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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology in Action Week

For the first time, the Department of Sociology are trialling a new ‘Sociology in Action’ week - a chance for students, postgraduate researchers, Durham Sociology staff, as well as visitors from the wider Durham community (inside and outside of the University) to shine a sociological and criminological light on the issues facing society today.

Our flagship event is on Monday 18th February where Durham Sociology staff and students will come together to discuss ‘Fake News’.

Monday 18th February

10am - 3.15pm: The Sociology of Fake News

Council Chamber, 'Redhills', The Miners' Hall, Flass Street, Durham, DH1 4BE (5 minutes walk from Durham city centre - map)

We can promise a stimulating, exciting, intellectual environment with short ‘provocations’ rather than conference style presentations, a guarantee of no powerpoint, and an opportunity to discuss what fake news is, why it is important, and what (if anything) we should be doing about it.

9.45-10.00: Arrive and find a seat in the Parliament Debating Chamber

10.00-10.30: Welcome - Keynote speaker: ‘Fake News: From Orgreave to Now’ - Granville Williams, Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and editor of 'Shafted: The Media, the Miners' Strike and the Aftermath'

10.30-11.30: 'Is fake news old news or fake news?' - Dr Will Coyles, Dr Andrew Orton, Dr Malcolm Parkes and Prof Roger Smith (Chaired by Dr Matthew David)

11.30-12.00: 'Disability - If you’re not making it you must be faking it' - Dr Victoria Armstrong, Chief Executive of Disability North (Chaired by undergraduate student Ellen Myrie)

12.00-13.00: Lunch break (please bring your own pack lunch, or feel free to walk into town)

During the lunch hour attendees can choose to participate in one of two 20-minute ‘Workshop discussions on experiences of fake news’ run by Hilary Hale, Apricot Training Management Ltd (Project Manager: ‘No Alternative Facts’)

13.00-13.30: ‘People have had quite enough of experts’: Is fake news bad for your health? - Prof Brian Castellani, Dr Kimberly Jamie and Prof Tiago Moreira (Chaired by undergraduate students Ioana Andries and Sophie Peel)

13.45-14.15: ‘When you go into those [Durham] schools, you can smell the sense of defeatism’: Education and fake news - Dr Sol Gamsu (Chaired by undergraduate student Vaughan Bryan)

14.30-15.00: ‘New wine in old bottles?’: The mythology of fake news - Prof Catherine Donovan, Dr Kelly Johnson and Prof Nicole Westmarland (Chaired by undergraduate students Laura Hepworth and Despina Katsidou)

15.00-15.15: Wrap-up

Sign up here (You can attend for all or part of the day, so can choose from a morning, afternoon or all day ticket)


Tuesday 19th February

10am - 12noon: The Role of Housing in Recognising and Responding to Domestic Abuse

Gentoo Group, Emperor House, Emperor Way, Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland, SR3 3XR

(Those who book can meet at the Gentoo offices; public transport routes available from Durham via Prince Bishops 20 or 20a buses, or there is free parking - please indicate when booking if you would find it difficult to make your own way there)

With Prof Nicole Westmarland, postgraduate researcher Kelly Henderson, Gentoo CEO Nigel Wilson, and other Gentoo Staff

The session will explore existing good practice in the housing sector, examining the experiences of women accessing support from their housing provider and of men receiving wraparound support from their housing provider Gentoo, as part of the Big Project, a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DVPP).

Sign up here (Please note that if there is a shortage of places priority will be given to students registered on the Sociological Approaches to Violence and Abuse module for this event)

10am - 12noon: Community Organising for Social Change: A Workshop

Room ER231, Elvet Riverside 2

With Prof Sarah Banks and 3rd year students from the Communities and Social Justice module

In this workshop we will look at: what is community organising?; background and principles, including the work and influence of sociologist Saul Alinsky in USA (1940s-60s) and recent developments in the UK (e.g. Citizens UK); limits and potential of community organising. Workshop-based learning may include: practising one-to-one meetings, refining an issue, mobilising and building a broad-based support, and planning an action.

Sign up here

11am - 12noon: “What can I do with my Sociology/Criminology degree?”: A Careers Workshop for Students

Room E101, Engineering Building

With Heather Marshall, Careers and Enterprise Centre

Come and find out more about the wide range of careers that degrees in Sociology and Criminology can lead in to, and what alumni have gone on to do, as well as the support available from the Careers and Enterprise Centre to help you achieve the career you want.

Sign up by clicking on this link, then selecting ‘Student login’, and logging in with your Durham University student Computing and Information Services user name and password

4.15pm - 5.45pm: Crime Walk

Meeting point: 32 Old Elvet, Student Common Room (Through the front door and then the second room on the right)

With Dr David Honeywell

The crime walk will highlight key spaces and places around Durham associated with the history of crime, punishment and justice through time; especially from medieval times to the current day. The main points of interest on the walk are associated with: the history of crime and punishment; the importance of education and prison education in particular; prison reform; the roles provided by the church, the state and landowners in the history of what is crime and justice in Durham; the relationship between crime and poverty and, of course, some ghoulish and entertaining stories about the places on the walk and the people associated with them. Such as the executioners Calcraft and Marwood who entertained guests in the Dun Cow with stories of famous local criminals like Mary Ann Cotton. The crime walk was created by Maggie O'Neill and Ivan Hill, partners in the Ghosts of the Future project, "to identify key spaces and places around Durham associated with the history of crime, punishment and justice through time; especially from medieval times to the current day". To find out more about the project, see the website: www.ghostsofourfuture.com/the-crime-walk

Sign up here


Wednesday 20th February

11am - 12noon: Interested in finding out more about Placement Years?

CLC406 (Derman Christopherson Room), Calman Learning Centre

With Laura Bielby, Careers and Enterprise Centre

This talk is open to 1st and 2nd year Sociology and Criminology students who are interested in finding out how to incorporate a placement year into their degree. A placement year is a fantastic way to understand how policy works in practice, gain a deeper understanding of theories and concepts and help with future career planning. This session will outline your next steps and highlight opportunities such as a paid placement and internship scheme with Bedfordshire police.

Sign up by clicking on this link, then selecting ‘Student login’, and logging in with your Durham University student Computing and Information Services user name and password

12noon - 2pm: Crime Walk

Meeting point: 32 Old Elvet, Student Common Room (Through the front door and then the second room on the right)

With Dr David Honeywell

(Details as above)

Sign up here


Thursday 21st February

10am - 11.30am: Crime Walk

Meeting point: 32 Old Elvet, Student Common Room (Through the front door and then the second room on the right)

With Dr David Honeywell

(Details as above)

Sign up here

12noon - 1pm: Policing as a Career

Room CLC407, Calman Learning Centre

With PC William Craven and Dr David Honeywell

This talk will present one former soldier’s experience of becoming a Durham undergraduate and then a police officer, with opportunities to ask questions concerning police careers in practice following university.

Sign up here

1pm - 5pm: Learning Field Observation: Workshop Activity

CLC406 (Derman Christopherson Room), Calman Learning Centre

With Dr Will Coyles

After an initial briefing at the start of the session about what field observation is and how to take notes during it, those attending will split into small groups and try carrying out an observation in a public space to answer a question of sociological or criminological interest to them, before presenting their findings back to the whole group at the end of the session.

Sign up here


Friday 22nd February

9am - 10am: Careers in Social Work

Room ER145, Elvet Riverside 1

With Jane Wistow

This session will enable you to learn about the wide range of careers in social work, find out about the professionally-qualifying Master of Social Work programme at Durham University, and speak to academic staff leading on this course.

Sign-up here

10am - 11.30am: Crime Walk

Meeting point: 32 Old Elvet, Student Common Room (Through the front door and then the second room on the right)

With Dr David Honeywell

(Details as above)

Sign up here

10am - 12noon: Feminist Activism – How Sociology in Action Can be Applied to Violence and Abuse

Room ER140, Elvet Riverside 1

With Dr Ruth Lewis (Northumbria University), Prof Catherine Donovan and Dr Evgenia Korkodeilou

We’re currently seeing a tremendous resurgence of interest in all things feminism. Feminist activism has always been the beating heart of feminism but now is a moment of intense and extensive activism about a wide range of issues including (but not limited to) period poverty, abortion rights, sexual harassment and assault, sexual exploitation and trafficking, trans rights, intimate partner violence, migration and the treatment of migrant women, body image and oppression. Ruth Lewis, Associate Professor of Sociology at Northumbria University will talk about the history of feminist activism, the current landscape, and resistance to feminist activism. Speaking as an activist-scholar, she’ll reflect on what activism has brought to her own life, as well as to the movement towards liberation for all women.

Sign up here

For students, in addition to the programme:

  • Your normal seminars will continue to run during this week.
  • Consult your module handbook to confirm whether any lectures will happen during this week.
  • Please note: All Sociology and Criminology undergraduate students who would normally have a lecture on Monday are particularly expected to attend the ‘Fake News Day’ event. Those students who have a seminar during the day that is still running are welcome to just attend the part of the day.