students.

Read more about the history of applied sociology on our Sociology at Work website.

7 thoughts on “Video: Applied Sociology


  1. Thanks Christopher Ensminger Check out the Sociology at Work website. I’ve got a few articles on different uses of applied sociology. I just wrote a post on clinical sociology. I’ve done other articles on health, activism, art therapy http://sociologyatwork.org/  Under the section “Working Notes” we also have articles by sociologists in other parts of the world who work in local, state and federal government, for unions, and in other places. This should give you more ideas about what sociology is used for!

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  2. Bren Weiss The best tips are the obvious ones. 1) Make sure you apply to lots of universities. Sometimes students get hung up on one place. The place matters less than working with someone with a strong reputation in the field you’re interested in.  Try to get into a different university than the one you did your BA at so you can grow your networks. This will help you get a job later.


    2) Think about your postgrad as an apprenticeship. Pick a supervisor whose work you respect and whose writing you can understand. I’ve had friends who picked a big name supervisor and they struggled to communicate. This will make it hard to finish your thesis. Your supervisor will be your most important link in your early career, so get in touch with potential supervisors now. Most academics are very approachable. Phone is better than email. Tell them about the project you’re planning and why you’d like to work with them. Ask them if they’d be willing to supervise you. Stay in contact with them from now until 2015. Don’t badger them – if they’re on social media, tweet/post at them thoughtful things. E.g. If they wrote something you like, tweet the link. Don’t think of this as catering to egos, this is networking. Show them you’re a good colleague and your name will stay on top of their minds. 


    3) This is the hardest: work out what type of career you might like and start working towards it now. If you think you want to be an academic, think about what area you want to forge your career in and start reading on it voraciously now, rather than waiting til it’s time to write your application. Academic careers are incredibly hard to get, so keep your options open by staying up to date with applied fields. Think about how the topic you want to pursue can be used in a career in Government, industry or in not for profit sector. If anything, try to conceive your topic so that you’re collaborating with, or using the perspectives of, these groups. Again, see our Sociology at Work website for some ideas.


    Have a good end of the week!

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