Over 50 Years of Sociology at Salford

By Mar.20, 2016


Professor Greg Smith & Professor Steve Edgell

A new collection of posters, outlining the history of sociology teaching and research at Salford, is on display in the Allerton Building.

Sociology was first taught at the University of Salford (then the Royal College of Advanced Technology) for a degree-level qualification in academic year 1963-64. Its first professor, W. H. (Bill) Scott, was a leading industrial sociologist who specialised in the mining industries so central to life in Lancashire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

He was succeeded in 1970 by Lorraine Baric, the first woman professor of sociology in the UK. A tireless networker and administrator, she encouraged the growth of programmes in sociology and the social sciences over the following decade.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 20.17.27The collection, made up of slides sketching the accomplishments of staff and students over a fifty year period, was developed by Professor Chris Birkbeck and Professor Greg Smith to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Sociology and Criminology group in 2013-14.

The posters feature student and staff photos, programme handbooks, class lists, international conferences and seminars, and some of the many books and articles produced by staff over the past half century.

The display builds on the archival research of Professor Steve Edgell, who initiated the History of Sociology at Salford (HoSS) project in 2008. HoSS has digital records covering numerous aspects of staff and student life.

Sociology is sometimes described as an ‘exporter’ subject whose concepts and methods are adopted by other academic disciplines. Sociology at Salford has always been porous at its edges, embracing closely related subjects such as anthropology, cultural studies and criminology that employ sociological ideas yet are distinct forms of inquiry in their own right. The posters chart the changing trends in sociological teaching and research through the lens of how it was done at Salford and how sociology adapted and flourished following multiple and ongoing internal reorganizations.

You can see the collection of posters in the suite of offices for Sociology and Criminology, which can be found at the end of the ‘L’ block corridor on the 5th floor of Allerton Building.

If anyone reading this has any material that would enhance the HoSS archive it would be appreciated greatly if you would contact Professor Greg Smith at g.w.h.smith@salford.ac.uk or 0161 295 4706.

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