St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
Wallasey

Sociology

What is Sociology?

In the summer of 2011, England erupted with the worst riots for a generation, with violent protests against police, destruction of neighbourhoods and large-scale looting. Academics, politicians and media commentators have expended many thousands of words trying to explain why the rioting occurred. This is because explanations of the riots are all, in essence, drawing on Sociological ideas. These explanations range from right-wing ideas about Broken Britain (feral youths with a lack of male role models and weak moral values, the products of a welfare state and the decline of the nuclear family) to left-wing ideas about social exclusion (young people who no longer feel they have a stake in society and are alienated by decades of ill treatment at the hands of the police), with complaints about rampant consumerism thrown into the mix. They tap into issues about the role of social institutions like the family, the education and criminal justice systems and the influence of the media, along with the effects of class, ethnicity and gender on social behaviour and patterns. In short, the riots, while a disturbing social series of events, were sociological gold dust!

In Sociology, we study the way people are affected by society, and how society is affected by people. Some sociologists see the behaviour of individuals (such as those who rioted) as determined by how they are raised and educated, what media they are exposed to, whether they are rich or poor, men or women, black or white. Others see individuals as powerful in shaping society, and look at the power of some people in labelling others as crucial. What is undeniable is that, as individuals, we spend almost all our time in groups, and in order to understand our behaviour we have to examine and assess the impact of those groups and institutions on us. Throughout it all, we use theoretical perspectives that originated with the industrial revolution (which gave birth to Sociology as a discipline), but are equally focused on explanations that take into account the rapid changes being wrought by globalisation, new technology and the mass media on contemporary society.

Embracing the whole of society, sociology is, by its nature, an incredibly wide subject. We have cherry-picked the most interesting aspects from a range of modules available at sixth form.

Course Details:

Exam Board: AQA

Course Codes: 7191 (AS Level) 7192 (A Level)

AS Level A Level

Paper 1:

Education with Methods in context

Paper 2:

Research methods and topics in Sociology

Paper 1:

Education with theory and methods

Paper 2:

Topics in Sociology

Paper 3:

Crime and deviance with theory and methods

Content

Education

Methods in context

Content

Methods

Families and households

Content

Education

Methods in context

Theory and methods

Content

Families and households

Beliefs in Society

Content

Crime and deviance

Theory and methods

Assessment

1 hour 30 min written exam

60 marks

50% of AS Level

Assessment

1 hour 30 min written exam

60 mark

50% of AS Level

Assessment

2 hour written exam

80 marks

33.3% of A level

Assessment

2 hour written exam

80 marks

33.3% of A level

Assessment

2 hour written exam

80 marks

33.3% of A level

Questions

2 compulsory sections all requiring written answers

Questions

2 sections - all compulsory from section 1, section 2 offers a choice of 4 topics.  Students answer 1 topic from section 2

Questions

3 compulsory sections all requiring written answers

Questions

2 sections each offering a choice of 4 topics.  Students answer 1 topic from each section

Questions

2 compulsory sections all requiring written answers