Sociology is a safe investment for students

UVic sociology department chair refutes Tom Fletcher column

Re: Swapping sociology for socket sets (B.C. Views, Sept. 26)

Tom Fletcher’s column presents a number of misguided claims designed to lend rhetorical support to the provincial government’s intention to invest in trade and technical school facilities.

Fletcher argues that the government’s emphasis on shop upgrades in trade and technical schools implies that “dead-end programs dear to the hearts of last year’s Occupy campers will feel the pinch.”

He singles out sociology and women’s studies as examples of “aimless study” leading to unemployment (and social activism).

Fletcher’s concern seems to be that today’s students need to select courses that ensure a “safe investment” for themselves, their parents and society at large.

Sociology is a safe investment.  Sociologists have always focused on and provided necessary insights into relevant contemporary issues.

Sociologists at the University of Victoria are addressing some of the biggest questions facing government today. For instance, UVic sociologists are helping the province design health care policy on older adults living in long-term care facilities – policy shaping the lives of our parents and grandparents.

They are conducting research on increasing barriers placed on access to information and the right to know what government is doing. UVic sociologists are conducting policy research on crime control strategies, incarceration and prisons.

Last but not least, sociologists at UVic are providing training in research design, quantitative reasoning, objective data analysis and policy-relevant issues that dominate government agendas.

When a student majors in sociology, she studies a core curriculum aimed at developing competent research skills applicable to today’s world (and labour market).

Rather than relying on stereotypes and rhetorical nonsense to incite populist indignation, sociology students learn how to enact explanations that are informed by and based on clear evidence. To be sure, sociologists are passionate about and deeply committed to their research pursuits focused on maternity care, aging, dementia, blood donation, depression, weapons use and international human rights.

Passion and commitment, combined with sound research skills, are the hallmarks of all scientific pursuits.

The evidence indicates that sociology is one of the safest investments available to ensure social policy informed by evidence and sound research.

Sean Hier

chair, Sociology Department University of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Multiple Victoria officers injured during violent incidents, including mental health calls over long weekend

Police deploy pepper spray, conducted energy weapon while arresting suspect

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read