My name is Mark Edwards. I consider myself a social science academic, for my disciplinary hat has many corners. I suppose I am primarily a sociologist but the boundaries that sociology shares with other disciplines in the social sciences are so porous as to render such distinctions unhelpful and increasingly meaningless. All are concerned with understanding social order: how and why societies bind and stay bound together, and whilst theory informs practice from different directions they meet and engage at the coal faces of social control - social policy more broadly and criminology in particular.
Questioning the Status Quo
Understanding the human social animal and teaching the human social animal are inextricably linked endeavours. Both are undergoing change and I am as excited as I am concerned about how teaching and research can best be harnessed to respond to this change.
Subjectively, the good citizen is a spurious notion, contingent as it is on your point of view. Objectively, though, the good citizen is at the very least, a thinking citizen.
History has shown us that progress is achieved by questioning the status quo. A university education should be concerned, therefore, with creating not just scholars for the academy but critical thinkers for society. I am engaged in this endeavour.