I used to teach the history of sociological theory to 16-19 year olds (sometimes misleadingly known as ‘A’ level Sociology), although somewhere along the line the nature of the job changed, and the job role’s morphed into that of general children’s entertainer, which I duly recorded in the 2011 UK National Census.
I’m not going to whinge about it though, I know my place and frankly I’m just glad to have a job (doffs cap), and on occassion, between the demands of an antiquated syllabus and OFSTED’s instance on including party games in every lesson, I do sometimes get the chance to teach some real sociology.
And lord knows Sociology is needed now more than ever – At the age of 41 (in 2014) Ifeel as if I just escaped the shitty backwash from 30 years of Neoliberalism – I managed to get 2 years on the doll without too much hassle, not only was my university education free, I got a grant, I’ve got a full-time permanent job, own my flat with a reasonable interest-rate mortgage, and I can retire at 60 on a teacher’s pension (hopefully).
However, life is not going to be so cushty for many of the students who sit in my sociology classes, and so this blog considers some of the problems of buying into an ordinary life and some of the alternatives some of them will be forced into adopting.
Firstly this blog does that good old sociological thing of looking critically at a range of social norms and aspirations, asking where they come from, and also considering whether adopting these norms and aspirations is effective in achieving happiness.
Secondly, this blog looks at (mainly but not exclusively) Buddhist inspired alternatives to buying into normative ways of living to shine a critical light on what many critical commentators think is the ‘insanity of normality’.
Finally, I also include some rolling updates on new sociological research and sociological themes in the news.