Author Archives: Karl Thompson

Stephen Hawking Against Neoliberalism!

Stephen Hawking this week accused the Conservative government of damaging the NHS by slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatization, demoralizing staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support. Hawking blamed a raft of policies pursued since 2010 … Continue reading

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Durkheim’s Perspective on Education

Functionalist sociologist Emile Durkheim saw Education as performing two major functions in advanced industrial societies – transmitting the shared values of society and simultaneously teaching the specialised skills for an economy based on a specialised division of labour. Durkheim, a … Continue reading

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How I Structure A-Level Sociology Lessons

Below is an overview of broad structure I use to teach every topic in the A-level sociology syllabus, and it’s my first post directed at sociology teachers rather than students. I typically stretch the structure below over four hour long … Continue reading

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Early Retirement Extreme – A Summary

This summer has reinforced my belief that if only I could make my 6 week summer holiday my life, my life would be a lot nicer. Hence why I’m renewing my efforts to retire early, and hence my updated summary … Continue reading

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The 10,000 Hour Rule

The 10, 000 Hour Rule is the theory that it takes 10 000 hours of practice to become an expert in something – and seems to be most frequently applied to the fields of sport and music. Below is a … Continue reading

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The Mathew Effect: A Summary of ‘Outliers’ Chapter One.

Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) by Malcom Gladwell is a great work of sociology, so I thought it’s worth summarizing in some depth. The gist of the book is that it’s not exceptional individual talent which explains success, but … Continue reading

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Social Indicators of Development

The main social indicators of development include education, health, employment and unemployment rates and gender equality, and this post introduces students to the specific indicators which institutions such as the World Bank and United Nations use to measure how ‘developed’ a … Continue reading

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Do exam results matter?

So it’s A level result’s day and you’ve stuffed up. But do exam results actually matter? IF you wish to pursue success through what Robert Merton would have called the ‘legitimate opportunity structure’ then they probably do matter, but if you … Continue reading

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Do bad exam results matter?

Results day tomorrow, and I predict that Social Media will be full of comments by celebrities telling students that exam results don’t matter that much because ‘I failed my exams, but I still found success’. This happened last year during The … Continue reading

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Why IQ Tests May not Measure Intelligence

The American psychologist Arthur Jensen (1973) defines intelligence as ‘abstract reasoning ability’ – the ability to discover the rules, patterns and logical principles underlying objects and events and the ability to apply these discoveries to solve problems. Intelligence is measured … Continue reading

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