Global Social Challenges

Global Social Challenges is a year one course unit for social science students at The University of Manchester. Students are learning about a number of key challenges – including climate change, terrorism and global inequality – that affect everyone.

They also learn how a sociological perspective can illuminate the causes, impacts and possible solutions to these urgent issues. Mainstream media commentaries on such topics often lack an appreciation of social context in understanding these problems and evaluating solutions, so students will also be encouraged to use the knowledge they gain to inform public debate. This is inspired by the idea of ‘public sociology’ (see, e.g., the Discover Society blog) as well as evidence-based news websites such as The Conversation or OpenDemocracy.

Students have written short blog posts that demonstrate the impact of social scientific thinking on their understanding of current social challenges. The purpose of this website is to share the best student work, encouraging our students to become public sociologists from year one. Each year, a judging panel of sociologists and public communications professionals select the best of our new blogs – read all the prize-winning articles.

Global Social Challenges 2019-20 is convened by Elisa Pieri. Ali Siles is web editor.