To get my students ‘into’ sociology, I am starting a book club in September. Well its not exactly a book club, but a useful way to get them reading, thinking and engaging with the essence of sociological research.

How it works

All students will have a ‘classic text’ to read through the year. I am fortunate to have put my own library together together over the last 25 years, which comprises of charity shop trawls, library stock withdrawals and car boot finds. To have a collection of hundreds of original texts such as ‘Outsiders’ and ‘Housewife’ is something that we are lucky to have. Students will write a blog on their given title and discuss issues such as methodology, theoretical issues, problems in research etc. This will not only encourage a deeper engagement with sociology but also encourage students to develop key skills for university – especially in academic reading.

Another feature of this ‘book club’ is ‘Reading in the Round’. Which is basically, having a key text that will be shared by the whole class. A student will have the book for a week and read one chapter. They will present their findings from that chapter to the whole class at the end of the week. They will write a brief blog summarizing their findings. They will also take questions from the floor and be involved in a ‘discussion around the text’. We are starting with ‘Gang leader for a day’ by Sudhir Venkatesh (a snip at £1 from a charity shop in Walthamstow).

Hopefully, it will develop their literacy and thinking through the year. I’ll keep you posted!