Updated: Dec 8, 2020
How I Do Sociology!
My name is Muhammad Saeed. I am an undergraduate student and a Sociologist who happens to be among intellectuals and academics who see themselves as one. I attend Bayero University in Kano State, a university which is located in the Northern region of Nigeria.
Apart from my academic program, I am enrolled in an extracurricular activity called "ENACTUS". You may ask what does ENACTUS mean or what is it all about? Well, it is an association where students, academics and business orientated people come together and exchange ideas on how to impact the world around them. According to their website, ENACTUS stands for Entrepreneurial (igniting business innovation with integrity and passion), Action (the experience of social impact that sparks social enterprise), and Us (student, academic, and business leaders collaborating to create a better world).
Our association attempts to adopt and apply bureaucracy in things we do; we have laid down rules and regulations, we recruit & even promote our staff based on merit, we do away with partiality and we treat everyone equally, and we assign people to work according to their fields of specialization. For example, we assign engineering students to deal with machines to be used, computer science students to deal with technological applications and, of course, sociology students to deal with social processes and all social relationships.
I am privileged to be the project manager, which really contributes immensely to my practical experience as a sociologist. You might want to know what roles I play as the project manager. They are as follow:
1. I find out and inquire within my local community where social problem(s) are bedeviling them,
2. I organize the team for assessment and project execution,
3. I assign different tasks to different people after consulting the team lead,
4. I draw plans, write down the requirements and take pictures of the location where our projects will be taking place, and
5. I make sure all the protocols are duly observed and then make reports.
What I do as the Project Manager
As a sociologist, I make sure I use my sociological lens while dealing with any problem and while collaborating with my teammates. For example, during our project "girls child's education" I experienced difficulties and inconveniences while executing that project.
We went to a village where female children face discrimination and have no access to formal education. All they do is marketing (buying and selling) and once they are old enough, they are married off. This is a typical life pattern of that community (Kankare local government, Kano State, Nigeria). As a trained student of sociology, this is a deadly social problem which gives birth to many other social problems. For example, divorce, child labor and domestic violence. But, with the help of applying my sociological knowledge, many things came easier.
For example, I applied the method of division of labor. I know very well that alone I cannot accomplish the project. Therefore, I assign different people to do different things. Some people are responsible for orientating their parents about the importance of formal education and the need of them going back to school. While some people are responsible for partnering with state government for some help and assistance to be offered to make the project a real one.
And still, some are with me drawing the plans of how and when the project shall get done. This collaborative effort is how I was able to make it successful.
I do a lot of jobs and, mostly, I lead the team or I fall within the leading team and my sociological lens has been useful in helping me interact with groups and individuals.
Thanks to ENACTUS Bayero University, Kano and thanks to Applied worldwide for making me realized my potential, for without them, I would only be called a worker but they have allowed me to be called a sociologist.