Unit 1 Sociology Specification

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General Certificate of Education Advanced Subsidiary Examination

Specimen Paper Showing Layout from 2005
In addition to this paper you will require: an 8-page answer book.


Time allowed: 1 hour 15 minutes
Instructions • Use blue or black ink or ball-point pen. • Write the information required on the front of your answer book. The Examining Body for this paper is AQA. The Paper Reference is SCY1. • This paper is divided into three Sections. Choose one Section and answer all parts of the question from that Section. • Do all rough work in the answer book. Cross through any work you do not want marked. Information • The maximum mark for this paper is 60. • Mark allocations are shown in brackets. • You will be assessed on your ability to use an appropriate form and style of writing, to organise relevant information clearly and coherently, and to use specialist vocabulary where appropriate. • The degree of legibility of your handwriting and the level of accuracy of your spelling, punctuation and grammar will also be taken into account.




Choose one Section and answer all parts of the question from that Section. SECTION A – FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLDS

1 Item 1A

Total for this Section: 60 marks Ideas about the nature of children have changed over time. The modern view is that children are fundamentally different from adults – innocent, inexperienced and vulnerable. Thus modern childhood involves segregation: children’s vulnerability means they need to be shielded from the dangers and responsibilities of the adult world. Childhood has become a specially protected and privileged time of life. Yet children were not always viewed in this way. Until the 17th century, childhood was regarded as a brief period (up to the age of about 7), after which the individual was ready to enter the wider world. Some sociologists argue that we are now witnessing a further change in the nature of childhood, and that the differences between childhood and adulthood are once again becoming blurred. Item 1B In recent years, sociologists have drawn attention to the growth of family and household diversity in Britain and elsewhere, arguing that we have moved away from the previous norm of a conventional nuclear family composed of a heterosexual married couple and their children, with a gender division of labour. They point, for example, to the fact that about one household in 10 is now headed by a lone parent as evidence of the declining popularity of the conventional nuclear family. However, some sociologists argue that, despite recent changes, the conventional nuclear family remains the norm in Britain today. Writing in 1985, Chester claimed that the basic patterns of family life had remained largely unchanged for most people since the 1940s. He argued that, “most adults still marry and have children. Most children are reared by their natural parents. Most people live in a household headed by a married couple. Most marriages continue until parted by death.” He concluded that, “no great change seems currently in prospect”. Others, including New Right and functionalist writers, see the conventional nuclear family as the most desirable or appropriate family type for modern society. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) 10




Explain what is meant by the “gender division of labour” in the family (Item 1B, line 4). (2 marks) Suggest two ways in which differences between childhood and adulthood may be “becoming blurred” (Item 1A, line 11). (4 marks) Suggest three ways in which childhood may not be “a specially protected and privileged time (6 marks) of life” (Item 1A, line 5). Identify and briefly explain two reasons for the emergence of the modern notion of childhood (Item 1A, lines 1 – 2). (8 marks) Examine the effects of industrialisation on the structure of the family. (20 marks) Assess the view that, despite recent changes in family life, “the conventional nuclear family remains...
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