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Theory Summaries

Short Notes, with a pic. or two to lighten the load, covering all the main sociological perspectives you'll need to know for A-level: Interactionism, Feminism, Functionalism, New Right, Postmodernism, Marxism

Basically, one-page overviews with one or two criticisms attached.

Theory Maps

Theory (or Concept) Maps are printables students can use to organise their ideas about key theories and / or concepts in sociology. In other words, they're structure you can use to put your ideas into some sort of order.

Sociology Podcasts

Ten free podcasts of varying length from Sociology Support (the shortest is 20 minutes, the longest 40) on a wide range of sociological theory - from Perspectives through Methodologies to sociology and science.

Theory Resources

 A Big Bundle (tm) of resources - from Revision Maps to Worksheets - originally created to support the Sociology in Focus A2 textbook (also free to download. Am I good to you or what?). Now they're all yours for free. Which is either a bargain or a waste. Depends which angle you're viewing it from, I suppose...

Updating Functionalism:

Systems Theory

If you and your students have outgrown the bog standard "Organismic Analogy" why not try a contemporary Structural Functionalist approach, Luhmann’s System Theory? The Notes distil Luhmann’s complex arguments into a relatively simple form that should be comprehensible to A2 students through the use of simple, familiar, examples that can be used to help students grasp the fundamental ideas (such as using something like Facebook or Twitter as a practical example).  

There's also an overview of Interactionist Network Theory if you want to contrast and to reinforce an idea that frequently gets lost through an organismic analogy:  the structure of social action.


Short set of Notes covering the economic, political and cultural characteristics of modernity, plus an overview of different types of Structuralist approaches (Consensus and Conflict).


Short set of Notes covering the economic, political and cultural characteristics of postmodernity, plus an overview of different types of Action approaches.

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.

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.

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.

Sociological Theory

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