Find out more about your lecturers, their interests and inspirations in this new series of staff profiles. First up, Dr David Khabaz, who teaches on globalization, media and human rights.
What first interested you in sociology? Thatcherism. In 1980s, some remarkable critical thinkers established sociology as an academic tribune to construct a consorted attack on Thatcher and her divisive political and economic projects. Stuart Hall, Martin Jacques, Robin Blackburn, Perry Anderson, Alex Callinicos, to name a few. In 1987, I attended a talk given by Perry Anderson at the LSE. Anderson’s talk ignited a serious desire to find out more about Sociology and its critical approach to everything imaginable. I subsequently left my Chemistry place at Kings and headed to Goldsmiths to have the most fabulous undergraduate years studying Sociology and Politics.
What areas of sociology most interest you today? I find the sociology of human rights most intriguing. Despite enormous improvements in recent years, human rights are routinely violated in all walks of life and in all sorts of societies. I think Sociology is well equipped in providing a better understanding of human rights and its violation in different sections of society.
What makes for a good sociologist? An inquisitive, critical mind as well as an acute sense of humour. Being a good sociologist also means you could easily be affected by all sorts of depressing patterns of inequality, injustice and inhumanity. That’s why you need a good sense of humour to ensure you have your wits about you when dealing with some disheartening issues.
What challenges does sociology face in the twenty-first century? Many pressing social issues facing humanity are no longer local or even national. We live in the age of hyper-globalization and as such most sociological challenges should be discussed collaboratively and acted upon collectively across all boundaries. I feel sociology is too localized to resolve some of the perilous issues facing mankind.