A minimalist approach to studying sociology

A picture I took while studying at a cafe.

Sociology is a complex, fascinating and immensely rewarding subject. Like most things in life, being good at it requires passion, discipline, and focus. 

1. Passion

There is not much to say here.

The dictionary defines passion as, “a strong and barely controllable emotion, an intense desire or enthusiasm for something, a thing arousing enthusiasm.

I have cried legit tears from enthusiasm when I wrote my paper on poverty and residential segregation in Toronto applying Foucault’s concept of biopower. My friend has made fun of me because when I take notes, I add “BOOM!” “YAAAAASSSSS!” and other equally enthusiastic words when I really really like a point the author(s) is making.

It is a bit embarrassing.

I don’t care— I love sociology.

Are you passionate about your subject?

2. Avoid Distractions

I quit social media.

In my previous post, is the internet killing qualitative research, I discussed how constant consumption of information is undermining our ability to be creative.

Sociology is a creative process.

Quitting social media has worked wonders for me. It gave me the chance to be bored and exercise my sociological imagination. I got really good at thinking, thinking about our social world and making connections.

What’s your distraction? You need to cut it.

3. Focus

There are countless tips and tricks available, from blogs, and videos, to books, on how to maintain focus and be productive.

I did a lot of research until I found what worked for me— the Pomodoro technique.

I chose this Pomodoro app that did wonders for my productivity.

Every day, I tried to commit about 4 hours on my craft, where I worked for 25 minutes for 8 counts with a 5-minute break in between.


I also failed a lot.

A lot.

However, when I followed these three simple steps, be passionate, avoid distractions and focus, I became good at studying sociology, really good.

How can you become good at studying?

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