Podcasts Without Pictures: The Sociology Show

Educational podcasting – both with and without pictures – has become increasingly popular over the past few years as the wider availability of computer audio equipment, plus the ease of uploading and hosting content, has made producing such resources much quicker and easier.

The Sociology Show.
In case the branding’s not clear.

We’ve featured some examples of these podcasts in the past and while most are aimed at various types of revision – both for exam and as a catch-up resource – the latest podcast to pique our interest offers something slightly different, while also offering something slightly similar.

The Sociology Show, created and hosted by Matthew Wilkin, has been around since April 2020, during which time it has amassed a library of nearly 150 episodes ranging in length from 10 to 45 minutes (give-or-take), depending on what’s being covered and by whom.

By this I mean there are broadly, three types of podcast:

1. An academic talking about their research. These tend to be longer than average – around 30 – 45 minutes – mainly because academics like to talk slowly, and at great length, about the things that interest them. Mainly their research and themselves, although not necessarily in that order. Probably.

Overall there are an impressive number of sociologists you might have heard of (Hobbs, Hakim, Venkatesh…) and a substantial number who, it’s certain to say, you won’t. And while it’s a little serendipitous, listening to a few of the latter may well reap dividends when it comes to greater understanding of a topic. And Sociology as a whole, come to that.

2. Interviews with practicing sociology teachers / examiners about some aspect of the A-level course (such as Positivism and Interpretivism). These interviews tend to be shorter and much more focused on the everyday ideas and issues that confront sociology teachers and students. As such these are probably going to be the go-to interviews for most of the latter. They’re also the interviews where Wilkin tends to question / interact with the subject more – with some of the academic interviews it sometimes seems something of a struggle to get a word in edgeways…

3. A more-recent set of presentations seems to be the Student Takeover where a student or students talk about an area of sociology that either interests them or which they’ve researched as part of their studies, such as The Gig Economy in China researched by students of Richard Driscoll. I mention this partly because I’ve featured some of Richard’s students’ research previously on the Blog (such as their Gig Economy research). These presentations tend to be relatively short (a few minutes), submitted by teachers and illustrate just how competent a lot of Sociology students are.

The Sociology Shows are free – you can listen through the web site or, if you really must, through iTunes – and there’s always a short “Sponsorship announcement” (from companies like Collins and Tutor2U) you can listen to or skip through as is your wont.

While these are relatively harmless – and in the case of Collins you can get money-off their books – I did come across an ad for a National Lottery Scratch Card. It seemed a little…err…surprising and a bit odd to find a gambling advert on an educational platform, but no-doubt there’s a plausible explanation for it.

Be that as it may, while the resource is free, producing it clearly isn’t. So if you like it and use it and want to contribute to its continued existence you can make a donation at the Sociology Show’s GoFundMe page.

And even if you don’t donate, the Shows are well worth a listen.

And there are plenty from which to choose.

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