Category Archives: Fun features

Sociology Desert Island Books


Too many books to prep yourself before university? Want to read something that wouldn’t overwhelm you with technical language? Then check out this Dessert Island books recommendation by our Sociology Editor, Jason, for his take on the most engaging books to read before university!

Erving Goffman, Presentation of the Self

Goffman uses the art of performance to illustrate how it is a representation of our everyday interactions. This fascinating account talks about how your interaction with another allows you to obtain information about the other person and the social encounter itself. Goffman’s work is also one of the few to focus on the Sociology of Emotions, especially that of embarrassment. This book is an engaging account that makes you reflect on how you act in social encounters and how one might reconsider certain taken-for-granted aspects of emotions in a sociological sense.

Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Where do we begin with Marx? This book is perhaps the best summary of his sociological and political ideas. The book is illustrative not only in a theoretical sense, but you get the sense of his passion in what he stood up for, making it a high energy reading any time of the day. The book gives a brief account of the future he foresaw under capitalism. While there are some errors in the future he foresaw, the book makes you reconsider the notion of communism contrary to mainstream ideas on the subject. Theoretically robust, Marx’s most famous work was written more than a hundred years ago and will most certainly remain a classic for years to come.

George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society

Why am I waiting so long in the queue? Why are they playing a particular genre of music in the restaurant? Why are the chairs of this restaurant so uncomfortable? Ritzer’s book provides a breath-taking insight into the workings of bureaucracies and how institutions have utilized the “McDonald’s model” to streamline their operations. It also offers an insight into how our lives have been segmented and structured almost into a bureaucracy in itself and engages you to eye-opening accounts of how and why we consume goods.

Peter Berger, Invitation to Sociology

Berger invites prospective Sociology students to discover the subject in a humourous and witty way. How will you introduce the subject itself at a dinner party? Why do you want to study Sociology? Which subject area would Sociology students be best friends with? Berger invites the reader to read sociology in a playful way and illuminates your thoughts on how sociology is connected to the wider field of the social sciences and our everyday lives.

Charles Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination

The Sociological Imagination is the most fundamental skill any sociologist can have. It is the foundation, execution and stimulus to the work we do. This book will offer you the insight to arguably the most valuable skill you will obtain in Sociology. It writes not only of its theoretical dimension, but its practical applicability in how you can make a difference to your everyday life, how you will reconsider social life and be able to assess critically the world around us.

Jason Chang

6 things to do in Exeter when you’re done for the year

The end of exams can be a confusing time. Is it really over? What to do?! Now you’ve come to the end of a busy year treat yourself by enjoying Exeter at its sunny finest.

1. Check out all the restaurants and cafés you’ve been meaning to all year

After spending the last three weeks in the library it can come as a surprise to remember that life exists outside of the campus bubble. Forget the meal deals and the curly fries and head to the city centre to check out what culinary delights are on offer.

2. Go crazy at the Quay

If the sun is out take your friends down to the Quay to chill by the river. If you’ve got cash to splash hire out a canoe and drift down to the Double Locks for a pint – just try not to fall in.

3. Shop shop shop! 

Exams don’t leave much time to update your wardrobe for the summer and many students, through some Student Finance miracle, tend to receive more money for this term. If you’ve got lots left over then make the most out of Exeter’s brilliant range of shops.

4. Make the most of the library

Once you’ve taken all those horribly heavy revision books back don’t forget that the library isn’t just about academic reading. Make the most of having thousands of books at your fingertips and discover something new to read now you don’t have to trawl through your compulsory reading. The library also has an extensive DVD selection, so you can host a movie night free of charge!

5. Visit all of Exeter’s landmarks

You’ve probably seen the Cathedral but have you ventured up Parliament Street, the narrowest street in England? Or visited the famous underground passages? There’s plenty to see and do that may have escaped you so far – why not have a look?

6. Go exploring!

There are plenty of places to visit in the South West that don’t take long on the train. Exmouth beach, the Donkey Sanctuary and Totnes Castle aren’t far away and can make a great day trip for your and your friends.


Gemma Joyce

Dissy selfies galore: Final years celebrate handing in their dissertations

This fateful week saw third years across the University hand in their dissertations. Here are a collection of celebration pictures from finalists in the department:


Danielle Bull and Caroline Horn


Abbie Farmer and Charlotte Pignatelli


Ellee Dowell


Issy Hoole, Jessica Parker and Gemma Joyce


Victoria May


Charlotte Pignatelli

Did we miss your dissertation hand-in pic? Tweet us your post-dissy snaps at @UoESPAnews!


Gemma Joyce