A Level Sociology students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have enjoyed an added dimension to their study of youth and old age, by holding a question and answer session with one of the group’s Grandmothers!

Sociology is a study of people and how we fit into society as a whole. It looks at the ways in which people are affected by society, and how society is affected by people. It also explores how people are affected by how they are raised and educated, what media they are exposed to, whether they are rich or poor, men or women, black or white and how they can affect society.

In their recent lessons, the A Level group have been discussing the elderly and retirement, and how both are perceived by the wider society. Therefore, they were pleased to welcome student Jemma Banks’ grandmother, Maureen, who could offer the alternate view and give her own thoughts on society and how youth are perceived by the older generation.

The visitor first gave the students an insight into life when she was a young person. Maureen was both in 1934 and her earliest memories are of living during the struggles of World War II. She talked about rationing, and a sense of community, but also of how her mother was treated by society as a single, divorced parent, which was rare back then. The students and Maureen had an interesting discussion about these things and particularly, how perceptions towards young single parents have changed.

The group also discussed technology, and whether in the eyes of older generation, technology has improved family life and society in general. Maureen talked about how young people were spoilt in many ways today, with technology improving their lives, but said that they must be careful to not become totally engrossed in it, citing the obsession with mobile phones as a particular pet peeve. She said, “When I was young, we talked to each other face to face, and there was a real community feel, where young people felt safe. We were more social back then, as rather than watching TV, we would visit each other’s homes and spend time with each other’s families and this is very different to life today.”

Jemma Banks, Maureen’s Granddaughter said, “I think it was beneficial for my Nana Maureen to come into College because we heard about her childhood experiences first hand. It’’s one thing being told about these things from our tutor, but much better hearing it from someone who has lived through it.”

Caption: Maureen with some of the Sociology students