Sociology in Focus for A2 is, as you may have guessed, the companion volume to the previously-posted AS text and it’s no great surprise that its design and layout perfectly complements its AS counterpart. This includes the by-now standard colour-coded sections, lots of pictures, activities and questions that, at the time, were considered a quite radical design departure that was not, it hardly needs to be said, to everyone’s taste.
The main concern, particularly but not exclusively among those who were concerned about this kind of thing, was that something had to make way for all the activities, pretty pictures, questions and even prettier pictures.
And that something was, inevitably, the amount of text that managed to squeeze its way on pages crammed with all kinds of attractive, if sometimes largely superfluous, imagery.
While it’s relatively easy to get away with this at AS level, it’s somewhat harder to pull-off the same trick at A2 level.
So does it manage to pull it off?
Well. Yes and No.
The text, although limited in length, is generally well-written and informative and sometimes takes students into areas – particularly related to sociological theory – they aren’t usually expected to venture. Unfortunately, by meandering off the beaten track the text runs the risk, at times, of failing to adequately cover the bare essentials.
Although it’s a moot point as to whether this text alone adequately prepares students for A2, this is where you and your students are quid’s in: you can use bits-and-bobs to supplement the more up-to-date texts you undoubtedly use in your day-to-day teaching.
Alternatively, it’s a nice, big, bold, colourful text with lots of ideas for activities. And questions.
You can download Sociology in Focus for A2 as a complete textbook or, if you only want the stuff you teach, as individual chapters:
Beliefs in Society: mainly religion (types, secularisation etc.), but with the social construction of science and theories of ideology added to the mix.
Mass Media: shovelled, not to put too fine a point on it, from the previous AS textbook into A2.
Crime and Deviance: includes the “newer areas” of globalisation and crime, green crime and so forth.
Methodology: this covers both sociology and science and different methodologies (interpretivism, feminism and postmodernism). Positivism and Realism also make an appearance here at various points.
Sociological Theory: includes structure and action plus Marx, Durkheim and Weber as schools of thought.
Supporting Materials: Revision Maps, Question Answers, Worksheets, Exam Help.