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UCD-SAI Young Sociologist Competition Winners 2020/21!

UCD -SAI Young Sociologist Competition 2020/21 Winners Announced!

The UCD School of Sociology and the Sociological Association of Ireland are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020/21 Young Sociologist Competition.

A high volume of quality submissions were received from across the island of Ireland and the adjudication committee were highly impressed with both the standard of the essays but also the level of engagement with sociological issues among secondary school students.

First prize was awarded to 5th year student Marha Roe of Temple Carrig School, Greystones, Co Wocklow for her essay Inequality in Irish society is perpetuated by inequality in the education system

The adjudication committee commented of her essay that it was "a perfect example of how sociological theory enriched with data and evidence not only can draw a comprehensive and dynamic image of a societal problem but also can guide us towards finding sustainable solutions. Matha draws on seminal work on education and inequality and creates strong connections between the literature and the case of Ireland; an all round perfect example of solution oriented sociology."

The full list of winners is as follows:

1st place: Martha Roe, 5th Year, Temple Carrig School, Greystones, Co Wocklow

Essay: Inequality in Irish society is perpetuated by inequality in the education system

Teacher: John McGuinness

2nd place: Kate Fennell, 5th Year, Temple Carrig School, Greystones, Co Wocklow

Essay: Modern Irish society is a patriarchy

Teacher: John McGuinness

Joint 3rd place: Chonaill Devlin, 6th Year, Meánscoil Gharman, Co Wexford

Essay: How the ideas of Paulo Friere could ameliorate inequality in our education system.

Muinteoir: David Gannon

Joint 3rd place: Grace Keane, 6th Year, Pobalscoil na Trionoide, Youghal, Co. Cork

Essay: Globalisation processes of trade, travel  and ICT are breaking down national culture and identities and creating a cosmopolitanism identity

Teacher: Garrett McSweeney

Joint 3rd place: Viktorija Petunova, Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry, Co Down

Essay: What factors external to the education system lead to differences in class and educational attainment?

Teacher: Emma Westcott

Honourabe mentions are given to to:

Jack Phelan, 5th Year, C.B.S. High School Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Essay: Ireland’s system of accommodating those seeking international protection while in the asylum process is a flawed system

Teacher: Tom Ryan


Poppy Harley, 6th Year, Drogheda Grammar School, Co Louth

Essay: Underdevelopment is caused by people in countries not having the knowledge, technology and industry of people in developed countries

Teacher: Elaine Farrelly

The competition organisers wish to express their gratitude to all students and teachers for their entries. It has been very inspiring to see how much sociological insight there is among young people on the Island

UCD School of Sociology

Newman Building (Room D401), University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8263