About Ken Browne
My interest in sociology began in the 1960s. This was a time of rapid social change. Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were revolutionising music. Students were staging sit-ins and other protests in countries across the world, campaigning against war, poverty and social injustice. Revolution was rearing its head in France - and succeeding in Cuba thanks to Fidel Castro and Che Guevara - and there was a revolutionary war in Indo-China. To some people it felt like society was falling apart – to others like a new, exciting world was just beginning.
At the time, I was still at school. All of these changes fascinated and excited me. I was strongly motivated by one particular chant of the student protesters - ‘We shall fight, we will win, London, Paris, Rome, Berlin’. Sociology students were often in the vanguard of these protests. One of the reasons I was attracted to sociology was because I wanted to be part of the amazing changes I saw happening all around me. Sociology also offered a means of decoding the zeitgeist of the times.
I won a place at the leading trouble-making Essex University to study sociology and government, despite my school doing all it could to deter me. My school teachers thought I should do a ‘proper’ degree like history or law. My interest in social issues and love of sociology fostered in those years has never left me. Following a spell at the London University Institute of Education and at Warwick University, I embarked on a career teaching sociology in further education, to students of the same age I was when I first developed my love of sociology. I hope that over those years, and through my textbooks, I have managed to make some small contribution to keeping the critical, questioning spirit of sociology alive for future generations.