Westminster Sociology Anthology 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At this year’s graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, the Sociology team presented graduating students with the fourth edition of the annual Westminster Sociology Dissertation Anthology, which showcases some of the outstanding and innovative research produced by final year Sociology students at the University of Westminster.

The aim of this anthology is to reward good dissertations, to provide an example of quality work for future dissertation students, and to promote more widely the achievements of our students in Sociology at Westminster.

The anthology includes work by Nisha Waller, who uses depth interviews to explores the experiences of six women who have been the partner of a male prisoner. Mehreen Khan’s contribution deploys an intersectional analysis to explore how South Asian Muslim women have made choices about their education, career and future aspirations. Chloe Payne’s chapter sensitively draws on interviews and ethnographic data to provide an in-depth account of the experience of ‘postvention’, the activities which aim to support the bereaved after a suicide in the UK. Kim Corti provides a critical and comparative examination of the discourses around veganism in UK national newspapers. Finally, Luke Allmond’s dissertation explores sexism in the contemporary music scene in Oxford.

While these five projects are incredibly diverse, they all have qualities that
 make them distinctive of the kind of work our students produce in Sociology
 at Westminster: they engage creatively and passionately with some of the
 urgent issues of our time, they use a finely tuned sociological imagination to
 challenge taken-for-granted assumptions, and they are motivated by a desire 
to understand and challenge social inequalities.

Nisha, Mehreen, Chloe, Kim and Luke are not alone in producing great
 dissertation projects. The Sociology team had the pleasure to read some
 really excellent work. In particular, we would like to commend dissertations 
by Lois Anderson, Neela Khan, Marwa Fichera, and Jake Lovric. Well done to
 you all – we are very proud of you!

Click here to download a PDF copy of the Westminster Sociology Dissertation Anthology 2018

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New online resource for student mental health

Poster Lost your zest.jpg

The Students Against Depression website is a free resource to help students who may be struggling with depression or anxiety.

The site offers advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources, it presents the experiences, strategies and advice of students themselves.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Success for Westminster Sociology in the Guardian University Guide 2019

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 10.04.21We’re really happy to see another impressive 5 points rise for Westminster University’s Sociology and Sociology and Criminology courses in the Guardian University guide 2019. At 28 out of 91, this puts us comfortably in the top third of UK Sociology courses.

League tables like this only give a partial picture of a university education, but it’s very gratifying to see that our ‘value added’ is being recognized, which ‘compares students’ degree results with their entry qualifications, to show how effectively they are taught’.

On value added, Westminster is in the top-ten institutions for Sociology in the UK.

For the full Guardian Sociology ranking, click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sociology lecturers win excellence awards!

 

Many congratulations to Sociology lecturers Dr Hilde Stephansen and Dr Francis Ray White who were this evening awarded individual Westminster Learning and Teaching Excellence Awards. These are a very prestigious award, with only a small number given out each year to the most deserving candidates. Francis and Hilde were both awarded £1000 for career development.

Hilde (pictured right) was congratulated for her research-informed teaching, for transforming the quality of research methods provision across disciplines and for her collegial and collaborative approach to teaching.

Francis (pictured left) was awarded for their work in cross-disciplinary learning and teaching, and was commended for raising the visibility of LGBTQ and gender issues and promoting inclusion and diversity in the curriculum and across the University.

The sociology team is very proud of you both. Well done, and thanks for all your hard work!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Embedding mental health and wellbeing

WP_20180424_15_49_24_Pro

The Westminster Sociology team recently took part in a day-long workshop on embedding mental health and wellbeing in learning and teaching, led by specialists from AdvanceHE.

After being given our Team Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017, we decided to prioritize the issue of student mental health and use our award money to fund this workshop.

Part of the workshop enabled us to develop our understanding of some of the key issues relating to student mental health in Higher Education. While as sociologists we retain a critical stance towards the structural conditions that can negatively impact on mental health, we are nevertheless interested in the ways in which we can prioritise and enhance students’ mental wellbeing. We are keen to work on increasing our awareness of students’ mental health and to explore areas in which we might foster positive approaches to mental health in our teaching and personal tutoring practice.

We discussed how we might heighten a sense of community in Sociology for both staff and students, as well as how we can use contact time in ways that support students to be active partners in their learning, encouraging them to connect with each other both inside and outside of the classroom.

We had a really enjoyable and productive day, and were able to invite colleagues from English, Psychology and Modern Languages to work with us on this important topic. It is our hope that this workshop will provide a catalyst for future initiatives on mental wellbeing at Westminster.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What are British Values?

Ben had a fun chat this morning with the presenters of Saturday Morning Live on Voice of Islam Radio. His interview starts at 1:21:46.

“When politicians worry about British values they’re trying to suggest that some people don’t fit in, some people don’t belong. And this is where racial and religious minorities get subject to scrutiny and suspicion […] There’s an inflammatory language here that suggests some people belong more than others, and I fundamentally contest that. Britain is not a white nation. Britain does not somehow belong more to white people than racial or religious minorities. That’s something to be fought over and contested. The vision of British values that get articulated often is a very exclusive one”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Third Westminster Sociology Open Talk of 2017/18: Contesting the Boundaries of Ethno-Religious Identities

Screenshot 2018-01-24 13.12.00

Westminster Sociology Open Talks in 2017-18 bring together Sociology researchers with external speakers to explore a shared topic of interest. In the third talk of the academic year, Dr Umit Cetin and Dr Celia Jenkins are joined by Professor Mary Hickman (London Metropolitan University) to discuss the formation of ethno-religious identities, focusing on two different case studies: the Irish in America (Hickman) and the Alevis in the UK (Cetin and Jenkins).

Date: Thursday 8th February 2018
Time: 5-7pm
Location: The Boardroom, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster, London W1H 2HW

This event is open to academics, students and anyone else who’s interested in this important topic. Attendance is free but we ask attendees to register via Eventbrite.

ABSTRACTS

‘Being Irish American’: a contemporary collective identity?

Professor Mary Hickman, London Metropolitan University

There are indications of robust ethnic identities amongst late-generation European ethnics in the United States against the predictions of assimilation theories. Collective identities, including ethnicity, remain significant in everyday life, however, their quality and character have been subject to change, in response to a range of economic, social and political transformations. This paper explores the basis of the continuing relevance of ‘being Irish American’ across a range of domains based on evidence collected from the NYU Ireland House Oral History Collection.

 

Re-constructing ‘Aleviness’ in a transnational context

Dr Umit Cetin and Dr Celia Jenkins, University of Westminster

The paper focuses on the continued relevance of being Alevi in the UK through comparison of the social construction and situational aspects of Alevi identity in the transnational contexts of Turkey and the UK. These different contexts provided new means for Alevis to re-construct their community and to create a sense of belonging which has facilitated the transformation of a previously negative identity into a positive one. This paper draws on collaborative action research with the UK Alevi community over the past ten years in their campaign for greater public recognition of their ethno-religious identity.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment