Sociology is offered at A level in a two year linear course following the AQA specification.
Everybody is part of society. Sociology attempts to bring a systematic understanding to our knowledge of what goes on around us – locally, nationally and even internationally; it helps to understand how society has helped to shape who we are and our experiences in life. In particular, Sociology is often characterised with describing and explaining patterns of inequality, deprivation and conflict, which are a feature of almost all societies.
“The fascination of sociology lies in the fact that its perspective makes us see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives.”
Three units are studied over the two year course, which are examined in 3 exams in the summer of Year 13.
Unit 1 Education with Theory and Methods
In this unit we explore the possible hidden purposes of education; why different social groups experience school differently and the effects this has on achievement; the strengths and weaknesses of the different ways that sociologists collect their data.
Unit 2 Two Topics in Sociology
1. Families and Households
Here we consider the sociology of the family – examine the issues of power and control within relationships; explore Feminist views on how the family continues to be oppressive to women; how childhood has changed and how government tries to subtly impact family life.
2. Beliefs in Society or The Media
Unit 3 Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
We look at the patterns and trends in crime of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class; the role of the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes; crime control, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system.
In addition throughout the course we consider sociological theories, perspectives and methods such as Marxism, Feminism and Functionalism and the two core themes:
- Socialisation, culture and identity
- Social differentiation, power and stratification
All units are examined – there is no coursework.
“It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this–things are not what they seem. This too is a deceptively simple statement. It ceases to be simple after a while. Social reality turns out to have many layers of meaning.
The discovery of each new layer changes the perception of the whole.”