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Posts Tagged ‘sociology’

Sociology Shortcuts: NotAFactsheets

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Over the past few weeks I’ve published a small selection of Curriculum Press Sociology Factsheets and the response to these set me thinking about creating some of my own, using a similar format – although I’ve decided not to call what I’ve produced “Factsheets”, mainly because they aren’t.

Anyway, I posted my first attempt at a NotAFactsheet a week or so ago and since then I’ve been developing and refining the format in terms of both design and content. Whether or not I’ve managed to capture something useful is something for you to judge but I thought I’d post my first batch of NotAFactsheets anyway.

The basic idea, in case you’re not familiar with the general format, is to use NotAFactsheets in a range of possible ways, as:

  • basic introductory documents.
  • an extra source of student Notes.
  • a source of information when students miss part of a course.
  • a revision document.
  •  
    These are all based around “Approaches to Research” and, in the main, focus on an outline of different approaches. I have, however, included one on research methods to see if and how that works (at 5 pages it’s significantly longer than each of the others and I’m not sure if this format works as a NotAFactsheet).

    You can download the following NotAFactsheets:

    Positivism

    Positivist Research Methods

    Interpretivism

    Realism

    Feminism

    Sociology ShortCuts F’sheet

    Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

    I’ve posted a couple of times about the Sociology Factsheets produced by Curriculum Press –  particularly about how it might be an idea for teachers to get their students to make their own versions as both a revision aid and teaching resource for future sociology students – and I thought it might be interesting to have a go at something along these lines myself: particularly because having written a number of books for different exam boards over the past 10 or so years I’ve accumulated a large stock of words that could possibly be put to some more – and probably better – use as a revision-type resource.

    The upshot of playing-around with various words and pictures is my first ShortCuts Sheet on “Approaches to Research: Positivism” (for no better reason than the fact I had some underutilised text lying around that I thought might be easy to adapt to this format).

    If you’ve got any comments, suggestions etc. about why it’s brilliant / shite / could be improved please don’t hesitate to let me know…

    Left Realism

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    A relatively easy way for students to get a handle on Left Realism is through three simple visualisations that can then be used to build-up a picture of this general approach to both explaining crime and deviance and suggesting solutions to the problem of crime. These visualisations involve:

  • A three-cornered approach to deviance
  • The criminogenic triangle
  • The square of crime.
  •  

    A PowerPoint version of the above is also available for download.

    We can explore these ideas in more detail in a number of ways.

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    Updating Crime & Deviance

    Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

    Day Workshop with renowned sociologist and film-maker, Dr Steve Taylor

    Strain, Labelling, Realism etc. are still important because they underpin a lot of research in the contemporary study of Crime and Deviance. But supposing your students could demonstrate this with new concepts & 21st. Century research examples?

    This Workshop consolidates the key theories and concepts and then illustrates their application with clear, easy to understand up to date research.  For example, students read about moral panics, but how much more impressive could an answer be if they were able to bring in the recent concept of ‘amoral panics’?

    Content: 

    • Crime, Deviance, Order and Control: clarifying sociological approaches.
    • Globalisation & Crime: filling the gaps by linking to familiar sociological approaches
    • Researching Crime: methods clarified, evaluated & illustrated with new ideas & interactive Q & A practice.
    • Theory & Method: this challenging topic laid bare, simplified and illustrated.

    Free Crime and Deviance films provided!

    Additional Sessions on Family, Youth Culture & Research Methods, if required.

    What Teachers say 

    “Delivered with a real affection for the subject with pace and professionalism   Partly as a consequence of working with Steve we had an excellent set of results”: Stephen Base Verulam College

    “Excellent day. He brings in contemporary evidence and great links to exam skills”: Ann-Marie Taylor Coleg Cambria

    “Brilliant exam focused training”: Mandy Gordon, Highfield School

    “Our students loved it, Steve got them to think outside the box”: Pauline Kendal, Bedford Sixth Form

    What Students Say

    ‘He was even better than in the videos. Loved it.’

    ‘Makes the theories come alive by linking them to the studies’.

    ‘Liked learning about the new studies, especially the gang ones.’

    ‘I feel so much more confident after Steve’s class.’

    ‘I could never understand theory and methods and now I do.’

    Cost: inclusive & regardless of number of schools attending

    Day: £500

    Half day: £300

    For more information, contact:

    Email: steve@shortcutstv.com

    Tel: 07771-561521

    Seven Sims in Seven Days – Day 5: Trial by Jury

    Saturday, October 1st, 2016

    sim_trailAs with some of the others in this series, “Trial by Jury” is a building block sim that gives you a basic template that can be used to organise and run a wide range of possible simulations. In basic terms if there’s an area of the Sociology / Psychology course that involves comparing and contrasting two opposing viewpoints it can be adapted to the Trial by Jury format using this template.

    As a way of exampling this the package uses the (sociological) example of “Positivism On Trial” (effectively a debate between Positivism / Interpretivism at As-level).

    This is quite a time-consuming simulation and it’s probably best-suited to occasional use (unless you’ve completely flipped your classroom, in which case it’s something you could frequently use).

    For example, it could be used at the end of a specific teaching session (such as “secularisation”) as a way of bringing all the different arguments and evaluations together. Alternatively you might find it useful for a series of “end of course” sessions as a way of structuring student revision.

    “It’s just banter”: Applying Matza’s “techniques of neutralisation” to ‪#‎everydaysexism‬

    Monday, March 14th, 2016

    Although Matza’s ideas about “Delinquency and Drift” are 50 years old, this doesn’t mean they can’t be applied to contemporary examples in the A-level classroom – as this video with its examples of “Misogyny in British universities” probably attests.

    This kind of material also illustrates two further ideas that are worth exploring:

    a. The rarity of overt examples of middle-class deviance in the media.

    Does this flow from the fact such deviance is actually quite rare?

    Or does it stem from a media preoccupation with “crimes of the powerless”?

    b. The particular technique of neutralisation employed by the perpetrators (“condemning the condemnators”) is itself interesting for what it tells us about the power of middle3 and upper class deviants to “fight back”. By “accusing the accusers” in this way (by suggesting they’re failing to understand “it’s not misogyny, merely humerous banter”) there is an attempt to shift the balance away from the perpetrator and onto the victim. The perpetrator, in other words, as victim.

    NGfL Cymru (The Finding of The Hub)

    Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

    While previous posts about the very wonderful Welsh National Grid for Learning have pointed you to different parts of the site, these links now point to the “Hub Home” pages for:

    1. Sociology
    2. Psychology

    There’s a lot of A-level resources here to explore – from textbooks through PowerPoints to online materials – and, best of all, they’re absolutely free.

    An Alternative to A-level Sociology 2015

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

    September 2015 in England and Wales sees yet another educational change in the shape of “new A-levels”- which are sort-of “new old A-levels” in terms of a structure that harks back to the “Good-old-Bad-old days” (pre-2000 in new money).

    Although it will still be possible for students to take both an “AS-level” qualification and an “A-level” qualification the situation, if you’ve given it even a passing thought, is likely to be a logistical nightmare for students, teachers and, equally importantly, schools.

    This follows because, in a situation where school resources are likely to become ever-tighter and ever more stretched over the next five years, hard decisions are going to have to be made about the type of A-level qualification schools can offer.

    For most maintained schools this is likely to mean the AS qualification will effectively disappear as a standalone offering; students enrolled on the 2-year “full a-level” will see AS incorporated into the A-level and won’t take a separate qualification (since there’s little point entering for an exam that will be worth nothing in the context of the full exam – they will have to sit both AS and A2 at the end of their 2-year course).

    While there’s nothing to stop students who intend to only sit the AS exam being in the same class as those who intend to do the full A-level, things may become a little tricky the closer they get to the AS exam, in terms of revision etc. A further, perhaps more significant, problem here is that students who do well in the AS exam might then decide they want to complete the full a-level; their AS success then counts for nothing since they effectively have to do the exam again (at a higher level) at the end of their course.

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    Recipe Card: Word Template

    Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

    While it’s possible to edit the blank pdf Recipe Card template, you need to have the right software. If you haven’t got it this can be a complete pain and also reduces you or your students to adding the ingredients to the card by hand. This is likely to cause problems when students make mistakes when adding ingredients or if they have large handwriting (there’s not that much space on an A4 document).

    To give you more options, therefore, we’ve created a blank Word-based Recipe Card – one that can be quickly and easily edited using any .docx compatible word processor.

    New Media: 2. Issues

    Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

    The various features of new media raise a new set of issues for both producers and consumers. In terms of the former, for example, the development of global computer networks have presented problems for media industries whose products are relatively easy to copy and distribute, with no loss of quality because of digital reproduction. The development of peer-to-peer networks, for example, has led to the rise of global forms of intellectual property theft (“piracy”), to which media conglomerates have responded in a range of ways:

    • legal prosecutions of individual offenders and attempts to shut-down illegal providers, such as Napster and Megaupload.
    • the development of new economic models. “Freemium” models, for example, provide a free service, such as software or a game, but users then pay a premium for “added extras”. Popular Facebook games, such as Farmville, have successfully taken this approach..

    A further issue involves the “unauthorised access to computers and networks” (“hacking”), something that involves:

    • governments: cyberwarfare, for example, involves governments engaging in the politically-motivated hacking of rival government computer networks for reasons that range from espionage to sabotage.
    • organisations: In 2010 the American government claimed the cybertheft of copyrights and patents by China remained at “unacceptable levels”.
    • individuals: viruses and malware designed to damage computers, extort money or steal information.

    Specific issues for consumers have a number of dimensions, particularly those surrounding personal privacy. Social media such as Facebook make money through advertising, which can now be individualised, personalised and targeted through the sale of users’ personal data to third-parties; users, therefore, exchange “free” services for some loss of privacy. While corporations such as Facebook simply monitor how their network is used in terms of what an individual likes or dislikes, discusses or avoids in order to deliver adverts matched to these behaviours, Kosinski et al. (2013) have shown it is possible to accurately infer a wide range of personal information, such as ethnicity, IQ, sexuality, substance use and political views, from an analysis of an individual’s “likes”.

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    GCSE Sociology

    Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

    BBC Ed has some short, good quality, films to illustrate social processes / structures.

    The films are mainly adapted from mainstream BBC programmes but they’re well-focused on the topics they illustrate and could have a wider use (such as A-level).

    Crime Statistics: The Dark Figure video

    Saturday, February 14th, 2015

    A request from an American University to use this video in an online course prompted me to remember its existence on my YouTube Channel.

    It’s a short video that looks at the “dark figure” of crime – crimes that are committed in our society but which never appear in the official recorded crime statistics. As such the video looks at methodological questions (reliability and validity, for example) surrounding our use of official crime statistics.

    This is a low-res version of the film that’s just one of the many (around 2 hours worth – plus extensive audio, text and powerpoint resources) that can be accessed when you subscribe to the Crime and Deviance Channel.

    Black youth in British news media: Representations and content analysis

    Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

    Cushion, Moore and Jewell’s (2011) study “Media representations of black young men and boys” is useful for media sociologists because of the way it attempts to research a specific type of media representation using a combination of methods to generate quantitative and qualitative data.

    The study uses content analysis to quantify representations of black youth in British media. The main objective here is to discover whether or not negative stereotyping occurs.

    Qualitative interviews with 10 journalists are then used to explore some of the news values employed by the British media and how they relate to – and go some way towards explaining – media representations of Black youth.

    Social Inequality: The Spirit Level

    Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

    Trailer for film version of Wilkinson and Pickett’s pioneering work on global inequality.

    If you’re not familiar with the book, or want to give your students some reading material, this document (part of our Crime and Deviance Channel) looks at some of the ways inequality relates to crime and deviance.

    Ruling class or Power Elite? A contemporary application of C. Wright Mills?

    Thursday, July 17th, 2014

    If you’re looking for ways to give the concept of a Power Elite a contemporary classroom update you might like to think of how it can be applied in the context of a “War on Terror” and NSA / GNCQ surveillance.

    Noam Chomsky’s article “Whose Security? How Washington Protects Itself and the Corporate Sector” contains some interesting examples / ideas you can pick-out for your students.

    National Identity

    Saturday, July 12th, 2014

    The British Social Attitudes survey is useful in the context of defining national identity because it reflects how individuals themselves define their identity. This has two useful dimensions:

    Firstly. it gives a broad insight into the different meanings involved in the conceptualisation of identity.

    Secondly, it gives students a lot of scope for practical evaluations of this type of definition.

    The data is available:

    Online

    Download (select “National Identity” then “Download separate chapters” if you just want the Identity data).