What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of society, its people and their behaviour. Sociologists create theories to explain behaviour and the workings of society, in an attempt to take an objective look at the social world.
“The sociologist is a person who is intensively, endlessly, shamelessly interested in the doings of men” (Peter Berger, Invitation to Sociology). In other words, Sociology is not just an ‘ology’ but is relevant, academic, and very interesting.
This course can be taken as a full course or a short course.
Content of the course
Unit 1 (Year 10)
|Unit 2 (Year 11)|
Culture and Identity
Sociology of family
Sociology of education
Crime and deviance
Power and politics
Skills students will learn
- Recall, select and communicate knowledge and understanding of social structures, procedures and issues
- Apply knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts, both familiar and unfamiliar
- Select, interpret, analyse and evaluate information from different sources
- Learn how to organize and communicate their knowledge and understanding in different and creative ways, and reach substantiated judgments
- Develop as effective and independent learners.
- Exam is 100% of final grade.
- Two 1 ½ hour exams, each accounting for 50%
- Possible grades A* - G
- Sociology provides a strong basis for progression to further study, including A level Sociology (see below).
- This subject combines very well with other subjects, and particularly with GCSE Law. It is exciting, interesting, and relevant to students’ lives.
The kinds of question we will examine on the A level course include:
- How can we explain the diverse nature of Culture?
- Why do Sociologists believe that human behaviour is not biologically determined?
- Does social class matter?
- Why do girls continue to do better than boys in exams?
- Are schools necessary?
- Is it really possible to accept both religious and scientific ideas?
- Is football the new religion?
- How can research into gang subcultures help with our understanding of society?
- Can the media really help to create a moral panic?
- Most importantly, the ‘isms’ are explained and evaluated. i.e. Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Postmodernism, etc.
The AS exams cover Culture and Identity, Theory and Methods, Social Stratification, and Education. At A2, you will sit exams in Theory and Methods, Crime and Deviance, Beliefs in Society, and Media.
Who will enjoy and be successful at Sociology?
- You do not need to have done GCSE Sociology
- You have a proven good academic record
- You are prepared to be open-minded and be surprised
- Hard workers are guaranteed good final grades.
Sociology and careers
Most universities offer Sociology as a first degree and at postgraduate level. Sociology is relevant to a wide variety of careers, including in law, policing, teaching/education, public relations, politics, social work and many other fields.
The Social Science Department is open throughout the school day for you to look at resources and to ask questions.
There are many fantastic Sociology websites… a good starter is Sociology Central. Also watch this space for our own home-grown Sociology website…
A final note to parents: when you were young…
You may remember Sociology as being the new ‘revolutionary’ subject… it still is! It continues to offer a whole new way of thinking about what is happening in society!