Practical Sociology: Agenda for Action

BSA Sociologists outside Academia, in collaboration with Sage Publishing Ltd and the Sociological Imagination

Practical Sociology: Agenda for Action

A half-day workshop

British Psychological Society meeting rooms, Tabernacle St
London EC2A 4UE

Monday 17 October 2016, 12.30 – 4.30pm

How come – at least in the UK –you don’t come across people with ‘sociologist’ in their job title working in industry, business, the civil service, or pretty much anywhere outside academia or independent research organisations?

Sociologists seem to all reside in universities, unlike psychologists and economists, who have colonised many kinds of workplaces.

Most sociologists believe our subject is essential for understanding the world around us, or to resolve contemporary problems, from gender violence to climate change.  We have the concepts (like ‘cultural capital’, ‘intersectionality) and the theories (social mobility, moral panic).  But where are the practical sociologists?

So what would it take to establish a ‘practical sociology’ in the UK and elsewhere, with sociologists employed to use sociology concepts and models to address problems in industry, business, government, education or health?  This half-day workshop aims to establish an agenda for practical sociology.

The workshop will explore pressing questions about how a practical sociology may apply its expertise, skills and knowledge to problems at work or in the community.

  • What has prevented the emergence of practical sociology in the UK?
  • What are the core knowledge and models that are needed to solve the problems that organisations, businesses and the public sector face?
  • What kinds of skills would be needed to work as a practical sociologist?
  • How would a practical sociology career pan out?

This workshop will be of interest to sociologists and others who are keen to see the application of sociological concepts, models and theories in practical settings in the public, private and third sectors.  Please come along and help us set an agenda for developing practical sociology.


Book online at

BSA Members £5; Non-members £8; BSA Concessionary members and full-time students £3.

Tea and coffee will be provided: please bring your lunch.

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