“You can never really understand an individual unless you also understand the society, historical time period in which they live, personal troubles and social issues.” – C. Wright Mills
Sociology is the study of people and their behaviour. The role of the sociologist is to try and decide why people behave in the way they do, and whether we are simply puppets of society or whether we are all individuals who can choose the paths we take.
At A level we follow the AQA Sociology specification and split the subject into four main topic areas, with theory and Research methods reoccurring throughout. Year 1 begins with a focus on three key theories, Functionalism, Feminism and Marxism. During the rest of the year students study Families and Households as well as Education with Research methods. These units introduce students to some of the key concepts of the subject, whilst examining the changes in the structure and role of the family over recent years, as well as the issues that lead to differences in achievement for various groups of students in the education system. Students also examine how a sociologist goes about the study of human behaviour. The year ends with a focus on Sociological Theory including Action theories.
During year 13, the topics focus on Beliefs in Society and Crime and Deviance which examines crime in today’s society, and the different theories which seek to explain the role of crime in Britain. Students can learn why people commit crimes as well as arguing whether crime serves a function.
The course allows students to work in a variety of ways, and promotes active learning through discussion, and listening to and assessing a range of opinions. Students are encouraged to work both independently and in groups.