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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Sociology of University

BBC Radio 4 - Thinking Allowed, Rituals at Christmas

"Sociologists, as you implied, they do rather revel in their capacity to undermine other people's beliefs and preconceptions.

I used to really enjoy giving lectures to first year students in which I told them that statistically they had about an 82% chance of discovering their soul mate in the next 3 years but only - only a 14% chance of retaining any partner they'd met before arriving at university.

And I also told them that all their friends in the first year would be based on propinquity. That is, people who lived in the same corridor as themselves or perhaps who enjoyed an alphabetical name next to their own alphabetical name, whereas in the third year - in the third year, it was almost statistically certain that they'd be friends with someone who shared their cultural and political ideas.

Well, if all that didn't induce some sociological self-consciousness, then nothing would, I used to think smugly as I made for the senior common room."
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