About Sociology

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Sociology gives students the knowledge and skills suited to a number of different career options. The British Sociological Association lists specific career routes which a study of sociology leads most obviously to. This list can be found here: https://www.britsoc.co.uk/what-is-sociology/sociologist-careers.aspx

The Sociology A Level course helps students develop a number of new skills:

  • How to use evidence to support your arguments
  • How to investigate facts and use deduction
  • How to put over your point of view fluently
  • How to work as a team to achieve results
  • How to take responsibility for your own learning

How will I be assessed?

Sociology is a two year course, culminating in 3 exams in the final summer term; there is no coursework.

What other courses complement Sociology?

Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Law, English Literature, Media Studies, Psychology, Philosophy, History.

Why should I study Sociology?

Sociology is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in social work, nursing or medicine. But the subject is also useful in a number of other careers, like marketing, advertising. PR, journalism, law or teaching. The Sociology A Level course helps students develop a number of new skills:

  • How to use evidence to support your arguments
  • How to investigate facts and use deduction
  • How to put over your point of view fluently
  • How to work as a team to achieve results
  • How to take responsibility for your own learning

Support for your learning

Our aim in Sociology is to enable students to be able to comprehend a wide range of sociological theory with the ability to critically analyse them.  To improve their understanding of sociological concepts and how they play a role in shaping society it is important that the students broaden their reading from their textbook. Students should complete extra reading throughout their course that gives detailed examples of sociological theory at work in real life.

Websites and social media

Twitter feeds to follow:

  • @TheSocReview – Up to date contemporary and empirical evidence
  • @rssellhaggar – Sociology teacher who posts lots of useful articles
  • @SociologyinPics – What it says on the tin – cartoon pictures linked to sociology
  • @BrowneKen – Publisher of sociology text books, tweets lots of useful articles
  • @britsoci – The British Sociological Association – latest research
  • @ons – Office of National Statistics
  • @jrfemma – Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK social research charity
  • @theipaper – Quick accessible news
  • @ippr – Institute for Public Policy Research
  • @bbcquestiontime – weekly debates around current affairs
  • @BBCnews – BBC news
  • @SocMobAPPG – All part parliamentary group, investigating social mobility

Reading List

You are assigned AQA A Level Sociology: Book 1 and Book 2 by Rob Webb et al but you may also choose to use any of the following text books as well:

Sociology for AQA Volume 1 and 2: 2nd Year A Level by Ken Browne

AQA Sociology for A Level Book 1 and 2 by David Bown and Laura Pountney

AQA A Level Sociology Student Book 1 and 2: 4th Edition by Steve Chapman

Revision guides:

Succeed at A Level Sociology Book One by Robb Webb and Keith Trobe

Succeed at A Level Sociology Book Two by Robb Webb and Keith Trobe

A/A* extension;

Sociology Themes and Perspectives by Michael Haralambos and Martin Holborn

Sociology by Anthony Giddens

“Dead White Men and Other Important People:  Sociology’s Big Ideas” by Fevre and Bancroft

Other interest

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones (2010)

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones (Paperback – 2015)

Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage (2015)

The Sociology Book (Big Ideas) by Alexandra Beeden (2015)

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Paperback – 18 Jun 2007)

Bad Science: Ben Goldacre

Topic specific reading and watching list:

Topic

Books

Films/TV

Education

  • To Miss with Love by Katharine Birbalsingh (2011)
  • Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating by Frank Furedi (2009)
  • Dangerous Minds
  • Educating Cardiff/ Yorkshire/ Essex/ The East End

Family

  • They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James (2006)
  • Cherie Gets Married
  • Back in Time for Dinner

Beliefs

  • The Cult Files: True Stories from the Extreme Edges of Religious Belief
  • Things Fall Apart  Chinua Achebe
  • The God Delusion Richard Dawkins
  • Dogma

Crime and Deviance

  • The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-city Neighbourhood  David Simon
  • In search of respect: selling crack in El Barrio. Phillipe Bourgois
  • The Wire
  • Quadrophrenia
  • One flew over the cuckoo’s nest (labelling theory)