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Beauty Matters

Lindie Pavati's site offers a range of articles and resources (including detailed lesson plans) about aspects of "beauty"- including material on body image, fashion and attraction. The text is short, concise and clearly-written and the site's subject matter fits quite neatly into different parts of the OCR (Individual and Society) and AQA (Health, Medicine and the Body) specifications. Content is largely aimed at a GCSE audience, but the teaching resources contain ideas that can be easily adapted for A-level students.

British Social Attitudes

Currently (2021) on issue 37, BSA documents the British Public's attitudes to a range of ideas and issues useful to sociologists. This issue, for example, looks at attitudes to family life and social inequality, among other things. You can also access issues 28 - 36 from this page.

Caught Between Two Worlds?

Short piece of research that uses questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to examine the question “How do experiences in different countries affect the social identities of American-born-Chinese (ABC) students”. The research applies the two complimentary research methods to look at “precarious identities” – young people “caught between two very different worlds” – expressed through a wide range of cultural concepts: language, family values and relationships, work ethics, identity and social relationships

Child of our Time

This set of online notes from BBC Interactive (or BBCi if you really want to show that you're down with the kids) provides a basic introduction to a variety of ideas related to children and childhood.

There's a lot going on here which means there are plenty of options to explore, although much of the site focuses on psychological ideas and explanations (but there's plenty on offer for sociologists to get their teeth into).

Erasmus+ Project

Six Study Packs containing suggestions for a range of mini-lectures, activities – from how to create a Mind Map or Infographic to methods for activating student discussions – and simple games. The Packs are designed to introduce / promote multiculturalism and cover areas like culture, identity and human rights.

Centre for Policy on Ageing

Extensive site featuring up-to-the-minute research on ageing and social policy. Of particular interest are the Publications (choc full of the latest research into ageing) and Information sections (the latter features wider reading around old age).

Fashion Worlds

A companion site to Beauty Matters, the focus here - as you might expect - is fashion in all it's many guises. At present the content is a little limited and sociology students / teachers probably won't be too interested in the latest fashion news or with profiles of designers and photographers. However, the site does include articles relating to fashion and it's place in popular (and not-so-popular) culture which should prove useful for students doing coursework / popular culture modules. As with it's companion, the site has a clean, attractive, design, with easy and helpful navigation.

 The Gender Ads Project

As you might expect, the site makes extensive use of gender adverts to create a range of interesting "discussion topics" that are, in effect, mini lesson plans on areas like gender roles, violence, politics, ideology and more.

Landscapes of Mass Culture

This article examines the American Theme Park (and Disneyland specifically) in the context of mass and popular culture. The article also links into leisure and consumption with some observations about the various ways that "landscapes of mass culture" (such as Theme Parks) are starting to impact on areas (such as shopping malls) that have traditionally been viewed as non-leisure spaces - in the past "shopping" was something you did because you had to; in the present some forms of shopping are transformed into leisure activities (the better to separate you from your hard-earned...).

New Internationalist

Cross-cultural material a go-go is a feature of this site - with loads of articles to explore relating to various aspects of culture around the world.

The site is also useful for its World Sociology perspective (there aren't, after all, many such sites around) and there's a useful section aimed at teachers (Teaching Global Issues) that has been designed to both identify teaching opportunities in this general area and provide resources to stimulate teaching and learning.

7 Functions of Culture

Short Notes - and a neat little diagram by your's truly - outlining what Mazrui (1996) calls the "seven functions of culture for both societies and individuals".

5 Functions of Identity

Similar to the above, but on the topic of identity as opposed to culture...

Stanford Prison Experiment

Better known to most people (especially after the recent TV programme) as the "Zimbardo Experiment" - which tried to discover, in the words of the site: "What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?" (actually, this sounds a bit like the Big Brother house (except for the "good people" bit) - especially if you have a look at this Guardian article...). The site is a neat mixture of informative text, photographs and short video clips relating to the experiment (plus useful "discussion questions") which can be used as a teaching tool to stimulate discussion / exploration in a range of Specification areas (including research methods).

The Sociology Page

This site, assembled by John Macionis (think of him as the American equivalent of Haralambos - although try not to focus on this image for too long, in case it gives you nightmares) contains some useful information / links for those new to Sociology. Most useful, however, is the Video gallery which features Professor Macionis talking about culture and the various aspects thereof.

Philosophy Experiments

If you fancy letting your students loose on a range of "thorny moral problems" that involve thinking a bit philosophically this is the site for you. Otherwise, it's not.

Age Concern

Although this site isn't going to be hugely useful for A-level students, it might be an occasional port-of-call in relation to (old) age issues, given that it provides information on ageing issues, facts about ageing in Britain and so forth. You can even make a donation or shop-'til-you-drop in the funky fashions section (and before any writes to me, yes, I know I'm going to get old one day).


Herrnstein and Murray's "The Bell Curve" is one of the most-controversial (and influential) contemporary books on "race" and "IQ" and this article, by Stephen Jay Gould, gives it a welcome critical kicking (or "review" as it's more-politely known). And if you fancy even more critical evaluation of what's been called "a major work of psuedoscience", habe a look at this article from the Liberalism Resurgent site.


Articles and resources on all things feminist.


The American Public Broadcasting Service is a little like the BBC without the money - but it nevertheless manages to produce some stunning programs (unlike the BBC - unless you include Dr.Who). This site is part of their "Frontline" documentary series and it examines the relationship between media conglomerates and the selling of youth culture. The site's packed with all kinds of goodies - from interviews and commentaries to a full-length video presentation ("The Merchants of Cool") that can be viewed online.


This is a massive resource that aims to cover all aspects of black culture in the UK. In addition to up-to-date news stories, there are sections dealing with things like black history, religion, education and business. The "Global Education Resource" section aims to point you in the direction of useful web resources relating to education, law and the social sciences (amongst many other things).

Disney's Portrayals

This is one part of the much larger PsyberSite at Miami University and focuses on the way Disney films have portrayed culture and race in their films. It's a short and concise assessment that might usefully serve as interesting stimulus material for Media Sociology students. There are also links from this page to other "Disney Portrayals" (religion and gender, for example, and if all the ant-Disney stuff is a little too much to take - tread softly, for you you tread upon childhood dreams. Or Something - there's a pro-Disney section to soften the blows...).

Sex and Gender

A relatively short (around 15-minute) and light-hearted video-introduction to sex and gender via this Ted-Talk on “Understanding the Complexities of Gender” by comedian Sam Killermann. The film is a wide-ranging introduction to the distinction between biological sex and cultural gender that covers topics ranging from gender roles and identities to gender scripts and dysphoria.

The National Archives:

Black Presence

Subtitled "Asian and Black History in Britain 1500-1850", this site is a bold mix of text and graphics that includes extracts and transcripts from original documents relating to historical Black and Asian experiences in Britain. This is really just a superb resource that repays both a through exploration and the occasional dip-into. It operates and works on a number of levels and could prove extremely useful for students doing coursework in this general area.


This site advertises itself as "A massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations" which can be used to generate maps and graphs based on a huge variety of national and international statistics. I'm not exactly sure how it could be used but have a sneaking feeling it's too good a resource not to be used...

Culture and Identity

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