Culture and Identity
A. Please Read The Following Before Using This Pathway File:
The screen is divided into three windows:
The top window is the site navigation bar and can be used in the normal way to move around the site.
The right-hand window contains the Pathway and its associated branch options (the blue hypertext links). Clicking on any of the hypertext links brings-up some associated text in:
The left-hand window (the one you are now reading). This is the Text Window where information relating to the Pathway hypertext links is displayed. Any related hypertext links in this window are coloured pink (to differentiate them from the main Pathway links). Clicking any of these links brings-up further text in the Text Window.
In some instances, notes are appended to a particular page. These are indicated by maroon text to distinguish them from links which take you to a new page in the Pathway. In general terms this type of link should be thought of as a footnote - something that gives you a little bit more information about something, rather than as a branch to a different section...
Green text indicates a hyperlink that, if clicked, will take you to another Web site. This enables you to explore related information in more depth. Since this type of link takes you away from the Pathway (and, indeed, Sociology Central) the site you link to will open in a separate browser window. Although it can be a pain (?) to have multiple windows open in your browser, I've designed the Pathway in this way to ensure that it is always available to the user...
Finally, some of the graphics littered throughout the Pathway link to a related Web site. A graphic that functions as a link in this way will display the following information when the mouse cursor is left over it:
Link To: [Name of the external site to which you will taken if you click on the
This will, using three indicators, give a rough idea
about the general level of information on the Web site:
Low = GCSE standard.
Medium = A-level
High = Undergraduate
Rating: This will give a rough guide to the usefulness of the Web site's content. Four indicators are used:
The following graphic example illustrates the above points:
B. General Information About Pathway Files
1. What do Sociological Pathways involve?
The basic idea behind the concept of Sociological Pathways is to provide a way for students to explore various sociological themes (conceptually, methodologically and theoretically) in a relatively structured way - hence the use of the "Path" concept.
Sociological Pathways, like their literal equivalents, are designed to link two points (in this instance, culture and identity). If you want to travel this particular path, one way is to begin at the start and follow each link in the path in linear order until you arrive at your destination. You can, of course, deviate from the path in various ways; you may, for example, only be interested in going a short way along a particular path (to get information about the basic features of pre-modern society, for example), but you can never get lost - the main pathway is always available and in constant view.
2. How to use this Pathway file.
In basic terms, the Pathway is a series of hyperlinked files that can be accessed in the usual way. For example, if you want to know something about the economic concepts that underpin pre-modern society then you simply click on the appropriate hyperlink...
However, Sociological Pathways have a more-sophisticated element in that they are constructed around the key A-level syllabus skills of Knowledge, Interpretation, Application, Evaluation and Understanding. In this respect, they are designed around the AQuIRED system (see the About section if you want more information) in the following basic way:
Knowledge elements - the Pathway highlights the key knowledge elements in each section.
Interpretation elements - each of the main signposts on the Pathway (the hyperlinks that branch directly from the path) provide an interpretive overview of a range of sociological concepts. When you select any of these major hyperlinks, expect to read some interpretive comments.
Application elements - beneath each of the major signposts are a number of key ideas relating to the major concept. For example, Economic Concepts includes four basic key ideas (Agrarian society, Pre-industrial, Demographics and Simple Division of Labour). By clicking on any of these you will be given information that seeks to show how they can be applied to an understanding of, for example, the economic organisation of pre-modern society).
Evaluation elements - the Summary signposts introduce an explicit evaluation element into the Pathway. In some instances this will, where appropriate, involve criticisms; it will always, however, involve the drawing of conclusions.
elements - by selecting the Research Questions option you can test your understanding of
the ideas contained within the Pathway to that point. It's not possible to provide ways to
submit your answers on-line (for the obvious reason that I'm not about to provide a
student marking service...). In any case, the questions are designed to be researched
rather than simply answered from the information provided in the Pathway...
However, I do have plans to include some form of on-line "testing", but this will take the form of fairly simplistic "multiple-choice" or "complete the missing words" type tests that are marked automatically (and independently of any need for input from me).
3. As you will see, some sections of this Pathway file are incomplete (in particular, material relating to post-modern society has not, as yet, been added). Any text coloured grey, for example, indicates a hyperlink that has not been activated. These sections will be added "in due course", but their absence doesn't affect the basic functionality of the file.
Pathway files have been designed to be evolving documents. In basic terms this means they are never truly "complete" (even although an "incomplete file" may contain many thousands of words) and new areas can be added to them as and when they are required.
In this respect, the files have an open architecture to which anyone may, if they so desire, contribute. If, for example, you have information you'd like to contribute to the file (something you feel should be added, something that you feel doesn't have enough depth...) I'd be happy to incorporate it in some way if I can...
Please, therefore, feel free to email me if you would like to contribute to this file (luckily for my general state of health I won't be holding my breath...)