Head of Department: Luke Jenner
Staff contact details: Wushu Paudyal
Are your beliefs, desires and choices the product of society or is society the product of our beliefs, desires and choices? If this question interests you, then you should consider Sociology.
Sociology at Christ's is offered as an A-Level. It is one of the logical next steps for students who have enjoyed Citizenship at GCSE, but is also chosen by students who have enjoyed studying History, English and/or R.E.
Sociology allows students to investigate and critically analyse the social world. Through the A-level students will examine how society shapes their behaviour, beliefs and identity. They will discover how social institutions such as the education system, media, political parties, law, families and religion influence the process of identity formation and how people think and act. The subject will enable students to develop skills of research, analysis and evaluation together with the ability to, either written or verbally, communicate ideas and theories clearly, effectively and concisely.
To succeed in this subject you must not be afraid to challenge or defend your views both verbally and in writing, you should be open to new ideas and forming new opinions.
Topics covered in Year 12:
Education with Theory and Methods
Students begin the Sociology A Level by looking at basic concepts and themes in the study of society such as socialisation, culture, identity and social differentiation. After studying these concepts, the first year is spent considering the role and function of the education system in the UK. Students will examine, compare, analyse and evaluate the different educational achievements of different social groups e.g. by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society. They will study the relationships and processes in schools; and significance of government policies on the education system.
In addition, students will apply sociological research methods to their study of education whilst also looking at qualitative methods of research. They will examine the distinction between primary and secondary data and the relationship between different sociological methods. They will also look at a range of other issues including ethical issues, the nature of ‘social facts’; consensus and conflict theories; modernity and post-modernity and debates about subjectivity, objectivity and the relationship between Sociology and social policy.
Students will also study the relationship of the family to the state and influences such as the economy and state policies. They will examine changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures. They will study gender roles and the nature of childhood linking to demographic trends such as life expectancy, migration and globalisation.
Topics covered in Year 13
Topics in Sociology - Beliefs in Society
During the second year students will study the sociology of religion by focusing on the significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world. They will investigate the relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations. Students will also investigate religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, emphasising the relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements.
Crime & Deviance with Theory & Methods
Alongside the study of Beliefs in Society, students will also investigate Crime and Deviance to discover the differences between crime and deviance and how they are linked to social order and social control. Students will study patterns and trends in crime; globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes; crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies in society.
Three 2-hour papers in Year 13.
EXAM BOARD: AQA
Will be set in various forms such as assignments, research and wider reading to gain a deeper understanding in the subject. The course will rely on students independently reading beyond the basic course specification.
Enrichment and Extra-Curricular
Students have the opportunity to visit sociological institutions, outside speakers, career development talks and conferences.
Sociology students are found in a range of industries such as the social services, education, the probation service, the media and law. Many of the skills acquired can be transferred to other occupations such as marketing, research and departments in local and central government, as well as higher education.