Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, September 02, 2005

That Eternal Question

My department is presently in the throes of reorganization. We've have had some changes to our roster of graduate students, faculty are shifting around, and generally people have been migrating in some sort of enormous bureaucratic game of musical chairs.

Now, in the midst of all this, a chalkboard has appeared in the hallway. It isn't a big chalkboard, but it's there. Originally it was clean and fresh- as though yearning for wisdom to be scrawled upon it for keen undergrad minds to soak up. Sadly, the undergrads here aren't that keen to soak up much of anything except for fermented beverages so our friendly chalkboard is destined for disappointment.

Still, my fellow grad students and, perhaps, faculty, have begun to scrawl things across it. In the beginning it was simply a question, but a burning question all the same. That question was this:

Why sociology?

Why indeed? Why not Anthropology, or Physics, or even English Literature? That last discipline, I think, would be better suited for quite a number of my fellow grad students who seem less interested in data and more interested in having their opinions published in journals as fact. Not that I'm a prick or anything.

The fun thing is, people have begun adding responses to this question. So far we have three responses:

Why not?

It pays the bills.

Beats work!

I can only hope that people will continue adding answers- and that sooner or later they grow either a little more complimentary to the discipline, or a whole lot funnier. In the meantime, however, let me invite the sociologists out there in the Blogosphere to get in on this too. What are your answers? What do you think? Why sociology?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a good question. I prefer chocolate, so it's hard to give you an answer off the top of my head. - D's SGf

Friday, September 02, 2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Because Philosophy is too crowded and History isn't crowded enough - it's a structural thing.

Friday, September 02, 2005 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

As an undergrad majoring in sociology, I’ve chosen it for its uncertainty. Unlike most fields that seem to at least agree on some kind of methodology, sociology seems confused. I like meta debates and sociology is full of them. Currently it seems to be desperately gasping for air as it’s gradually swallowed up by economics (the data guys) and anthropology (the reflexive guys). Then there is that pesky field of communications. Who the hell are they? Don’t get me wrong; sociologists are doing amazing work in many fields, but ‘sociology’ as a cohesive entity seems to me to be nearly non-existent. It’s this eclectic ambiguity that I love about it. It leaves tons of room to read whatever you like and get all multidisciplinary about it.

I’m from Canada, often depicted as an ethnic mosaic, and I suppose the idea of approaching sociology as a mosaic of the social sciences and humanities appeals to me. Anyways, as I stated earlier, I’m just an undergrad and definitely not an authority on any of this. These are just my impressions after taking a few courses in the aforementioned fields and sifting through a bunch of blogs and textbooks.

When people ask me what sociology is, I reply, “the study of society.” Arguably, not much sits outside this.

Saturday, September 03, 2005 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why indeed? Why not Anthropology, or Physics, or even English Literature? That last discipline, I think, would be better suited for quite a number of my fellow grad students who seem less interested in data and more interested in having their opinions published in journals as fact."

Personally, I don't give a damn why people should or should not take up sociology. It seems as useful/useless as most academic work. I disagree polemically with that idea that English Lit people just hang around publishing their opinion as fac though. At least we have the decency to see opinion as opinion, and accept it as such. Actually, mostly Eng Lit academics are polite enough to call a recognise any given theory as opinion, even if it has all the evidence on its side. And I don't know how things work in the US, but over here we try very, very hard to always have the evidence on our side.

Don't get me wrong, I do not claim that the study of literature operates on the same principles as Sociology. What I am saying though, is that this is not used as an excuse to be anything less than thorough. No academic publication is mere fact, that is just an illusion. Similarly, no literary analysis will be accepted if it is an unfounded opinion.

I am identifying myself with English Literature academics again. I should really stop doing that.


Monday, September 05, 2005 4:09:00 AM  
Blogger Brayden said...

Are you glad you asked the question Drek?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

Well, Brayden, where would I have fun if not by asking stupid questions? I've actually been fairly interested in the answers- particularly TDEC's in that she and I agree more than not, even if it doesn't seem that way.

Do you have an answer for us?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 12:59:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter