Thinking about how things are and how we might make them all we’d wish for has always been my thing. And now it’s my thing back at the University of Liverpool, after a 40 year working gap, where I’m now doing an MA and PhD. Studying sociology and utopias.
Begun in September 2018, this is due to take me four years and like the other work I’ve done in my life I’m writing about it on here. As well as the subjects and research, I’m writing about the whole experience. Of going into this level of academic work after so many years away. Working on the craft of becoming a social scientist after so many practical years of working with communities and enterprises in their places, particularly Liverpool.
Obviously the academic work I’ll do will be related to what I’ve been working on for most of my life, it can’t be otherwise. But I’m now looking at things I thought I knew about in new ways, and learning and thinking about entirely new things too. Like what’s a sociological imagination, and what might I do with it?
I seem to be learning about new things every week, most of which are big news to me, and therefore to be written about when I get time in the, admittedly extreme, academic essay writing busyness.
I also want to write about how it all feels, too. Going back and doing academic things after so much time away. Changing the life rhythms and working habits of a lifetime and working in the kind of academic culture I’ve long viewed as remote from on the streets realty. Is that even true? And how is it all working out?
There’ll be stories, poems, bits of my actual essays, theories and, as time goes by, some utopian thoughts (there’d better be).
So read on and let’s see what happens?
- Liverpool and Sociology in 1973
- Walking Round Port Sunlight
- Some Thoughts: On the balance of my life changing
- Field notes: A Global Sense of Place
- Eleanor Rathbone of Liverpool
- In a Quiet Corner: Getting Going
- Early Morning in the Library
- The Sociological Imagination
- The Art of Listening
- On Smithdown: Off the buses
- The Rhythm and The Craft
- A Day to Myself
- I’m Not Reading Enough
- When Numbers Get Serious
- On Smithdown: Walking Home
- Time in the Future
- All is calm, all is dark: December thoughts
- The Anthropocene
- Learning the Craft
- These Early Mornings
- The Waters of Mars: Seeing Like a Rover
- On taking time off
- It’s About Time
- Visual Methods: A Tale of Two City Centres
- Looking For Utopia
- The Lifeblood of a City
- Music to Write By
- A Day Off In New Brighton
- Writing Down The Bones
- The Art Of Writing
- Walking Through Time
- The Writing of Fiction
- Farewell Eleanor
- Outside, after all of that
- Walking in the City
- On a Train to Utopia: Manchester
- To Granby: On a Utopian Morning
- Walking to Work
- Sociology During a Pandemic
- Home Life During a Pandemic
- Music to Write By
- It Will Take The Time It Takes: Lockdown Writing
- On Being a Social Scientist: In public
- In Sunlight Autumn
- Particular Cases of the Possible
- Inside the North Docks
- Walking Through Time: The South Docks
- The Versions of Us
- The Art of Sociology?
- We’re all at the Open University now