Conducting research in sociology
In this introductory section you will need to understand why sociologists undertake research, the
four steps to conducting research and what research methods can be used. In the AQA
syllabus, you will need to unde
Role of education in society
You need to be aware of the reasons behind education reforms to British schools since the
1970s, and the impact of such changes. One example would be the Education Act 1988, when
the Conservative government of Mrs. Thatcher in
Formal and informal education
You need to distinguish between formal and informal education.
What students are taught from the syllabus.
Consists of the norms and values acquired from the school environment, such as doi
Decision making and citizenship in Britain
In a democracy the people participate in the decision-making process in several ways. You may
have already voted in a school election, or even been elected as a representative for your form /
school. Many people
Politics and the Welfare State
You need to distinguish between the two main types of welfare benefits; universal and selective.
Universal benefits are provided to all regardless of a claimants financial status. One example is
Social change and stratification
You should be aware of recent changes to the class structure of British society. There are
several points to consider;
Society has become more open in recent years as people have found it easier to move from
one social cla
Structure of inequality
The power of the elite within society is based upon;
A network of social connections sometimes known as the old boys network
In contrast the least powerful within society have few opportunities to escape from poverty.
Sociological approaches to the family
You need to state and explain the various theoretical approaches to the family; such as the
functionalist, feminist and New Right perspectives.
The importance of the family
The function of the fam
You need to understand changes within the welfare state since the 1970s. There are three main
eras you need to be aware of;
Golden age of the welfare state (1945 1979)
The scope and scale of the welfare state e
What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of human society. For the examination, you need to know a number of
concepts and terms used in the subject. There are three main areas you need to consider;
Social structures (e.g. the family, education, social st
Family - diversity
There are several types of family within UK society. These include;
Gay / lesbian
Reconstituted (or blended)
Alternatives to family life include single-person households, communes and living in a