About Sociology at Work

about-sociology-at-work
Photo: Zuleyka Zevallos

Sociology is the study of societies in relation to history, culture and place, including the interaction between individuals and groups, as well as the norms, laws and social institutions that constitute a society. Sociology is centrally concerned with social change. Applied sociology describes the use of sociological theories and methods beyond academia, for specific client groups and audiences. Applied sociology is used in the active transformation of social life, by addressing ‘real world’ research questions, and by helping different public audiences to consider and adopt a sociological imagination.

The Sociology at Work website supports the application of sociological knowledge beyond university settings. We mean this literally – how do people use sociology in their jobs? To put it another way: how we ‘do’ sociology in the workplace? At the same time, we are also interested in the ways in which sociology might be used to work towards the positive transformation of society.

Sociology at Work operates as a not-for-profit on the unceded land of the Gadigal people, of the Eora Nation, on what is now known as Sydney, Australia. We recognise the eternal sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which invites us all to engage in truth-telling, healing and support for a Voice to Parliament. We acknowledge that this was, is, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

Aims

  • Enhance awareness of applied sociology and to advance understanding and esteem of our discipline to wider audiences across the world;
  • Support the careers of sociology graduates at various levels (undergraduate and postgraduate), and to ensure that students better appreciate the various work opportunities available to them;
  • Foster links to industry, non-government organisations, government agencies, and other professional groups in support of sociology as a vocation.

Visit our Resources page to see our articles, videos, podcasts and other material supporting students and practitioners.

Commitment to equity and diversity

Sociology at Work is guided by the theory of intersectionality, recognising how gender discrimination in the workplace is impacted by racism and other interconnected forms of inequality related to sexuality, class, disability, age, geography, and more. In sociology, as with every other professional fields and spheres of social life, racial minorities are severely disadvantaged in their work and personal lives. This is compounded where they have other intersecting identities that are marginalised through racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism (discrimination of people with disabilities), classism and other structural inequities.

Sociology at Work follows equity and diversity principles that elevate the practices and knowledge of Aboriginal women and femmes, along with other minorities, wherever they live and work. Specifically, this website aims to create a safe environment for them to learn and exchange ideas that will uplift their professional careers beyond academia.

Commenting Policy

The four general principles for commenting on Sociology at Work are:

  1. discuss sociology;
  2. be polite;
  3. stay on topic; and
  4. be aware of your bias.

Sociology at Work has a zero tolerance for abuse. Read more on our Commenting Policy.

Behind the Scenes

The site is run by Dr Zuleyka Zevallos on a volunteer basis. Zuleyka is an applied sociologist and a Latin-Australian woman of colour who currently works as a senior policy advisor. She has previously worked in government, not-for-profits, and as a consultant. She runs various educational websites, including her research blog, The Other Sociologist.

S@W is a not-for-profit project with resources that are free to use by anyone. S@W was designed to evolve and grow as we reach all parts of the world.

Contact Zuleyka if you’d like to share your story as a student or practitioner of sociology.

Privacy

Our privacy policy is that we do not use your data for any other purpose than what you agree to (for example, sending you updates if you sign up to our blog). We never pass on your details to third parties. Read the policy.

Credits

This website began in 2009 as a collaborative project between volunteers from The Applied Sociology Thematic Group (The Australian Sociological Association) and the Sociologists Outside Academia Group (The British Sociological Association).

This website was initially made possible by a grant by The Australian Sociological Association.* This website has been wholly run and funded by Zuleyka Zevallos since 2014.

Disclaimer

*The information provided on this site does not imply any official endorsement by The Australian Sociological Association or the opinions, ideas or information contained therein, nor guarantee the validity, completeness or utility of the information provided. Reference herein to any products, services, processes, hypertext links to third parties or other information does not necessarily constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation.

 

3 Comments on “About Sociology at Work

  1. Pingback: Doing Sociology Beyond Academia and Breaking Down The Otherness Of Applied Sociology | Dr Zuleyka Zevallos - Sociology Prose

  2. hi, how can one sociology and teamwork collaborate in workplace between Industrial workers and management? also how can women set aside differences using sociology,particularly in an industrial manufacturing environment?

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    • Hi Eleona,

      Not too sure what you’re asking here but I will make an attempt at your two questions. First, I think you want to know how an applied sociologist might work in an industrial setting, as an intermediary between management and workers? If so, Gary Pattison has written an article with us addressing this issue. He talks about using sociology to inform a non-hierarchical approach to management, a sound knowledge of Marxism and other theories to address minority relations in the workplace, negotiation and communication skills: http://www.sociologyatwork.org/view-from-a-trade-union/

      Your second question about women setting aside differences in an industrial manufacturing environment. Yikes, this question sounds gendered and loaded. I would first rethink this question. Is there something specific about these women’s relationships that are tied to their gender identities? Or is something else going on? At the heart of workplace relations, including disputes amongst work colleagues, are issues like: how management values workers; workplace culture; inequality; or toxic management processes.

      If it’s toxic management and workplace culture, take a look at an article I wrote elsewhere, which examines how sociology can help: http://socialscienceinsights.com/2017/02/20/toxic-management/

      It’s it’s gender relations, you might need to be more specific. But any workplace that pits women against women, or that does not support women, is likely suffering from patriarchal approaches to management and workplace culture. This is less about women needing to set aside personal differences, and more about management being more progressive in how they support women by creating a more inclusive culture for all women, better working conditions (including flexibility and policies for people with caring responsibilities) and being transparent about career progression and decision-making. These are all good things for all workers, not just women.

      Good luck with whatever you’re dealing with at work!

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