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AQA A Level Sociology Book One Including AS Level: Book one

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The book is divided up into 10 sections, which each section exploring around seven sociological concepts, providing a ‘working definition’, a section on the origins of the concept, meanings and interpretations, critical comments, and a final section on the continued relevance of the concepts. The downside to the book is that there is less of an exam focus compared to other two, but then again, if you want exam practice you could always just buy a revision guide! Chomsky, N. (2004) Hegemony or Survival: America’s quest for global dominance. London: Penguin Books. This is a handy little supplementary text for students studying mainly degree level sociology. It covers most of the classic and contemporary sociological concepts from ‘society’ to ‘globalisation, and from ‘patriarchy’ to ‘intersectionality’. NB I’ve only selected the most quintessentially sociological books for this list (I’ll get round to explaining what I define as ‘quintessentially sociological’ at some point).

Evaluate – HISTORICAL CRITICISM – Is the theory/ concept dated? When was the concept developed? Is it still relevant today, or has society changed so much that it is no longer relevant? Has society changed in such a way that some aspects of the theory are now more relevant? the relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with particular reference to the economy and to state policies The book follows the new 7191 specification more closely than all of the others – It uses the kind of ‘structure’ examiners are expecting to see in the exam, so it’s definitely a safe option – for example, the methods section is clearly broken up into Theoretical, Practical and Ethical Factors and there are solid sections on Methods in Context. It also has the most significant updates on the new areas in the specification – such as some reasonable material on globalization and migration, the ageing population, privatization and education, and the sociology of personal life, although the later section seems to have borrowed heavily from from edition 8 of Haralambos the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practiceThese resources contain all the core sociology knowledge students need for a through introduction sociology, illustrated with numerous up to date contemporary case studies and statistics. This course carries UCAS points. This means that it can be used to gain direct access to University courses and other Higher Education, through the UCAS system. The methods chapter is OK – gets a bit thin towards the secondary data material at the end. What’s nice about this chapter is that the book has clear methods in context boxes throughout the methods chapter which link to education research (some of which has even been done this decade!)

Bryman, Alan (2015) Social Research Methods – A great introductory book on research methods organised by the major different types of research method (surveys, interviews, etc.), with supplementary material including PowerPoints and mutli-choice quizzes.So while I do think this book is lazily written – no major work has gone into updating it since the incarnation before it (given that 4 people have had 4 years to add bits in and, to be honest, haven’t really done that much) – it is a very safe option – hence a good recommendation well suited to our risk society. Ken Brown’s excellent text book is a nice balance of depth and breadth. The chapters are clearly broken down by specification area, and covers the new areas of the specification well – it is the only text book to specifically deal with the issue of Selection in education for example.

There is no great mystery about how to study for sociology A-level. Many students, although they’re not naturally that ‘academic’ still score A and A* grades through sheer hard work, focus and determination. Upon successfully completing this home learning course, you will receive the qualification: AQA A-level Sociology, issued by AQA. Your certificate is identical to that issued to students at any other school, college or university. If you want an interesting text with more up to date examples, and a good solid focus on contemporary research studies, this is the one to go for. It’s a bit clumsier in terms of structure than Robb Webb’s book, but has a better ‘exam training’ focus – For example all of the chapters are peppered with definitions and explanations of key concepts which are clearly designed with the new ‘briefly explain with one example’ 4 mark type questions in mind.Switch topics regularly when revising (this is called “ interleaving” and it will help you to identify connections between different topics) the role of transnational corporations, non-governmental organisations and international agencies in local and global strategies for development Gilbert, Nigel (2015) Researching Social Life – A classic introductory text book which takes you through the research process step by step, from research design, to data collection and analysis. the relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’ changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures

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