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Unit 1: Studying Sociology
- What is sociology?
- What is the relationship between sociology and the other social sciences?
- What are the positivist, interpretivist, modern and post-modernist perspectives?
- What do we use sociological knowledge for?
- What is the relationship between the individual and society?
- What are the biological, psychological and social elements of human behaviour?
- To what extent is human behaviour determined by social factors?
- How diverse are human behaviour and cultural variation?
- What is socialisation and how does the individual become a full adult social interactor?
- What are the agencies of socialisation and how do they function?
- What is conformity and non-conformity?
- How do social class, age, gender and ethnicity help construct social identity?
- What is the nature of social change?
Unit 2: Sociological Methods
- What are primary and secondary data?
- What are quantitative and qualitative data?
- What are the different forms of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of these different methods?
- What are the stages of research design?
- What is the relationship between theory and methods; positivist and anti-positivist approaches?
- What are the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing the choice of topic, choice of methods and conduct of research?
- What is the distinction between reliability and validity?
- What is the potential influence of researcher bias?
Unit 3: Social Stratification
- What is social class?
- What are the Marxist, Weberian, functionalist and post-modern approaches to social class?
- What is the relationship between economic power and political power, social class and life chance?
- What is the extent of social mobility in contemporary society?
- What is ascribed and achieved status in contemporary modern and traditional societies?
- What is poverty and what is the extent of poverty?
- What is sex and gender difference?
- What are the functionalist, Marxist and feminist perspectives on gender difference?
- What is gender socialisation, and what are the agents of this?
- What gender differences or inequalities exist in contemporary society?
- What is patriarchy?
- How has women’s role and status in society changed?
- What has been the impact of equal opportunities policies on women’s lives?
- What are race and ethnicity and what role do they play in the formation of identity?
- What is racism and what forms does it take?
- What are the patterns of racial inequality in society?
- What anti-racist policy and legislation has there been?
- What has been the impact of racial equality legislation in contemporary society?
Unit 4: Political Power and Inequality
- What are the various forms of power, control and authority?
- What are aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy and dictatorship?
- What different theories of power are there?
- What different interpretations of the role of the state in contemporary society are there?
- How are political decisions made, both in a democracy or in an authoritarian régime?
- How do the political processes work in the UK?
- What is the role of the political party?
- What is the role of a political pressure group?
- What are democratic elections?
- What factors influence voting behaviour in an election?
- What is freedom of speech and ideas?
- What is censorship?
Unit 5: The Family
- What are the different types of family?
- To what extent is the nuclear family a universal or common family structure?
- What is the economic status of the family?
- What are the functions of the family?
- How have the functions of the family changed?
- What changes have there been in the family and household structure and how have these been tied to industrialisation?
- What demographic changes which have impacted on the family have there been, why have these happened and what have been the consequences?
Unit 6: Education
- What is education and what roles do power and social control play in it?
- What are the links between education, the economy and social inequality?
- What is the relationship between education and the state?
- What is the relationship between education and social mobility?
- What is the relationship between educational achievement and intelligence?
- What inequalities are there in education, by factors such as gender, race, social class or culture?
- How is language important in education?
- What are pupil sub-cultures and what effect do they have?
Unit 7: Crime and Social Deviance
- What are crime and deviance?
- What role do the mass media have to play in societal attitudes to crime?
- What is the relationship between deviance, power and social control?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of official crime statistics?
- What explanations are there for the distribution of crime by age, social class, ethnicity, gender and region?
- What is white-collar crime?
- What are the biological, psychological and sociological theories of crime and deviance?
- What are the positivist and functionalist theories of crime?
- What is the interactionist approach to crime?
Unit 8: The Mass Media
- What are the mass media?
- What are the trends in the organisation and control of the mass media?
- What are the Marxist and Pluralist theories on the nature and role of the mass media?
- What is the relationship between the mass media and the state?
- What explanations are there for the process of selection and presentation of media content?
- What is the relationship between the media and ideology?
- What are the social trends of media consumption?
- What different theories are there about the effects and use of the media?
- What impact does the mass media have on behaviour?
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