3.1 The sociological approach

All the content is set in a United Kingdom (UK) context except where otherwise stated.

Students must know and understand:

  • debates within sociology including conflict versus consensus
  • how sociological knowledge and ideas change over time and how these ideas inform our understanding of the social world
  • the contextualised work (a sense of time and place) of key classical sociologists Durkheim, Marx and Weber referencing both their view of the world and their contribution to the development of the discipline
  • different sociological perspectives on social structures, social processes and social issues, including those informed by: feminism, functionalism, interactionism and Marxism as specified in the topics listed below and key arguments (identified through reading and responding to extracts from key sociological texts)
  • the interrelationship between the core areas of sociology
  • how to use sociological research methods as outlined in the topics and how they apply in the specified contexts ie families, education, crime and deviance, social stratification. Teachers may encourage their students to undertake small-scale research projects in order to develop their understanding of the practical difficulties faced by the sociologists working in the field
  • key sociological terms and concepts concerned with social structures, social processes and social issues and the explanation of social phenomena including: society, socialisation, norms, values, roles, labelling, discrimination, power and authority.