Introducing Sociology for AS Level

Introducing Sociology for AS Level

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The second edition of Ken Browne's highly successful, "Introducing Sociology for AS-level" provides in-depth and up-to-date coverage of the complete specification for AQA AS-level sociology. The first edition of this book was widely praised for its comprehensive coverage, and student-friendly style. In this second edition, all of the chapters have been revised to include new studies, reports and statistics. Key sociological terms are now systematically highlighted all the way through the book, and included in a comprehensive glossary, with fresh questions and activities added to develop and test students' understanding further. Fuller consideration of issues of identity has been given throughout the text. More detailed advice has been provided on coursework, including a top-mark example to show students exactly what they have to do to achieve the highest grades.What's more, two authentic exam questions are now included on every topic. Pitched at exactly the right level for AS sociology, the book provides all the tools necessary to help students achieve top grades, and a sound basis for progression to A2. A host of cartoons, photographs, graphs, tables, and spider diagrams help to enliven the text, as well as reinforcing key issues. Web sites and web-based activities are included throughout, encouraging students to engage with the most recent social changes, and developments in sociology. Although it assumes no previous knowledge of sociology, its dedicated and in-depth coverage of all the AQA's AS topics provides a useful reference tool for the synoptic elements at A2. The second edition of "Introducing Sociology for AS Level" combines sociological rigour and accessibility in a way unrivalled by any other book at this level. It will be an invaluable resource to anyone following the AQA specifications.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 189 x 245mm | 996g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0745635601
  • 9780745635606
  • 1,386,991

Table of contents

CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS INTRODUCTION TO AS SOCIOLOGY AS Sociology Assessment Two themes Key skills How to use this book Useful web sites 1. INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY Key issues What is sociology? Sociology and common sense Sociology and naturalistic explanations Some key introductory ideas Socialization, culture and identity Roles, role models and role conflict Values and norms Social control Social class, social mobility and status Sociological perspectives Structuralism Social Action or Interpretivist theories Structuration: a middle way between structure and action Feminist perspectives New Right perspectives Postmodernism Sociological Problems, social problems and social policy Accidents as a social and sociological problem Chapter summary Key terms 2. FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLDS Key issues What is the family? What is a household? Different forms of the Family and Marriage Is the nuclear family a universal institution? The Nayar Communes The kibbutz Lone-parent families Gay and lesbian families Foster care and children's homes Sociological perspectives on the family The functionalist perspective The Marxist perspective Marxist feminist and radical feminist perspectives on the family Changes in the family in Britain Family Change 1: Has the family lost its functions? Family Change 2: The decline of the classic extended family and the emergence of the privatized nuclear family? Family Change 3: The emergence of the symmetrical family? Family Change 4: The changing position of children in the family Family Change 5. The decline in average family size Family Change 6: The rising divorce rate Family Change 7: Remarriage and the growth of the reconstituted family Family Change 8: The growth of the lone-parent family Family Change 9: The decline in marriage and the growing incidence and acceptance of cohabitation Family Change 10: The growth in 'singlehood' - living alone Family Change 11: More births outside marriage Family diversity and the myth of the 'cereal packet' family Why is the 'cereal packet' stereotype misleading? The 'darker side' of family life The abuse of children Domestic violence Family Ideology Politics, Social policy and the family Conservative or 'New Right' solutions Labour solutions Is the family a declining social institution? Chapter summary Key terms Coursework suggestions Exam questions 3. HEALTH Key issues What is meant by 'health', 'illness', 'disease'? Disability The medical and social models of health The medical (biomedical) model of health The social model of health Becoming a health statistic Medicine and social control: the sick role Features of the sick role Criticisms of Parsons and the sick role The power of the medical profession Protecting the patient? Criticisms of the medical profession The erosion of medical power? Marxist approaches to health and medicine How society influences health Improvements in health in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries The new 'disease burden' What are the causes of these new diseases? Inequalities in health Social class differences in health Gender differences in health Ethnic inequalities in health Inequalities of access to health care Geography Social Class Disability Mental illness What is mental illness? Care in the community The biomedical approach to mental illness The social construction of mental illness Conclusion Chapter summary Key terms Coursework suggestions Exam questions 4. MASS MEDIA Key issues The power Of The media: key questions Formal controls on the media The law The government and the state The Press Complaints Commission Ownership of the mass media The mass media and ideology Do the owners of the media control their content? The manipulative or instrumentalist approach The dominant ideology or hegemonic approach The pluralist approach The effects of the mass media: does control of the media matter anyway? The hypodermic syringe model The two-step flow model The cultural effects model The uses and gratifications model Violence and the media Problems of researching media violence What affects the contents of the media? Bias in the media The owners Making a profit Organizational constraints Agenda-setting Gate-keeping Norm-setting The presentation and social construction of the news Inaccurate and false reporting News values and 'newsworthiness' The assumptions and activities of journalists The media, crime and deviance The work of Stan Cohen Media representations and stereotyping Media representations of age Media representations of social class Media representations of ethnicity Media representations of gender Media representations of disability The mass media and mass culture Mass culture 'High culture' A Marxist view of mass culture Criticisms of the idea of a 'mass culture' Into the future Chapter summary Key terms Coursework suggestions Exam questions 5. EDUCATION Key issues Education in Britain before the 1970s Comprehensive schools and selection Education from 1988 onwards: the free market in education and increased state intervention The 1988 Education Reform Act and other changes The Labour government and education Vocational education Features of the new vocational education Criticisms of the free market in education, vocational education, and other recent changes The middle class have gained the most Social class divisions The unfairness of league tables The risk to student needs Difficulties in improving schools 'Dumbing down' Inadequate vocational education Sociological Perspectives on Education The functionalist perspective on education Marxist perspectives on education Interactionist perspectives on education Is contemporary Britain a meritocracy? Natural Intelligence or IQ Social class differences in educational achievement Explaining social class differences in educational attainment Gender differences in educational achievement: the underachievement of boys Problems remaining for girls Explaining gender differences in education Some concluding comments on gender and underachievement Ethnicity and educational achievement Explanations for ethnic group differences in education Some words of caution Private education: The independent schools The case for independent schools The case against independent schools Elite education and elite jobs Chapter summary Key terms Coursework suggestions Exam questions 6. WEALTH, WELFARE AND POVERTY Key issues Wealth and income The distribution of wealth and income Who are the rich? Attempts to redistribute wealth and income Explaining the distribution of wealth and income The welfare state What is the welfare state? Who provides welfare? Theoretical approaches to welfare The social democratic approach (the welfare model) The market liberal or New Right approach Marxist approaches Feminist approaches The welfare state and social inequality The inverse care law Inequalities between ethnic groups Gender inequality The welfare state and poverty The 'New Labour' government of 1997 Poverty Changing views of poverty Defining poverty The extent of poverty in Britain Who are the poor? Explaining Poverty Conclusion Chapter summary Key terms Coursework suggestions Exam questions 7. WORK AND LEISURE Key issues Defining work, non-work and leisure Work Non-work Leisure Three periods of time The importance of work Work and identity The changing nature of work and leisure Work and leisure in pre-industrial society Work and leisure in industrial society The management and organization of work Technology and the control of work Alienation and job satisfaction Post-Fordism and flexible specialization The future of work The effects of changing technology on society Conflict at work Strikes The causes of conflict at work Unemployment Unemployment statistics Who is most at risk of unemployment? Types of unemployment The causes of unemployment The effects or consequences of unemployment Leisure, identity and consumption What is leisure? The changing pattern of leisure Leisure and identity Factors influencing the choice of leisure activity Chapter summary Key terms Coursework suggestions Exam questions 8. SOCIOLOGICAL METHODS Key issues Influences on the choice of research method Positivism and research methods Interpretivism and research methods Other influences on the choice of research method Key issues in social research Primary and secondary data Qualitative secondary sources The advantages and uses of qualitative secondary sources The disadvantages and limitations of qualitative secondary sources Content analysis Quantitative secondary sources The advantages and uses of official statistics The problems and limitations of official statistics The experimental (laboratory) method of research Problems of using the experimental method in sociology The comparative method Surveys and sampling methods Who uses the survey method? Representativeness and sampling The stages of a survey Problems of the social survey Questionnaires The nature and use of questionnaires Questionnaire design: some principles and problems Types of questionnaire The validity of questionnaire research Interviews Structured or formal interviews Unstructured or informal (in-depth) interviews General problems of interviews Concluding remarks on interviews Participant observation The theoretical context of participant observation The stages of participant observation and related problems The strengths and weaknesses of participant observation Reliability and validity in participant observation Non-participant observation Longitudinal studies Case studies and life histories Triangulation Doing your own research 1. Hypothesis or aim 2. Context and concepts 3. Main research method and reasons 4. Potential problems Chapter summary Key terms Exam questions Glossary Bibliography Indexshow more

Review quote

"It's as clear, concise and succinct as ever ... Browne is aware that many students find A-level Sociology difficult and this book clearly signposts 'essential knowledge' in a very accessible way. Overall, a very readable text that manages to convey a great deal of essential information." Chris Livesley, Sociology Central "This is an excellent introduction for all those starting to study sociology. Students will not be weighed down with exhaustive reviews of study after study, but instead will find the key points they need to grasp explained with great clarity and crisp focus." David Abbott, previously Head of Sociology, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge "A perfect resource for AS students and teachers alike, this book is a goldmine of information, exercises and activities. Ideal for the classroom, Ken Browne's clear, informative style makes studying sociology interesting and topical. Whilst mainly aimed at the AQA specification, OCR students will find this book valuable too, with central themes of class, gender, ethnicity, inequality and identity common to both specifications. Any student of AS sociology will find this book indispensable and useful for the synoptic element of the A2 course. This should be a set text for any sociology student." Jeanette Davies, A-level sociology lecturer "This AS text is already known for its accessible presentation of key sociological concepts and approaches. Useful diagrams and activities help students develop their knowledge and understanding and assist them in applying and evaluating what they know. Teachers and students will find this a welcome update. Although organized around the AQA specification, there is much here which all AS students will find essential." Chris Gardnershow more

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