Despite the persistent need to tackle social issuesSociology ignored [Archives:2005/874/Reportage]

September 5 2005

By Taiz Bureau
Despite the significance of sociology as a field of inquiry and its close relation with social issues, the findings of this human science are largely ignored. This theoretical science is marginalized and no attention drawn to it by the official parties in the country nor does it attract attention of the ordinary citizen who lacks awareness on the vitality of such a science.

Sociology is ignored despite the fact it is very important to the process of development, and several countries are perceived to rely on this science in suggesting cures for different social issues. Our focus is on sociology, its concept, its role and difficulties and barriers posed to it.

Integrated into life aspects

At the outset, Dr. Abdurrazaq Mahmoud, Head of the Department of Sociology, Taiz University talked about the concept of sociology and the role it plays in solving social issues. He defines sociology at the science which studies the social phenomena, human groups and it falls into several names such as the rural and urban sociology. This means sociology is the science that integrates in different lives of societies. Regarding the role of this science in the theoretical and practical aspect, Dr. Abdurrazaq said, “some British universities are interested in theoretical aspect while the American universities show more interest in the practical aspect, but the in the third world, this science faces plenty of obstacles restricting its role in real life situations.”

Study of the problem

Dr. Abdurraq mentioned the problem is difficult to study without field visits, quoting the phenomenon of divorce, an issue whose solutions can not be provided without making field tours and raising questions to the divorced in order to illicit their viewpoints. Fourth level students in the department of sociology finish their study without being given any assignment to conduct a field research on the phenomenon.

Viewed as atheistic department

Then we shifted to Dr. Omar Ishaq, Professor of Domestic Sociology who talked about difficulties facing its department during its establishment.

The Department of Sociology was founded in a time when people lacked awareness of the importance of this science, Dr. Omar said adding that numerous people are found to write about this science without visiting the department. Students are realized to join the department without any previous knowledge of what they will study. Most of those who join the department have low scores in the secondary education.

Mr. Abdussalam al-Yousifi , Head of the Department of Societal Guidance and Applied Psychology at the Higher Institute for Teachers gave us a similar viewpoint. He said the absence of the role of awareness on the role of sociology compelled numerous educational institutions to conduct studies on the rarest social issues.

“We are not aware of the benefits this science offers for society and the social issues,” Abdussalam Yousif added.

On her part, Horia al-Junaid, a demonstrator at the Department of Sociology, Taiz University said students join the department, but not out of self motivation and think that they will not have any role in the real life situation; a student is found to study at the department and at the same bear in mind that there is not value of his career.

What students say?

The viewpoints of students at the department should be studied and examined as they are though of as the main pillar in activating such a science and applying what they have studied in the real life situation. These students are supposed to play a vital role in raising public awareness about the importance of sociology in tackling different issues.

Mofid Othman a second level student at the Department of Sociology spoke about the main objective of joining this specialization saying: “studying at this department helps us get closer toward social issues and think we are part of this society which is full of complicated problems that are in need of immediate cures.

Najat Hassan, a first year student at the department pointed out: ” we were given assignments to study problems of our surrounding, among theme the lack of water and electricity, however no attention is drawn to these research areas by the concerned parties.” She added, “any sociologist should have integral role in schools, universities, companies and social cares.

Showing the reason for choice to study at the Department of Sociology, Muadh Mansour said, “I joined the department out of self-desire as this field is connected with our daily life; I have a desire to contribute to building my society and solving its issues, and sociology is the tool by the help of which we suggest solutions and cures for various problems.

Numerous students showed relatively similar desires for joining the Department of Sociology topped by their interest to help in suggesting solutions to some complicated social issues.