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Modern Slavery - in Britain

Monday, December 01, 2014

Slaves? In Britain? Yes - I'm afraid so - and the problem may be much worse than most experts thought according to new data published by the Home Office.

There could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests.

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Corporate crime

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A great resource to discuss and debate the issue of corporate crime and responsibility in terms of tax etc.  The comments are particularly wonderful. 

Unit 4: Developing AO2 skills at A2

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One of the weaker areas for many students lies in the AO2 skills - analysis, interpretation and evaluation.  Here are some resources that I have used in lessons to help develop these skills through PEEL paragraphs, using brief examples from real essays.

AO2 skills

21 mark essay question Crime and the Media

Rape as an issue

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rape comes up a lot during discussions when teaching Crime and Deviance, particularly at A level, but also at GCSE. Whilst it can be a difficult topic for some, I welcome the discussions and am particularly keen to get students discussing current political views.  The American Presidential elections are proving most fertile as grounds to engage students... 

Views of rape as expressed by various candidates 

Disadvantage and socialisation

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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.

The Glasgow Effect - Do Poverty, Inequality or Crime Explain the High Mortality Rate?

Friday, August 24, 2012

What is it about living in Glasgow that means people there die significantly younger than elsewhere in the UK?

This feature in the Economist - “No City for Old Men” - explores the fact that Glaswegians die younger than other Britons, but nobody seems to really understand why.

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Media and the law: privacy issues

Sunday, April 01, 2012

New legislation proposed by government would allow them to monitor all emails, calls and web use, without requiring permission from a magistrate.  A great debating point for any lesson, and am important issue.
Read a brief article about it here.

Teen gangs programme

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This looks like a potentially interesting programme, tonight at 9pm.
teen gangs

AQA AS and A2 revision handouts

Monday, March 19, 2012

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.

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privatising policing

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The recent news story about the privatisation of certain police services has already sparked some vibrant reactions on facebook and other social media.  I am using it as a starter in my next crime and deviance lesson to consider what impact it might have on policing and society in general.  It offers a great opportunity to reflect on different theoretical perspectives. 

This is how it has been reported on the BBC.

Wikipedia ‘blackout’

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia’s decision to stage a 24hour ‘blackout’, in response to threatened US legislation, should make an interesting discussion starter for anyone studying media and / or crime and deviance.

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Policing the riots

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Home Office report on policing the riots.  Essential reading for Crime and Deviance students.

Violence and terror - Bauman

Monday, December 12, 2011

Zygmunt Bauman: ‘No one is in control. That is the major source of contemporary fear’ – video.  For Zygmunt Bauman the world is marked by a division between power and politics. While politics is defined by nations, power no longer recognises national boundaries

Crime and Deviance - London riots

Monday, December 05, 2011

The government published last week their interim report on the violence during the summer.  You can find it here.

The LSE and the Guardian newspaper also carried out research, interviewing many of those involved.  The findings are summarised in an article here.

Research methods: questionnaires

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A great online exercise for evaluating questionnaires.

Growing populations

Thursday, October 27, 2011

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.

CEP Research Paper on the Politics of Crime

Monday, April 12, 2010

The second Centre for Economic Performance Election Analysis describes UK crime trends and research evidence relevant to the parties’ proposed policies - available here

Burglary and iPods

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why is burglary in Decline? Laurie Taylor in Thinking Allowed talks to expert James Treadwell about the latest British Crime Survey statistics which show 744,000 domestic burglaries in England and Wales, a drop of more than a million since 1995. That’s a pretty notable trend. Treadwell’s research seems to suggest that the answer lies in the plummeting cost of a DVD player and the rising popularity of the iPod.

Girls and Gangs - New Material

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Readers will probably have heard of an old study about girls in gangs - from the 70s or 80s I think, but the R4 Today programme, today (!), carried a feature item which provides some interesting material to update that.  Should be very useful for anyone looking for something fresh for crime and deviance.  Follow the links.

For Race on the Agenda

I think if you go back to ROTA in due course a pdf of their report will be available - doesn’t seem to be up yet. Looks like a good site though.

For R4 Today item

More Mapping Crime

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We’re having a bit of a crimefest at the moment I guess.  A big thanks to Jim for posting up those links.  That’s prompted me to jot down some ideas about a lesson I used to do on this topic - I link it into the Chicago School stuff. Jim says ‘what is it about the Bronx?’. Well, the Chicago School said it was all about zones of transition. But were they right?  There are also a couple more links on my lesson plan.  Hope its useful.

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Crime in the UK - Mapping the Crime Stats

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another great resource for students here - a postcode-by-postcode interactive map of the latest UK crime statistics.  Check out your own school area, home address or make some comparisons between two different locations.  A great starting point for discussion on crime in the UK.  Stats can be downloaded to Excel too - to encourage students to turn their hands to some DTP and data analysis.

Its Murder in New York City

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Came across this fantastic interactive resource which allows the reader to interact with all the recent homocide data in NYC.  A great example of data visualisation and packed full with insights into the nature of murder in the Big Apple.  Can you spot any trends from year to year?  What about the difference between day and night?  And what is it about the Bronx??

Launch interactivre guide to murder in NYC

A Career in Crime

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Part of the great attraction of sociology - for me at least - has always been the way that it sheds light on our personal lives. The American sociologist C.Wright Mills famously wrote about this in his book The Sociological Imagination.  Mills wrote:

” Perhaps the most fruitful distinction with which the sociological imagination works is between the ‘personal troubles of milieu’ and ‘the public issues of social structure.’

By ‘milieu’ Mills just means ‘environment’ and he’s getting at the point that there is a connection between the way our environment shapes us and the larger social structures which influence us, like class, race and gender.

Why do I mention it? Because I was struck tonight by my son’s interest in Curtis Warren.

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White Collar Crime Revision

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

White collar crime is very topical now, with all the furore over MPs’ expenses.  Are MPs’ guilty of excessive claims in fact whilte collar criminals? Here are some revision notes to help you decide.

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Gender and Crime Revision

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just a brief revision note this time from me on gender and crime.

First things first, the stats. Men accounted for around 80 per cent of all offenders convicted or cautioned for indictable offences in 2000and 94 per cent of the prison population in the UK in 2002.

Sure, those aren’t the very latest figures, but that is a trend which has held for as long as I’ve been studying sociology, so the trend seems pretty clear: most crime is a male affair.

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Crime and Ethnicity Revision

Monday, May 25, 2009

This is a real hot potato of a topic – politically charged and sociologically controversial.  So how can we tackle it? I’d advise a critical approach to official statistics and referring to some relatively recent research.

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Crime and Location - Evaluation

Friday, May 22, 2009

Here are some points to bear in mind in order to evaluate the findings on crime and location.

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Crime and Location Revision

Crime and Location - its on the specification and of course that means it does come up. Its an interesting topic area - and another good one for utilising your methodological knowledge and understanding.  I’m posting up some outline notes and will do second post with some evaluation points.  As for the rest of the crime and deviance topic, I’ll endeavour to get some posts up for ethnicity and gender, and white collar, to wrap the topic up, soon, so readers can concentrate on revising.

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Sample Answer - Synoptic Question

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And as an added bonus today, here’s a sample answer for a synoptic question on official statistics with a synoptic link to methodology. It’s not necessarily perfect, but it should give you a fair idea how to make the links between the topic and methodology. And of course - you need to use this as a model because questions don’t just get repeated wholesale. Think about other ways of asking a synoptic question about crime and methods, or think about other synoptic links - to theory, or to other substantive topic areas.

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Revising Official Statistics and Crime

Official statistics is pretty much a great favourite -certainly with teachers, if not students, mainly because there’s a fair amount of material and some good juicy issues to get stuck into. Of course it may not come up. But then again….

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Crime and Deviance - Control Theory

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today I’m posting up a few points and criticisms of control theory. It’s not so well known as some of the other theories, but questions can and do come up on it, and it certainly reflects a lot of assumptions which crop up in public debate about crime, so evaluating it carefully is important.

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Crime and Deviance - Key Perspectives Revision

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here are some notes which are aimed to help those revising key perspectives in crime and deviance.

I’m not including every perspective here and I’m just concentrating on key evaluation points. The reason for that is two-fold.

Firstly, at this stage you should already be fairly familiar with the key points of the main perspectives, or if you’re not, know enough about how to get that sorted pretty swiftly. 

Secondly, its absolutely vital that you evaluate knowledge rather than regurgitate it and these notes are intended to help you do that by focusing on the strengths or weaknesses of key perspectives.  The notes which follow will therefore focus on: functionalism, marxism, interactionism, and postmodernism.

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