We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”
- Dr Martin Luther King.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.” In celebration of the passing birthday of this pre-eminent sociologist and progressive activist, I made you this, with one of my favourite quotes by King. Here, he argues that education is not simply about accumulating knowledge, but rather to develop a sense of morality based upon principles of social justice and then acting upon these values.
As an applied and public sociologist, we can see how Luther’s sociological training influenced his “change management” leadership style, which David Frantz describes as:
building a vision, networking, communicating powerfully, identifying and dealing with differences, creating leverage to motivate people, and conceptualizing alternative strategic paths. (p.157)
If you’re still studying sociology and you wonder what you can do with a sociology degree, think about King as a model for what applied sociologists can achieve outside academia.
Read more on Sociology at Work.