Monthly Archives: December 2015

Factors Influencing a Sociologist’s Choice of Research Topic

What are the factors which influence a sociologist’s choice of research topic? The personal interests and values of the researchers themselves. A Sociologist is obviously going to be more motivated to study something they are interested in – and nothing … Continue reading

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Explaining Social Class Differences in Education Using Longitudinal Studies

Why do working class children do worse than middle class children in education? This post looks at some quantitative, longitudinal data to explore why. A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation argues that early intervention is not enough to … Continue reading

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Our waning interest in Pornography and Patriarchy?

Here’s an interesting correlation between the quantities of books published on Pornography and Patriarchy… This is from Google ngram viewer, which searches the content of five million books. If you take it at face value, then public interest in both … Continue reading

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Evaluating the Functionalist Perspective on Education

Functionalist theorists such as Durkheim and Parsons argue that education systems are meritocracies and that they perform positive functions such as secondary socialization and role allocation, but how valid are these views today? Before you read the material below, make … Continue reading

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Are Chinese Teaching Methods Best? (Experiments in Education)

According to recent studies, China is home to one of the best education systems in the world, while Britain is trailing a long way behind. In some studies Chinese students are three years ahead of British students in reading and … Continue reading

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Official Statistics on Educational Achievement in the U.K. – Strengths and Limitations

How useful are official statistics for understanding differences in educational achievement by social class, gender and ethnicity? How do GCSE results vary by social class, gender and ethnicity? The data below is taken from the Department for Education’s document – … Continue reading

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Official Statistics in Sociology

Official Statistics in sociology. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using official statistics in social research? Continue reading

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Secondary Qualitative Data in Sociology

Secondary Qualitative Data is information that already exists in written or audio visual format. Secondary Qualitative Data typically take the form of documents – and there are a huge variety of them. They include government reports, newspapers, novels, letters, diaries, as … Continue reading

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Assessing the Usefulness of Secondary Qualitative Data to Research Education

How useful is secondary qualitative data when researching education? This post considers some of the theoretical, practical and ethical limitations of Public and Personal Documents which are produced in the context of education – such as OFSTED reports, school prospectuses, school reports … Continue reading

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The Consequences of an Ageing Population

What are the consequences of an ageing population? This is a summary of a recent Radio 4 Analysis podcast – Three Score Years and Twenty on Ageing Britain. It’s of clear relevance to the demography topic within the 7191 families and … Continue reading

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