Navigate to resources by choosing units within one of the unit groups shown below.
Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
Section B Option 2: Youth subcultures
This option focuses on youth as an important period in the socialisation process when individuals are developing a sense of identity within their peer groups. It allows learners to explore different types of youth subcultures and the roles they may play in society.
|Key Questions||Content||Learners should:|
|1. How and why are youth culture and subcultures formed?||Theoretical views of the role and formation of youth culture and subcultures:
Subcultures as related to:
use illustrative examples of subcultures to explore how and why youth culture and subcultures are formed.
|2. Why do young people participate in deviant subcultures?||Deviant subcultures:
Patterns and trends in youth deviance related to:
Explanations for young people participating in deviant subcultures:
The media and youth deviance:
|consider newer/emerging types of deviant subcultures.
consider patterns and trends (within the last 30 years) of youth deviance based on the evidence presented by official statistics.
consider both theoretical and identity based explanations, which could include issues of ethnic identity and gender.
Approaches to teaching the content
The Youth Subcultures option seeks to develop an understanding of connections between different elements of the subject of socialisation, culture and identity and for learners to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills of this topic and apply them to youth subcultures and deviance.
Within the teaching of the topic, learners would benefit from developing an understanding of the history of youth culture and the formation of different youth subcultures since the 1950s. Learners should use illustrative examples of subcultures to explore how and why youth culture and subcultures are formed. This means that learners will need to assess changes to society and its impact on young people. Additionally, having an understanding of specific youth subcultures and their place in British history will mean that learners are able to assess changes to these groups based on social class, gender, ethnicity and hybridity. For example, the importance of youth subcultures based on social class could be skinheads in the 1970s and 80s and the changes in youth subcultures based on gender could be punks in the 1980s. Similarly, learners will be able to develop an understanding of changes to youth subcultures based on ethnicity from the development of Rastafarians to the development of Britain as a multicultural society and newer hybrid subcultures. This understanding of the history of youth subcultures with specific examples can also allow learners to understand the development of social theory in relation to young people, such as focussing on the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) in the 1970s and 80s and critically evaluating them with the work of functionalists, feminists and postmodernists in this area.
The second section of this option allows learners to focus on deviant subcultures and patterns and trends in relation to youth deviance. It is important for learners to consider which of the youth subcultures learnt in the first section may be deviant but also consider more recent deviant subcultures including gangs, anti-school subcultures and delinquent groups. Additionally learners should be encouraged to assess recent statistics on youth offending to consider differences according to social class, gender and ethnicity and the possible reasons for these differences. Learners will then need to compare and contrast the different theoretical explanations for these trends as well as youth deviance as a whole. As part of these explanations, focus should be given to the contribution of the media to youth deviance and the development of moral panics.
Common misconceptions or difficulties students may have
Students often find it difficult to understand that youth is a modern social construct and that events post World War Two meant that a new classification of an age group emerged. Students often don’t get the chance to study Modern History before A-level so it is important to give students an understanding of life for teenagers before and during World War Two so that they can see and understand the social changes that caused ‘youth’ to emerge. Because of this, students also have difficulty in understanding the difference between the traditional youth subcultures and the changes in society that caused them to emerge. If you can, try and view the Don Letts Subcultures videos or the 'Fred Perry presents subculture' on Channel 4 catch up. These videos helpfully explain the changes in music, fashion, and industry that caused the formation of some youth subcultures including Teddy Boys, Mods, Punks, Skinheads and Ravers.
Furthermore, students are often confused by the functionalist theoretical approach to youth culture and youth deviance as this differs more than other theoretical approaches to these topics. With regards to youth culture, make sure that students understand that functionalists only consider youth culture as a whole and not smaller youth subcultures unlike the other theorists. Similarly, students may struggle with understanding the difference between structural and subcultural theories of deviance. It is useful to give students an understanding of the structural explanations of deviance as a whole in order to introduce the different subcultural explanations of youth deviance.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set students up for topics later in the course.
The first step when teaching youth culture and subcultures is to focus on the social construction of youth and the social changes that occurred to make this group emerge in the first place. This can also lead to an assessment of how youth culture changes over time by studying the emergence and styles of youth subcultures. Learners should be encouraged to apply concepts and ideas learnt in Section A of this component such as norms, values, socialisation, social control and aspects of identity. Once this has been done, learners can then progress to assessing the theoretical explanations of youth culture and subcultures. Specific focus should be given to consensus versus conflict theories of youth subcultures and comparing and evaluating all theories against each other as theoretical debate will be continued in the rest of the course content.
The second step of teaching this option is to focus on the definition of deviance and possible deviant groups that exist in society. This will lead learners to focus on patterns and trends in youth deviance in relation to social class, gender and ethnicity. It is important to consider the reasons for these patterns and trends referring to concepts learnt in section A of this component such as socialisation, norms, values, social control and identity. Once this has been done, learners then progress to assessing the theoretical explanations of youth deviance, evaluating their effectiveness, a theme which continues throughout the course content. The media’s impact on youth deviance is a topic which also appears in Section B Option 3: Media in this component.
These thinking contextually activities are designed to be undertaken at the beginning or at the end of lessons to introduce topics or consolidate learning and enable the learners to think contextually about the subject of youth culture, subcultures and deviance. Some of the activities also allow students to apply difficult sociological theory to youth culture, subcultures and youth deviance.
Students could research one of the key youth subcultures throughout history and then create posters/leaflets/flyers/costumes/presentations to explain the key features of their subculture. Students could use a variety of sources to find out about their subculture including textbooks, websites, music, pictures and newspaper articles.
Students could be given key questions to answer (see Learner resource 1.1) which relate to the context such as why the subculture developed the style and behaviour of the subculture, musical influences, class, ethnic and gender differences, but present their findings in a creative and imaginative way.
The resources made by the students can then be posted on the wall and referred to throughout the topic or presented by students and used as displays or revision materials.
Students could research the key theories of Marxism/neo Marxism, functionalism, feminism and postmodernism and their view of youth culture and subcultures before creating ‘tweets’ to describe each one. As a tweet can only be 140 characters long students will not only be researching theories but creating good summaries and consolidating their understanding.
The tweets can be used in a number of different ways: by getting students to find relevant sociologists who would support the view or by finding historic examples of subcultures that are an example of the view and arranging the tweets into order of relevance to essay style questions. In order to test understanding of the theories at the end of a lesson or for revision, students could play simple mix and match games with them. This activity can also be used in the same way to summarise the theories of youth deviance.
This activity would work best on a large scale, perhaps using one side of a classroom wall although it can be scaled down onto one side of A3 for individuals.
Students will be given a time line with decade spaces from the 1940s to now, as well as a list of events and pictures of young people dressed in different youth subcultural fashions (see Learner resource 1.2). In teams or pairs, students have to be the first to place the events and pictures in the correct order on the timeline. The timeline can be used for revision or as display materials.
Students could create news stories to apply their knowledge and understanding of patterns and trends of youth deviance. Students can be given purposefully stereotyped ‘headlines’ (see Learner resource 1.3) which relate to the statistics on social class, gender or ethnic differences in youth crime and then be encouraged to write a story to explain the headline including as many sociologists and key concepts as possible.
Teachers can change and amend the concepts to suit their own lessons and studies can also be included such as Oakley, Sewell, Hood, Alexander and the CCCS to encourage the students to apply ideas and develop communication and literacy skills. The stories can be shared or read out and could even be used in display work or as an online resource for other students to comment on.
Students could be given profiles (or Facebook homepages) of imaginary young offenders which include details of their deviant behaviour, home background and the reason they became deviant or criminal. Alternatively students could be given news stories which describe the experiences of real young offenders (see suggestions below).
The aim is for the students to assess which theoretical perspective would use that young person or people to support their theory of youth deviance. This will encourage students to think about each theoretical perspective and develop their ability to apply the theory to specific examples. If using news reports, this activity can also allow students to critically evaluate sources and political spin.
This activity can also be done as a large group activity with different ‘offenders’ on each table and the students have to move around the room, read each case study and make a secret ballot as to which theoretical perspective they think the case study best supports. The results can then be tallied up and revealed at the end.
Recent research indicates that in Scotland, young, White, working-class boys are four times more likely to be stopped than any other group. They are more likely to be stopped than a Black or Asian youth living in London (who we know have fallen victim to stop and search powers).
Students could read the news 'Article 4' and consider the extent to which young people in different parts of the country have been labelled as ‘deviant’. They may also wish to consider their own experiences of prejudice, e.g shops which only allow two school children in at a time.
Using either the Learner resource 1.5, or your own paper/post it notes, students work on shrinking their notes down. They can start off with a piece of paper, maybe the size of a side of A5 paper. On this they outline their knowledge and understanding, or whatever you are working on, on the paper. After reading through it a few times, students are then required to pick out the salient points and provide a brief, bullet pointed account of the material on a smaller piece of paper – perhaps the size of an index card. After re-reading the information, students need to then choose a phrase or sentence which for them summarises the study/theory etc. They then write this on a piece of paper which is about the size of a regular post-it note.
This activity is fantastic at getting students to cut through material and it really builds their confidence at exam time.
Students are assigned, or choose, one of the key sociologists they will be studying or have studied as part of the course. Taking the Facebook platform as a starting point, students work in pairs to identify types of information shared on their sociologists’ imaginative Facebook profile (or ‘SocBook’ profile because of the focus on sociology). This will include status updates, books read and a friends list (bearing in mind it is possible to sometimes have ‘frenemies’). What sociological status update might they share? What pictures and images could be on their wall? (Use templates link provided).
This is a really student-friendly way for students to investigate and organise their research on the sociologists they have or will be studying. (It also makes a great wall display for Open Evenings.)
Chimamanda Adichie passionately teaches us the “danger of a single story” in her 2009 TED Talk; Single story 1. Adichie demonstrates the ways in which our society is a collection of social stories or narratives, the most pervasive and controlling of which are/were manufactured by people with social power (the power elite).
Single stories can include stereotypes, ideologies and cultural hegemony. Those that “stick” often are constructed by people with power and used to limit opportunities for the stereotypes’ subjects. Depending on the social power of those holding and employing these ideologies, they can have significant impact on social structures and the life chances of others.
Students could select a news story and analyse it. Firstly they could examine a stereotype, then an ideology, and lastly (for those students really looking for a challenge) a hegemonic narrative. For each, they could explore the story, its origins, its functions, and its impact on society. They could then examine the alternative stories: those told by the victims of the single story and/or those who are able to see through the discursive fog.
Geoffrey Pearson (1983) shows us that, from the 19th century onwards, there has been a ‘recurrent problem of youth’. This ‘problem’ is seen to be one which is specific to that time period, ie it was not a problem in the previous generation. Pearson notes that there are some ‘common sense’ explanations of youth deviance which are present in all time periods:
1) Lack of parental responsibility
2) The breakdown of the family (especially among the working class)
3) The breakdown of authority and respect for the law
4) The breakdown of community values
5) The lack of discipline in schools
6) The ‘permissive society’
7) The negative influence of the mass media
Students could be provided with newspaper articles outlining criminal/deviant youth acts – it is useful to identify stories from the students’ own locality so they can consider the extent to which this can be considered a contributory factor. They then use post-it notes to write down their ideas on the extent to which these ‘common sense’ ideas explain why the perpetrator conducted that act.
Students could be provided with a copy of the Study: gangs, conducted by the University of Manchester and the NatCen Social Research. It is useful for students to look at an ‘original text’ in lesson as it can be that students feel quite put off accessing original papers, imagining them to be something which isn’t written for them. Whilst this may be the case for some work, this study is written up in an extremely user friendly way.
Students can work in pairs to identify the different findings of the study – providing a useful link to Research Methods. They could then construct a diagram (see Learner resource 1.6) which takes each finding and considers the implications/impact of that specific finding. Such an activity also helps students to learn skills of analysis – see the component parts of a study.
OCR’s resources are provided to support the teaching of OCR specifications, but in no way constitute an endorsed teaching method that is required by the Board and the decision to use them lies with the individual teacher. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content, OCR cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions within these resources. We update our resources on a regular basis, so please check the OCR website to ensure you have the most up to date version.
© OCR 2015 - This resource may be freely copied and distributed, as long as the OCR logo and this message remain intact and OCR is acknowledged as the originator of this work.
OCR acknowledges the use of the following content:
Learner Resource 1.2: The Strand, Jon Nicholls, Wikimedia Commons • Punks HITS Festival Morecambe 2003, photo self-taken by Rainer Theuer (de:Benutzer:Calzinide), Wikimedia Commons • Quite nice goth people met in Basel train station, Rama, Wikimedia Commons • A modern british skinhead, Victoria Johnson, Wikimedia Commons • Rave party in Brooklyn, Adrian, Wikimedia Commons • Disciple of the Rastafari movement encountered on a bridge in Barbados. The Wharf St. & HWY 7, Bridgetown, Barbados. Former musician, Artist, Rastafarian. Believes in Ganja and accepts“Haile Selassie I” as God Incarnate (Jah), Klaus-J. Kahle, Wikimedia Commons • Youth Culture - Teddy Boys 1950s, Paul Townsend, Flickr. Usage does not imply endorsement.