But you may ask, how do ideas come? How is the imagination spurred to put all the images and facts together, to make images relevant and lend meaning to facts? All I can do is talk about the general conditions and a few simple techniques which seemed to increase my chances to come out with something - C. Wright Mills ‘The Sociological Imagination’Department of Sociology
Inside the department
General information about the Methods Lab.
Methods Lab research projects.
The latest publications from the Department of Sociology.
Events from the Methods Lab.
Contact details for the Methods Lab.
Goldsmiths Sociology is committed to developing inventive ways of doing sociology. This new initiative aims at constructing a laboratory for the practice of our sociological imaginations.
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 as well as to institute examples of 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 practising a sociological imagination in a world in which the fundamental coordinates of social life are held to be undergoing change. It is linked to the department’s MA teaching programmes, including the MA in Visual Sociology, MA in Social Research and the Masterclass in Feminist Methods, which is taught in conjunction with the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths.