Origins of Sociology: PowerPoint

This new PowerPoint Presentation introduces students to some (okay, 9) of Sociology’s founders, from the Big Three of Marx, Durkheim and Weber to lesser-known, but equally important in their own way, names such as Harriet Martineau and William Du Bois.

And while Sociology Specifications in the UK no-longer feature discrete sections on the Founders of Sociology this doesn’t mean a quick and relatively simple introduction to sociology’s origins isn’t both useful and academically important.

Many of the writers featured in the Presentation are not merely historically significant. Their ideas and work still, in many cases, inform contemporary sociology. They are, in this respect, writers that students will come across time and again throughout their course of study – either as contributors to our understanding of social processes in their own right or, in some cases, founders of, or major contributors to, the various sociological perspectives that seem to form such a large part of the various curricula.

In terms of the Presentation itself, it’s designed to be used in a kiosk style: students view the Presentation individually rather than as a classroom group. And because it’s not the usual kind of

“here’s a load of bullet points that I’m going to show you and then slowly read aloud to you” PowerPoint, the Presentation might take a little getting used to.

Having said that, I’ve included simple Instructions (using a nifty little menu system, of which I’m not a little proud) and once students start to play around with the Presentation they should pick it up fairly quickly.

There are two versions of the Presentation you can download:

1. Origins of Sociology PowerPoint Show is a standalone (.ppsx) version that doesn’t need a copy of PowerPoint to run. It also means that if you have an earlier version of PowerPoint on your system the file will still play. The only downside to using this version is that when you try to download it from this site some browsers will warn you the file is “unsafe”. What they mean is that it could conceivably contain a virus. This warning is given because what you’re downloading is a runtime program – a program that will run automatically once you click it (a bit like an app or an exe file). Since PowerPoint Presentations can contain macro files than can be used to change files in ways that might well be construed as “unwanted” this type of warning is both fair and useful.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have an up-to-date version of PowerPoint (2021 onward) and you load the alternative version I’ve provided into it (see below) then it will very likely not work because earlier versions don’t support the morph and zoom functions used in this Presentation.

If in doubt, therefore, download this version and run it through a virus check (or disable macros in your version of PowerPoint). Since it doesn’t contain macros there is nothing untoward about the file and it’s perfectly safe to run.

2. Origins of Sociology PowerPoint is a version (.pptx) that will load into PowerPoint if you have it on your system. This must be 2021 onward (this includes Microsoft 365) otherwise some of the functioning will get messed-up and the Presentation won’t work as intended (presupposing you can even load this file into earlier versions of PowerPoint).

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