Flying Aeroplanes and Other Sociological Tales
An Introduction to Sociology and Research Methods
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 30, 2020
Flying Aeroplanes and Other Sociological Tales is an introductory textbook for students wishing to learn about sociology and social research methods. Each of the short tales, told by a sociologist, introduces topics and research methods using an engaging storyline. The opening story narrates how the sociologist uses participant observation to understand the work of a commercial pilot, and how he feels about autopilot systems replacing his job of flying aeroplanes. Other tales feature topics such as education, health, crime, and gender. There is also a chapter on ‘lockdown’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. One main feature of the book is the ‘back door’ approach to teaching research methods, with chapters dedicated to exploring statistics, sampling, visual methods, documents, embodied methods, autoethnographic research and ethics. Traditional textbooks in sociology focus on what novice sociologists should do, but few, if any, comprehensively deal with overcoming problems as they might emerge and explain what to do when things go wrong. The sociological tales written in this book provide examples of when field access is denied, research participants refuse to take part, and when recording equipment has broken down. Each tale raises issues and problems for the sociologist to overcome, such as research design flaws, sampling bias, lack of rapport with research participants, and the problems with breaking ethical codes of conduct. The book provides insight into the role of the sociologist, why sociology matters, and what happens when sociology fails us. Flying Aeroplanes and Other Sociological Tales introduces a unique approach to teaching sociology and social research methods.
Table of Contents
1. Introducing Sociological Tales
2. Flying Aeroplanes
3. The Doctor and the Patient Sociologist
4. The Sociologist and the Stolen Bicycle
5. Class, Capital, and the Cambridge University Interview
6. Shopping in the City: From Pink Trainers to the Sexualisation of Women
7. The Vaccination Dilemma: Using Global Statistics to understand the Risks of Tuberculosis
8. Loneliness in London and Sampling Bias in Sociology
9. Life in Lockdown: An Embodied Account of the Coronavirus Pandemic
10. Reflections of an Imperfect Sociologist
Brian McDonough is Course Leader of Sociology at Solent University and teaches a range of sociological topics, including social inequalities, social theory, and social research methods. His research interests include work, expertise and the use of information and communication technologies in the workplace. His ethnographic research on ‘flying aeroplanes’ has been a key feature of his work to date.