Posts Tagged ‘family’
When thinking about differences and similarities between marriage and cohabitation one thing that tends to get overlooked is that, in terms of people’s reasons for making these commitments, neither is homogeneous; just as there are many and varied reasons for deciding to get married, the same is largely true of decisions about whether to cohabit.
Smart and Stevens’ (2000) explored some of these reasons and identified two broadly different (ideal) types of cohabitative commitment through their interviews with 40 separated parents. This research identified a number of broad reasons for cohabitation:
Another dimension to Neo-Functionalist thinking about contemporary families is to look more-closely at what happens within family groups and to use these insights to explain how and why families play such pivotal structural roles. Horwitz (2005), for example, has argued Neo-Functionalist perspectives contribute to our understanding of family functions in terms of the family group representing a Micro-Macro Bridge.
In this respect the family is considered an institution that connects the micro world of the individual with the macro world of wider society (the “anonymous social institutions” such as work, government, education and so forth that develop in complex, large-scale, contemporary societies). The linkage between, on the one hand, social structures (the macro world) and on the other social actions (the micro world) is significant because it represents a way for Neo-Functionalism to explain the relationship between the individual and social structure, in terms of, for example, the family’s role in the primary socialisation process.
I recently came across this interesting set of guides for the AQA Spec., written by Lydia Hiraide of The BRIT School.
The guides are dated 2013 – and although I’m not sure how they might fit into the latest Specification, I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot here that’s still relevant.
You can download the following guides in pdf format:
While it’s probably fair to say that teacher-created GCSE revision resources are a bit thin on the ground (and take a bit of finding), there are useful resources “out there” if you’re prepared to do a lot of searching. To save you the time and trouble, here’s some I found earlier (the quality’s a bit variable, but needs must etc.):
Unit 2 Topics – keywords / concepts
Unit B671 (Sociology Basics) Revision: Methods / Culture / Socialisation / Identity
And if you want something to add to your classroom walls, they’ve also produced some basic Sociology posters:
Distil topic notes into key knowledge points, add illustrative examples and brief overviews of advantages and disadvantages, throw in some exam tips and short “test yourself” questions, call it a factsheet and sell it at a very reasonable price to teachers – which is exactly what the Curriculum Press (http://www.curriculum-press.co.uk) has done.
If you want samples of the various factsheets (their web site lists around 160), there are a few scattered around the web that I’ve cobbled together and presented here for your viewing pleasure: (more…)
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
Jackson, Nicolson, James and Smith’s research (2009) looked at the various ways historical changes in family life and structure (specifically pregnancy and motherhood; childhood and family; family and community) were refracted through the lens of changing patterns of food preparation and consumption.
Aside from the Final Report, there are a couple of freebies that might be of interest to a-level sociology teachers.
The first is the Summary Report – a PowerPoint Presentation that contains a range of slides focused around the research findings but which also include information on family definitions, diversity and so forth.
The second is a PowerPoint Presentation looking at Fathers and Foodwork – an interesting dimension to something like the domestic labour debate – one neither students nor examiners will be (over) familiar with…
All the links that caught our eye this past week in one handy post…
Wealth, Poverty, Welfare
As the frequent reader of this blog (“Hi”) well-knows, I collect a lot of stuff on my travels around the web and I store it safely away for times such as this – when I’ve got a blog post to write and nothing to write it about (or at least nothing that takes the minimum amount of effort for the maximum amount of gain).
So, here I find myself desperately searching one of my seven hard drives (you read that correctly. I collect hard drives. Everyone should have a hobby and mine just happens to be hardware), for something and my eager gaze fell upon these lovelies – a set of six PowerPoints created by Danielle Ord (and apparently modified by Carole Addy), neither of whom I know but if I did I’d give them the credit they deserve.
Finding good, contemporary, examples of alternatives to the “conventional nuclear family” is never that easy so I thought I’d pass-on this example from Sociology teacher Richard Driscoll. It’s a piece of primary / secondary research carried-out by one of his students, Hecate Li, on the Mosuo Tribe in China.
The short, beautifully-produced and clearly presented report touches on a wide-range of concepts, including: family structures, marriage, divorce, motherhood, fatherhood and social status, sexuality, old age and family size
Download The Last Queendom of Women
Like its A-level Psychology counterpart, Sociology Review offers good-quality articles and support materials designed to help students gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of both Sociology and the requirements of the A-level exam.
The publishers, Hodder Education, have started to develop a strong web presence for the print magazine, part of which involves offering some nice freebies related to each issue’s content, which you can check-out here:
Sample Magazine – actually, if you know where to look (and we do…), 4 free online sample magazines with articles based around the following themes:
This Recipe Card, based on the AS Family section of the CIE International A-level Sociology syllabus, is designed to help students answer the essay question:
“Marriage has less importance in modern industrial societies than it has in traditional societies”. Explain and assess this view. 
The concept of social capital refers to the “networks of influence” people are able to create and key into through the course of their lives and an interesting example linked to family, education and work is the contemporary practice of internship. This frequently involves the ability to work for a potential employer for free in the hope / expectation of being offered a permanent position at some later point. It also represents a way to gain valuable (and valued) experience in a potentially competitive job market.
However, since the ability to work for nothing is clearly linked to having some form of independent / parental support it follows that the general practice of internship is shot-through with social inequalities – can you identify what some of these may involve?
This American research has a number of interesting applications in terms of family sociology:
- gender roles within the family
- the feminisation of domestic labour
- women’s triple shift (paid labour; domestic labour; emotional labour)
- pivot / sandwich generation females
This is a fantastic free resource that works for teachers and students on a number of levels.
Research Methods: It’s a good example of a longitudinal study that samples around 40,000 households each year. It’s also an example of a representative survey (class, age, gender and ethnicity) from which it’s possible to make generalisations.
Health: The survey collects a range of empirical health data.
Families and Households: The main aim of the survey is to collect data about the social and economic circumstances of the UK population, in addition to their general attitudes and beliefs. It also collects data that is of more-specific interest to students studying the sociology of families and households, both in terms of empirical data and, by implication, sociological theory.
For example, recent research into divorce and separation based on data from the survey looks at the probability of marital breakdown as it relates to personal and structural economic factors – something that can be used to illustrate and inform debates about the relationship between structure and action at A-level (such as the significance of structural factors – economic recessions – on the choices people make about their relationships).
The scope and size of the data also makes it a prime candidate for individual student research that can be fed into larger classroom databases. Using resources such as Padlet, Trackk or Paper.li it’s possible to build-up a valuable class resource if students are encouraged to research the site and add what they find to one of these resources.
This ESRC YouTube page contains 7 short (5 – 6 minute) introductory films covering a range of topics that can be used to introduce, highlight and illustrate various aspects of the mainly AS Specification:
- Image and identity
- Poverty and inequality
- Family and relationships
- Work and employment
- Happiness and wellbeing