GCSE Sociology helps students to develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society, about how sociologists study and understand its structures, processes and issues. Studying sociology broadens students’ minds, helps them to see their world from a different perspective and in new and thought provoking ways. It is exciting, interesting, up to date and relevant to students’ lives. Sociology is a people based subject. It combines with a variety of subjects and is relevant to a wide range of careers including teaching, medicine, health and social care, media, politics, police and law.
What skills do Sociologists have?
By studying sociology, students will develop transferable skills including how to:
• Investigate facts and make deductions
• Develop opinions and new ideas on social issues
• Analyse and better understand the social world.
Students will also develop their analytical and communication skills by comparing and contrasting perspectives on a variety of social issues, constructing reasoned arguments, making substantiated judgements and drawing reasoned conclusions.
Students will follow the AQA Sociology (8192) course.
The topics we study are:
1. The sociological approach – debates within sociology, classical sociologists including Durkheim, Marx and Weber, different sociological perspectives such as feminism, functionalism, interactionism and Marxism, how to use sociological research methods and how they apply in particular contexts.
2. Social structures, social processes and social issues – Critically evaluate and compare and contrast theories, explanations or methods. Explore and debate contemporary social issues
3. Families – Function of the family, changing family forms, conjugal role relationships, divorce.
4. Education – Roles and functions, link to capitalism, educational achievement, internal processes.
5. Crime and deviance – social construction, social control, criminal and deviant behaviour, statistics.
6. Social stratification – Functionalism, socio-economic class, Life chances, Poverty, Power/authority.
7. Sociological research methods – Research design, types of data, Practical & ethical issues.
There are two papers examined at the end of the course in Year 11. Both papers make up 50% of the total marks. Each exam is 1 hour and 45 mins long. They consist of multiple choice questions, followed by a range of short and extended responses.
Paper 1: The Sociology of families and education
Paper 2: The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification