Education and Theory and Methods – Online Video Revision

I’m running a live, online video-revision session covering exam strategies for the Education with Theory and Methods Sociology exam paper (7192/1) – The class is scheduled for this coming Sunday the 28th.

You’ll need to register with WizIQ, which is free (so that I have some kind of idea whose attending), but this a quick process, and all you need is an email to register.

Online Revision Sociology EducationThis will be a 45 Minute session covering the following:

  • A brief overview of the structure of the Education and Theory and Methods 7192 exam
  • Mark-maximising strategies for each of the six questions
  • Six exemplar exam question and answers, talked through and explained.
  • An opportunity to ask questions at the end.

The class is scheduled for 16.00, Sunday 28th May, and will be recorded so you can access it afterwards.

You also get…

  • One 30 slide power point covering the 6 types of exam questions in the A level sociology 7192 (1) paper: the same Power Point will form the basis of the live session, along with some interactive marking activities, and a QA session at the end.
  • Additional Support Materials – An eight page document which includes a full mark response to one 10 mark question and two examples of full mark responses to possible 30 mark essays.

Class is limited to 25 people.. The first 5 get it for £4.99 – after that I may put the price up!

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What is Economic Globalisation?

Economic Globalisation involves the global expansion of international capitalism, free markets and the increase in international trade, a process which has accelerated since the 1950s. Nearly every country on earth now imports and exports more from and to other countries than it did immediately after World War Two, and even ex-communist countries are now part of the global capitalist economy. Britain for example imports around 60% of its food, with only 40% of the food supply being grown in Britain, and if you take a look around any class room, or any living room, and you will probably find that the majority of products were imported from somewhere else.

Some of the key features of economic globalisation include:

The emergence of global Commodity chains – manufacturing is increasingly globalised as there are more worldwide networks extending from the raw material to the final consumer. The least profitable aspects of production – actually making physical products, tend to be done in poorer, peripheral countries, whereas the more profitable aspects, related to branding and marketing, tend to be done in the richer, developed, core countries.

The role of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) is particularly important – these are companies that produce goods in more than one country, and they are oriented to global markets and global products, many are household names such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Nike. The biggest TNCs have annual revenues which are greater than the economic output of middle-income countries. Apple, for example, generates more income than Finland does every year, and many oil companies such as Shell and Exxon-Mobile generate revenue several times that of the poorer countries they extract from.

The global economy is Post Industrial – as a result it is increasingly ‘weightless’ (Quah 1999) – products are much more likely to be information based/ electronic, such as computer software, films and music or information services rather than actual tangible, physical goods such as food, clothing or cars.

The electronic economy underpins globalisation – Banks, corporations, fund managers and individuals are able to shift huge funds across boarders instantaneously at the click of a mouse. Transfers of vast amounts of capital can trigger economic crises.

 

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What is Cultural Globalisation?

‘Cultural globalisation refers to the rapid movement of ideas, attitudes, meanings, values and cultural products across national borders. It refers specifically to idea that there is now a global and common mono-culture – transmitted and reinforced by the internet, popular entertainment transnational marketing of particular brands and international tourism – that transcends local cultural traditions and lifestyles, and that shapes the perceptions, aspirations, tastes and everyday activities of people wherever they may live in the world’

Migration is an important aspect of cultural globalisation, and in this sense, this process has been going on for several centuries, with languages, religious beliefs, and values being spread by military conquest, missionary work, and trade. However, in the last 30 years, the process of cultural globalisation has dramatically intensified due technological advances in both transportation and communications technology.

The globalisation of food is one of the most obvious examples of cultural globalisation – food consumption is an important aspect of culture and most societies around the world have diets that are unique to them, however the cultural globalisation of food has been promoted by fast food giants such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks. The spread of these global food corporations has arguably led to the decline of local diets and eating traditions.

cultural globalisation

The Globalisation of sport  is another fairly obvious example of cultural globalisation – think of all the international sporting events that take place – most notably the World Cup and The Olympics, and Formula 1, which bind millions together in a shared, truly global, ‘leisure experience’.

Converging Global Consumption Patterns – today you can go to pretty much any major city in the world and share in a similar ‘consumption experience’. Also, more and more people in Asia and South-America are coming to enjoy high-consumption lifestyles like in the West – car ownership and tourism are both on the increase globally for example. Central to this is the growth of similar styles of shopping malls, and leisure parks which provide a homogeneous cultural experience in different regions across the world.

globalisation consumerism

The Global Village/ Global Consciousness

Individuals and families are now more directly plugged into news from the outside world – some of the most gripping events of the past decade have unfolded in real time in front of a global audience. According to Giddens this means that more and more people have a more ‘global outlook’ and increasingly identify with a global audience – for example, television reporting of natural disasters in developing countries result in people in wealthier countries donating money to charities such as Oxfam to assist with relief efforts. Giddens developed the concept of ‘Cosmopolitanism’ to describe this process of an emerging global identity.

A criticism of Giddens is that some people perceive increasing globalisation as a threat to their ways of life and retreat into Fundamentalism and/ or Nationalism as a defensive response, suggesting that Globalisation could go into reverse…

Detraditionalisation

In his classic 1999 text, Runaway World, Anthony Giddens argues that one consequence of globalisation is detraditionalisation – where people question their traditional beliefs about religion, marriage, and gender roles and so on. He uses the concept of ‘detraditionalisation’ rather than ‘decline of tradition’ to reflect the fact that in many cases people continue with their traditional ways of life, rather than actually changing them, but the very fact that they are now actively questioning aspects of their lives means cultures are much less stable and less predictable than before globalisation, because more people are aware of the fact that there are alternative ways of doing things and that they can change traditions if they want to.

The above processes are related to growth of urbanisation, especially the growth of global cities which have highly educated, politically engaged middle classes.

Global Risks/ Global Risk Consciousness

Ulrich Beck (1992) argues that a fundamental feature of globalisation is the development of a global risk consciousness, which emerges due to shared global problems which threaten people in multiple countries – examples include the threat of terrorism, international nuclear war, the threat of global pandemics, the rise of organised crime funded primarily through international drug trafficking, and the threat of planetary melt-down due to global warming.

On the downside, the constant media focus on such global problems has led to a widespread culture of fear and increasing anxiety across the globe, which has arguably contributed to things such as Paranoid Parenting and Brexit, but on the plus side, new global international movements and agencies have emerged through which people come together across borders to tackle such problems.

disneyfication

Sources used to write this post:

Chapman et al (2016?)* Sociology AQA Year 2.

Giddens (2009) Sociology.

*No publication date provided in text!?!?@”?!

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Factors Contributing to Globalisation

‘Globalisation refers to the fact that we all increasingly live in one world, so that individuals, groups and nations become ever more interdependent.’ (Giddens, Sociology, 2009)

Globalisation in this sense has been occurring over a very long period of human history, but the sheer pace and intensity of it has increased in the last 40 years or so.

Factors contributing to Globalisation

The rise of information and communications technology

  • The move from telephonic communication to cable and satellite digital communication have resulted in increasing information flows
  • Time-space compression – people in faraway places feel closer together as they can communicate instantaneously.
  • Individuals and families are more directly plugged into news from the outside world – some of the most gripping events of the past decade have unfolded in real time in front of a global audience.
  • Some individuals identify being more ‘cosmopolitanism’ as a result and increasingly identify with a global audience; others perceive increasing globalisation as a threat to their ways of life and retreat into Fundamentalism and/ or Nationalism as a defensive response.

Economic factors

  • The global economy is Post Industrial – as a result it is increasingly ‘weightless’ (Quah 1999) – products are much more likely to be information based/ electronic, such as computer software, films and music or information services rather than actual tangible, physical goods such as food, clothing or cars.
  • The role of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) is particularly important. These are companies that produce goods in more than one country, and they are oriented to global markets and global products.
  • Global Commodity chains – manufacturing is increasingly globalised as there are more worldwide networks extending from the raw material to the final consumer. The least profitable aspects of production – actually making physical products, tend to be done in poorer, peripheral countries, whereas the more profitable aspects, related to branding and marketing, tend to be done in the richer, developed, core countries.
  • Production is much more flexible than in the past – companies are much more likely to hire people on short term contracts and move around the globe seeking cheaper labour costs, as a response to increased global economic competition.
  • The electronic economy underpins globalisation – Banks, corporations, fund managers and individuals are able to shift huge funds across boarders instantaneously at the click of a mouse. Transfers of vast amounts of capital can trigger economic crises.

Political changes

  • The collapse of Communism in the 1990s meant the end of the divided ‘cold war’ world, and now these ex-communist countries are themselves democracies and integrated into the global economy.
  • The growth of international and regional mechanisms of government such as the United Nations and European Union – governments of Nation States are increasingly restricted by international directives and laws stemming from these international bodies.
  • International Non-Governmental organisations such as OXFAM or Greenpeace, operate in dozens of countries, and members tend to have an international outlook.

The above account of factors contributing to globalisation is taken from Giddens’ Sociology, edition 6, 2009.

(It seems like quite a useful framework, which I’ll add to when I get a chance!)

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How Does Globalisation Impact Family Life?

Globalisation is the increasing interconnectedness of countries (and the people within them) across the globe – below are just a few (very brief) thoughts on how globalisation might impact family life the United Kingdom…

  • Increased immigration – more family diversity, mixed race couples. (link to topic 3)
  • Shift in manufacturing abroad – Decline in traditional male jobs, more equality between men and women in relationships (link to topic 5)
  • Globalisation of media – commercialisation of childhood (toxic childhood), awareness of global problems (paranoid parents) (link to topic 5)
  • More financial crises (‘credit crunch’) – more divorce/ family instability (link to topic 2)
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Protected: A Level Sociology Paper 7192/1 – Education with Theory and Methods – How to Answer it – Vodcast

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Outline and Explain Two Theoretical Problems of Using Social Surveys in Social Research

Firstly, social surveys suffer from the imposition problem, closed questions limits what respondents can say Intepretivists argue respondents have diverse motives and it is unlikely that researchers will think up every possible relevant question and every possible, response, thus questionnaires will lack validity.

This is especially true for more complex topics such as religions belief – ticking the ‘Christian’ box can mean many different things to many different people, for example.

Interpretivists thus say that surveys are socially constructed—they don’t reflect reality, but the interests of researchers

However, this is easily rectified by including a section at the end of questionnaires in which respondents can write their explanations.

Secondly, self-completion surveys can also suffer from poor representativeness…

Postal questionnaires can suffer from a low response rate, and samples might be self-selecting— due to the illiterate or people who might be ashamed/ scared to return questionnaires on sensitive topics.

Also, you can’t check who has filled them in, so surveys may actually misrepresent the target population.

However, it is possible to rectify this with incentives and booster samples.

The above is a suggested response to a possible 10 mark ‘pure methods’ question which might come up on either paper 1 or 3 of the AQA’s A Level Sociology Papers. It follows the basic formula – make a point, develop it twice, and then evaluate it (which to my mind seems to work well for ‘pure methods’ 10 mark questions. 

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Outline and Explain Two Practical Advantages of Using Social Surveys in Social Research (10)

It’s possible that a 10 mark question on A level sociology papers 1 or 3 could simply ask you about a ‘pure’ research method, as with the example above.

This post suggests a strategy for how to answer such possible questions and provides one exemplar answer, which I think would get full marks in the exam….

Strategy 

  • Make two, distinct points—as different from each other as possible!
  • For each of the points, explain, develop it twice, and (if it flows) do a linked evaluation.
  • It’s good practice to link to Positivism and Interpretivism and use examples.

Exemplar Answer

Firstly, surveys are a quick and cheap means of gathering data from large numbers of people, across wide areas, because, once sent out, millions of people could potentially fill them at the same time.

They are especially quick/ efficient if put online because computers can analyse pre-coded answers and quantify/ compare the data instantaneously.

They also make it easier to gain government funding because you can generalise from large data sets and thus use to inform social policy—the census, for example, allows the government to plan for school places in the future.

However, Interpretivists would argue you never get in-depth/ valid data with this method, and so predictions can be flawed—the polls on Brexit didn’t tell us what people really thought about this issue!

Secondly, you don’t need ‘people skills’ to use social surveys, thus anyone can use them to do research.

This is because they can be written in advance, and put on-line or sent by post, and thus sociologist’s personal involvement with respondents can be kept to a minimum.

This also means that busy people with family commitments can easily use social surveys.

However, Interpretivists and Feminist argue this wouldn’t be an advantage for all topics—some areas are so sensitive they require personal contact, such as domestic abuse.

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Sociological Perspectives – Key Supporting Evidence

Below are a few quantitative and qualitative sources (case studies and statistics) that can be used to illustrate aspects of the main perspectives within A-level sociology – Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Social Action Theory and Post and Late Modernism

Functionalism

  • Bruce Parry: participant observation with ‘The Tribe’
  • Educating Yorkshire
  • Official statistics show declining family Size
  • Cross national statistics – positive correlation between economic development and social development
  • Official statistics – the positive correlation between truancy and crime
  • The Cambridge study in delinquency and development

Marxism

  • The correlation between increasing neoliberal policies and increasing global inequality
  • Official statistics show a positive correlation between material deprivation and underachievement in education
  • Official Statistics show an increase in childhood obesity, suggesting a link between advertising, pester power and poor child health
  • Case studies of the huge economic and social costs of corporate crime: Enron, Bhopal
  • Case studies of exploitation in the developing world. E.g. Ship breaking in Bangladesh
  • Case studies of elite criminals not being punished for their crimes – e.g. Mark Ashley of Sports Direct

Feminism

  • Official Statistics on gender equality and empowerment – no country on earth has gender equality
  • Statistics on the Domestic Division of Labour show that women spend twice as long on domestic chores as men
  • Official statistics on domestic violence show that ¼ women are victims in their lifetimes, more than men
  • A range of qualitative evidence from the Everyday Sexism Project
  • Statistics on gender and subject choice – 97% of hairdressing apprenticeships = female….
  • The prevalence of pornography and prostitution and their links with sex trafficking

Social Action Theory

  • Life-histories and Facebook profiles reveal complex and diverse family structures
  • Rosenthal and Jacobsen’s field experiment showing the self- fulfilling prophecy
  • Jock Young’s research on the drug takers
  • Self-report studies demonstrating that official crime stats are socially constructed
  • The fact that Gok Wan is famous
  • Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Postmodernism

  • Judith Stacey: The Divorce Extended Family: show complex family structures
  • My Monkey-Baby
  • Research studies on the importance of identity in education – e.g. Carolyn Jackson and the Ladettes
  • Stan Cohen’s research on the Mods and Rockers
  • The happy pierced prostitute who has a client who shoves golf-balls up his ass
  • Vanilla vloggers such as Zoella

Late Modernism

  • Official Statistics on growing global problems such as climate change, global crime and migration
  • The increase in New Social Movements such as the Green Movement
  • Jock Young – The Vertigo of Late Modernity
  • The fact that many nation states have nuclear weapons
  • The high global expenditure on the military
  • The positive correlation between educational achievement and income – nationally and globally
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How I Would’ve Answered Yesterday’s AS Sociology Exam Paper (7191/1 – Education)

A few thoughts on how the AQA’s 7191 (1) Education AS exam from May 2017 –

If any teacher finds this annoying because they like to keep these papers back for next year’s mock exam, forget it –

  • Any student can find out the questions on social media, very easily
  • The AQA seems to be publishing last years’ exam on their public access web site earlier, rather than keeping them secure.

You can easily just make up yr own exam papers and mark schemes using adobe editor. Also, I’m not giving the exact questions (well, with the exception of Q01) 

Question 01 – Define term hidden curriculum

Boom! Easy starter – in my 13 key concepts for the sociology of education

The norms and values taught at school which are not written down as part of the formal curriculum – for example the norm of respecting authority and being punctual.

Question 02 – Selection policies and social class

Covered here

Some oversubscribed schools select by catchment area – pupils have to live in a house within a certain distance from the school to stand a chance of getting in – this has resulted in covert selection by mortgage – house prices near the good schools increase and so poorer, working class families cannot afford to move into those areas, thus they have no real choice of getting into the best schools.

Question 03 – Three ways in which school mirrors capitalism

Classic Marxist correspondence theory: see here for three ways, explain school – work…

  • hierarchy
  • authority
  • motivation by external rewards
  • even the reproduction of class inequality 

Question 04 – Education policy and ethnic minorities’ experience of education 

Looks awful, but I’m assuming the policies don’t have to be about ethnicity in particular.

Policy 1 – Tony Sewell’s Generating Genius Programme – linked to positive aspirations for black boys, pro-school subcultures. 

Policy 2Banding and streaming – linked to institutional racism, Steve Strand, Gilborn and Youdell, educational triage. 

Question 05 – In school factors, the gender gap and educational achievement 

Simple really – It’s covered here and you could’ve bolstered it with this stuff

  • Point 1 – teacher labelling and evaluations 
  • Point 2 – Feminisation of teaching and evaluations
  • Point 3 – Subcultures – laddish ones obviously, also hyper-feminine and evaluations
  • Point 4 – Gender identities – I’d use sexual harassment of girls as an evaluation
  • Overall evaluations using out-of school factors and changing gender roles linked to in-school factors, probably concluding that schools really don’t change very much! 

Question 06 – Questionnaires and class differences in educational achievement.

It’s quite similar to this question here

My answer would have focused on the strengths of the method for making comparisons, and the ease of measuring material deprivation compared to the problems of measuring things like cultural deprivation and cultural capital and gaining access to working class parents. 

I would’ve covered all of Theoretical, ethical and practical of course. 

Interestingly the item didn’t give you very much….

You may have noticed that if you follow this blog, you can pretty much game the sociology exams just by memorizing the content. Personally I’ve no problem with this, being good at exams and being able to think sociologically are two different things, and one of these is a useful life-skill, the other isn’t!

Game on!

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