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Posts Tagged ‘class’

18 | Religion: Part 3

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

The third chapter in our trawl through the murky waters of organised (and disorganised, come to that) religion looks at the relationship between religion and social position in two broad ways:

Firstly terms of the so-called (by me at least) “CAGE” variables: class, age, gender and ethnicity. This section both outlines the relationship between each of these variables and religious beliefs / practices and evaluates a range of possible explanations for the relationships uncovered.

Secondly, the chapter looks at the appeal of modern religious movements to different social groups, with the focus here on two types:

a. New religious movements, based on Daschke and Ashcraft’s (2005) idea of ‘interrelated pathways’ that examines a broad typology of five different groupings (Perception, Identity, Community or ‘Family’, Society and Earth).

b. New Age movements, based on a typology of Explicitly religious, Human potential and Mystical movements.

Those of you who like your religion with pictures will be saddened to learn that there’s only one (and since this is the “pre-permission” version of the chapter, the spiritual purity of a group of Transcendental Meditation practitioners is somewhat sullied by a dirty great watermark that takes up most of the frame). The disappointment both of these facts might engender may be dispelled by the inclusion of a few tables and a lot of mnemonics.

Or possibly not.

14 | Youth: Part 3

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

One area of social life in which the relationship between youth and specific types of behaviour is particularly clear is that of offending behaviour. Young people – principally young, working class, men – are hugely over-represented in the crime statistics and since this series of chapters is linked by ideas about Youth Culture and Subculture it would be useful to explore the relationship between Youth and Deviance in more detail.

In order to do this the chapter is divided into three main sections:

Firstly, an outline of a range of key concepts – the distinction between crime and deviance, how we define youth, how we measure crime, moral panics, deviancy amplification and the like – that can be applied to this area of social life.

Secondly, a section that outlines the evidence, in terms of patterns and trends, about the nature and extent of youth deviance. This section is further subdivided according to social class, gender and ethnicity.

Finally, it looks at how different sociological approaches – in this instance Functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist – explain the patterns and trends in youth deviance outlined in part 2.

While the chapter is specifically aimed at the OCR Youth Culture Unit it’s one that should have general application for any Specification that looks at the nature of crime and deviance in terms of patterns and trends in offending behaviour and how these might be sociologically explained.

6 | Families and Households: Part 3

Monday, September 11th, 2017

After the raw, enervating, excitement of Family Trends and the Role of Family in Society, the rollercoaster ride that is Family Life continues with the unalloyed joy that is Family Diversity.

While some commentators (who shall remain nameless because I haven’t named them) have described family diversity as a “thrill-a-minute fun-fest filled with fantastic fripperies”, more controversially, other, equally nameless, commentators have described it as being as dull as the rest of the family stuff. But I couldn’t possibly comment on this.

What I do know is that the chapter is filled with a range of diversity-related stuff (hence its name. Probably). This includes:

• Organisational diversity
• Class diversity
• Cultural diversity (age, gender, ethnicity)
• Sexual diversity (don’t get your hopes up, nothing to see here).

Things start to get a little more interesting (a term I use advisedly) when the chapter turns to look at two opposing views on contemporary family diversity (Postmodernist and New Right if you’re still reading this) but then things take a turn for the worse when the chapter ends with social policy.

Still, it’s free. So you can’t complain.

No, really.

Just Enjoy!

The Manifest and Latent Functions of CAGE

Monday, January 30th, 2017

While mnemonics are not everyone’s favourite hot beverage I’ve always found them a very useful memory device – and I’m particularly fond of CAGE (Class, Age, Gender, Ethnicity) and its less-exulted compatriots CAGES (…Sexuality) and CAGED (…Disability)* for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, it has a simple manifest function for students. If you’re ever stuck for evaluation ideas in an exam it’s always possible to say something useful about class, age, gender or ethnic differences. Use it as a kind of “Get Out of Jail Free” card you can play whenever you need a quick prompt to get an answer flowing.

Secondly a latent function of CAGE for teachers is that you can use it to illustrate the concepts of structure and action in a simple and memorable way using the distinction between social and personal identities.

(more…)

Lesson Plans: Family | Class | Religion

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Whatever your teaching situation or level of experience, Other People’s Lesson Plans can sometimes be a bit of a god-send – particularly when they come from the pen of practising teachers: whether you’re looking for a different way to teach a familiar topic, a set of basic ideas you can adapt to your own working style or just something quick’n’easy for a Monday morning when inspiration has temporarily gone AWOL, you might find something helpful in these 3 lesson plans.

As an added bonus the Plans are designed to be delivered either with the teacher present or as stand-alone lessons that can be completed by students in the absence of a teacher.

As far as I can tell they come from a book published by Philip Allan Updates, probably around 2006/7, but I haven’t been able to track down the exact title.

  1. Investigating domestic roles within the family The reference in the document to “more up-to-date statistics” at   www.sociology.org.uk/as4aqa.htm still works, but it’s probably easier to download the file here (although keep in mind these are around 10 years old and you probably have more recent stats).
  2. The relevance of class in the modern UK
  3. Religion in modern society

 

Yet More Sociology Stuff: Education

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

A few more pdf pages from the inestimable pen of Mark Peace that, in no particular order (and with no particular logic), cover the following:

Natural Intelligence

Introduction to education

Vocational education

Private education 

Class and DEA – inside school factors

DEA – Cultural difference theory

Mapping Differential Educational Achievement

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Differences in UK educational achievement are normally categorised across three main dimensions – class, gender and ethnicity – of which the former is generally seen by sociologists of education as the primary determinant of achievement differences (as measured by exam grades), while gender and in some instances ethnicity is generally preferred by politicians and media commentators – Our schools are failing boys, which is bad news for Britain – for reasons that shouldn’t be too difficult to understand (although that, perhaps, is a story for another time).

Ken Browne (Sociology for AQA, Vol. 1: AS and 1st-Year A Level), for example, captures this often-complex hierarchy by structuring achievement in terms of class (the primary determinant), with gender and ethnicity as secondary determinants. As can be seen from this graphic the argument here is that differences in educational achievement are primarily class-based (upper class children achieve more than working class children) with gender / ethnic gradations within each class.

This graphic is helpful because it provides a simple visual representation that allows students to understand not just within-class differences, (between for example boys and girls) but also cross-class differences; upper class boys, for example, generally achieve more than working class girls. By understanding this students should be able to construct more-nuanced answers to questions about differential achievement.

Taking It Further? (more…)

Class, Consumption and Taste Cultures

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

My attention was caught the other day by a sleight little piece in a London newspaper (“12 signs you’re middle class”) that got me thinking about a neglected – but I’d argue increasingly relevant and interesting – dimension to social class: the role of taste cultures in defining different class identities.

While the article is an interesting “discussion piece” for students to get them thinking about class, consumption, culture and taste, the background to this might be to think about the development of taste cultures over the past 50 years.

(more…)

More Revision Mapping

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

mediamap

Following from the previous post on sociological perspectives, this map on Media Representations demonstrates how useful these types of revision maps can be for organising student knowledge around quite diverse topics.

As with previous examples, this map is based around keywords illustrated by pictures and fleshed-out where necessary with short pieces of text.

Education and Class

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

A research snippet from the Sutton Trust (2014) that suggests inequalities in extra-curricular tuition and activities can have an impact on differential educational achievement.

Education and Inequality

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The relationship between education and social inequality is a (necessarily) complex one and this is reflected in this piece by Danny Dorling.

If you prefer a more easily-digestible read, try this instead

The Saints and the Roughnecks: labelling and self-fulfilling prophecies

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

William Chambliss’ (1973) seminal essay about two rival high school gangs is rightly seen as a contemporary classic that explores, over a few short pages, the consequences of labelling processes and the development of self-fulfilling prophecies.

While it’s a useful primary resource for A-level discussions about the perceived relationship between class, age, gender, ethnicity and deviance it also serves as a context-piece for more contemporary examples of this phenomenon that students can research and explore – such as Keene State College in America or, closer to home, the behaviour portrayed in The Riot Club – a film based on the activities of Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club.