Studying Sociology GCSE and Sociology A Level: 1


Here is the first in our series of study blogs for those studying A level Sociology and GCSE Sociology.

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of how society is organised, and how we experience life in society.   It includes the study of how human society develops, its structure and functioning.  It also includes the study of social problems.  Sociology asks what happens to people in social groups, and what rules they live by.  It aims not only to understand the individual in society, but also to understand the group as a whole and the way that people in society interact with each other. Sociologists are interested in how people interact and group behaviour.

What sort of things do sociologists study?

Examples of issues studied by sociologists include :–

  • crime and deviance
  • poverty
  • social class
  • religion
  • the media
  • migration
  • changes in population
  • effects of events on communities
  • the environment
  • globalisation

You might think this sounds very similar to psychology.

What is the difference between sociology and psychology?

Sociology: Psychology:
looks at groups of people (society), nations and communities looks at the working of the mind and asks why people behave and think the way they do
studies larger groups and communities studies individuals and smaller groups
is concerned with communal and social interactions is concerned with internal conflicts within a person – mental and physical

 There is obviously some overlap between psychology and sociology, but they are not the same.

This series of study blogs will consider important points in the GCSE and A level Sociology specifications.

If you might be interested in studying Sociology with Oxford Open Learning, please contact one of our student advisers who will be pleased to help you.

Tracey Jones

Sociology Tutor

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