The meaning of work, culture and everything

8th June 2001 at 01:00
Sociology Teacher, Newlands Girls' School, Maidenhead, Berkshire

It is an enduring urban myth that in the lavatory of one of our trendier universities can be found a loo roll holder inscribed "Sociology degrees - please take one".

This vile and unjust calumny takes no account of the long hours spent working out the difference between ethnomethodology and phenomenology. And the theories just keep coming. Post-modernism is old hat and patriarchy is passe. Up-to-date sociologists are interested in whether the rainbow coalition of anti-capitalists could herald a new interpretation of Marxism and so keep everyone in business for a few more years.

Sociology is a popular choice in most sixth forms and Maidenhead's Newlands Girls' school is no exception. It is looking for omeone to take the subject at ASA2 and, depending what second subject is offered, the job could be full- or part-time.

Applicants may be tempted to speculate whether the concept of full- or part-time work is false, work for a wage being, by definition, alienating in all its contexts. Perhaps it wouldn't be a good idea to raise this at an interview.

In a girls' school, teachers might want to explore gender issues, or there's politics. Although traditionally a complete turn-off, the section on power in Michael Haralambos's classic A-level textbook could help the girls to understand that whilst elections may seem trivial, tedious and tawdry, the alternatives don't bear thinking about.

For job details, telephone the school on 01628 625068.

Phil Revell


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