Kent Sociology – UG Students Make A Difference

I know it’s almost Halloween now, but the beginning of this academic year has been extremely hectic as we experienced a lot of timetabling issues. So finally, I’m able to share with you some of the projects I’ve been involved over the summer. One of them is a mini-series I made on five of our Class 2021 undergraduates’ experience with their dissertations.

Each resulting episode is about 5-minute long, although the interviews were much longer. Each took about half a day to edit. All the students were nominated by colleagues. I knew Morrigan, Maisie and Ethan as they also took my Sociology of the Global South module (and they were excellent on the module as well!). I may be biased, but I have to say I’m really proud of what they made of their undergraduate study. If you have 5-6 minutes to spare, click on any one of their episode, I’m pretty sure you’ll be impressed:

Morrigan focussed her research on social value, fashion consumption and their ecological impacts. Her dissertation was not only recommended for a student journal but has already been featured in a newsletter published by SSPSSR’s Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements! 

Shania Foster talks about her study on colourism and young black women. The examiners said Shania’s dissertation “evokes the sense of injustice and suffering that spurs the best kinds of sociological research.”

Maisie is a person who “like[s] having conversations about the world”. During the COVID pandemic, she found her voice researching on British and American newspaper representations of the Black Lives Matter movement. She has been encouraged to publish her main findings to inform activists on the ground. Maisie is expanding her academic scope with her MA Sociology degree at Kent. 

Georgia explored how multilevel marketing companies used social media to damage interpersonal relationships between women. As many dissertation students, she had her own ups and downs in the research process. But the end result was excellent and she said at the end that she didn’t realise it until half way through that ‘this could be quite useful for what I want to do in the future’.

Finally, the future Professor Ethan Cleverly talks about his surprising findings on the working class students’ academic under-achievement in the UK and his views on how we can build a more inclusive and empathetic society. There are also useful tips for other dissertation students!

These videos were launched online mid-September and are also used internally to inspire students who are doing or about to take on the dissertation module.

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