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The AQA GCSE Sociology Specification helpfully lists 25 “Core Studies” that it describes as:

A list of readily available classic and seminal texts that will help introduce students to sociology, stimulate their ‘sociological imagination’ and develop their ability to compare and contrast different sociological perspectives”.

And while the Spec. is careful to point-out that “These are not the only texts that can be studied”, they’re probably a good starting-point.

A wink, after all, is as good as a nod to a blind horse.

However, while these texts may or may not be considered “seminal”, I’d probably take issue with a couple pf things:

1. The claim they’re “readily available”, unless by “readily” you mean “In a University library somewhere. Possibly. But don’t quote me”. I searched online for Parsons “The Social Structure of the Family” for example, and aside from a short Tutor2u overview I could find absolutely nothing available.

Not even on Amazon.

2. Even if you were fortunate enough to find copies of the 25(!) texts, I’m not sure they’d do you much good. There’s no way on earth a teacher, let alone a GCSE student, is going to want to wade through the original texts of people like Parsons, Durkheim, Marx, Oakley, Bowles and Gintis…

Obviously, I hear you say, you’re not supposed to take the AQA Spec. literally. What’s really required is a “Just the Facts” approach to these texts.

To which I’d respond that you’re absolutely right.

But I’d also add that it would be very useful if someone (not me) had anticipated all the potential problems and produced a document containing one-page summaries of all the key points GCSE students are likely to need for each text.

I’m not sure where you’d find such a document, but I’m betting it would be really useful if you could.

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