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Anthropological Theories

Although written from a particular philosophical perspective (the title gives it away...) there's some useful notes here covering the following general perspectives of interest to A-level students: Functionalist; Ecological; Marxist; Feminist; Structuralist; Symbolic & Interpretive and Postmodernist. Each perspective page can be accessed from the nice new menu that's been added to the site and the perspectives are outlined in terms of basic premises, key ideas, writers and works, criticisms and so forth. You need to be aware the material is written for: a. American undergraduates and b. Anthropology students, but this doesn't mean there's not a lot of potentially useful information that can be condensed from these pages by teachers.

Understanding Globalisation

If you're confused about globalisation you may be a little less (or, there again, a little more) confused after perusing these online notes from the Center (sic) on Law and Globalisation. The materials are based around work done by Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton and while they're pretty comprehensive (too detailed for A-level students) there's plenty of food for thought here for teachers to turn into more easily digested bites for their students.

Theoretical Perspectives

Annotated notes covering a range of different perspectives:
Functionalism
Symbolic Interactionism
Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology
Conflict Theory
Feminism
Rational Choice/Exchange Theory
Social Construction Theory and Feminist Standpoint Theory
Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism


The materials are generally aimed at an American undergraduate audience, but a lot of the material is probably suitable for A2 students. Most of the external links no-longer work, which suggests the site's no-longer updated...

Georg Simmel On-Line

As the name suggests, a site devoted to the memory and work of Georg Simmel (1858-1918). Although it's probably not on every A-level student's "essential research list", Simmel's pioneering (and strangely neglected) work is worth dipping into, especially if you're interested in concepts like mass culture and mass society. Not a sociological giant, but worth investigating.

Howard Becker

 Yes indeed, Howard Becker does have his own site, on which you'll find a range of his contemporary articles (Interaction: Some Ideas for example, although "What About Mozart?, What About Murder?" is also interesting if you're thinking about philosophy and science - and, let's face it, who isn't nowadays?). You can, if you're so inclined, email the Great Man, but be warned: "I said everything I have to say about labeling (sic) theory in my book, Outsiders", so it's probably not a great idea to ask him for help with that essay you're supposed to be writing about Interactionist theories of deviance...).

The Karl Popper Web

Probably not a site for any but the most dedicated of A-level students, but if you're interested in discovering more about Popper's life and work this is as good a place to start as any...

Radical Feminism

A range of "theory papers" that discuss various aspects of radical feminism - some of which an A-level audience will find difficult (in terms of language and concepts) but there's enough here that's reasonably accessible to make the link worthwhile (but only if you really want to dig into this particular perspective in some detail).

Theory Greats

Brief biographical notes covering the life and works of "10 Great Figures in Sociology " (including Marx, Durkheim, Parsons and Weber), with some indication of the main concepts with which their work is associated. Useful if you want an overview of these writers.

Sociological Frameworks

A brief set of notes (basic assumptions and key concepts) for "four of the most prevalent ways of doing sociology" - Structural-Functionalist, Conflict, Exchange ("New Right") and Symbolic-Interactionist frameworks.

Social Psychology

Another site from the prolific Mike Kearl, this one covering a variety of aspects of social psychology (from questions of self and identity to science and modernisation, via a helpful table that categorises a range of social psychological theories and their associated methods). The focus is, however, sociological and although there's a shed load of information (and even more shed loads of links to further sheds loaded with information), this is a good starting point if you want to understand and explore this ever-popular general perspective.

Sociology Timeline

From 1600 to 1995, to be precise. If you want to locate various "social thinkers" on a timeline then this is probably something you'll go crazy over. Otherwise, for the rest of us, some of the entries are linked to different sites (although he Timeline doesn't seem to have been updated much recently and some of the links are dead - just like the majority of people featured, spookily enough...).

The Presentation of Self

Brief set of Notes on Erving Goffman's classic work.

Functionalism and Parsons

Online Notes covering some of the main Functionalist ideas.

Postmodernism and Its Critics`

A Great Big Page of Notes on postmodernism and postmodernists - probably one for teachers rather than A-level students but a useful primer none-the-less.

On-Line Course Readings

As the title says, a page of on-line course readings - and what a bunch they are, from C. Wright Mills, through Peter Berger to Horace Miner (who? you might be saying and if you are my reply is "the seminal Body Ritual Among the Nacirema").

Theoretical Perspective

A page of notes summarising the key points of Functionalist, Conflict and Interactionist perspectives.

Strands of Feminist Theory

Short, concise, summary Notes on every strand of feminism you've ever heard about (socialist, radical, liberal, black and eco).

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