Learning OutcomesAt the end of the session you will be able to:• Describe the features of a sociological approach to social issues.• Recognise the difference between sociology and other social sciences.• Discuss the potential impact of sociological research on people who introduce social policies.
Sources• AQA GCSE Sociology (2009) by Grahame Coates et al Nelson Thornes• Sociology GCSE for AQA (2010) by Wilson, P. & Kidd, A. Collins
What is Sociology?• Sociology is the study of the society in which we live.• It examines how we are influenced and shaped through being members of groups and organisations.It concentrates on:• the way we make society what it is, and• the way society makes us what we are.
Sociology• Very few of us live our lives on our own – we are all in regular contact with other people and we interact with other people in groups and in various organisations.• Take two minutes to list all the people, group you come into contact with.
Sociology• We are all members of groups such as families, peer groups and friendship groups and we will come into contact with organisations such as the: – school/college – workplace – church – legal system – political system – mass media
Sociology......examines the ways in which these forms ofsocial structure: – groups, – organizations, – communities, – social categories (such as class, sex, age, or race), – various social institutions (such as family, economic, political, media or religious) ...affect human attitudes, actions, and opportunities.
Is asks us to question...For example:• Why is the number of years you can expect to live still associated with your occupation?• The way that your gender, religion, and ethnic background open up or close down opportunities in your life?• What kinds of spiritual faith do people have in Britain today?• How far do the media affect how personal lifestyle choices are viewed by wider society?
QuestionDo you wonder whatfuels our apparentfixation with celebrity? • Is it just gossip in a modern form? • Is it that it provides endless, easily obtained content for our multiplying TV channels, newspaper pages and magazines? • Could it be both? • Or even something much more profound about the class system of modern Britain?
Sociology isn’t journalism!• Journalists ask similar questions to the ones we‟ve just discussed – and like sociologists they carry out research; however sociology is different from journalism as: – Journalists‟ research is less systematic – They are often biased or one sided in their reports – Sociological research is subject to peer review.
Sociology isn’t psychology!• Psychologists also study people, drawing on key concepts such as personality or aggression and using research techniques and experiments.• However, while psychologists focus on the behaviour of individuals, sociologists focus on group behaviour, social structures and social processes that influence us.
Sociology is a Social Science• Sociologists try their best to be objective in the work they do. They develop theories, do practical research, collect and analyse data.• In this way sociology is seen as a social science.
Social Policy• The work that sociologists do helps to „bring into the open‟ some of the serious social issues that are challenging our society at any particular time.• They sometimes result in political discussions that lead to the development of social policy and sometimes to new laws that affect everyone.• Can you recall any changes in social policy that have taken place in the last few years?
Example• Debate, discussion and social research could consider the importance of good parenting.• This might lead to changes in paid maternity and paternity leave or might lead to changes in the tax and benefits system for families with young children.
Summary• Social science: the systematic study of society and of human relationships within society.• Social policy: important decisions made by the government that aim to improve the conditions of people living in their society.
Unit 1 Exam Jan 2012: 1hr 30mins1. Studying Society – culture, values, norms, roles, laws, socializat ion, social structures, research2. Education – Why we have schools, measuring success/failure, different types of schooling, hidden curriculum, social class3. Families – Different family structures, marriage and divorce, roles, social class
Unit 2 Exam June 2012: 1hr 30mins1. Crime and Deviance – Difference between the two terms, measuring crime, explaining behaviour (biological/ psychological/ sociological), control.2. Mass Media – What is it? Who owns it? How do we use it? Stereotypes. Impact.3. Social Inequality – Social stratification, class societies, slavery, life chances, social mobility, gender and racial barriers, poverty.
Culture• Being a member of a society means that we all have something in common, and that common thread is our culture• It includes the laws, norms, values, roles, customs, beli efs and languages of a society. Culture is not the same everywhere and you can often see this by looking at food and diet For example, roasted guinea pig is enjoyed as a delicacy in Ecuador, while they are kept as family pets in the UK.
Laws & Norms• Our everyday behaviour is shaped and guided by a set of: – formal, written rules (laws) – and informal, unwritten rules (norms)...that are special to our particular culture.• Breaking a law would lead to punishment; breaking a norm would be disapproved of.
Roles• We all perform a number of roles in our society.• These are special patterns of behaviour expected of people in different situations.• A teacher in front of a class will take on a completely different role from when she is interacting as a mother with her own children.• A group of students will behave differently when they are in the classroom, out with their friends or at home with their parents.
Values• To feel a part of the society in which we live there are likely to be a set of values that are shared by most members.• We all have beliefs about what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is important and not important and these form the basis of our values.
Activity• Work through the task on – “Living with the British”
Activity• With a partner, agree on and note down four norms that apply when: 1. Getting on a bus 2. At a party 3. In a doctor‟s surgery 4. In a classroom
Class Contracts• What will be the norms and values of this group? – Be punctual – Attend – Respect – listen to each other, don‟t speak over others, treat people the way you want to be treated – No eating or drinking – Manners – Don‟t be stereotypical / don‟t use stereotypical language – It‟s OK to have your own opinion but it‟s important to share it in a way that doesn‟t offend others – Appreciate each others‟ opinions or views – Be patient – Don‟t use mobile phones / keep them on silent – Please speak up if you don‟t understand something or if you don‟t agree with something.
Homework• Questions – relating to content from Nelson Thornes textbook.