Welcome to 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...]

SPACE & GAZE: Installation of the exhibition:

Viewers of the exhiition after The Annual Methods Lab lecture



Upcoming Events

More events coming soon, please check back regularly.

Conversations with Jean Mohr & Edward Said in Palestine 

Several events are being held in conjunction Space and Glaze exhibition. For more information, please click here:‌

(Kingsway Corridor, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, Nov 2013 – June 2014)‌
Lewisham Way, New Cross, London SE14 6NW

In 1983 Jean Mohr was commissioned by the UN, on Edward Said’s recommendation, to take photos of some of the key sites in which Palestinians lived their lives. Because the UN allowed only minimal text (the names of places) to accompany the photographs, Said and Mohr decided to work together on an 'interplay', as Said put it, of Said's personal account of Palestinian suffering and exile and Mohr's photographs – 'an unconventional, hybrid, and fragmentary [form] of expression' - which they called After the Last Sky (1986).
For the first time Mohr’s images and Said’s text are brought together in the form of an exhibition. Borders, migrations, labour, displacement, diaspora and memory percolate through the words and images in After the Last Sky. So too does the symbolic violence of the intimate, close-up view. The place of the observer – photographer, researcher or  journalist – becoming a source of debate. Mohr’s photographs are an invitation to look again, with a critical eye.
Amidst the shifting lines and technologies of dispossession and occupation, landscapes have been transformed and places have been erased and re-named since Mohr took his photographs. Both the text and images in Space & Gaze prompt a dialogue with voluminous images of Palestinian lives that circulate internationally. Inviting reflections on the changes and continuities that have taken place over time not only with respect to how Palestinians have been seen, but also how they have chosen to see and show themselves. The exhibition includes contemporary photographers from Palestine – Ahmad Daghlas, Arine Rinawi, Fadi Arouri, Hatem Moussa and Muthanna Al-QadiOn.‌

Our aim is to extend and develop engagement with this installation through a series of workshops and events. We also welcome autonomously organised events and responses to the exhibition.This exhibition has been financed by the Sociology Department, the Enterprise Office and Goldsmiths’ inter-disciplinary development.Credits: Photographs by Jean MohrExcerpts from AFTER THE LAST SKY by Edward Said. Copyright ©1999 by Edward W. Said and Jean Mohr, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LCC

Content last modified: 08 Apr 2014

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