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UCC Bachelor of Social Science Magazine CK102 September 2013
NEWS AND ACTIVITIES
FUN SOCIAL EVENTS
Shane Horgan, Class of 2012, speaks about his postgraduate experience
Vox Soc - UCC’s new Social Science society!
Research Update Critical Social Thinking
Alacoque McGovern reflects on her placement experience in Kenya
BSoc Research Profile
The Social Science Ball 2013 - ‘A Night at the Movies’
SOCIAL SCIENCE NEWS AND STUDENT ACTIVITIES It’s been a busy year as always for the Social Science students and lecturers. At the beginning of the new academic term, we pause to reflect on all the exciting events, achievements and activities of the previous year! The academic year always passes us by so quickly that we hardly have time to catch our breath and to reflect on all that has been accomplished. It seems opportune now, as our new first years join us, to look back on our students’ achievements throughout 2012/13. Congratulations, firstly, to Elaine Winters, who was awarded special commendation in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Undergraduate Awards ceremony. Elaine received a Major Award in recognition of her scholarly performance. We are very proud that she is a part of our BSoc student class and we wish her every success in the future. Congratulations also to Tairin Biasci and Fiona Condon, who each received the title of
Critical Social Thinking Authors L-R: Becci Jeffers, Eimear Breathnach, Jane O’Sullivan, Lucia Chisholm, Valentine Healy, Sarah Gallagher
College Scholar on the basis of their excellent academic abilities and performances. Some of our recent graduates also published articles, based on dissertations and continuing research interests, in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the School of Applied Social Studies Critical Social Thinking Journal, including Eimear Breathnach, Stella Flattery, Helen Norris, Caoimhe Knox, Laura McCarthy, Becci Jeffers, Valentine Healy, Sarah Gallagher and John Kidney. Congratulations to all authors on what will hopefully be the first of many publications! These and other graduates’ articles can be accessed online at http://cst.ucc.ie. We are also excited to note the establishment in 2012 of the VoxSoc society, which is ‘the student voice of Social Science’ on UCC’s campus. You can read more about the society’s activities on Page 6 of this newsletter. Thanks to all our students for a great 2012/13 and here’s to the new academic year!
The BSoc Team
RESEARCH UPDATE Lecturers on the Social Science programme are engaged in a range of academic pursuits which contribute to our understanding of social issues, as well as to policy development and analysis in a diversity of topics. Here, we profile some current activities which inform our teaching on the BSoc. Social Science lecturers and staff from across the School of Social Policy: A Critical Introduction, which has become core reading for Applied Social studies have been incredibly busy and productive social science students throughout Ireland and abroad. They have also through their engagement in a variety of research activities over the past published on the impact of the economic crisis on the Irish welfare year.
state. Joe Finnerty contributes to housing policy analysis through his On February 11th, the School of Applied Social Studies hosted an active participation in a number of national and international forums,
event to celebrate and display the numerous articles, journal including the European Network of Housing Researchers (ENHR). contributions and books published over the past 18 months by our
Rosie Meade, continues to act as editor for the Community
academic staff members. The event was launched by Professor Peadar Development Journal and has edited a text with colleagues, Youth and Kirby of the University of Limerick, who warmly congratulated the Community Work in Ireland: Critical Perspectives, which is also core School on its achievements.
reading on social science programmes.
Rosie has also published
The School celebrates its success in securing funding for a number research this year on ‘Community Development and the Arts’ and, with of collaborative research projects. Cathal O’Connell, Senior Lecturer in Fiona Dukelow, is producing an edition collection, Defining Events: Social Policy and Director of the Social Science programme, was Power, resistance and identity in 21st century Ireland, which is due to be awarded an Irish Research Council (IRC) grant for his study on Children published later this year by Manchester University Press. Research on and Housing Estate Regeneration. Lecturers Liz Kiely and Máire Leane race, sex and jazz in 1920s and 1930s Ireland, published by BSocSc also won IRC funding for their research on the Commercialisation and lecturer and course team member Eileen Hogan, was the basis of a Lyric Sexualisation of Children.
Head of School, Professor Fred
FM documentary called ‘Out with Paganism’ which was aired in
Powell, received funding for two projects: Irish Child Abuse
Inquiries in Social and Cultural Context and Volunteer-led
There is not enough space to include all activities and
Youth Work. Lecturers Deirdre Horgan, Shirley Martin, and
further texts are profiled in images below, but as you can
Catherine Forde also won an IRC grant for their research,
see, our lecturers are active in developing research
Seen and not heard? The lived realities of children and
which informs teaching on the BSoc in a lively and
young people’s participation in Ireland in their homes,
topical way. For further details, see our School webpage
schools and communities.
Lecturers on the BSoc Course Team have been busy too pursuing a diverse range of projects and interests. Mairéad Considine and Fiona Dukelow, enjoy continued success with their book, Irish
*Image ‘Profile of a Researcher’ courtesy of http://magonia.haaan.com
THE IMPACT OF THE RECESSION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND SUPPORT SERVICES IN IRELAND: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY by Claire Harney, BSocSc, Class of 2011
violence in Ireland. The fieldwork
there, and that’s what makes the difference
investigation is composed of a focus-
between going down the slide with the
group interview of five service providers
economy or pulling our own to know that
working in a women’s refuge in Ireland and
these women are being looked after. As
analyses how women and services are
long as it’s possible we will keep going and
being affected in the context of the current
give the best that we can possibly give
Irish economic crisis.
The knowledge obtained in this research study has shown in some ways
Claire’s full article can be accessed at:
the consequences and costs associated
with dealing with the issue of domestic
violence in the light of economic crisis.
However, as this is an undergraduate
My research focuses on domestic
study there are time limitations and more
violence against women in Ireland in the
research is needed in the future to add to
current context of the economic recession.
the existing body of knowledge. The
The paper explores how the financial crisis
contribution of this work serves to bring to
is, firstly, impacting on the women who are
light the experiences behind the recent rise
experiencing domestic abuse and
in domestic violence cases into which little
secondly, on the services that can be
research has been done. To conclude,
provided for women. The literature review
there was a consensus between the
briefly examines the nature and
participants in the study that although
characteristics of domestic violence
services are being affected, it is reassuring
against women, exploring feminist theories
to know that supports are still in place to
of domestic violence. A review of the
assist women. As one participant
policy portrays the evolution of domestic
comments, ‘the passion and emotion is
an interest for everyone. For me, that interest was sociology and criminology.
I am currently a student at the University of Edinburgh finishing my Masters degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. During my
Shane Horgan, BSocSc graduate, is completing a Masters in Criminology in Edinburgh. Here he reminisces about his BSoc experience and outlines his current studies. I began my undergraduate degree in Social Science at University College Cork in 2009. I distinctly remember the panic I felt when I thought of studying five new subjects that I’d never heard much about before. However, as soon I started to develop my knowledge in the five key areas - Social Policy, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy and Economics - the course opened my eyes to a whole new world of literature, ideas and events that I’d never before given attention.
opinion the degree, while laying the foundation for my career path, has something in it to spark
The BSocSc provides two opportunities
time here I have found that the theoretical
to go on ‘work placement’ relevant to your
knowledge and insight I gained on the BSocSc
studies. I had always taken an interest in the
provided an invaluable cornerstone to my
police and went in search of an appropriate
studies in the areas of theoretical criminology,
experience. When it came to the final year of
surveillance and security, and the sociology of
my degree I had spent more 750 hours over
the police. I hope, after finishing my Masters,
two summer breaks with the Laredo Police
to begin my doctoral studies next year at the
Department in Laredo, Texas, working in the
University of Edinburgh examining cybercrime
field. Whilst there I took part in range of law
and fear of crime. My long-term goal is to
enforcement activities, developed a diverse set
remain in a University setting to continue my
of skills, met some truly amazing people and
research and teach criminology to those that
had the most memorable time of my life in the
enjoy the subject as much as I do.
process. It allowed me to determine at an early stage exactly where my primary interests lay and to focus myself on my ideal career path. The research project that BSocSc students complete in their final year allowed me to engage with the area of criminology and the sociology of the police and conduct my own research on the topics that I found most interesting, adding further focus to my chosen career path and increased my prospects for Shane (centre) with colleagues in Laredo Police Department in Laredo, Texas
MY PLACEMENT EXPERIENCE Fieldwork Placements are an attractive aspect of the Social Science programme, through which students can gain valuable experience. Alacoque McGovern travelled to Kenya with the organisation SUAS to undertake her placement. Here, she describes the highs and lows of her time spent working as an assistant teacher in Mombassa.
Children from Mombassa who are enrolled in SUAS’s Kenyan project
This summer I volunteered with SUAS, a
which had been skipped
youth and education focused organisation, with
over without disrupting the
programmes in India, Ireland and Kenya. I first
curriculum the teacher was
submitted an application form, attended an
working through. I was really
interview and was then offered the opportunity
anxious before going out, not
to work as an assistant teacher in a community
being a teacher but a second year
based school in Mombassa on the East Coast
social science student, but soon realised I was
of Kenya. Each volunteer had to fundraise
in a group of 12 other volunteers who felt the
€3000. The placement was 10 weeks long and
also included three training weekends in
Working with the children in class when
Maynooth beforehand and a return weekend a
they’re all so happy and enthusiastic and neatly
month or so after we got home. There was
turned-out, it’s very easy to think that the rest
also a one week workshop which takes place
of their lives are as blissful, but every now and
half-way through the placement on the
then you get a glimpse of what life in Kenya
challenges of development facilitated by staff
involves for many people, and a reminder that
from the UN, government and development
we don’t really have a clue what the children’s
situation is once they leave school each day.
Starting school was something all of us
Some experiences can be hard to deal
had looked forward to for a long time. It had
with at times, even just walking along the street
been what all the preparation and training and
and having very young children coming up and
fundraising were all about, so I was very eager
asking for food or money is a constant
to get started!
A normal school day was
reminder of the extreme poverty that exists. I
usually 8.00am-3.00pm but it wasn't all
suppose all we can do is remind ourselves that
academic. Often we taught songs, played
we cannot save the world in the ten weeks that
games and had P.E classes (The kids were mad
we are there. All we can do is work as hard as
for football!). I was one of the lucky ones and
we can in our schools to try and improve the
got a small class of 60 or so with ages ranging
education of the children who attend for the
from 12 to 16 but working with their teacher I
short time we are there, and also in the long
learned so much and was able to teach basics
term after they have left school in whatever
we have so much more to learn from the staff and pupils we work with, and people we encountered every day. And if I can use what I have learned there, now that I have returned home, then there is even more potential to make a real difference. Having spent the summer in Kenya I realised how much what I am being taught in my course really relates. I knew going out there that a lot of the poverty on a micro level comes from the economics at a macro level and that social research really plays it part, as without it we can't plan properly. Modules on Development in a Global Perspective gave me the ability to see other people’s views and to critically analyse what we were actually doing and achieving out there. I was also able to compare and contrast different policies that were in place (or lack thereof) in Kenya and here in Ireland. The summer really opened my eyes to a little of what's going on around me.
what is social science? WANT TO FIND OUT MORE? Social science is a dynamic and exciting area
Detailed information on the Social Science
of study which invites students to investigate
degree (CK102) is available through the
our social worlds. As a social science student,
you will be part of a vibrant class group that
• http://www.ucc.ie/en/appsoc/ps/courses/ ug/ck102/
shares your curiosity about social issues, engages in lively debate and excites your motivation for bringing about positive social
Or, contact us to speak with one of the team!
way we can. But whatever it is we
teach, or think we have taught, I feel that
SCHOOL OF APPLIED SOCIAL STUDIES Tel: 021 4902228 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
future of humanity, were drawn out in a relaxed and educative way. These themes followed through in other events, for instance the open forum
discussions on Women’s Rights, Free Education and Euthanasia. Due to the topical nature of abortion this year, the purpose of the Women’s Rights discussion was to determine whether or not there is a need for a ‘new’ women’s movement in Ireland and, in that case, what should define it? Another student-led event was an open forum discussion, attended by
Vox Soc is UCC's new Social Science Society! As the student voice of social science, Vox Soc’s mission is to enliven debate on social issues in these uncertain times. Members of the Vox Soc committee report on the year’s activities.
members of UCC’s political youth wings, to give insight into the different educational policies held by Ireland’s political parties.
Members of the
panel were asked questions about their party’s stance on free education and the maintenance grant.
Interestingly, the panel was comprised of
students and yet at least half of those demonstrated an interest in raising
In 2012, a group of fun, ambitious, and social justice-oriented first
university education fees and cutting the grant.
As bizarre as this may
year students mobilised around some of the key issues that they believed
sound, it gave the audience a practical lesson about ideology and its
were not addressed by other societies on campus - voice and
implications for social policy. In a similar way, the euthanasia debate with
representation, social justice and empowerment. That same year Vox Soc,
guest speakers Dr. Vittorio Bufacchi, a philosophy lecturer and Kathy
UCC’s Social Science Society, was established with the aim of raising
Sinnott, a disability rights campaigner, assisted the audience to negotiate
awareness about the practical, philosophical and public application of the
the complex ethical and political questions surrounding the subject.
social sciences on campus. From the onset, its objectives were to develop
The last event of the year, the Three Year Class Party, was held in the
networks with organisations and campaigns that challenge prominent
Oliver Plunkett Bar in the city centre and welcomed every student studying
social issues and to facilitate open forum discussions on contemporary
Social Science. It was a great night to celebrate the end of an exciting
social debates. Vox Soc’s first year has proven to be a great success, with
a membership which has extended beyond the Social Science course into
Elvirus, so everyone’s taste was satisfied and there was plenty of free
the Humanities and Sciences.
flowing chatter, laughter and music.
As important and interesting as this all
sounds, the society has a softer side too.
Students were invited to request music weeks in advance by DJ
Alongside the regular
Next year the society is aiming even higher! Amongst other things, the
sociological and philosophical banter, movie screenings, quiz nights and
committee intends to host the annual Social Science ball. Truly, they have
course parties all fall under the society’s remit.
proven themselves a worthy advisory, through a lot of work, dedication and
Some popular events this year included discussions of some key themes in The Hunger Games and Children of Men.
enthusiasm. You can join Vox Soc at www.facebook.com/uccvoxsoc.
Excerpts from the
movies were screened while members indulged on pizza and in no time chat ensued. Core ideas effecting society such as totalitarianism, segregation, class politics, the ‘end of capitalism’, biopolitics and the
SOCIAL SCIENCE BALL 2013 Students from first through third year found opportunity to speak about
The Social Science Ball took place on Thursday 7th March. BSocSc graduate and current tutor, Becci Jeffers, reports on the ‘A Night at the Movies’themed event.
past experiences and future plans, together with a few more themes … I’m sure. When the music finally picked up, with the familiar lyrics “her name is Noelle, I have a dream about her”, from the 00’s classic Teenage Dirtbag, the dance floor exploded with singing, laughter and
Unlike any other night out I have had recently, this night was
dance. As the music continued, a concession stand stocked with iced
planned weeks in advance and I was unusually well dressed. I walked
drinks and popcorn opened. The excitement with which this simple
down the steps from my flat and towards the Clarion Hotel, meeting a
little treasure was greeted was something to behold, particularly when
friend along the way. Inching our way through the door into the foyer -
you consider that everyone had just finished a three course meal!
having not worn heels in at least six months - I could hear music and
Other than the brief uncomfortable moments when people were
smell popcorn. ‘Tickets please’, two bouncers requested our tickets
cornered by their tutor (me!), everyone was well and truly relaxed - the
which read ‘Cinema Ticket to UCC Social Science Ball’.
thoughts of the upcoming exams and dissertation submissions had
This year’s Social Science Ball was organised by two social
melted away into their slushies. Suit jackets and high heels were
science students in second and third year. It was held in the Clarion
bundled onto chairs, in the safekeeping of friends who secured a table
Hotel on Thursday the 7th of March 2013. Themed around ‘A Night of
to talk. A DJ set started up and needless to say the core group on the
the Movies’, the bar and dining area were decorated by large movie
dance floor were holding strong. Toward the end of the set at around
prints, from Dark Shadows to Cirque du Soleil. Thirteen dressed tables,
2am when the lights came up, the scattering of people still partying
littered with jelly beans and popcorn, stretched across the banquet
joined in one last song, arms around each other, searching for friends,
room stopping short of a dance floor and stage.
shoes and jackets, believing the night was still young.
After the meal Jobless, a Cork band, started their setup and
people began to move between the hall, the bar and the bridge.
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‘A Night at the Movies’