A page of links to posts on the following topics: (1) Positivism and Interpretivism, (2) Is sociology a science?, (3) Sociology and value freedom, (4) Functionalism, (5) Marxism, (6) Feminism, (7) Social action theory, (8) Post and late modernism, (9) Sociology and social policy.
Together these posts cover the ‘theory’ part of the Theory and Methods part of the AQA’s A Level Syllabus, which are assessed as part of A level papers 1 and 3. It’s gradually being populated should be completed by end of February 2017.
For links to posts about qualitative, quantitative, primary and secondary research methods – see the research methods page.
If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my ‘theory and methods mind maps‘…10 mind maps in PDF, PNG, and SMXX (Simple Mind mind mapping software) format – covering all of the topics below…
Social Theory At a Glance
An overview of theory and methods for second year A level sociology – a very brief overview covering the bare-bones of (1) Positivism and Interpretivism, (2) Is sociology a science?, (3) Sociology and value freedom, (4) Functionalism, (5) Marxism, (6) Feminism, (7) Social action theory, (8) Post and late modernism, (9) Sociology and social policy.
Positivism and Interpretivism
Positivism, Sociology and Social Research – detailed class notes on the relationship between The Enlightenment, industrialisation and positivist sociology
Positivism and Interpretivism – very brief summary revision notes covering the relationship between the scientific positivist world view and quantitative methods and the humanistic interpretivist worldview and qualitative methods.
Is Sociology A Science?
Is Sociology a Science? – a summary covering a Positivist view of sociology as a science contrasted to an Interpretivist view of sociology as a humanistic discipline; sociological criticisms of the objectivity of science (Latour and Kuhn’s Paradigm Critique); Sayer’s realist view of sociology, and postmodern views of science.
Sociology and Value Freedom
Sociology and Value Freedom – class notes, quite detailed
The Functionalist Perspective on Society –moderately detailed class notes covering Durkheim’s ideas on social facts, anomie and mechanical and organic solidarity, and Parson’s ideas on value consensus, the importanct of socialisation and evolution through structural differentiation.
Robert Merton’s Internal Critique of Functionalism – class notes, quite detailed
The Functionalist Theory of Society Revision Notes – very brief revision notes covering Emile Durkhime’s and Talcott Parson’s Functionalist Theory, Robert Merton’s internal critique of Functionalism, and some overall evaluations; also a very brief summary of Functionalist thought applied to the family, education, modernisation theory, crime and research methods.
The Traditional Marxist Perspective on Society – class notes, quite detailed
Althusser’s Scientific Marxism – class notes, quite detailed
Gramsci’s Humanist Marxism – class notes, quite detailed
Eight Criticisms of Traditional Marxism – evaluative post, quite detailed
Eight Ways in Which Marxism is Still Relevant Today – class notes, quite detailed, covering such things as the continued exploitation of workers in the developing world and contemporary evidence of right-wing agenda setting in the mainstream media.
The Marxist Theory of Society Revision Notes – very brief revision notes covering the key ideas of Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser.
Social Action Theory
Social Action Theory – A Summary – brief summary revision notes
Modernity, Postmodernity and Late Modernity – summary grids
From Modernity to Postmodernity – brief class notes, with pictures
Postmodernity and Postmodernism – more detailed class notes, summary of Pip Jones’ ‘Social Theory’ book
Three Examples of Postmodern Thinkers –brief class notes
Postmodernity and the Point of Sociology – brief class notes
Criticisms of Postmodernism –brief class notes
Lash and Lury – The Global Culture Industry – Summary of a book which has something of the postmodern about it
Critical Responses to Postmodernism – more detailed class notes (covering Beck and Giddens)
Anthony Giddens – Modernity and Self Identity – in 14 bullet points!
Anthony Giddens – Modernity and Self Identity, chapter one summary – very detailed class notes
Late Modernism and the Point of Sociology – brief summary notes
Post and late modern views on the family – brief summary notes
Post and late modern views of education – brief summary notes
Neoliberalism and the New Right
Grenfell Tower – Profits Before Safety (2017) – the case study of Grenfell Tower seems to be a text book study in the downsides of neoliberal austerity policies – cut spending on public safety and poor people die.
Sociology and Social Policy
Perspectives on Social Policy – detailed class notes
Perspectives on Social Policy – brief summary notes
Applying Sociological Perspectives
Careers Guidance for Alternative Jobs – or how to avoid getting a proper job
Careers Advice for Teenagers – Sociological perspectives on why A levels are no longer enough to get you a job
Vanilla Vloggers – Insubstantial Selves? – What do Sociologists think of the Zoellas of the virtual world?
How many likes does it take? Social media and dissatisfaction
What is Sociology? A summary of Bauman and May’s Thinking Sociologically, Chapter 1
Theory and Methods A Level Sociology Revision Bundle
If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my Theory and Methods Revision Bundle – specifically designed to get students through the theory and methods sections of A level sociology papers 1 and 3.
- 74 pages of revision notes
- 15 mind maps on various topics within theory and methods
- Five theory and methods essays
- ‘How to write methods in context essays’.