Sociology Exam

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Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A Levels Sociology Education Mind Map on Sociology Exam, created by kat kd on 04/27/2014.

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kat kd
Created by kat kd over 5 years ago
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Sociology Exam
1 Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of gender differences in achievement and in subject choice.
1.1 internal
1.1.1 gender differences
1.1.1.1 GCSE and coursework
1.1.1.1.1 Gorard found gender gap in achievement fairly constant until 1988-9, when it increased sharply (years GCSEs introduced with cw). Gorard concludes that the gender gap in achievement is a 'product of the changed system of assessment rather than any more general failing of boys'; Mitsos and Browne support this view. They conclude girls are better at cw as more organised than boys (girls: spend more time on their work, take care with way its presented, better at meeting deadlines bring the right equipment and materials to lessons). They also note girls gain from maturing earlier from their ability to concentrate for longer. Elwood criticises saying cw can have limited impact o final grade, exams have more influence on final grades.
1.1.1.2 selection and league tables
1.1.1.2.1 Marketisation created competitive climate in which schools view girls as desirable recruits because they achieve better exam results. Jackson notes that introduction of exam league tables has improved opportunities for girls as high achieving girls attractive to schools. Slee argues boys are less attractive to schools as they are more likely to suffer from behavioural difficulties and are four times more likely to be excluded. Boys may be seen as 'liability students' obstacles to the school improving its league tables.
1.1.2 subject choice
1.1.2.1 gendered subject image
1.1.2.1.1 subjects 'give off- an image affecting who wants to choose it. Kelly argues science is viewed as a boys subject for several reason, 1) science teachers more likely to be male 2) the examples in textbooks and by teachers often draw upon boys' experiences and interests 3) in science lessons boys tend to monopolise the apparatus and dominate the laboratory, acting as if it was 'theirs'. DfES shows pupils from single-sex school tend to hold less stereotyped subject images e.g. less likely to see science as a boys' subject. Leonard found this may result in them making less traditional subject choices. Studied 13,000 individuals, found girls more likely to study maths and sciences at A level, and at boys' schools more likely to take English and modern languages.
1.2 external
1.2.1 subject choice
1.2.1.1 early socialisation
1.2.1.1.1 Murphy study, set open-ended tasks in primary schools where they were asked to design boats and vehicles and estate agents' advert. Found boys designed powerboats and battleships with elaborate weaponry whereas girls designed cruise ships, paying attention to social and domestic detail. Boys designed sports cars, girls designed family cars. Boys made poster focusing on 'masculine' spheres e.g. garage space, girls focus on 'feminine' ones such as kitchen design and decor.
1.2.2 gender differences
1.2.2.1 changes in family
1.2.2.1.1 changes include, an increase in divorce rate, increase in cohabitation and decrease number of first marriages, increase number of lone-parent families and smaller families. More female-headed lone-parent families mean more women need to take on the breadwinner role. Creating a new adult role model for girls (the financially independent women). To achieve this women need well-paid jobs thus good qualifications. Increase in divorce may suggest to girls it is unwise to rely on a husband to be their provider. Encouraging girls to look to themselves and their own qualifications to make a living.
1.2.2.2 Changes in employment
1.2.2.2.1 changes include, 1970 Equal Pay Act (Prosser says responsible for change of economic status in women in last 30 years) making it illegal for women to be payed less than men for work of equal value and 1975 Sex Discrimination Act outlaws sex discrimination in employment, more women in employment (49% in 1959 whereas 70% in 2007) while traditional 'mens' jobs have declined, more women breaking through 'glass ceiling' the invisible barrier that keeps women out of high-level professional and managerial jobs. Meaning women seeing future as paid work not housework. Greater career options better pay for women and the role models provide an incentive for girls to gain qualifications'
2 Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of using one of the following methods for investigating social class differences in university entrance: group interviews OR postal questionnaires
2.1 +
2.1.1 high response rate as pupils, teachers and parents accustomed to completing questionnaires issues by the school such as student satisfaction surveys.
2.1.2 postal means does not disrupt student lesson time meaning consent more easy to obtain from schools
2.1.3 Able to ask more school and pupils (large scale) as questionnaires standardised, just have to send them out and wait for responses. the scale makes more representative so can generalise findings
2.1.4 quick and cheap as gathering basic quantitative data you can draw conclusions from
2.1.4.1 Micheal Rutter, lots of data from 12 inner London secondary schools
2.1.4.2 better than group interviews as hard to translate material and cultural differences to students without making them feel uncomfortable. By using free-school meals as a way of tell class in questionnaires is more objective as pupils won't feel embarassed about background. i.e. may lie in fear of being teased, bullied or 'stigmatised' as poor, able to safeguard them
2.1.5 quantitative data able to find trends and make comparisons between different social groups, present data in graphs to view results abstractly. Furthermore, reliable as can send questionnaire anyway (all questions the same), no interviewer to encourage social desirability
2.2 -
2.2.1 doesn't provide explanation for trends
2.2.2 lack validity as not able to know if the person who says they answered the questionnaire is actually who they say they are
2.2.3 misunderstand questions answer wrongly, or may not have option that closely relates to participants
2.2.4 needs to be brief as people may not want to spend time answering 50 questions, limiting amount of information that can be gathered
2.2.5 reassurance on anonymity may be difficult to achieve with such a detached method
2.2.6 interpretivists value developing rapport so reject questionnaires, because pupils may be less likely to give honest responses
2.2.7 pupils may equate them with school and teacher authority- as result those in ant-school subcultures may refuse to cooperate or take activity seriously
3 Suggest two disadvantages of longitudinal studies in sociological research. (4 marks)
3.1 1) sample attrition - participants drop out half way through 2) risk of Hawthorne effect
4 Examine the problems that sociologists may face when using covert participant observation and covert non - participant observation in their research.
4.1 methological preference; reliability; validity; representativeness/generalisation; quantitative and qualitative data; cost; time; informed consent/deception; danger; il legality; access/getting in, staying in/‘ going native’ and getting out; grounded theory/hypothesis formation; data analysis; publication of findings; utility in relation to different research contexts and issues

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