Sociology is the study of how society is organised and how we experience life. You will take a fresh look at social behaviour and ask questions about the way we act. You will have a chance to consider the influence of the media and whether it contributes to harmful stereotypes.
Sociology explores answers to some of the most important questions of our time such as what causes crime and how it can be tackled. Also the ways that gender, social class, ethnicity and even age can influence your sense of self and your future.
During the course you will have the opportunity to design and carry out research into areas that interest you. Most students find that Sociology encourages them look at the world in new ways and ask questions about society that they had not thought of before.
Miss K Bellingham – Subject Leader, email: Sociology@jkhs.org.uk
Key Stage 5
Topics Covered at A level
Students are assessed by three examined components at the end of Year 13.
Component 1 - Socialisation and Culture:
The nature nurture debate persists and sociology offers evidence for the way behavior is shaped by our culture. This component considers the changing nature of family life in the contemporary UK and explanations for diversity. It also takes a closer look at education, asking questions such as why some groups may have more advantages than others within the education system.
Students will be introduced to sociological theories and encouraged to develop their analytical and evaluative skills when comparing them.
Exam: 2 ½ hours 40% of A Level
Component 2 - Methods of Sociological Enquiry:
This involves the study of research methods and an assessment of their value. Questionnaires may be useful on a large scale but can they provide results which are meaningful? Interviews and observations may allow detail but is this useful if they are only conducted using small samples?
Students will have the opportunity to design and evaluate their own piece of research, for example investigating young people’s attitudes towards crime and punishment.
Exam: 1 ¾ hours 20% of A Level
Component 3 - Power and Stratification:
During Year 13 the topics become more theoretical and applied to the reality of modern Britain.
Students will study a unit on Crime & Deviance, considering questions such as what are the causes of crime in society. Who is most likely to be convicted, and how we can tackle the problem of crime. They will be encouraged to consider many sides of the debates on criminal behaviour and understand the complexity of this topic. Visiting speakers include representativeness from the Police. This shows students that what they learn in class has a real impact on the way society deals with crime.
Students also study Social Inequality, still as relevant today as any other period of history. Here they will consider sociological explanations regarding why societies have inequalities between groups. Are they inevitable and based on what people deserve or are they part of powerful groups maintaining their positions.
Exam: 2 ½ hours 40% of A Level
Miss Kate Bellingham
Subject Leader, Sociology