|What is sociology?
Click on the image on the left to see the different issues you can study.
|See David Mitchell explain Marxist view of religion by clicking on the image to the left.|
Head of Department: Mrs C Charman
Aims of the Department
All teachers in the Sociology Department strive to encourage and empower students to understand and develop:
- Knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social processes and structures
- Appreciation of the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate
- Understanding of sociological methodology and a range of research methods
- The ability to reflect on their own experience of the social world in which they live
- Skills which enhance their ability to participate more effectively in adult life.
Simply put, sociology is the study of society. Sociologists use a lot of different research methods in order to investigate the way society works and why humans do the things they do as a society. We investigate the role of social institutions like the family, the media, education and criminal justice systems and religious belief, along with the effects of social characteristics like class, ethnicity and gender on social behaviour patterns.
Why study it?
Sociology is interesting
Who makes the rules about which behaviour is considered ‘bad’ and which is ‘good’? What effect does advertising and television have on our behaviour? How has the structure of the family changed? Why do some groups do better in education than others? Why do some people seem to commit more crime than others? Do we live in a postmodern world where the people we watch on television are more important than our own friends and family?
Sociology is challenging
Can stereotyping be reduced or eliminated? Can different religions be encouraged to work and live peacefully beside each other? Can patterns of voting be predicted? Can family roles become equal and shared?
Sociology is useful
Imagine if we knew enough about the way humans interact to be able to intervene and reduce problems such as crime, family breakdown, poverty, disruptive behaviour, media violence and inequalities in education.
Sociology students must be aware of current developments in education, crime, population and many other areas. They will need to watch televised news reports and read newspapers to keep in touch with changes. Listening to BBC Radio 4 whilst getting ready for College is a really good way to keep up with what is going on in the world. There are also many excellent sociology documentaries available.