So. Here’s the thing.
I like to occasionally root around on Pinterest – mainly, it must be said, when I’m pretending to do “research” in order to avoid doing any actual work – because it’s a good source of interesting ideas and practices.
idly browsing doing important research the other day I chanced upon what turned out to be a flipbook preview of my CIE Sociology textbook that I never knew existed (I’m just the guy who wrote it).
For reasons best known to themselves, Cambridge University Press, have not only uploaded a 77-page flipbook of Chapter’s 1 and 2 (The Sociological Perspective and Socialisation and the Creation of Social Identity respectively), they’ve also included, half of Chapter 3 (Research Methods).
Which is nice. But why it abruptly stops half way through the chapter is anyone’s guess.
Be that as it may, not content with this rather extraordinary act of generosity, they’ve also added a further 48-page flipbook of the complete Media chapter.
To put that into context, that’s around 30% of the actual textbook.
That’s extraordinarily generous of CUP with my time and effort.
Anyway, my interest, not to mention my sense of grievance, having been piqued I decided to see if there were any other previews hanging around just waiting to be discovered and, sure enough, both CUP and Collins have been busy posting both A-level and GCSE materials. Those I’ve found can be viewed online as flipbooks or downloaded for offline use as pdf files. Most only seem to have a single chapter but, since they’re free, what have you got to lose?
Before what I’ve reliably told myself was my ground-breaking version of the CIE text there was the Barnard and Burgess version, Cambridge International AS and A Level Sociology, which I liked – and used – when it first came-out in the mid-90’s. For some reason, again probably only known to themselves, CUP have put together a flipbook consisting of 25 sample pages for a long out-of-print textbook.
The Good News is that the text’s pretty solid and covers “The Sociological Perspective” (which is standard stuff that tends not to change too much).
The Bad News is that it inexplicably stops half-way through the chapter. Now you may never know how it ends…
And speaking of half-chapters, CUP are at it again with a preview of the AS and A level Sociology Coursebook 2nd edition. Not only do you just get a bit (25-pages) of Socialisation and Social Identity, you also get the word “DRAFT” unhelpfully plastered across each page.
Which is a little bit annoying and somewhat pointless, particularly given that Collins have clearly decided they’d like a slice of the CIE action (even though it’s actually tiny – around the same size as OCR in the UK) with their new Cambridge International AS and A Level Sociology SB textbook.
On the plus side, Steve Chapman has written 3 chapters, part of which, Families and Households, is previewed over 12 pages on “Functionalism and the Family”.
On the debit side, I suspect, but don’t know for sure, this wasn’t accidental. The liberal presence of Haralambos, Holborn and Wilson among the chapter authors suggests, to me at least, you may already have seen a lot of this text elsewhere.
Talking of Themes and Perspectives (which I wasn’t. Obviously), the textbook that just keeps on giving has been dusted down, given a new lick of colour, some updated text for the latest A-level Specifications and what looks like, unless I’m very much mistaken (unlikely), some cartoons from Sociology in Pictures, and presented as Year 1 and Year 2 texts.
While it’s statistically-improbable that any UK Sociology teacher doesn’t know exactly what they’re getting from the “Blue Bible”, Themes and Perspectives Year 1 and AS has 14 sample pages covering a range of topics, while Themes and Perspectives Year 2 has a sample chapter on Theory and Methods.
Collins have also been busy posting flipbook previews for their new(ish) A1 and A2 textbooks. AQA Sociology Year 1 has 16 pages on the Culture and Identity Unit and AQA Sociology Year 2 has a free 18-page Theory and Methods chapter.
Somewhat surprisingly, to me if no-one else, I also found some GCSE flipbooks that are worth a look.
The Cambridge IGCSE Coursebook has a free 16-page Family chapter that, for some unfathomable reason, has the word “Sample” pasted unnecessarily across each page.
IN VERY BIG LETTERS.
Collins, on the other hand, have produced a rather attractive 21-page “What Is Sociology?” chapter for their AQA GCSE 9 – 1 Student Book that’s worth having.
They’ve followed this up with a 9-page preview of their AQA GCSE 9 – 1 Exam Practice book that’s also worth a butcher’s.
To round things off with a shameless plug for my own less-than-modest efforts, you can view a whole bunch of free flipbooks on a range of topics here.