This site is primarily designed to help students revise A level sociology. It focuses on families and households, education and research methods, global development and crime and deviance with theory and methods, AQA focus. Please use the links under the relevant page headings to browse the sub topics in each of these topics, or simply search the site using the search function!

Revise Sociology (live since February 2014) initially focused on bare-bones revision material purely for A level sociology, but I’ve since started to upload more in-depth material on a range of topics relevant to A level sociology, and on some topics which are of personal interest to me and are beyond the specification, so a better name for the blog might now be ‘investigating sociology’ or ‘learning/ teaching’ sociology, but I’m sticking with revise sociology: now I’m ‘up there’ for some Google search-returns, I really don’t want to fall back down the rankings again. Shallow, I know, which is ironic for a sociology blog, but there you go.

Types of Blog Post on Revise Sociology

I generally write one of six types of post>

  1. Class notes – basically my teaching notes which aim to explain topics, perspectives. methods and and concepts within A level sociology using a range of examples. These posts also typically include links to videos and web sites where useful.
  2. Evaluative posts – these take a perspective, or a concept within A level sociology and evaluate their continued relevance (or not) to contemporary society.
  3. ‘Sociology in the News’/ ‘Sociology on T.V.’ – up to date posts applying sociology to contemporary events and T.V. shows.
  4. Revision notes – these are bare-bones revision notes,  broken down into manageable chunks and covering the A QA A level specification (for the options at the top of this page).
  5. Exam preparation type posts – these include information on the AS and A Level exams, general revision advice, hints on how to answer short answer, 10 mark and essay questions as well as essay plans.
  6. Other types of post – I’m with Edward Said on this – everyone needs an ‘other’.

Revision Resources for Sale 

Students and teachers alike might be interested in the following sociology revision resources:

Sources of Information I use to write this blog

The main sources of information I use to write the briefer revision posts on this blog are:

  • Haralambos and Holborn (2013) – Sociology Themes and Perspectives, Eighth Edition, Collins. ISBN-10: 0007597479
  • Chapman et al (2016) – A Level Sociology Student Book Two [Fourth Edition] Collins. ISBN-10: 0007597495
  • Chapman et al (2015) A Level Sociology Student Book One, Including AS Level [Fourth Edition], Collins. ISBN-10: 0007597479
  • Robb Webb et al (2016) AQA A Level Sociology Book 2, Napier Press. ISBN-10: 0954007921
  • Robb Webb et al (2015) AQA A Level Sociology Book 1, Napier Press. ISBN-10: 0954007913

For the longer posts I use a broader range of material, and cite these when I use them. 

Sociology and A Level Sociology – Disclaimer

I don’t set the agenda for A level sociology – its set by a combination of some people at the AQA (I’m not even sure who they are, exactly), and the main A-level sociology text book authors, which the examiners at the AQA use to double check their exam questions are reasonable. I don’t set the syllabus, I don’t write the text books, so I am not the one responsible for the fact that you still have know about dated studies such as Paul Willis’ 1977 study ‘Learning to Labour’, neither am I responsible for misrepresentations of various theorists in the main A-level text books – I know for a fact that many text books have over-simplified aspects of Paul Gilroy and Anthony Giddens to the point that they either make no sense, or are just wrong.

If you think something pointlessly dated, or just wrong, then please do comment, I’m sure it will make its way back to the A-level agenda-setters, and constructive comments should be welcomed by them!

About The author

I’ve taught A level sociology for 15 years, and worked as an examiner on all of the modules for the AQA, so trust me, I know what you need to know!

If you like this sort of thing you might also like my YouTube channel, and you can also follow me on Twitter.


5 Responses to About

  1. lynn oliver says:

    I feel there is a sociological view that has not been understood due to the false genetic models in place today. I feel the reason boys are falling behind and girls are surging ahead is due to factors that existed years ago, but now allow us as women to compete much more successfully in the information age. All of us are driven to planes of security based upon what we are given from society in terms of love, honor, care, mental, emotional, social, knowledge, skills, etc. As women in the past, we had better academics but we also were allowed to have lower planes of innersecurity by having a family, home, and much support from society. The information age began to hurt Male employment and at the same time allowed us as women to use our academic skills and support to reach into more information age skills in society. We didn’t just have those qualities, but were developed in us by society from infancy whereas our Male peers “were not given those supports and still are not given those supports”. As for those middle class boys who are supposedly trying harder. No, this is the result of sufficient care, support, stability, knowledge and skills provided in those areas that allow for sufficient care and love for achievement in school. Oh, girls and women from those areas are also dong better than those Male peers due to still more aggressive, less supportive treatment they receive compared with us as girls and women. It is all relative to differential treatment from infancy along socioeconomic lines that is creating these differences today.
    We need to first understand how our individual environments/differential treatment and “not genetics” greatly affect thinking, learning, motivation to learn, and mental health. Second, we need to understand how the nineteenth century belief girls should be protected and boys strong is creating the differences we are seeing in the information age. Unless we correct those those areas those problems will continue to grow. I fear there is a time limit in which Males who are just as intelligent, have the same work ethic, and are just as sensitive, begin to lose out totally in feelings of self-worth and begin to act out collectively to hurt both women and society.
    This is a very brief idea from my article on the Male Crisis. I hope you will see the connection of my learning theory and how differential treatment is beginning to create more inequality by gender academically and now even economically. My complete learning theory and its application to the Male Crisis are on attachments. Feel free to use information. I hope someone can use this to help all students as a principled approach to learning that will apply to both girls and boys.
    I developed a theory on the Male Crisis that shows how treatment given Males to make them tough is hurting academic growth as. To understand this we must redefine average stress as many layers of mental work that take up real mental energy. Picture an upright rectangle of full mental energy. Now begin at the bottom drawing narrowly spaced lines to represent many layers of past present future experiences *aggressions (that create mental conflict) values of self/others etc that all are being dealt with as many layers; stop about half way. The space leftover shows leftover ability to think and learn. This shows just how environments and “differential treatment” greatly affect thinking and learning. This Figure on my learning theory for all to read.
    The problem is more complex than school curriculum or boy chemistry. We need to stop looking at where boys are in life, character, and behavior and begin looking at how boys are treated from infancy very differently from us as girls. We need to see how the more aggressive treatment they are given from infancy is creating more problems and less than correct behavior or care for authority and school.
    To understand this, “we must redefine our average stress as many layers of mental work we carry with us that takes away real mental energy leaving less mental energy to think, learn, concentrate, and enjoy the learning process. This differential treatment creates very real differences in learning by individual and by group.
    The problem involves two entirely different treatments of Males and Females as early as one year of age and increases in differential treatment. This is creating the growing Male Crisis. The belief Males should be strong allows aggressive treatment of Males as early as one year. This is coupled with much “less” kind, stable, verbal interaction and less mental/emotional/social support, knowledge, and skills for fear of coddling. This increases over time and continued by society from peers, teachers and others in society. This creates more social/emotional distance from parents and other authority figures who have knowledge; also higher average stress that hurts learning and motivation to learn; also more activity due to need for stress relief; also more defensiveness and wariness of others further hindering emotional and social growth; and higher muscle tension (creating more pressure on pencil and tighter grip) that hurts writing and motivation to write. It creates much lag in development creating a learned sense of helplessness in school. This differential treatment continues through adulthood, almost fixing many Males onto roads of failure and escape into more short-term areas of enjoyment. Also society gives Males love and honor (essential needs for self-worth) only on condition of some achievement or status. This was designed to keep Male esteem and feelings of self-worth low to keep them striving and even give their lives in time of war for small measures of love and honor. Males not achieving in school or other are given more ridicule and discipline to make them try harder. Support is not an option for fear of coddling. Many Males thus falling behind in academics then turn their attention toward video games and sports to receive small measures of love/honor not received in the classroom.
    I feel the shows of masculinity, misbehavior are pretty much copouts to both show separation from failure in school and so gleam small measures of love and honor from peers. The defensiveness from authority is really pretty straight forward, especially in lower socioeconomic areas where strength, power, status holds very real currency in those areas. So for those students it not just misbehavior but for them, a tug of war or fight for minimum feelings of self-worth from a continual fight they feel outside the classroom as well as in.

    Since girls by differential treatment are given more positive, continual, mental, emotional/social support verbal interaction and care from an early age onward this creates quite the opposite outcome for girls compared with boys. We enjoy much more continuous care and support from infancy through adulthood and receive love and honor simply for being girls. This creates all of the good things: lower average stress (we enjoy freedom of expression that make us look less stable at times); lower muscle tension for better handwriting/motivation; higher social vocabulary/low stress for reading/motivation; much more trust/communication positive from adults, teachers, peers; and much more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket and time in that bracket the more amplified the differential treatment from a young age and increased and more differentiated over time. My learning theory and article on the Male Crisis will go to all on request or can be read from my home site at http://learningtheory.homestead.com/Theory.html

  2. I have only just seen your site and believe that AS and Advanced Level students will find it really useful. Bearing in mind your intention to add one new item per day it is certainly a site to which students [and teachers] should regularly return . [I have added a link to your site from my site. Hope that is OK!]

  3. Pingback: Top revision stuff | sociology heaven

  4. James Wallis says:

    I’m finding this website to be incredibly helpful for my Sociology studies, thank you!

  5. These notes are really helping with my Sociology A level studies, thank you!

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