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
WHY STUDY SOCIOLOGY?
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
WHAT CAREER CHOICES WILL
STUDYING SOCIOLOGY GIVE ME?
is a highly valued course and prepares students for a variety of courses
at higher education.
career that involves the interaction of people is one that would benefit
from sociological insight!
WHAT SUBJECTS WILL
HARMONISE WITH SOCIOLOGY AS AND A2?
- Health &
students come from a diverse range of studies
AS SOCIOLOGY COURSE
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).
culture and identity
differentiation, power and stratification
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.
gained on a sociology course can be of life-long benefit.
will I be ass
this we need to examine the assessment objectives
KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING
will be required to remember and understand some of the ideas, concepts,
and theories, authors, studies that we encounter during the year.
IDENTIFICATION, ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION & EVALUATION
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?
AQA course is divided into three modules of study look at your handout
specifying the modules of study and their percentage marking criteria.
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.
In the library, there are a number of subject reference
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.
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;
to do next?
your notes to see if the handout is clear
what your textbook has to say about participant
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)
Chris Livesey & Tony Lawson (Hodder Arnold)
sparkly folder, with dividers bring along to every class
on in the year invest in a revision guide. I will bring
along some examples.
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
& the Welfare State 362.5
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!
leave a message with reception
Sociology of bananas
Terry Ward, Sociology
Review, November 2001
may love them or hate them. You can have them with
cream or deep-fried.
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
The middle class cultural differences in diet persist
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
machinery versus small family farmers in the
dependent on a single crop for their livelihood. Most
bananas come from the
owned multinationals in Central and
Only 7% of bananas come from the
To protect the smaller farmers in the
which were once French and British colonies, the EU
offered special trading arrangements. This annoyed
which saw the EU's support of the
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
to tax EU products, such as biscuits, bubble bath,
candles, handbags, fountain pens and cashmere
sweaters. This would have generated £500 million, the
was lost to their economy as a result of the EU banana
policy. No doubt bill
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
a cost to the British taxpayers of £3,576.
Sainsbury's supermarkets decided to support the
against the banana bullies by promoting ethical
trading and stocking bananas which were guaranteed a
fair price to growers in the
you thought it was just a banana! Interpreted in this
way, bananas become an illustration of one of the most
central sociological concepts
Ski to the Tutorial
Remember sociology is
the best don’t
be brainwashed by