Social Science Imagination

Seeing the world differently with social science

 Thursdays, 7–9pm, from 16th January to 20th March 2014

The Pathways Centre, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln, LN1 1UH

Stay updated with the Social Science Imagination course by following our blog! Feel free to join the course at any time.

 This free course is for anyone who wants to learn more about how the social world works and how we can change it, with the help of social science. Today, the economy is in crisis; people are struggling to find work and homes, pay debts and make ends meet; prejudice and discrimination are rife; social policies are changing fast; and new social movements and experiments are springing up everywhere to respond to this situation. This course, which is one of a number of free courses offered by the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, can help.

The course encourages participants to think about ideas, problems and issues that are important to them based on their own life experiences. Rather than viewing these experiences solely as individual problems, which can often overwhelm us and make us feel powerless to act, the course considers how we can make connections between the individual problems we face in our everyday lives and wider public issues that affect us all, such as cuts to public services, rising food prices, and racism, sexism and homophobia in daily life.

The course is based on a close reading C. Wright Mill’s The Sociological Imagination. This book provides a framework for thinking about our own life experiences and understanding the world around us in a way that gives us confidence rather than feelings of frustration, fear, anxiety and indifference. For Mills, it was important to understand how our personal lives are affected by power in the wider society and how, by making this connection, we can start to overcome the difficulties we face individually and collectively. During the course, we will explore various ways of doing this by examining our questions through many different ideas that have been developed within the social sciences.

The course is taught in an informal environment that is inclusive, and that encourages and supports participants to share and think about their experiences. Both teachers and students are considered scholars who can learn a lot from each other. Everyone doing the course will be encouraged and supported to read authors who have written about their concerns, and to write short essays setting out their own ideas. At the end of the course, everyone will be encouraged to write a longer essay that can be reviewed by scholars who are not directly involved in the course, but who are knowledgeable in these areas of social science.

This term’s course (Jan-March 2014) applies the Social Science Imagination to the theme of ‘co-operatives and education’. Read more about the current course on our blog.

Please contact us on info@socialsciencecentre.org.uk if you want to learn more about the course.

We hope you can join us.

Sarah Amsler, Mike Neary, Gary Saunders and Joss Winn

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