Teresa Crew, PhD: Applied Sociology and Diversity in Higher Education


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Teresa Crew began her applied sociology career by earning her B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She later went on to earn an M.A. Social Research and Social Policy and Ph.D. Social Policy. Her work focuses on "trajectories into and beyond [higher education]; diversity in academia, as well as inequalities relating to 'Class' and Gypsy Travellers." You can connect with Dr. Crew on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Read the full interview with Dr. Crew on her work in applied sociology below!

Teresa Crew, PhD


Using Sociology in Practice


In general, how do you use sociology in practice?


I use sociology to help support people experiencing inequalities


How do you use sociological research methods in practice?


I focus on telling the stories of various disadvantaged groups. But I also bring them into my practice so I work with them rather than do research 'on' them.


How do you use sociological theory in practice?


I draw upon Yosso 2005, Bourdieu (various) as well as Vélez-Ibáñez and Greenberg (1992) to highlight the 'funds of knowledge' and capital of disadvantaged groups


Lessons for Future Practitioners


What types of courses should undergraduate students take in preparation for a career similar to yours?


  • Basic and advanced Sociology

  • Basic and advanced Social Policy

  • A course that deals with Social problems

  • A Criminology course

  • Research methods


What types of courses should graduate students take in preparation for a career similar to yours?


  • Advanced research methods

  • A module that allows them to do a research project


What types of experiences should undergraduate students seek in preparation for a career similar to yours?


Listen to the experience of people who have different experiences from you. If you have a prejudice or bias, face it and ask why. Spend time understanding the issues they face.  

Gain research and practitioner experience with local and national governments and charities, and private companies if possible to get the full range of employment experience


What types of experiences should graduate students seek in preparation for a career similar to yours?


Volunteering if possible with a wide range of organisations. I did not have the financial resources to volunteer extensively.


What texts or authors can people reference to learn more about the work you do as an applied or clinical sociologist?


Mills C. W . (1959 ). The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press

Best, J. (2017). Social Problems. 3d ed. New York: Norton.


More generally, what are the best outlets to learn more about the work you do as an applied or clinical sociologist?


The world around you. Have a sociological imagination about the personal troubles and public issues


How would you describe the daily life of an applied or clinical sociologist?


Being curious, helping people, learning and educating


What advice do you have for aspiring applied and clinical sociologists?


Be curious and never think you "know everything."

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