Sociology

AS Sociology (Year 12)

Consists of structured questions and essays, looking at:-

  • Education and research methods
  • Families and households

A2 Sociology (Year 13)

Consists of longer essay questions, looking at:-

  • Crime and deviance
  • Mass media

Examples of areas we look at:-

Broken Window Theory - Wilson & Kelling (82)

Argue if there is a single broken window in an abandoned house is left un-mended others will get broken and the area goes down.

What do sociologists aim to find out from studying newspapers?

Is the news socially constructed?

Why was this reported on more than other events where there were more casualties?

Interaction - Labelling Theory

Do teachers label students?

Labelling theory comes from this approach. Refers to how the teacher makes judgements about the 'types' of students they are dealing with and how they then mentally attach labels to them. The attitudes of teachers do a lot to influence students.

Hargreaves, Hester and Mellor (75) - overt participant and unstructured interviews in two schools in Northern England (urban and suburban). The results showed how teachers label students through three distinct steps:-

  1. Speculation - teachers make guesses about students based on appearance, enthusiasm and relationships etc
  2. Elaboration - teachers test their hypotheses / gradually they are confirmed or contradicted
  3. Stabilisation - teachers' hypotheses solidify, attaching strongly)

Most research shows teachers do this based on stereotypes not evidence.

Examples of exam questions

  1. Assess functionalist explanations for the role of education today (20)
  2. Evaluate Marxist explanations for the role of education today (10)
  3. Discuss sociological accounts of the role of external factors in the underachievement of working-class children (20)