Posts Tagged ‘class’
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.
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.
- 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).
- The relevance of class in the modern UK
- Religion in modern society
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:
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…)
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.
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.
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.