Members of the department
About Our Subject
Sociology is the study of social structures, institutions and the lives of the individuals that live within them. It reaches from theories about the origin, nature and function of society through to studies of social organisations and institutions such as religion, education, health, law, economics, media and cultural identity. The purpose of sociology is to understand the way that individuals are influenced by their social surroundings and how individuals may influence the world around them, in the hope that society will benefit from our analysis. Discussions can range from theoretical debates about the nature of sociology as a science through to practical applications of research methods to investigate hypotheses about the lives of different social groups.
At the heart of Sociology are three questions:
– What is happening in society?
– Why is it happening?
– What can be done about it?
We follow the AQA A level exam specification, which is taught over a two year period. The key focus of the course is to understand the role of social structures and the individual in the construction of social identities, power relations and stratification in contemporary UK society. Years 1 and 2 both contain theory and methods modules that outline the theoretical and practical basis of further discussion. The knowledge gained from these parts of the course are then applied to more focussed topics on education, family and households, crime and deviance and religion. These modules tie theoretical explanations of such debates as the causes of crime, the nature of the family and the role of education with statistical evidence and up-to-date research. Course material will be delivered in class but will involve a large amount of independent study. Students will be given three two hour exams at the end of their second year to determine their grade.
Suggested Watch List
· Documentaries, including Panorama, Louis Theroux, Stacey Dooley, Mind of a Murderer etc
· I, Daniel Blake (Amazon Prime)
· Years and Years (BBC i-player)
· The ‘Up’ series (eg. 56 Up, 63 Up – on Netflix or Youtube)
· The Secret Life of 5 year olds (Channel 4 series)
· McMafia (Netflix)
· Freedom Writer’s Diary (Amazon Prime)
· When They See Us (Netflix)
· The Society (Netflix)
· Love, Simon (Amazon Prime)
· Pixar’s ‘A Bug’s Life or Antz’ (for Marxism)
· Ted Talks/Sociology (online)
· Made in Dagenham (BBC i-player)
· Wonder (Netflix)
· The Wife (Netflix)
Suggested Reading List
· Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
· Animal Farm – George Orwell
· 1984 – George Orwell
· Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class – Owen Jones
· The Establishment and How They Get Away With It – Owen Jones
· The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (also a series)
· Vox – Christina Dalcher
· The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
· Outsiders: Studies in Sociology of Deviance – Howard S Becker
· Folk Devils and Moral Panics – Stanley Cohen
· A Glasgow Gang Observed – Patrick James
· Gang Leader For A Day – Sudhir Venkatesh
· Sociology Review Magazine
(In addition to the above, ensure you read a wide range of newspapers including The Guardian and Independent)
Useful web links
www.bbc.co.uk/news (you should be constantly keeping up with the news. You need to be applying and relating what we learn in class to what is going on in society) www.simplepolitics.co.uk will help make sense of the politics!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtW9IyE04OQ&feature=youtu.be You are about to study a vast area of academia – there is SO much information out there relating to Sociology and it can feel overwhelming. Have a look at this video which goes through the Cornell Notes Technique. It will help with note taking in general.