As I prepare to close out another semester in two weeks I find myself considering my place in the academic structure, and eventually in the academic cannon. One thing I have become increasingly convinced of is that I do not belong in sociology, or at least not the version of sociology that is practiced at UNC Charlotte. My thoughts regarding what sociology is have been repeatedly dismissed in favor of what the faculty perceives sociology to be. I suppose this is a problem faced in every graduate academic department as each embraces its own unique epistemology. Unfortunately I thought I was more compatible with my department than I now find myself.
I am about three courses and a thesis from being done with the program, so I am not all that concerned with changing programs at this point, but I am concerned about how I am going to finish the program. If there is one thing that I have learned from the Issues in Social Research course that I’m taking this semester it is that there are many ways to conduct social research and many ways to “do sociology”. That idea alone gives me hope regarding my ability to complete a thesis that is meaningful to me as well as is acceptable to my faculty.
I feel as though my background in critical theory, post-modernism and cultural analysis has contaminated me in such a way that prevents me from being able to embrace more empirical methods of doing social science.