WOW! Politics 2014 - Teaching & Learning Resources for the GCSE & A Level Sociology Classroom

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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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Streaming in schools

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Streaming is no longer commonly used in schools, often viewed as divisive and unfair.  However, some schools have adopted the approach and defend it as a means to stretch and challenge the top cohorts.  Have a look at this video about how it works at Crown Woods, in Eltham, London. 

Parents and Educational attainment

Saturday, October 13, 2012

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 . 

Sociology Inequality - taught my capuchin monkeys!

Experiments with capuchin monkeys show that they understand the concept of fairness and inequality - perhaps better than humans!  A greater starter for lessons.

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Suicide and the Modern Middle-Aged Male

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A somewhat worrying report here in the Telegraph  which focuses attention on the relatively high rates of suicide among middle-aged men, particularly the poor.

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Education around the World - Compare and Contrast these Classrooms

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A fascinating series of images here in this Guardian photostream  which illustrate a variety of classroom environments around the globe.

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Do you feel rich or poor?

Can the difference between rich and poor be measured, in some way, by how wealthy people "feel"? What factors determine whether someone feels poor or well off?

This feature in the Guardian  features some mini interviews with a variety of adults, each with different occupations, remuneration, accumulated savings and housing.

Some fascinating insights into how individual circumstances and attitudes help shape our perception of personal wealth.

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.

Schools in the UK - Social Segregation

A major new comparative study from the OECD suggests that the UK's school system is socially segregated, with immigrant children clustered in disadvantaged schools. The extent of the segregation and potential educational disadvantage appears to be more significant than most other developed economies.

You can read about the report here in the Telegraph.  Lots of good data in there.

The OECD conclude from their research that:

"The socio-economic composition of UK schools poses significant challenges for disadvantaged students and students with an immigrant background,"

Child Poverty in the UK - “It Shouldn’t Happen Here”

The charity Save the Children, best known for helping some of the world's poorest families, has launched an appeal to help UK children, focusing the scale and impact of poverty amongst Britain's poorest communities...


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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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The Rich Get Healthier…and the Poor Get Poorly?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is there a direct, causal link between social class and poor health? This article in the Guardian reports on the findings of a new survey by the King’s Fund health thinktank which suggests that there is a clear and widening gap in the health of people in England as measured by their social class.

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the Queen’s speech

Thursday, May 10, 2012

essential reading for budding young sociologists.  Read here.

Population statistics

Saturday, February 04, 2012

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.

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TED - videoed talks

Monday, January 23, 2012

TED is a fantastic resources of talks on a multitude of subjects.  Go and have a browse - you are sure to find something interesting / fun / challenging / useful / eye-opening… 

I like this selection on ‘what makes us happy?’

Feminism and Technology

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has caused some controversy, with companies employing ‘booth babes’ to help promote their products.  You can watch a news clip here, featuring interviews with attendees and ‘babes’.

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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.

Contraception

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Useful article about the impact of the introduction of the contraceptive pill.

Family incomes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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.

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.

African-Caribbean underachievement

Friday, October 21, 2011

Interesting and baldly stated article about reasons for underachievement by black boys.  A good starting point for a lesson.

Social Capital - Again

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apologies, I missed this one.  On this recent episode of Thinking Allowed, sociologist Ben Fine pokes his head above the parapet and has the nerve to suggest that the concept of social capital is a load of codswallop. Not very useful. The wrong way of looking at things. Sounds fair enough to me. But students - evaluate!

Social Capital

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

There’s been a lot of talk about social capital in AS/A sociology for a while now. So I’ll take this opportunity to suggest some reasons for caution in using the concept.

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Measuring Ethnic Inequalities

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sorry to have been silent for the last few days, I’ll fill in later today or this week.  Anyway folks, before people pack up for the holidays here’s a very useful research note from sociologists at the University of Surrey’s Social Research Unit.

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Racist Humour

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I remember writing a post some time ago which posed a few questions about racism and humour. Well, now it seems some of my questions can be answered by Simon Weaver of Loughborough University, who has made study of this area the focus of his academic work.  You can hear him speaking on Thinking Allowed, R4.

Inequality and Difference

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I think this series from C4 should be really useful material for all sociology students. Obviously it’s great sport watching MPs get a verbal battering, but there are also lots of interesting points about social inequality which can be brought out from the seris - at least if the episode I saw this week (Ep 2 apparent) was anything to go by.  I particularly enjoyed the sight of Mark Oaten fuming in moral indignation because his host spent 40 quid on cigarettes, only to find her searching up his expenses on Google and giving him an unbraiding for his own profligacy.

Education and Equality

Friday, October 23, 2009

A bit political, a bit controversial today, but I saw this today in The Guardian and thought it was spot on. There’s a fair bit of sociology in it too, towards the end. I guess you could argue that Hanley oversimplifies a bit, but I’ve been one of those who have found New Labour, well, just a bit too ‘New’ if I can put it that way for now. For me, this hits the nail pretty much on the head. But then, perhaps I’m just a simplistic, unreconstructed old leftie?

Quote for the Week coming up tomorrow and somewhere in the T2U machinery there’s another quiz waiting to be published.

Have a great weekend.

Sociology Categories

Friday, February 01, 2008


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