About SOA

We are a group of sociologists who have the common experience of being situated largely outside of academia, or who do not fit the 'traditional' profile of institutionally-based sociologists.  There are currently around 250 members.  

Our group is a reminder that

  • Sociologists inhabit a wide spectrum of settings, and work in all kinds of areas, from business and commerce to the public sector to charities and voluntary organisations.
  • Only a minority of sociology graduates have permanent associations with academic institutions.
  • The BSA is there to support all sociologists.


The SOA group has been established to:

  • Raise the profile of sociologists working largely outside academic institutions.
  • Raise the status of sociological work undertaken beyond an academic context.
  • Raise awareness of the support needed for sociologists outside academia.
  • Strengthen our professional identities as sociologists working in all areas.
  • Recognise that most sociologists do not plan to work in an academic institution for all, or even part of their careers after graduating.

What We Do

Over the past four years we have:

  • Developed a resource pack to help SOAs gain access to academic library resources.
  • Established (with the support of the BSA) a register of sociologists willing to speak to schools and colleges about careers as a  sociologist.
  • Explored possibilities to recruit new sociology graduates to the Group and to the BSA.
  • Launched an initiative to develop ‘Practical Sociology’ with a meeting in October 2016.