FANDOM


Back to Past papers

Section A: Education

Answer either Question 1 or Question 2.

1 (a) Explain how the achievement of pupils may be influenced by pupil sub-cultures. [9]

0–4 A few general observations about pupils’ educational achievement, with no direct links to the question, would be worth 1 or 2 marks. A basic account of what is meant by pupil sub-culture, with no further development in relation to the question, would be placed in the higher part of the band.

5–9 Lower in the band, answers are likely to provide a basic account of how achievement at school may be influenced by pupil sub-cultures. An account of this kind might focus on explaining just one link between pupil sub-culture and educational achievement, or several relevant links may be noted, but in a list-like way. Higher in the band, answers will be more detailed, and different links between pupil sub-cultures and educational achievement will be explored.

(b) ‘Opportunities to achieve at school are limited to a few privileged groups.’ Assess this view. [16]

0–6 A few simple points about educational achievement, with no direct links to the question, would fit the lower part of the band. A few assertions about which groups have the better opportunities to achieve at school, with no further development, would merit a mark in the upper part of the band.

7–11 A sound sociological description of some groups which have the better opportunities to achieve at school, would be worth 7 or 8 marks. This might include references to relevant social divisions based on class, ethnicity, gender, and disability. To reach the higher part of the band, there must also be some attempt to explain why some groups may have better educational opportunities than other groups. However, the explanations offered at this level may lack detail. There may be little or no explicit attempt to assess the view on which the question is based, in answers that merit this band.

12–16 Answers at this level will provide a good account of sociological explanations for why some groups may have better opportunities for educational achievement than other groups. There will also be an attempt to assess the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band, the assessment may be confined to a few simple arguments to support or reject the view expressed in the question. To go higher in the band, the assessment must be more developed and should cover a wider range of points for or against the view that some groups have better educational opportunities than other groups. One way to deliver a good assessment, for example, would be through drawing on the debates between liberal theories of education and conflict theories. Sophistication in the analysis might also be demonstrated through considering the position of different groups within the education system; for example, girls/boys, working class/middle class, different ethnic groups, able/disabled.

2 (a) Explain how the interaction between teachers and pupils may influence educational performance. [9]

0–4 A few assertions about educational performance in general, with no links to teacher/pupil interaction, would be worth 1 or 2 marks. A simple account of one way in which teacher/pupil interactions may influence educational performance, would be placed in the higher part of the band.

5–9 An answer that provides a basic account of how teacher/pupil interaction may influence educational performance, would be placed in the lower part of the band. The explanations in a basic account will lack detail and may be confined to a narrow range of points. Higher in the band, the answer will be more developed and may include references to relevant studies and/or cover a wider range of links between teacher/pupil interactions and educational performance. Good answers may also be distinguished by the use of relevant links to the interactionist perspective.

(b) ‘The social construction of knowledge favours some pupils over others.’ Assess this view. [16]

0–6 A few simple points about the nature of inequality in the education system would be placed in the lower part of the band. A simple account of how knowledge is constructed in relation to the education system, with no further links to the question, would merit a mark in the top half of the band.

7–11 A basic account of how knowledge is constructed, with no attempt to explain how it might affect educational outcomes, would be worth 7 or 8 marks. To be placed higher within this band, there must be some attempt to explain in what ways the construction of knowledge may favour some groups of pupils over others. The discussion might, for example, focus on the middle class nature of the official curriculum, or might consider Bernstein's ideas about language codes. Links to gender and/or ethnicity issues in the construction of knowledge might also be considered in answering this question.

12–16 Answers at this level will demonstrate a good understanding of the possible links between the construction of knowledge and the educational achievement of different groups of pupils. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band, the assessment may be confined to a few simple points supporting or rejecting the view on which the question is based. Better answers will provide a more detailed assessment, and reasoned conclusions will emerge about the extent to which the construction of knowledge has a significant influence on the educational performance of different groups of pupils. A high-quality answer might include references to relevant theoretical perspectives, such as the Marxist and interactionist theories.

Section B: Global Development

Answer either Question 3 or Question 4.

3 (a) Explain the relationship between low-income and poor health. [9]

0–4 A few assertions about the causes of poor health, with little or no direct relevance to the question, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A simple account of one way in which low income may be linked to poor health, would be placed in the top half of the band. A simple account of this kind would likely be based on general knowledge rather than specific sociological evidence and analysis.

5–9 Lower in the band, answers will demonstrate a sound understanding of the relationships between low income and poor health. However, the range of points covered may be narrow and/or lacking in detail. Higher in the band, the explanations offered will be detailed, and a good range of links between low income and poor health will be covered.

(b) ‘Aid is ineffective in reducing global poverty’. Assess this view. [16]

0–6 A few simple comments about the role of aid in developing countries, with no direct links to the question, would be placed in the lower part of the band. Some simple observations about the impact of aid on global development in general, with little sociological underpinning, would merit a mark in the top half of the band.

7–11 A basic account of the impact of aid in reducing global poverty, perhaps one-sided or lacking detail, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A better answer would show greater recognition of the complexity of the relationships between aid and poverty reduction. However, there may be little or no explicit attempt at assessment at this level.

12–16 At this level, there will be a good account of the relationship between aid and attempts to alleviate poverty. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band, the assessment may be confined to a few simple points supporting or rejecting the view on which the question is based. To be placed higher in the band, the assessment must be more details and will recognise the complexity of the issues involved and the difficulty of drawing firm conclusions about the effectiveness of aid in reducing poverty. High-quality answers may distinguish between different types of aid and will consider different definitions of poverty. Links to relevant theoretical perspectives may be another feature of good answers.

4 (a) Explain how rapid urban migration may affect a society. [9]

0–4 A few assertions about the nature of migration, with little or no direct focus on the question, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A better answer at this level might offer a simple explanation of one or two ways in which rapid urban migration may affect a society. Answers that focus on the causes of urban migration rather than on the consequences, would gain no more than 2 marks.

5–9 Lower in the band, there will be a basic account of a few ways in which rapid urban migration might affect a society. Answers may be somewhat list-like or else narrow in the range of impacts covered. To go higher in the band, the answer must provide greater detail about the effects of rapid urban migration. Rapid urban migration might lead to issues such as: overcrowding, potential for ethnic conflict, health care and sanitation issues, economic disruption and high levels of unemployment, environmental pressures, the breakdown of traditional rural cultures and communities.

(b) Assess the strengths and limitations of the world-systems theory. [16]

0–6 A few simple points about the factors affecting development, with no direct links to the question, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A better answer at this level might explain in a simple way the main features of world systems theory, but without considering the strengths and limitations of the theory.

7–11 A basic account of world systems theory, without a reference to strengths and limitations, would be placed in the lower part of the band. Better answers at this level will identify some strengths and limitations. However, there may be little or no explicit attempt to assess world systems theory at this level. Candidates who are able to situate world systems theory in the context of the reaction against the more optimistic claims of modernisation theory, are likely to merit the higher part of the band.

12–16 Answers that fit this band will provide a good account of the strengths and limitations of world systems theory. There will also be an attempt to assess the value of that theory. Lower in the band, the assessment is likely to be developed through the juxtaposition of world systems theory with other explanations of the factors affecting development. This might include modernisation theory and dependency theories. To go higher, the assessment must be explicit, and well-reasoned conclusions will be reached about the overall value of world systems theory as an approach to understanding issues affecting growth and development.

Section C: Media

Answer either Question 5 or Question 6.

5 (a) Explain how media representations of women may vary. [9]

0–4 A few observations about the content of the media, which are of broadly sociological relevance without directly linking to the question set, would be worth 1 or 2 marks. A simple description of some popular images of women in the media, with no further development, would merit the top half of the band.

5–9 A basic account of the way in which women may be represented in the media, would trigger the lower part of the band. To be placed higher in the band, the answer must also explain why it is difficult to generalise about images of women in the media. Reasons why it is difficult to generalise about images of women in the media include: the media is subject to change; different media may represent women in different ways; there are differences in the representation of different groups of women based on age, ethnicity and class; images of women in the media may be diverse and contrasting.

(b) Assess the extent to which different social groups receive and interpret media messages in different ways. [16]

0–6 A few assertions about the role or influence of the media, with little sociological bearing, would be placed in the lower half of the band. A simple account of how audiences receive and interpret media messages, with only limited sociological insight, would merit being placed in the top half of the band.

7–11 A basic account of how audiences may receive and interpret media messages, perhaps referring to the hypodermic syringe and uses and gratifications models, would be worth 7 or 8 marks. A better answer would focus on explaining why audiences may receive and interpret media messages in different ways. This is likely to include appropriate references to factors such as social class, ethnicity, age and gender. Answers may also include references to relevant studies of audience reception, including those by Ang, Hargrave, Skirrow, Gray, Jhally and Lewis, Gillespie, Gunter and McAleer, Cumberbatch and Negrine.

12–16 Answers at this level will provide a good account of the reasons why audiences may receive and interpret media messages in different ways. There will also be an assessment of the extent to which audience reception varies between different groups. Lower in the band, the assessment may be confined to a simple juxtaposition of different arguments and research findings pointing to differences in the way audiences receive and interpret media messages. To be placed higher in the band, the assessment must engage explicitly with the issues raised by the question, and well-reasoned conclusions will emerge about the extent to which media messages are interpreted and received differently by different social groups.

6 (a) Explain how different types of media influence the way news is presented. [9]

0–4 A basic account of the different types of media, with no further development, would be worth 1 or 2 marks. An account of some factors that influence the presentation of news, with no links to different types of media, would trigger the higher part of the band.

5–9 Answers at this level must focus on explaining the impact of different types of media on the way news is presented. Lower in the band, the answer may be limited to covering a narrow range of media or the points offered will lack detail. Better answers will cover a wider range of media, and will provide more detail about the impact of each type of media on the way that news is presented. Good answers may draw relevant distinctions between, for example, tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, radio and television, new media and traditional media.

(b) Assess theories of the media that are based on the concept of cultural hegemony. [16]

0–6 A few assertions about the impact of the media on social behaviour/values, with little sociological foundation, would be placed in the lower half of the band. A simple attempt to explain what is meant by cultural hegemony, probably with some inaccuracy or lack of clarity, would merit being placed in the top half of the band.

7–11 A sound account of what is meant by cultural hegemony, with no links to the media specifically, would be worth 7 or 8 marks. A better answer at this level will explain the concept of cultural hegemony in relation to the media specifically. The discussion may be rather general and will fail to distinguish between different contributions to the study of cultural hegemony in relation to the media. There may be little or no explicit assessment at this level.

12–16 Answers at this level will provide a good account of the concept of cultural hegemony and its use in different studies of the media. There will also be an attempt to assess the usefulness of the concept in studying the media. Lower in the band, the assessment may be limited to a few simple points about the limitations of Marxist theory in general. Better answers will provide a more detailed assessment, referring perhaps to the strengths and limitations of different studies of the media that draw on the concept of cultural hegemony. Studies of the media that have used the concept of cultural hegemony include those carried out by Hall, Fairclough, and the Glasgow Media Group.

Section D: Religion

Answer either Question 7 or Question 8.

7 (a) Explain how religion may bring about social change. [9]

0–4 A few assertions about the role of religion, with no direct links to social change, would be placed in the lower half of the band. A simple account of one way that religion may bring about social change, would reach the top half of the band. A simple account will lack detail and may include some inaccuracy and/or lack of clarity.

5–9 A basic account of one or two ways in which religion may bring about social change, would be placed in the lower part of the band. To go higher in the band, the account must be more detailed and/or wider-ranging in the explanations offered. Good answers are likely to show a sound understanding of relevant theories of religion, such as the Marxist, Weberian and functionalist views. Also reward candidates who refer to appropriate examples of how religion helps to effect social change, such as the work of Luther King in the US civil rights movement, the impact of religion in opposing apartheid in South Africa, and the example of liberation theology in South America.

(b) ‘The power of organised religion is declining in modern industrial societies.’ Assess this view. [16]

0–6 A few observations about the nature or role of organised religion, without direct links to the question, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A simple account of why the power of organised religion may be declining, with no further development, would merit being placed in the higher part of the band.

7–11 A basic description of the secularisation thesis, perhaps with some inaccuracy and lack of detail, would be placed in the lower part of the band. To go higher in the band, there would need to be a more detailed treatment of the secularisation debate, with different indicators offered of how the power of organised religion may be declining in modern industrial societies. Evidence used to illustrate the supposed decline in organised religion might include church attendance and membership figures, public influence of established religious organisations, and studies of trends in religious belief. However, the discussion at this level may be one-sided and may be lacking an explicit assessment of the idea that religious influence is in decline in modern industrial societies.

12–16 Answers at this level will demonstrate a good understanding of the secularisation thesis. There must also be an assessment of the idea that the power of organised religion is declining in modern industrial societies. Lower in the band, the assessment may consist of simply describing a few arguments for and/or against the secularisation thesis. Better answers will engage more directly with the debates and will develop well-reasoned arguments for supporting a particular view about the influence of organised religion in society today. High-quality answers may also show other elements of sophistication, such as distinguishing between different types of secularisation (Casanova), or drawing international comparisons about the degree of secularisation in different countries (Martin, Davie, Bruce), or discussing the notion of religious revival (Kepel), or distinguishing accurately between organised religion and other forms of religious expression.

8 (a) (a) Explain the factors that influence which groups are most likely to engage in religious practices. [9]

0–4 A few simple observations about which social groups are more likely to engage in religious practice, with no explanations offered, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A simple account of one factor that might explain which groups are more likely to engage in religious practice, would be placed the top half of the band.

5–9 A basic account of a few factors that might influence which groups are more likely to engage in religious practices, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A basic account will lack detail, such as references to appropriate studies and evidence, or will be narrow in the range of factors covered. To be placed higher in the band, the answer must cover a good range of relevant factors and should demonstrate a sound sociological understanding of why some groups are more likely to engage in religious practices than other groups. Studies of social groups and religiosity that might be used, directly or indirectly, in answering this question include: Brierley, Modood, Miller and Hoffman, Bruce, Woodhead, Bird, Voas and Crockett, Heelas.

(b) Assess the functionalist theory of religion. [16]

0–6 A few points about how sociologists might explain the existence of religion, or its role in society, would be placed in the lower part of the band. A simple account of one or two features of the functionalist theory of religion, would merit being placed in the higher part of the band.

7–11 A basic account of one contribution to the functionalist theory of religion (for example, Malinowski or Durkheim or Parsons), would be worth up to 9 marks. A better answer at this level will accurately describe the functionalist theory of religion in general, or would cover the individual contributions of more than one functionalist writer on religion. There may be little or no explicit attempt at assessment at this level.

12–16 Answers at this level will provide a good account of the functionalist theory of religion. This is likely to include references to different strands of functionalist theory and/or to different functionalist writers on religion. The answer will also include an assessment of the functionalist theory of religion. Lower in the band, the assessment is likely to be in the form of the juxtaposition of different theories of religion. To be placed higher in the band, the assessment must be explicit and direct, highlighting the strengths and/or limitations of the functionalist theory.

Useful information (Hints)

Question 1(a)

Question 1(b)

 

Question 2(a)

 

Question 2(b)

 

Question 3(a)

 

Question 3(b)

 

Question 4(a)

 

Question 4(b)

 

Question 5(a)

Question 5(b)

 

Question 6(a)

 

Question 6(b)

 

Question 7(a)

 

Question 7(b)

 

Question 8(a)

 
Question 8(b)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.