Welcome to the Methods Lab, Department of Sociology

Goldsmiths Sociology is committed to developing inventive ways of doing sociology. This new initiative aims at constructing a laboratory for the practice of sociological imagination. The aim is to make social research responsive to social life, to bring it alive. As C. Wright Mills alludes above ideas are often elusive and they don't announce their arrival in advance. This initiative hopes to build a laboratory to stimulate creative debate about the ways in which the practice of sociology is changing, what social research should look like today, and how sociology can best respond to the demands of users of social research.

About the Methods Lab
The danger that every researcher faces is that the process of analysis and investigation can inadvertently execute that which is vibrant in his or her object. Here the sociologist becomes like a coroner who presides over social life as if it is a lifeless corpse fit only for autopsy. We are arguing for a vital sociology that both connects to the social world, yet at the same time aspires to forms of sociological representation that are in themselves alive. This is the challenge of putting images and facts together, a compound of imagination and craft that will contribute to the development of social theory while opening out to an engagement with society at large.

The Lab is intended to provide a space for us to question and develop our own methods of sociological reasoning, to be open to the possibilities of practicing a sociological imagination in a world in which the fundamental co-ordinates of social life are held to be undergoing change. [Find out more...]

The Public and Private Lives of Iranian women

Wednesday 19th November, 5.00-6.30, + drinks reception, RHB Small Cinema, FREE EVENT

Accompanying image

Masserat Amir-Ebrahimi will discuss transformations in the public and privates lives of middle-class, urban Iranian women from the 1960s until the present day. The paper focuses especially on women's increasing significance as social and economic actors in the thirty-five years since the revolution in 1979, and on the sexual revolution that is today challenging the Islamic Republic.

Respondent: Gholam Khiabany (Media, Goldsmiths)

Chair: Mariam Motamedi-Fraser (Sociology, Goldsmiths)

Co-organised by and

Masserat Amir-Ebrahimi is an Urban Sociologist (MA) and Human Geographer (PhD from the University of Paris X – Nanterre). In 2006-2007 and in 2011 she held the Nikki Keddie Balzan Fellowship at UCLA, where she taught in the Sociology and Geography Departments. In Tehran she works as urban researcher and sociologist adviser to Engineer Consulting. Today she is a Fellow at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Her research focuses are on women, youth, Tehran, public spaces, public spheres and cyberspace.

News & Events

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  • In her talk 'Reading the Colonial Archive' written for the MA Gender, Media + Culture students, at Goldsmiths, Lata Mani reflected on her research journeys, including the making of her classic article 'Cultural Theory, Colonial Texts: Reading Eye Witness Accounts of Widow Burning' and the subsequent book 'Contentious Traditions'. Download the transcript here

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Content last modified: 17 Nov 2014

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