Celebrating 50 years of Sociology at Glasgow

Published: 12 September 2019

On 10 and 11 September Sociology celebrated its 50th birthday with a two day event at the Kelvinhall

2019 marks 50 years since the founding of the Department of Sociology at the University of Glasgow. Back in 1969 there were only six members of teaching staff with just one Senior Lecturer as Head of Department. Since then, the subject has grown dramatically with around 40 members of academic staff teaching over 1000 students on our undergraduate and various postgraduate degree programmes, alongside more than 50 doctoral researchers pursuing innovative projects across a range of topics. Despite the many changes over the years, the shared commitment to theoretically informed, critical sociological inquiry and teaching has remained consistent. 

To celebrate this amazing milestone the subject held a two day conference on 10 and 11 September at the Kelvin Hall which brought together former students, past and current staff members, and those with a sociological interest to reflect and discuss areas of research including media, criminology, gender and sexuality, disability, racism, and social anthropology. 

The event also provided the chance to share special memories from the past five decades. Some of these included crying in the supermarket over a thesis and being comforted by a member of staff, family being impressed by seeing your professor on TV, the creation of our excellent research centres, and how sociology provides us with the tools to make sense of the world around us. The abiding theme of the two days however was that everyone felt part of a great, brilliant team and the acts of kindness towards each other meant so much. 

Head of Sociology, Dr Matt Dawson, said 'The conference to celebrate 50 years of Sociology at Glasgow was a wonderful experience. We remembered all the amazing intellectual contributions the subject has offered, but also recognised and remembered all the great work from teaching and support friends , some of whom are sadly no longer with us. I’m sure everyone who left the Kelvin Hall after those two days felt lucky to have been involved in Sociology at Glasgow.'

First published: 12 September 2019

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