Why study Sociology?
If you want to study how the modern world came to be the way it is, what is happening and why, and what alternatives are possible, Sociology is for you.
The raw stuff of Sociology is human experience. Sociology is where human experience, both individual and public, singular and collective meet. These public and private stories make up the sociological imagination and this results in many different social realities.
We all exist within ever-changing social worlds, forces, groups, ideologies and institutions that make up what is called society.
Sociology is the study of these ever-changing social realities and the sociological imagination that gives rise to them. Sociology is where you research, argue and critique the social world in all its fullness.
Sociologists investigate the structure of societies, organisations and groups. Their subject matter ranges from the intimacy of the family, the criminal gang, activities at the rugby game and rock festival, through to divisions of ethnicity, gender and class. All of these and many more areas, including globalisation, postcolonialism, cities, technologies, environment, health and the social organisation of death, are included in the Sociology programme taught at UC.
News and Announcements
Sociology & Anthropology
The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP) Seminar Series
SEMINAR 3: 7 August
Visiting scholar in sociology and sessional lecturer in human services and social work, Dr Cindy Zeiher, recently attended the Enjoyment Plus Reason Conference in Sydney where Professor Joan Copjec was a keynote speaker. She presented a paper on Enjoyment, the Workplace and the Figure of the Mother. Dr Zeiher also presented a paper at the Historical Materialism Conference in Sydney where she was invited by Professor Roland Boer to respond to his Deustcher Award Winning Book, In the Vale of Tears.
24th July 2015
The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP) Seminar Series
SEMINAR 1: 31 July 2015
17th July 2015
The Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP) Seminar Series - Semester 2 – 2015
Seminar 1: 24 July 2015
Inspired by the rise of Schools of Continental Philosophy in Melbourne, Queensland and Sydney we are pleased to announce and invite you to attend the Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy (CSCP).
CSCP is a common space and community for staff, students and the wider public to engage in and debate continental thought. Prior to the CSCP, Canterbury lacked a common space to engage with and promote the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas inspired by the diverse traditions of European thought (such as phenomenology, existentialism, critical theory, hermeneutics, feminism, deconstruction, poststructuralism, and so on). Drawing in the nature of Continental thought, the Canterbury School of Continental Philosophy aims to foster the development of a pluralistic philosophical community here at Canterbury.
As part of CSCP, its founders, Assoc. Prof. Mike Grimshaw and Dr Cindy Zeiher are also launching an open access journal: Continental Thought & Theory. A Journal for Intellectual Freedom.
22nd June 2015
Mike Grimshaw (Sociology) has an essay titled, "The Irrelevance and Relevance of the Radical, Impure Tillich," in Retrieving the Radical Tillich. Full details of the books can be found on the Palgrave Macmillan web site.
29 May 2015
Associate Professor Mike Grimshaw is part of a multi-university team that has had an article "One size does not fit all: organisational diversity in New Zealand tertiary sector ethics committees" published in Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online
Lois Tonkin, Visiting Scholar in Sociology, is currently in the UK where she presented a seminar titled "Using psychosocial methods to explore fantasy, loss, and grieving in 'circumstantial childlessness'" at Sussex University on May 21. She will be presenting a paper called "Articulating a “sense of myself as a mother”: Drawing as a creative exploration of ‘circumstantial childlessness’" at the 'Motherhood and Creative Practice' conference at London South Bank University in June.
2016 Death Down Under Conference - 13-15 January 2016, University of Canterbury
8 May 2015
Mike Grimshaw (Sociology) is part of a multi-university research team that has had a paper "Regional Differences in the Psychological Recovery of Christchurch Residents Following the 2010/2011 Earthquakes: A Longitudinal Study" published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
Dr. Anne Scott, with associated community based researchers, received a small grant of $2580 to pilot some research on child custody issues for parents with mental illnesses or addictions.
17 April 2015
Piers Locke has had an article published in Gajah, the journal of the IUCN’s Asian Elephant Specialist Group titled “The Anomalous Elephant: Terminological Dilemmas and The Incalcitrant Domestication Debate”. It considers the constraints of conventional nomenclature through an exploration of theories of domestication as biological intervention and social appropriation, arguing that the boundary between captive and free-ranging elephants is permeable, and that researchers should therefore acknowledge the complexity of social, historical, and ecological relations between humans and elephants.
27 March 2015
Anthropology PhD student Kathleen Harrington-Watt’s has had her article “Photographs as adaptive, transitional objects in Gujarati migrant homes” published in Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, Volume 5, Numbers 2-3, 1 September 2014, pp. 273-287(15) this month.
20 March 2015
Piers Locke has had a short article published in the Making Tracks series of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, titled "Interspecies Ethnography and Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia”. In this series fellows and alumni present their experiences in environmental humanities, retracing the paths that led them to the Rachel Carson Center.
A reminder: Identity Construction in a Han Immigrant Community 12-12:40pm, Friday 20 March Psych-Soci Room 311 the inaugural Sociology and Anthropology seminar. Please bring your lunch.
13 March 2015
Patrick McAllister and Zhifang Song are participating in an international research project on the revival of the interconnections between Southeast Asian overseas Chinese temples, native-place and common surname associations and their founding temples and ancestral halls in coastal Southeast China. With funding from the Max Planck Institute for Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Goettingen, Germany, they will be responsible for a project entitled Chinese-Vietnamese Temples: Temple Associations, International Links and Ethnic Identities in Ho Chi Minh City.
The most recent output resulting from Patrick McAllister’s research on the Vietnamese lunar new year (Tet) is an article entitled “The Kitchen God Returns to Heaven: [Ông Táo Về Trời]: Popular Culture, Social Knowledge and Folk Beliefs in Vietnam” co-authored with Thi Cam Tu Luckman and published in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies (UC, Berkley), Vol. 10, Issue 1, pps. 110-150
6 March 2015
Piers Locke’s ethnographic documentary film Servants of Ganesh, about captive elephant management at the Khorsor Elephant Breeding Centre in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal is now available to watch on You Tube:
24 February 2015
Congratulations to Kathy Harrington-Watt (Anthropology) who has had the following article published from her Masters Thesis:
16 February 2015
On January 8 Piers Locke gave a presentation at the weekly colloquium of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich, on the topic of “Humans, Elephants, and Interspecies Intimacy in Nepal”. He spoke about his apprenticeship as a mahout in the elephant stables of the Chitwan National Park, arguing for the need to think through the implications of human exceptionalism in the humanities, the need for more-than-human forms of ethnography, and the possibility of extending personhood to elephants in order to rethink human-elephant relations. Piers also chaired a graduate seminar in which students discussed his work further.
Dr Ruth McManus’s ground-breaking research into attitudes to funeral costs in New Zealand gained national media attention over the weekend with a live radio interview on Newstalk ZB, RadioLive, coverage by Maori TV and TV3 an article on p3 of the Press on Monday the 12th January. Also in the Dominion Post 13th January 2015.
Basic findings are that:
27 January 2015
A Sports has inspired people after the earthquakes - University of Canterbury postgraduate student says sports inspired people in Christchurch after the earthquakes. (read article)
16 January 2015
A Greater understanding of women needed - University of Canterbury sociology graduate researcher has identified a need for a greater understanding of the ways unintended childlessness impacts on women's lives. (read article)