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Lesson 1 – Think for yourself

The punk sociologist will have an open and critical mind. They will explore ideas and give them their own spin. Sociology is loaded with concepts and perspectives which suggest ways of interpreting and applying these. We need to encourage students to filter and investigate ideas – we need them to deconstruct and reconstruct that which they engage with. Our students need to relate what they study to their own lives and we need to facilitate this synergy between the learner, the issues and their lives. This develops a sense of meaning as the material becomes more relevant to their lives. The punk sociologist needs to trust their own thinking and to achieve this, activities and strategies need to be put in place to develop their self confidence. They need small wins that offer a positive feedback loop to promote self belief and motivation.

The more we can encourage students to engage with material with confidence, the more they will relate to our discipline and use concepts rather than be voyeurs. We have to move away from the ‘whistle stop tour’, which encourages passivity and the by-product of this, an expectation that others will do their thinking for them! The punk sociologist has the ability to step back, take stock and build ideas in a fashion that helps them to understand these at a greater, deeper and more personal level.