Supportive parents do more than good schools to boost children's exam results, a study suggests. The BBC highlight a new report from the US telling us what we probably already know! Read about it here .
BBC's Panorama showed a fantastic programme this evening, looking at life on a housing estate in Blackburn, 'Trouble on the Estate '. The programme is available online and provides fantastic opportunities for discussing issues relating to crime and deviance as well as socialisation and social inequality.
A thought-provoking article here which addresses the challenges faced by those in the UK prepared to take on the daunting work of fostering.
According to the Telegraph, there are 87,000 British children in care today. Each one needs a stable, loving environment and children’s homes are a last resort. But with a new child coming into care every 22 minutes, Britain’s fostering system is struggling to cope.read more...»
I have recently updated my Unit 1 scheme of work (although there are still a few finishing touches that remain). Please feel free to make use of it or adapt it to suit your students. If you would like to ask about any of the accompanying resources then please get in touch.read more...»
essential reading for budding young sociologists. Read here.
These form part of the revision pack I put together for students. They include a checklist of topics (from the specification) and examples of all past questions up to the most recent summer exam (I hold back the January exams for mocks).
The AS guide is for Unit 1: Families and Households and Unit 2: Education with Research Methods
The A2 guide is for Unit 3: Mass Media and Unit 4: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods.
Please feel free to adapt and use.read more...»
a neat little summary of the history of marriage. 10 key moments.
I’ve seen a number of interesting stories and programmes exploring ideas relating to population levels. The most recent was this morning on the BBC, asking if the number of people alive today (about 7 billion) outnumbers the number of people that have ever lived on earth. Most of these debates centre on the fear that at some point there will be too many people for the world to handle.read more...»
Great animated video about research into the benefits of exercise. Watch it here.
A survey by the Centre for the Modern Family suggests that few people feel part of a ‘traditional’ family. Read about it here.
Useful article about the impact of the introduction of the contraceptive pill.
I’m having trouble uploading resources to the website currently, but there are plenty of stories in the news that provide a good basis for discussion. One on the BBC today questions how easy it is to live on £40,000pa (the average combined income for two adults in the UK). Read it here.
If anybody else is feeling like me at the moment, then it is a good time to (re)discover Chris Gardner’s excellent website: lots of quizzes, games and notes for GCSE Sociology, several of which I use profitably with AS level as well.
The growing population of our planet is of great interest to sociologists, and of concern to many. This neat app on the BBC lets you work out what ‘number’ you are - a great little starter for discussion.
We’re always looking for good material on childhood aren’t we? So why not check out this edition of Thinking Allowed which features Laurie Taylor talking to historian John Welshman, who has written a book on the experience of evacuee children in WW2.
The idea that our family will look after us when we get old is an attractive one, for perhaps obvious reasons and maybe it has always been a bit of a myth. Now a study by psychologists suggests that maybe it is friends, not family, who are more important in later years. It seems to me that you can use the evidence from this article to add to evaluations of the functionalist account of the changing role of the nuclear family.
Here’s some useful new evidence to throw into the pot on conjugal roles. Of course, the findings have to be put firmly into context - the majority of men are not the primary carer for their child or children, but they do suggest social change is occuring and that there is more flexibility and variety in arrangements.
This article on Jacob Zuma and polygamy in South Africa caught my eye the other day.
There are some interesting elements of explanation here, though also some rather normative comments from a researcher at the University of Pretoria. Of course, feminists and many others, would agree that polygamy is a social system which will be quite likely to lead to highly imbalanced gender relations. The point is to study these things sociologically. That said, I do remember being shocked when a sociologist tried to point out to me back in the 1980s that women - in Britain - had all sorts of power within families. I suppose he was right - in a way. But for me, the more radical feminist views provided the more accurate perspective; women were dominated. I guess I would probably take a similar view about South African, or indeed any other, form of polygamy. Sociologists are always influenced by their values, and I’m no different.
Can your parents drive you to drink? Well, that’s not really a fair summary of this article from the BBC, but it does raise some interesting questions about primary socialisation. Some sociologists have argued that the success of socialisation can be exaggerated. Does this example prove or disprove that claim?
Many thanks to David for producing this 10-question quiz on the size and composition of households and families in the UK: