Goldclasses 2018: Community Studies

Date: 23-Mar-2018

Riots and responses: what needs fixing - individuals or society?

Lecturer: Dr. Naomi Thompson

Date: Friday 23rd March

Time: 14:00 – 16:00        

Location: Goldsmiths, University of London

About Goldclasses: At Goldsmiths, University of London we offer a range of subject-based masterclasses to give you a detailed insight of how teaching and learning is different at University level.

Developed and delivered alongside leading academics and research specialists, Goldclasses aim to stimulate enquiry, broaden subject knowledge and introduce students to a new way of academic thinking. Goldclasses offer radical, thought-provoking topics that showcase why Goldsmiths is at the forefront of cutting-edge research.

Information: This session will explore C. Wright Mills’ (1959) concept of the ‘sociological imagination’ and his theory that the individual cannot be viewed separately from the social context they inhabit. In particular, we will explore his idea that problems people face can either be viewed as ‘private troubles’ or ‘public issues’. We will use this framework to debate whether the 2011 riots represented problems with the individuals involved (private troubles) or were symptomatic of wider social problems (public issues).

We will consider whether politicians and the media frame social problems as private troubles or public issues, particularly in relation to young people. Particular ‘moral panics’ will be considered including ‘broken families’ and ‘teenage parents’. This session will expose how we may be led to view issues in a certain way that disguises inequalities and limits the ‘sociological imagination’, as well as how this affects policy and practice interventions for work with people.

The session will be of relevance to students interested in the areas of youth and community work, social work, social policy, sociology, criminology and other social sciences.

How to book your place: Please contact Jonathan at to book your place.

It may be possible to have reasonable travelling expenses reimbursed to attend an RO event/activity. You should check in advance with the university delivering the event to see if this is possible by contacting Jonathan Bridges at and to find out what you need to do.