Core Themes in AS and A Level Sociology

According to the AQA, the following are the most important aspects of studying Sociology. What’s below is taken straight from the AQA web site

Integral elements

All the following must be an integral part of the study of each topic area:

  • Sociological theories, perspectives and methods
  • The design of the research used to obtain the data under consideration, including its strengths and limitations.

Attention must be given to drawing out the links between topic areas studied.

Core themes

Students must study the following two core themes:

  • Socialisation, culture and identity (Functionalism emphasises the importance of socialisation, postmodernism culture and action theory identity
  • Social differentiation, power and stratification (Marxism and Feminism emphasise the importance of these)

The themes should be understood and applied to particular substantive areas of Sociology. These themes are to be interpreted broadly as threads running through many areas of social life and should not therefore be regarded as discrete topics.

Contemporary UK society

The central focus of study in this specification should be on UK society today, with consideration given to comparative dimensions where relevant, including the siting of UK society within its globalised context.

Using the ‘Core Themes’ in A-level sociology

The most obvious exam-application is to use these as a basis for answering any 10 mark question – try to make sure one point is developed along the lines of socialisation, culture and identity, and another developed along the lines of differentiation, stratification and power. This way, you make sure you have two very different points!

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