Sociology - Education with theory and methods Watch

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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
I'm getting really confused whether in the theory and methods section it'll just be about theories within methods or whether it's all theories?
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Report 2 years ago
TLDR, the question could either be based around a theory or a method, or some combination of the two.
The question could either be centered around a theory (such as marxism, functionalism etc) or around a method or group of methods.
For example, a theory-based question may ask you to "Outline and explain two contributions of marxism to understanding society". Bear in mind in Paper 1 the theory and methods question is worth 10 marks, so you will be asked to outline and explain two contributions of marxism to our understanding of society. In paper 3 however the theory and methods question is a 20-mark essay, so you will be asked to "Evaluate the contributions of marxism to our understanding of society" for example.
You could also be asked similar questions on functionalism, neo functionalism (or both combined), marxism and/or neo-marxism, feminism (remember there are different types like radical feminism and liberal feminism), post modernism and interactionism. Or you might get a more general question such as one about conflict theories, in which case you would talk about feminism, marxism and neo-marxism. It may be useful to include a reference to what research methods the theory in question uses, but the theory is the main point of this type of question, not any kind of research method. Also remember you are not discussing the theory's views on any particular topic, you are discussing their views on society in general. You can refer to specific topics to prove your points, but don't make the whole essay about them. For example if you were writing about marxism you could say that marxists see the education system as promoting the ruling class ideology, but you don't want to spend your whole essay talking about the marxist view of education.

A research methods-based question would be along the lines of "Outline and explain two advantages of interviews in sociological research" for a 10-marker and "Evaluate the usefulness of interviews in sociological research" for an essay. Some of the research methods you might be asked about are interviews (structured, unstructured or group), observation ( which may be covert or overt, participant or non-participant), laboratory experiments, field experiments, documents, statistics and questionnaires.

Then there are a couple of areas which don't exactly fit into theory or methods but could still come up. These are:
Sociology as a science
Sociology and value freedom
Sociology and social policy
In my opinion these are the hardest areas! You may get a question such as "Outline and explain two ways in which sociology differs from science" or "Outline and explain two reasons why sociology may be unable to influence social policy" for the 10-markers in paper 1. For paper 3 you may get a question such as "Evaluate the claim that sociology should always aim to be value free" or "Evaluate the view that sociology cannot model itself on the natural sciences". I really recommend you revise these three topics because they are imo the hardest to wing in the exam. For theory-based questions you can draw on your knowledge of what different theories say about the topics you have looked at. For example you will have covered the Functionalist views on crime, education etc, so you have hopefully absorbed quite a bit about them already. Research methods you will have studied last year, and as part of methods in context. But sociology as a science, sociology and values and sociology and social policy are all topics that are new to the second year.
If you need any more advice you can pm me, and I'll try to help though I can't promise anything.
Badges: 3
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
Thank you so much, this was so helpful!

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