The meeting opened at 1030a.m. under the auspices of His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. who advised of three apologies having being offered.. His ice breaker for this week saw him share an amusing Snow White cartoon involving seven felons and relating to the current Westminster shenanigans. He gave an additional tale that had an international flavour looking at the Paris approach to female harassment and authority’s response as represented by the Gendarmerie!!
Under “Initial Notices” John Taylor stressed the need for Christmas Lunch bookings to be made a.s.a.p. as there is a limit of seventy-two and received orders are already in the sixties.
Mike South took to the floor to advertise the Church Christmas Fayre on Saturday November 25th and encouraged members to attend and spend some money!
Today’s talk was provided by one of our own long-standing members Keith Wadd who invoked his professional expertise as a lecturer up to 1993 to deliver “What You Need To Know About Sociology”. This proved to be a thought-provoking and intellectual topic which would challenge the listening audience individually and in a number of ways. Using an analogy relating to wasps we were told about Sociology being about Society and all the social phenomenon that humans have created. Society is complicated and difficult to understand and has an invisibility about itself. Keith stressed it was about relationships between people and not necessarily as equals.e.g. Teacher/ Child; Parent/ Child where inequalities relate to power/ authority and thar rules or assumptions were enforced by the most powerful although not always of a static nature. Conflict in relationships arose where rules were not adhered too or respected. Social inequalities were created and reinforced by man and not neutral with groupings such as Feudalism; Castes; Social Class and Communism. Differences were highlighted by wealth, income, social status/power and civil rights and a brief overview of these followed. Our Speaker touched on social mobility with some interesting statistics…..two thirds of people do not change social class…and the impact of culture which is passed from one generation to another e.g. knowledge; values; technology etc. and he illustrated in the nature versus nurturing conflict how people are most affected by their personal environment He also positioned cleanliness at a much higher level than godliness, a brave thing to do given the location of his talk!!
Sex and gender differences and developments were noted, with the position of women in Society being considered including some slow-moving changes of recent years. He gave a definition of Sociology to finish with which stated that it was a “study of social phenomenon; how people make it; perpetuate it and are affected by it”.
Questions and comments were given by an interested, stimulated and appreciative gathering.
The Vote Of Thanks on behalf of forty-five attendees was given by David Hopkinson.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY