Sociology is present in everything we do. It is a topic that is relevant to our students’ everyday lives. We aim to foster this interest, by embedding contemporary issues and debates into our lessons. Our lessons are lively, thought provoking and encourage students to think differently about issues they may have previously not considered. In our current world, society is changing rapidly. Sociology enables our students to understand why these changes are happening and see what has led to those changes.
Our vision is to shape our sociology students into those who can think critically and question the world around them. Sociology provides students with a new skills set, through sociological language, theories and concepts. Using these skills, they will be able to think critically about the world, the news, politics, research, debates and social change. Our students will understand social power, control and inequality and will be able to apply their knowledge of social structures and social processes to these issues. Our students will understand the role of sociology in society and the impact it has on real social change and social policy. Our students will have a deep awareness of sociological perspectives and they will have an excellent understanding of how each perspective views the issues above. Our students will also gain knowledge of social research and be able to see how sociologists reach their conclusions, through active research. Students gain an awareness of society, which allows them to develop an understanding of other life experiences. This in turn gives them excellent interpersonal skills.
Students develop a wide and detailed knowledge of key sociological theories, such as Marxism, Feminism and Functionalism. Within each unit they assess the inequalities that exist within our society, with a focus on gender, ethnicity and social class. We aim to inspire students to become passionate about the society they are a part of and encourage them to develop this passion into their future careers.
Students will develop an understanding of the key sociological theories and concepts. They will be able to compare and evaluate these theories. They must also develop knowledge of sociological language and the ability to use it well. Students will also develop an understanding of the inequalities that exist within social class, gender and ethnicity. Students must develop comprehensive knowledge of, families and households, education, research methods and research methods in context. In addition to sociological knowledge, students must develop the skills of application and evaluation and be able to apply these skills to exam questions. Research methods are an important part of the course and students must gain an understanding of how sociologists carry out sociological research. This knowledge will enable them to apply research methods to the context of education.
Introduction to sociology – socialisation, culture and identity
Understanding how societal norms and values impact on human behaviour and this provides a key understanding of the aims of what sociologists study.
Introduction to sociological theories of Marxism, functionalism, feminism & postmodernism
This will provide the foundation of the core sociological theories which can be applied to all areas taught in sociology.
- Class differences in achievement – external & internal factor. Links back to ideas covered with Marxism
- Differences in achievement between ethnic groups – links made to equality & diversity
- Gender differences in achievement – link made back to feminism & Families & Households topic which runs alongside education
- Role of education – This looks at the role of education through the sociological lens of functionalism, Marxism and feminism. Builds on the introduction to sociology
- Policies & marketisation – links to Families & Households, links to equality
- Choosing a research method – makes students aware that there are lots of different ways to study society. Makes links back to the education topic.
- Official statistics
Methods in context
This topic looks at the strengths and limitations of using each method to study pupils, teachers, classrooms and schools. The topic draws upon knowledge of education and research methods.
- Theories of the family – functionalism, Marxism, feminism, new right, postmodernism. This draws on introduction to sociology and applies the theories covered in education to the family.
- Demographic changes
- Changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing, life course and the sociology of personal life
- Family diversity
- Social Policy
Students will be able to confidently discuss the key theories of marxism, feminism and functionalism. They will have secure knowledge in the inequalities that exist within gender, class and ethnicity. They will be able to use these theories, as a sociological lens applied to various aspects within society. They will apply their prior knowledge of these theories and further develop this knowledge in new topic areas. Students will develop comprehensive knowledge of beliefs in society, crime and deviance and theories and methods. Students will be able to compare and contrast a variety of theories and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Students are to further develop their knowledge of theory and methods by making synoptic links across all key topics. This will allow them to succeed in the synoptic element of the assessment. Students will have a deeper understanding of how sociologists carry out their research and understand how theory impacts upon choice of method. Students will develop their critical thinking and be able to answer higher knowledge questions, such as ‘is sociology a science?’ and ‘can sociology be value free?’
Crime and Deviance
This is taught first as it re-introduces key theories and paves the way for the future learning in Year 13.
- Functionalist, strain and subcultural theories – allows retrieval of more accessible theory and make links back to Education and Families & Households
- Interactionism & labelling – links made back to Education. This is taught after functionalism, as it can be used to criticise functionalist theories.
- Class, power and crime – links made to Marxism with reference to white collar and corporate crime. This can be used to link back to previous theory knowledge from Education and Families. This topic also addresses the experience of crime across class divides.
- Realist approaches to crime – This topic introduces new theories but has links to Marxist theories.
- Gender & crime – Builds upon previous knowledge of feminist theory.
- Ethnicity & crime
- Media & crime
- Globalisation, green crime and state crime – This builds upon previous knowledge of Marxism.
- Control, punishment and victims
This topic is taught after crime and deviance, as it introduces new theories, which are best understood once students have a good understanding of key sociological perspectives.
- Theories of religion – Students need foundations of theoretical knowledge before they can move forward. This topic helps them see the different ways that religion can be viewed in society.
- Religion & social change – conservative force versus force for change – key links to Marxism
- Secularisation – This topic looks at the place religion has in society today. The lessons prior to these provide context for this lesson.
- Religion, renewal and choice
- Religion in global context – fundamentalism
- Organisations and movement
- Religiosity – age, gender, ethnicity, social class – This links back to organisations and movement, as it assesses why certain social groups might be more or less likely to belong to a particular religious organization or movement.
- Ideology & science – links to theories and then links to future topic of theories & methods
Theory and Methods
This is the most synoptic unit. The unit integrates all previous learning and builds on it for higher level understanding. Students can draw on any topic covered in sociology to enable them to prepare for this part of the exam.
- Consensus, conflict and social action theories – functionalism, Marxism, feminism & interactionism
- The nature of science and the extent to which sociology can be regarded as scientific
- Relationship between theory and methods – links to education and methods in context
- Subjectivity, objectivity & value freedom
- Sociology and social policy
- The differences between quantitative & qualitative data
- Sources of data – revisited from research methods in year 12
- Primary and secondary data
- Relationships between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods
- Theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of method and choice of topic