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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.
For the purposes of A level Sociology the subject is split up into four units. During Year 12 students study Unit 1 Families and Households, and Unit 2 Education and 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.
During year 13, Unit 3 allows students to explore the role of the modern media. Students study how the media influences the audience, how the role of the media has changed over recent years and how various groups, such as the disabled, different social classes and different genders, are portrayed. Unit 4, Crime and Deviance with Methods, 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 methods section builds and extends on the work they did in Year 12 by explaining sociological methods and linking their use to the study of crime.
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.