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Writing for Sociology

Developing the Sociological Imagination

SECRETS

We all have secrets

PostSecret is a popular website and ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously.

Shiri Noy, from the Department of Sociology at the U. of Wyoming, used secrets from PostSecret to teach students "about the sociological imagination and [to] incorporate biographical examples in explanations of broader social trends and sociological concepts." Secrets "represent information about hidden, nonnormative behaviors and attitudes" [and] "constitute a part of everyone's lived experience". As such, PostSecret is a resource well suited to introduce students to the discipline. Students in the class "indicated that PostSecret helped them to understand the sociological imagination and learn important sociological concepts and to understand course content through the use of examples". Most importantly, "the discussion of secrets helped students recognize their own assumptions about the social world and provided them with a perspective different from their own."

Read Dr. Noy's paper online describing how she used PostSecret to provoke in her students the sociological imagination:

Secrets and the Sociological Imagination: Using PostSecret.com to Illustrate Sociological Concepts by Shiri Noy. Teaching Sociology (2014), Vol. 42 (3) 187 - 195.

To access the online article, you must identify yourself as a Temple person by entering your AccessNet ID and password when asked.