By Lynn Jamieson, former BSA President
Another ‘sociology and feminism’ event took place in London on 11 December 2018 attended by 90 school pupils from 4 secondary schools in the King’s Cross area of London. This has been an annual event since 2015, initiated when I was BSA president. The formula is that a small panel of academic sociologists and sociologically-informed activists have ten minutes each to showcase the intersections of sociology and feminism in their work, then a full hour is devoted to dialogue with the audience, which I chair, seeking to maximise audience participation. The intention is to give pupils from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to glimpse, and perhaps explore, the relevance of sociology and feminism to issues that are important in their own lives.
On this occasion, Aisha Phoenix (SOAS, University of London) spoke about research on perceptions of Islam and anti-Muslim racism on university campuses; Aaron Winter (University of East London) on research exploring the workings of racist and misogynist movements and discourses; Stevi Jackson (University of York) on gender, sexuality and cultural understandings of appropriate sexual conduct; Karen Ingala Smith (chief executive of NIA) on how sociology and feminism informs her practical and campaigning work around gender and violence. A very lively and wide-ranging dialogue with the school pupils and their teachers followed.
I understand the BSA executive wishes the tradition to continue and perhaps be extended to an additional event in Scotland in 2019.