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Section A

Answer question 1.

1 All societies have divisions based on age groups. Young people are one age group. However, the concept of youth is a relatively new one. It was after the second world war that youth culture began to develop in affluent countries. With few responsibilities of adult life young people became consumers and the development of distinctive youth culture began.

Not all young people in western societies have been able to enjoy the same range of activities. Unemployed youth may suffer from poverty causing problems for family life. At the same time more affluent youth have been able to create a global youth culture based on such activities as gap years and global social networking.

The youth of less affluent societies are exposed to aspects of youth culture though migration and the media. This has created family tensions based on the conflict between western individualism and traditional values of family and religion. In parts of the world, such as central Asia, young people face a mixture of the old and the new that strains relationships between different generations within the family.

(a) What is meant by the term youth culture? [2]

A partial definition such as ‘what young people do.’ A partial definition may also simply identify a time frame for youth culture such as ‘before they are adults’ or offer an understanding of culture but without a specific time frame such as ‘shared values and norms of youth.’

2 An accurate definition such as ‘the norms, values, beliefs, of people pre-adulthood.’ An example on its own will not be credited. If an example is used to support a definition, this will be credited.

Do not credit descriptions of youth culture

(b) Describe two reasons why youth culture developed after the second world war. [4]

Points that can be included

• Affluence

• Fewer children

• Changing technology

• Changing values/changing family values

• Global economy/ globalisation

• Exposure to western culture

• Length of education

• Consumer society

• Influence of the media

• Migration

• Or any other valid reason.

Two marks are available for each reason.

One mark for the example plus one mark for development (2 × 2)

Answers must be based around reasons why the youth culture developed and not descriptions of examples of youth culture.

(c) Explain why youth culture may vary between different social groups. [8]

L 1 0–4 Answers at this level are likely to show only limited appreciation of the issues raised in the question.

Lower in the level a simple answer which identifies a way in which life can be different between two groups may be worth 1 or 2 marks.

Higher in the level, an answer might advance a few limited observations. For example, limited points such as the consequences of affluence on family life and how that affects youths may be worth 3 or 4 marks, but there is likely to be little depth in the explanations offered and the answer will rely on description rather than explanation.

Answers that explain differences between cultures, with little focus on youth cultures, should be placed in this level.

If a link is made to any relevant research or methods but without it being explicit candidates might reach the top of the band.

L 2 5–8 Answers at this level show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question.

Lower in the level, a simplistic description of the differences between two or more youth cultures or one clear point/factor as to why youth cultures may vary could receive a mark of 5–6.

Higher in the level, a more detailed account of the different factors which have influenced the development of youth culture; for example, affluence, consumerism, working practices, length of education, life expectancy, dependency ratio in two or more societies, religion, unemployment, restrictions on girls not boys, different classes, rebellion or reference to any relevant research, such as that of Pilcher may gain 7 or 8 marks. Place at the top of the level according to depth and/or range of examples explained and supported by reference to theory or empirical data.

A good list of underdeveloped points may gain up to six marks. To go higher, there needs to be some development of three or more points or detailed development of two or more points.

N.B. This question asks candidates to ‘explain’ therefore there is no requirement for assessment

(d) Assess the view that divisions based on age are the main cause of tension in family life. [11]

L 1 0–4 Answers at this level are likely to show only limited appreciation of the issues raised in the question.

Lower in the level, a simple answer that identifies a few basic features of how young people (or parents) cause arguments in families may gain 1 or 2 marks; these answers may describe different family problems in general rather than those related to age.

Higher in the level, general descriptions of how changing roles may cause conflict or answers which discuss whether or not age causes tensions in family life may be awarded a mark of 3 or 4.

Other top of the level answers may argue that young people are respectful (or not) and this causes problems with little or no reference to the question OR simplistic descriptions of another factor such as poverty.

Answers that fail to include age are unlikely to go above this level.

L 2 5–8 Answers at this level show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question. In this level age groups are likely to be interpreted as parents and children.

Lower in the level (5–6), a simplistic description of problems caused by the young having more power and challenging authority could gain up to 5 or 6 marks. Answers may outline the disagreements that can occur between generations possibly by looking at children/parents/grandparents and may make reference to pester power/the generational gap/child centeredness.

Higher in the level (7–8), a more detailed account of how the development of an affluent youth or one aspiring to western youth culture changes families and challenges authority, which may be supported by reference to post-modern writers. Other answers may focus on the tensions caused by an ageing population and the sandwich generation. Answers may be supported by reference to studies such as Hebdidge.

Place at the top of the level according to depth and/or range of examples explained and supported by reference to theory, empirical data or concepts. A one-sided answer that is done very well, could also gain up to 8 marks.

L 3 9–11 Answers at this level will demonstrate good sociological knowledge and understanding applied to the question. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Answers in this level may discuss increased life expectancy causing problems with older as well as younger generations.

Lower in the level (9–10 marks), the assessment may be based on a simple juxtaposition of factors other than age causing tension in the family, such as gender/migration/contradictions of capitalism/crisis of masculinity.

At the top of the level (11 marks) the view that age is ‘the main cause of tension in family life’ will be evaluated explicitly and in reasonable depth. The notion of tension should be directly addressed. Concepts such as transition, culture, westernisation, child-centred, infantalisation, consumerism, and ‘moral crimes’ (Basmenji), individualism, communalism, disconnected youth, global youth may be used. Some answers may note that family tensions are not necessarily the same for all members of a society.


Section B

Answer either question 2 or question 3.

2 Explain and assess the view that the experience of family life can be damaging for some family members. [25]

L 1 0–6 Answers at this level are likely to be assertive and focus on a few common sense observations about how family life may or may not damage family members and are unlikely to contain accurate sociological support or reference to the question.

Lower in the level, answers may be confined to one or two simple points based on assertion/common sense understanding. For example, stating that family members fight and argue may gain up to 3 marks.

Higher in the level, there may be a wider range of simple points, such as domestic violence happens in some families or that families care for their members through the functions of the family may gain up to 6 marks. Place here answers that ONLY interpret the question as one that is asking about structural factors outside of the family unit that are ‘damaging’.

L 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and there will be some attempt to directly answer the question as set. In this band ‘damaging’ is likely to be interpreted as domestic violence in relation to women. At this level answers are likely to be one sided but answers with limited use of sociological theories, studies or concepts are likely to be here even if reference to a debate is included.

Lower in the level (7–9 marks), a narrow range of underdeveloped points, possibly with some inaccuracies. For example, an outline of abuses that can occur in families for some family members, may gain up to 9 marks.

Higher in the level (10–12 marks), a narrow range of developed points or a wider range of underdeveloped points. Other answers may reject the idea of damaging in favour of a functionalist view of the way in which the family caters for its members.

Points candidates might cover include discussion of domestic violence, official statistics, child abuse and the abuse of the elderly, female infanticide, bride burning and the work of such thinkers as Wilkinson.

L 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question. There is no requirement for assessment at this level although it may be present. Answers should include some accurate use of sociological theory, studies or concepts.

Lower in the level (13–15 marks), a range of relevant knowledge, with appropriate use of concepts and/or theory. The points covered may lack development or specific focus on the question in places, but are likely to go further than just discussing violence within the family.

Higher in the band (16–18 marks), answers will use a wider range of knowledge, supported by the use of concepts or theory, where relevant, and include some well-developed points which are likely to expand ‘damaging’ beyond domestic abuse to women.

L 4 19–25 Answers at this level must achieve three things:–

First, there will be good sociological knowledge and understanding.

Second, the material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question.

Third, there must also be some evidence of assessment.

Answers in this level provide a solid account of the possible negative effects of family life and are likely to discuss a variety of cultural settings. There will also be a sustained and well informed assessment of the view in the question.

Lower in the level (19–21 marks), the assessment may be largely delivered through juxtaposition of contrasting arguments and theories. Alternatively, the assessment may be limited to just one or two evaluative points that are explicitly stated.

Higher in the level (22–25 marks), there will be sustained assessment and the points offered will be explicit and well-directed towards the question. There is likely to be a well-formulated conclusion.

3 Explain and assess the view that social class is the most significant factor determining whether there is gender equality in the family. [25]

L 1 0–6 Answers at this level are likely to be assertive and focus on a few common sense observations about the impact of social class and are unlikely to contain accurate sociological support or reference to the question. In this level answers focus just on social class or gender.

Lower in the level, answers may be confined to one or two simple points based on assertion/common sense understanding. For example, one or two simple points stating class will determine how a family lives may gain up to 3 marks.

Higher in the level, there may be a wider range of simple points. For example, an answer stating that class will influence what happens to individuals in families because richer families can afford private education may gain up to 6 marks. Other answers may focus on the significance of gender and ignore social class.

L 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and there will be some attempt to directly answer the question as set by considering the significance of either gender or class. At this level answers are likely to be one sided but answers with limited use of sociological theories, studies or concepts are likely to be here even if reference to a debate is included.

Lower in the level (7–9 marks), a narrow range of underdeveloped points, possibly with some inaccuracies. For example, an outline of what males and females do in families, may gain up to 9 marks.

Higher in the level (10–12 marks), a narrow range of developed points or a wider range of underdeveloped points.

Points candidates might cover include discussion of the sandwich generation, social position, status, gender, patriarchy, age set and the symmetrical family and growing equality in middle class families. Range of studies that show that in modern industrial societies women in working class families do more household tasks than males. Some may note that there is not much equality in some middle class families or that less developed countries may show little evidence of equality.

L 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question. There is no requirement for assessment at this level although it may be present. Answers should include some accurate use of sociological theory, studies or concepts and in this level consider how the social class of the individual may determine how gender is constructed this may be by a comparison of different classes, casts or societies.

Lower in the level (13–15 marks), a range of relevant knowledge, with appropriate use of concepts and/or theory, but the points covered may lack development or specific focus on the question in places.

Higher in the level (16–18 marks), answers will use a wider range of knowledge, supported by the use of concepts or theory, where relevant, and include some well-developed points.

L 4 19–25 Answers at this level must achieve three things:-

First, there will be good sociological knowledge and understanding.

Second, the material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question.

Third, there must also be some evidence of assessment.

Answers in this level may provide a solid account of whether it is class, gender or other factors that have the greatest impact on the experience of family life on individuals. Useful reference can be made to Pahl and the use such ideas as those of O’Neill and age inequality.

There should also be a sustained and well informed assessment of the view in the question. For example, by weighing up the cumulative effects of factors such as values and economic circumstances against class, gender and ethnicity.

Lower in the level (19–21 marks), the assessment may be largely delivered through juxtaposition of contrasting arguments and theories. Alternatively, the assessment may be limited to just one or two evaluative points that are explicitly stated.

Higher in the level (22–25 marks), there will be sustained assessment and the points offered will be explicit and well-directed towards the question. There is likely to be a well-formulated conclusion.

Useful information (Hints)

Question 1(a)

Question 1(b)

Question 1(c)

Question 1(d)

Question 2

Question 3