Sociology is the study of society. It focuses on institutions and systems that work together to ensure the smooth running of our world. Sociology also considers how individuals can be linked by common characteristics like class, gender and ethnicity, and how their experiences and life chances may be influenced by these characteristics. GCSE Sociology allows us to explore issues like problems in family life, quality of education or reasons for patterns in criminal offending.
“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both”
C Wright Mills
Over the duration of a three-year course, students can expect to cover these modules:
- Thinking Sociologically – An investigation of social justice and inequality. Understanding class, gender, age, ethnicity, disability and even religion, and how they all affect our lives.
- Sociological Theory – A brief journey through key theories in Sociology, e.g. Marxism, Feminism, Functionalism and Interactionism (labelling theory)
- Socialisation, Culture and Identity – Investigating how our identities are formed, what sub-cultures we exist in and if we are a product of nature or nurture.
- Media – Here we aim to see how the internet and social media has made us better or worse as people, how the media affects us e.g. if it makes us more or less violent and what fake news is and why it matters.
- Research Methods: Primary and secondary methods, qualitative and quantitative data and the research process
- Families and Households: family types, roles and relationships, the changing nature of childhood and the dark side of the family
- Education: the role and purpose of education, changes in educational policy, differences in achievement by class, gender and ethnicity
- Crime and Deviance: the difference between crime and deviance, patterns of offending, explanations of offending, crimes linked to globalisation such as fraud and drug trafficking
- Social Stratification: the distribution of power and status in society, social inequality and differences in life chances by class, gender, age and ethnicity.
There will be two written examinations:
- Paper 1: The Sociology of Families and Education
- Paper 2: The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification
Ways to help my child succeed
The topics we cover in lessons relate to all our lives, so your child will be keen to discuss all things sociology related at great length! Pleases encourage this, spending time discussing and debating any issues or topics which come up. They should have a strong understanding of current affairs and contemporary issues in the news.