Sociology

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Key Stage 5 only

Sociology is the study of society and of people and their behaviour.  It is a fascinating subject based on aspects of society about which we all have experience;  students are encouraged to look beyond the obvious and to examine the patterns and relationships that shape both our society and the individuals within it.

Sociology is a rigorous academic subject that complements a range of other subjects through its development of analytical and evaluative skills and the essay writing and critical thinking skills learnt in sociology are excellent preparation for university and for career paths such as law, the police, criminology, journalism, social work and marketing.

A Level and AS Level (AQA) From 2015

Year 1 (Year 12): Students begin by gaining an understanding of what sociology is. They consider the nature –v- nurture debate, how norms and values shape us, how factors such as class, gender and ethnicity impact on our lives.

This leads into the first topic families and households where students consider changing family patterns, gender and power roles within the family, the nature of childhood and demographic trends in the UK. There will be a visit from a local women’s refuge to gain an insight into the ‘dark side of the family’.

The second topic will be research methods where students gain an understanding of the methods sociologists use to gain evidence and test their theories about society.

The third topic will be education where students explore the role and functions of the education system considering the impact of educational policies and the differential educational achievement of social groups by class, gender and ethnicity. We also look at the relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil identities and subcultures.

 This leads into methods in context where students apply their knowledge and understanding of research methods to education, considering the various groups and processes that can be studied and the most appropriate methods for studying them.

 Students will choose whether to take the standalone AS level exam in June, or to continue with the full A level.

 Year 2 (Year 13): Students continuing with the full A Level will have the opportunity to revisit and build on the topics studied in Year 1. In addition to this, students will study beliefs in society, examining the role religion has today, considering topical issues such as secularisation, fundamentalism, the rise of cults and sects and the impact of globalisation and science on beliefs. There will be a trip to a local mosque.

The second year 2 topic will be crime and deviance where students consider causes of crime; social distribution of crime by age, class, gender and ethnicity; globalisation of crime; media and crime; human rights; green crime; crime control, prevention and punishment and victims. There will be a trip to a criminology conference, hearing from criminology professors as well as ex-criminals.

Finally, students will consolidate and build on their understanding of sociological theory exploring functionalism, Marxism, feminism, action theories, postmodernism as well as considering whether sociology is a science and links between sociology and social policy.

 A Level (AQA Legacy Specification) 2015-2016

Year 13: Students will study beliefs in society, examining the role religion has today, considering topical issues such as secularisation, fundamentalism, the rise of cults and sects and the impact of globalisation and science on beliefs. There will be a trip to a local mosque, as well as the opportunity for other religious speakers to visit the class.

Students will also study crime and deviance considering causes of crime; social distribution of crime by age, class, gender and ethnicity; globalisation of crime; media and crime; human rights; green crime; crime control, prevention and punishment and victims. There will be a trip to a criminology conference, hearing from criminology professors as well as ex-criminals.

Students will build on their knowledge of research methods from the AS year and apply them to crime and deviance, establishing methods in context.

Finally, students will consolidate and build on their understanding of sociological theory exploring functionalism, Marxism, feminism, action theories, postmodernism as well as considering whether sociology is a science and links between sociology and social policy.

Click on the button below to access KS5 Sociology Resources

 

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Reading

Social media

Routine activity theory

Background