Sociology in Foreign Scientific Fields: The Students' Perspective in the Portuguese Higher Education System

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Catarina EGREJA, CIES / ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
In the last four decades, sociology has gained a lot of importance in the higher education and research level, in Portugal. This growth, along with a gain in reputation, is found not only within the social sciences, but also in other areas of knowledge, fostering multidisciplinary scientific production. At the education level - not the teaching of sociology as a major scientific field, but its mobilization by graduations of other scientific areas in higher education - the intervention is often performed through 'specialized sociologies'.

This proposal is the result of research done within a doctoral project, entitled 'The role of Sociology in multidisciplinary educational and research contexts” (Ref FCT:. SFRH/BD/84515/2012). First, a list of the Portuguese higher education undergraduate programs that provide one or more curricular units in the area of Sociology (concerning the 2013/2014 academic year) was collected, along with a few additional variables, and organized by scientific fields. The next aim was to understand how the discipline stands within the general scope of the undergraduate program and what its usefulness is - both planned, and perceived -, so pairs of coordinators / sociology teachers’ were interviewed (in a total of seventeen institutions nationwide). Finally, an online survey was applied to students taking these undergraduate programs, in order to understand to what extent they see value in sociology, both in their training as well as in their future. What role does Sociology play in the interaction between the labor market, the educational sphere and youth in these contexts? Results will be presented, namely regarding if they had prior contacts with sociology; the level of interest regarding sociology as a science; skills and competences learned; its usefulness within the educational curriculum; and, finally, its perceived usefulness for their future professional activities.