Sociology AS
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Families & Households 

Welfare and Poverty







Theory & Methods

Differentiation & Stratification

Oral Communication

Study Skills

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Examination dates

Online sociology dictionary

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Women in the 20th century

Celebrity revenge


Sociology is the study of the relationship between the individual and society. Have you ever wondered why people exhibit certain behaviour? Who commits crime and why? Do we over nurture our children? How do we become the people that we are? At A level we study the theoretical frameworks and methods that are used by sociologists to study social behaviour.


Sociology is an exciting subject that challenges your everyday experiences. We offer a diverse teaching experience utilising IT, debates, role play, quizzes, websites, personal research and deliver this with an enthusastic drive. 


Sociology is a highly valued course and prepares students for a variety of courses at higher education.

  • Law

  • Market research

  • Academic research

  • Advertising

  • Politics

  • Criminology

  • Police

  • Probation

  • Social policy planning

  • Teaching

  • Social Work

  • Youth services

  • Media

  • Journalism

  • Human resource

Any career that involves the interaction of people is one that would benefit from sociological insight!


  • Media Studies
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Communication Studies
  • English
  • Health & Social Care
  • But.....our students come from a diverse range of studies


The AS (Advanced Subsidiary) is a one-year course, so you will be completing in June 2008. You can treat it as a "stand alone" qualification or as the first 50% of the full A level if you decide to tackle the A2 year (completing June 2009).

Core Themes

v    Socialisation, culture and identity

v    Social differentiation, power and stratification

By utilising the knowledge and skills on this course you should be able to take a more informed and critical look at many aspects of all societies and how they relate to people's lives, this will also empower you to develop and practice the skills of informed debate and critical analysis. 

Skills gained on a sociology course can be of life-long benefit.


How will I be assessed?

For this we need to examine the assessment objectives


You will be required to remember and understand some of the ideas, concepts, and theories, authors, studies that we encounter during the year.


Having understood and remembered some sociology, this tests your ability to use it fruitfully. For example, can you apply what you have learnt to other areas? Can you look at the different aspects within it? Can you criticise/evaluate/debate it, saying what makes it good or bad sociology?  



The AQA course is divided into three modules of study look at your handout specifying the modules of study and their percentage marking criteria.


Studying Sociology

The work done in class should be thought of as the basis for further private study and reading. You should read as much Sociology as you can - a little each day is best. The high grades are won by students who read widely, and if you think that you can pass AS on 5 hours per week, you will give yourself a hard time.  

  v In the library, there are a number of subject reference books.      These are marked by a green tape, and cannot be taken from the library. We have chosen these books because they are good general introductions to the subject, and they should be used regularly (i.e. after every class) to back up the material that we study together.  

For example, in class we might, study, say participant observation. From this, you would come away with a basic understanding and set of notes or handouts which give you the outlines: a definition; examples of some studies which have used participant observation; its advantages/disadvantages; some ideas about its links with sociological theory;  

What to do next?

v                 Review your notes to see if the handout is clear

v                Read what your textbook has to say about participant observation

v                 Go to the library to see what the textbooks on subject reference say about it. Use the index!


You will receive a copy of your course textbook. Sociology for AS for AQA by Stephen Moore, Dave AIken & Steve Chapman (Harper Collins)

AS Sociology for AQA 

by Chris Livesey & Tony Lawson (Hodder Arnold)

New sparkly folder, with dividers bring along to every class

Variety of pens            

Later on in the year invest in a revision guide. I will bring along some examples.

I recommend that you read the periodical Sociology Review. It is aimed directly at the level market and comes out 4 times a year. The library holds copies past & present, it costs about £10 though I believe if you order through the library a reduced subscription can be obtained. I will forward you general details about subscription soon

Sense of humour  

Library Sections

Sociology                                 301

Social Class                             305.5

Work/unemployment               331

Politics                                      320.942  

Poverty                                     305.56

Crime                                        364

Media                                        302.23

Religion                                    291

Marxism                                    320.5315

Family & Marriage                    306.8

Human Rights                           324.4

Women                                     305.42

Poverty & the Welfare State    362.5

Social Class                              305.5     

These are some example of sections of the library to use for your research but do not be limited by these sections do a general search!  

Tutor contacts

Tamara O'Hara


Office:          01239

Alternatively leave a message with reception


The Sociology of bananas  


by Terry Ward, Sociology Review, November 2001

You may love them or hate them. You can have them with cream or deep-fried. Europe eats 2.5million of them every year, but have you ever considered the sociological relevance of the humble banana? I suspect not - and it is no use reaching for our humble textbook, it wouldn't help. By applying sociological concepts and theories you end up with an intriguing story that implicates the banana in higher death rates for the working class, racism on football terraces, international power struggles, globalisation, free market capitalism, colonialism, poverty in developing nations, ethical trading and even the election of George W Bush as president of the United States. How? It's all a matter of interpretation.

    If you have studied the sociology of health you will already be aware that class cultural differences in diet persist in contemporary Britain . The middle class cultural differences in diet persist in contemporary Britain . The middle class are much more likely to live longer than the working class by eating fresh vegetables and fruit. The working class tend to have a higher fat diet, which is associated with premature death. One interpretation is that if the working class started to fry fewer chips and eat more bananas they would live longer. You may be tempted at this point to dispute this interpretation, in which case you would be engaging in evaluative skills.

    The banana played a role in the shameful history of racism on football terraces. In his debut match for Liverpool against Arsenal during the 1987 - 88 season, the black footballer John Barnes suffered the indignity of having banana skins thrown on to the pitch. This form of barracking of black players is a form of overt racism which football authorities have struggled to eradicate from the modern game.

    The banana has even more sinister associations with international conflict, trade wars, colonial domination and the funding of George W. Bush's presidential election campaign. This is a story of big multinationals with the full support of the US state machinery versus small family farmers in the Caribbean , dependent on a single crop for their livelihood. Most of Europe 's bananas come from the US - owned multinationals in Central and Latin America . Only 7% of bananas come from the Caribbean . To protect the smaller farmers in the Caribbean countries which were once French and British colonies, the EU offered special trading arrangements. This annoyed the US , which saw the EU's support of the Caribbean farmers as hostile to US interests. The billionaire banana baron. Carl Linder, who owns Chiquita, withdrew a $5000,000 donation to the Democrats and switched his donation to Bush and the republican campaign in an attempt to win support for action against the EU. In February 2000, international relations deteriorated so badly that there was talk that the 'Banana Wars' were putting the global economy at risk. The US threatened to tax EU products, such as biscuits, bubble bath, candles, handbags, fountain pens and cashmere sweaters. This would have generated £500 million, the amount the US claimed was lost to their economy as a result of the EU banana policy. No doubt bill Clinton had a one to one with Tony Blair to discuss the trouble bananas were causing across the globe. The PM sent the agricultural minister Jack Cunningham, to a meeting in St Lucia at a cost to the British taxpayers of £3,576. Sainsbury's supermarkets decided to support the Caribbean growers against the banana bullies by promoting ethical trading and stocking bananas which were guaranteed a fair price to growers in the Caribbean .  

  And you thought it was just a banana! Interpreted in this way, bananas become an illustration of one of the most central sociological concepts - Power 

Ski to the Tutorial

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Coursework Deadlines
Crime & Deviance


A2 Religion

don't get bored with religion, keep up to date and read the brick testament

A2 Religion

don't get bored with religion, keep up to date and read the brick testament

Stratification & Differentiation

dead sociologists
Website of the moment

Come see it!

Ha Ha
It is just amusingng

Marxism made simple

Update your sociological knowledge with current affairs


My Quia activities and quizzes
Religion as an agency of social change
Useful links
Last updated  2008/09/28 09:24:33 BSTHits  78268