Archive for February, 2015

Education and gender stereotyping

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

This short article (based on research by Lavy and Sandm, 2015) is a simple introduction to some of the ways gender stereotypes are perpetuated in early-years schooling.

The research can also be linked to the work done by writers such as Rosenthal and Jacobson (Pygmalion in the Classroom: 1968) in exploring the significance of labelling and self-fulfilling prophecies as this relates to differential educational achievement.

If you want to build on these ideas, our short film The End of Childhood? features Jane Pilcher talking about her research on the sexualisation of young girls and how they understand gender stereotyping.

Sociology: The End of Childhood? from ShortCutstv on Vimeo.


Friday, February 20th, 2015

When all’s said-and-done these are the animated gifs the web once loved but now affects to loathe.

But they can be clever and useful as a way of adding subtle movement to static pictures – like this one.

If you want to make them try Microsoft Cliplet – it’s free, easy to use and while a bit limited, how complicated do you really need it to be?

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.

Using Analogies in A-level Sociology

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Analogies are a useful teaching tool in sociology for a number of reasons:

  1. They can help students to understand something complex and unfamiliar by using ideas that are relatively simple and familiar.
  2. They can be used to engage students in collaborative work, the outcome of which is an expansion of their knowledge and understanding through the connections they are able to make.
  3. They encourage students to generate their own ideas, arguments and understanding in a relatively gentle and supportive context.
  4. The role of the teacher changes from simple didacticism to one of questioning, guidance, engagement and synthesis.

For these reasons analogies can be used as both collaborative classroom exercises and for flipped teaching (students prepare their work outside the classroom and enter the classroom prepared to discuss their understanding).


Education and Gender

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

This snippet of research by Taylor and Rampino (2014) can be added to your armoury of explanations for gender differences in educational achievement.

Although it’s main focus is on “aspirations and attitudes” as factors in gender differences it goes some way to locating these within both the education system (inside school factors) and the family (outside school factors).

Neutralising Deviance

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Matza’s (1964) notion of “Delinquency and Drift” is particularly useful for the way it looks at “techniques of neutralisation” and while these ideas are still relevant the focus has tended to be on the behaviour of individual, mainly lower class, deviants.

It would, however, be a mistake to think Matza’s ideas can’t be applied to contemporary examples – both individual and, in this particular instance, corporate. HSBC’s response to revelations about their “tax avoidance practices” demonstrate a classic “neutralisation technique” – condemnation of the condemnators: Because “regulatory standards” were lower “in the past” it’s not the fault of HSBC management, per se, but rather the fault of those who drafted and enforced (or not as the case may be) the regulations.

This particular story is also a useful source in relation to corporate and organised crime – in terms of the latter, for example, it suggests ways organised crime is able to launder “illegal profits” through legal institutions (banks) who don’t ask too many questions…

Elizabeth Loftus on False Memory

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Divided into three complementary sections:

• Repressed Memories

• Lost in the Mall

• Guided Imagination

False Memory features original interview footage with Elizabeth Loftus as she takes us through the “Memory Wars” surrounding the George Franklin and Jane Doe cases.

This film is now available on DVD.

Stanford Prison Experiment

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has provoked controversy over, among other things, its design, procedures, ethics, interpretation and conclusions.

It does, however, remain a provocative classic of its type – with uses in both psychology and sociology – and this short film is a good overview / introduction to some of the issues involved.