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Section A: Education

Answer either Question 1 or Question 2.

1 (a) Explain how the educational achievement of middle class pupils may be influenced by cultural capital. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few assertions about the factors that influence educational achievement, with no direct links to the question, would fit the lower part of the band. An answer that demonstrates some understanding of the concept of cultural capital, but with little further development in relation to the middle class specifically, could gain up to 4 marks.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. Lower in the band answers will provide a basic explanation of the part that cultural capital may play in influencing the educational achievement of middle class pupils. Higher in the band the explanation will be more detailed and cover a wider range of relevant sociological material. Good answers might include references to, for example, Bourdieu and possibly also to empirical research inspired by the concept of cultural capital, e.g. Ball, Bowe and Gewirtz.

(b) ‘Education systems are part of the ideological state apparatus’. Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. An answer based on a few observations about the role of education in general would be worth up to 3 marks. Answers that explain what is meant by the ideological state apparatus, but with little or no connection to the role of education systems specifically, could gain up to 6 marks.

[7–11] Answers at this level will provide a basic explanation of how education systems may be part of the ideological state apparatus. Lower in the band the explanation may lack reference to relevant sociological concepts, theories and thinkers. Better answers within this band will draw directly on the Marxist analysis of education, possibly referring directly to the work of thinkers such as Althusser and Bowles and Gintis. However, there may be little or no assessment at this level.

[12–16] Answers that fit this band will demonstrate a good understanding of the idea that education systems are part of the ideological state apparatus. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band the assessment may be based on a juxtaposition of different theories of education, such as the Marxist and functionalist views. Higher in the band the assessment will be more explicit and may include a critical analysis of the extent to which education systems serve ideological functions. Use of relevant studies of schooling may also be a feature of high quality answers.

2 (a) Explain how educational outcomes can be shaped by the pupil-teacher relationship. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few assertions about educational performance in general, with no links to teacher/pupil interaction, would fit the lower part of the band. A simple account of one way in which the teacher and pupil relationship may influence educational outcomes, would trigger the higher part of the band. A simple account may be based on assertion primarily, with only very limited references to appropriate sociological concepts and theories.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. Answers that provide a basic account of how the pupil and teacher relationship may influence educational performance would fit the lower part of the band. A basic account of this kind 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 reference to relevant studies and/or cover a wider range of links between classroom interaction and educational performance. Good answers may also be distinguished by use of relevant links to the interactionist perspective.

(b) ‘The gendered curriculum is the main obstacle to females achieving educational success.’ Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few general observations about inequality in education with no direct links to gender would be worth up to 3 marks. An accurate account of what is meant by the gendered curriculum, with no further links to the question, could gain up to a maximum of 6 marks.

[7–11] Answers at this level will provide a sound account of the gendered curriculum and its relationship to female educational success. Lower in the band, answers will explain the relationship between the gendered curriculum and obstacles to the educational success of females, but the account will lack detail and depth. Higher in the band the relevant links between the gendered curriculum and the educational performance of females will be explained with greater development; for example, good answers might include references to appropriate studies and theorists, such as Lobban, Best, Abraham, Stanworth and Spender.

[12–16] Answers that fit this band will demonstrate a good understanding of how the gendered curriculum might adversely affect the educational opportunities of female pupils. Other obstacles to the educational success of females might be discussed. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band the assessment may rely on a simple juxtaposition of different theories of education, such as the feminist and the functionalist views. To reach the top part of the band the assessment must also include a more direct engagement with the debates about gender and educational achievement. Good answers may discuss the extent to which the gendered curriculum impacts upon the educational performance of females and males. There is also scope to question the coherence of the concept of the gendered curriculum. Likewise, evidence about the relative performance of female and male pupils today might also be used to question how far the curriculum contains a bias in favour of male pupils.

Section B: Global Development

Answer either Question 3 or Question 4.

3 (a) Explain the difficulties in defining the term development. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A simple attempt to define the concept of development, with little or no recognition of the difficulties involved in formulating a definition that would be widely acceptable and free of controversy, would trigger the lower part of the band. A better answer at this level might focus on just one area within the debates about defining development. For example, problems in agreeing a single economic measure of development might be considered.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. Lower in the band, different definitions of development will be discussed, covering dimensions such as the economic, social, cultural and environmental. A basic attempt will be made to explain why there are different views about how 'development' should be defined. To trigger the higher part of the band, the problems in formulating a single definition of development that would be widely acceptable will be identified explicitly. Good answers may also highlight possible links between particular definitions of development and vested interests. Links to different theories of development might also be a feature of answers that merit the higher part of the band.

(b)‘Aid programmes may help the poor, but they will never succeed in abolishing poverty.’ Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few simple observations about the nature of poverty in developing countries, with no direct links to issues of aid programmes and their effectiveness, would fit the lower part of the band. Answers that are based on a few assertions about the supposed ineffectiveness of aid programmes in the developing countries would trigger the top half of the band.

[7–11] Answers at this level will provide a basic account of why aid programmes might prove ineffective in reducing or abolishing poverty in the developing countries. Lower in the band answers may focus on the problems of distributing aid effectively. These problems include, for example:

• Corruption among officials and local power brokers.

• Problems arising from inadequate infrastructure.

• Difficulty in responding quickly enough to sudden emergencies and major natural disasters.

• Lack of knowledge of local cultures and traditions.

• Lack of appropriate training among officials and volunteers.

Better answers within this band are likely to provide a more direct explanation of why aid programmes alone may prove insufficient to remove poverty in the developing countries. Alongside the inherent limitations of these programmes, candidates might also consider structural constraints to the abolition of poverty in developing countries, perhaps drawing on theories such as those of Gunder Frank and Wallerstein. Answers that merit the top part of the band will include references to relevant concepts, perspectives and/or empirical evidence. However, there need be no attempt at assessment in order for answers to score up to 11 marks.

[12–16] Answers at this level will provide a good account of why aid programmes might prove deficient in removing poverty in the developing countries. An overall explanation of why poverty is such an intransigent problem in developing countries will emerge from the answer. There will also be an attempt to assess the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band the assessment may be limited to a basic attempt to show that aid programmes alone are insufficient to overcome the structural factors that account for high levels of poverty in the developing countries. Better answers will provide a more developed assessment, with direct lines of analysis offered in considering the possible limitations/strengths of aid programmes as a response to poverty in the developing countries. Good answers might distinguish between different types of aid programme (for instance, programmes that have short term aids and those that have longer term objectives). Evidence from case studies of aid programmes might be used to assess the effectiveness of aid in alleviating or removing poverty. The assumptions underpinning structural theories of poverty might also be challenged in high quality answers.

4 (a) Explain the importance of education programmes in supporting development. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few observations about how the process of development might be supported, with little or no reference to education programmes specifically, would be worth up to 2 marks. Answers that rely on assertions about the importance of education for a developing economy could gain up to 4 marks. Likewise, an answer that discusses one or two examples of education programmes, with no further development, would also trigger the top half of the band.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. Answers at this level will provide a clear explanation of the importance of education programmes in supporting developing. Lower in the band the account may be rather list–like, briefly touching on a few ways in which education programmes may support development. Better answers will provide a more detailed account of several ways in which education may contribute to the process of development. Reasons why education programmes are important for development include:

• Skills training for the workforce.

• An educated workforce attracts inward investment.

• Education is important in delivering effective birth control and health care policies.

• Education is important for environmental protection and development.

• Education can help to raise aspirations among the population.

(b) ‘Some countries benefit more than others from globalisation’. Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few simple points about globalisation, with no direct links to the question, would fit the lower part of the band. Answers that are based on assertions about the impact of globalisation on developing countries would trigger the upper part of the band.

[7–11] Answers at this level will use appropriate sociological concepts and ideas to explain the impact of globalisation. Lower in the band the responses may discuss only the general impact of globalisation. Better answers at this level will consider possible differences between countries in terms of how they have been affected by globalisation. Reasons why some countries may benefit from globalisation more than others include:

• Export-led countries can benefit from an increase in trade.

• Some countries have a more direct input into the globalisation process than other countries; for example, US culture and products are a powerful influence within the globalisation process and the US economy clearly benefits from this. • Some cultures are more receptive to globalisation than other cultures.

• Some developing countries have benefited from western tourism as globalisation has become a more powerful force.

• Globalisation has been a force helping to bring democratisation to some countries, though in other countries this particular political influence has proved disruptive.

[12–16] Answers that fit this band will provide a good account of several ways in which globalisation might benefit some countries more than others. The account will include references to relevant sociological concepts, theories and evidence. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band the assessment may be based on the juxtaposition of different perspectives on globalisation (for example, those perspectives that see globalisation primarily as a positive force and those that are critical of its impact on local and national cultures). Higher in the band, the assessment will engage more directly with the issues arising from the impact of globalisation on different countries. Specific debates may be used as the basis for the assessment; for example, good use could be made of sociological accounts of the role of globalisation in the democratisation process in developing countries. Likewise, a good answer could be based around the argument that only powerful, privileged western countries benefit from the globalisation process.

Section C: Media

Answer either Question 5 or Question 6.

5 (a) Explain why news reports may contain bias. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few general observations about news reporting, with no direct links to bias in the media, would be worth up to 3 marks. Answers that make a few simple points about bias in news reporting, with little or no reference to appropriate sociological concepts and ideas, could gain up to 4 marks. Likewise, a list-like summary of some reasons why news reports may contain bias would also be worth up to 4 marks.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. A basic account of a few reasons why news reports may contain bias would trigger the lower part of the band. Better answers will provide a more detailed account and/or cover a wider range of relevant content, including possibly references to concepts such as agenda setting, sensationalism, and selective reporting. Good answers may also include references to wider theories of the media, such as the Marxist account of the influences on news reporting. Studies, such as those by the Glasgow Media Group, may also be included in well constructed answers.

(b) ‘Government censorship is the main factor shaping the content of the media.’ Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few simple points about the power of the media in general would fit the lower part of the band. Answers that define what censorship involves and/or where it might be deployed, without further links to the question, could gain up to 6 marks.

[7–11] Answers at this level will provide a basic account of the role of censorship in regulating the media. Lower in the band the main thrust of the answer may be to explain how censorship is used to control the media. Better answers will explain more fully why censorship may be ineffective in controlling the content of the media. This might include, for example, references to the multi-global nature of media organisations today and the power of the media to deflect attempts at government control. At this level there may be little or no assessment of the view on which the question is based.

[12–16] Answers at this level will provide a good account of the role of government censorship in shaping the content of the media. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band the assessment may be limited to the juxtaposition of different theories of media, such as the pluralist and Marxist views. Better answers at this level will include some direct engagement with the issues raised by the question. This might be based on, for example, an analysis of the extent to which the power of the media extends beyond national boundaries today and is therefore outside of the control of particular national governments. Good answers might also refer to the power of the new media to transcend national boundaries and to provide new ways of frustrating efforts at censorship. Use of case studies to illustrate the scope of censorship may be another feature of high quality responses.

6 (a) Explain the cultural effects theory of how human behaviour may be influenced by the media. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few general observations about how the media may influence human behaviour, with no direct links to the cultural effects theory, would fit the lower part of the band. Answers that offer a simple account of the cultural effects theory, with no further development, could gain up to 4 marks. A simple account will lack detail and references to appropriate sociological concepts and ideas will be missing.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. Answers at this level will provide a sound sociological account of the cultural effects theory. Lower in the band the explanation may lack some accuracy and/or contextualisation. Better answers will use relevant concepts and ideas accurately and the distinctiveness of the cultural effects theory of media influence will be conveyed clearly. High-quality answers may refer briefly to other models of media influence, such as the hypodermic syringe model, in order to clarify the distinct features of the cultural effects theory.

(b) ‘The media are effective in representing the interests of all groups in society.’ Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few general points about the role of the media, with only loose links to the question, could score up to 3 marks. A basic attempt to explain the different groups whose interests may be represented by the media, with no further development, could gain up to 6 marks. A few assertions about whose interests the media represents could also trigger the top part of the band.

[7–11] Answers at this level will provide a basic sociological account of at least one theory of the media. The relevant theories include the pluralist, feminist, Marxist and postmodernist theories. Lower in the band the answer may be limited to explaining just one theory or several theories may be explained in a rather list-like way. Better answers at this level will explain two or more relevant theories in reasonable detail. References to relevant research studies would be one way of adding appropriate detail to the answer. There may be little or no evidence of assessment in answers that fit this band.

[12–16] Answers at this level will provide a good account of two or more theories of the media. Conclusions will be drawn from these theories about the interests that the media represents. 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 basic points about the limitations of some or all of the theories under discussion. Better answers will provide a more sustained assessment, demonstrating subtlety in the analysis and reaching clear conclusions about the extent to which the media represents some interests more than others.

Section D: Religion

Answer either Question 7 or Question 8.

7 (a) Explain the attractions of new religious movements for disadvantaged groups. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few observations about new religious movements, with no direct links to the question, would fit the lower half of the band. Answers that offer a simple account of why the membership of new religious movements is often drawn from socially disadvantaged groups would trigger the upper part of the band. A simple account may be based mainly on assertion and lack reference to appropriate sociological concepts and analysis.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. A sound sociological account of one or two reasons why new religious movements may be attractive to the socially disadvantaged would be worth up to 7 marks. To go higher the account must be more detailed or wider-ranging in the points covered. Reasons why the socially disadvantaged may be attracted to join new religious movements include:

• Established religions have associations with the middle and upper classes and so are less attractive to the socially disadvantaged.

• The belief systems of new religious movements may better reflect the interests and perspectives of the disadvantaged.

• New religious movements may provide support systems that are effective in helping the disadvantaged.

• New religious movements may be more radical and are often founded on opposition to the status quo.

(b) ‘The decline in religious belief in modern industrial societies is due primarily to the growth in a scientific way of thinking’. Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few assertions about the nature or role of religion, without direct links to the question, would fit the lower part of the band. A simple outline of the secularisation thesis, which is not well linked to the wording of the question, would merit a mark in the top half of the band.

[7–11] Answers at this level will consider some of the reasons for the decline in religious belief, giving particular emphasis to the influence of science. Lower in the band the answer may be unduly weighted towards explaining the secularisation thesis, with only weak links to the issue of how a scientific way of thinking may have contributed to the decline in religious influence. Better answers at this level will explain clearly why the growth in a scientific way of thinking may have contributed to the decline in religious belief. Other factors that may have contributed to the decline might be considered in good answers, though within this band there is no requirement to provide an assessment of the view on which the question is based.

[12–16] Answers at this level will demonstrate a good understanding of the view that the growth of a scientific way of thinking may have contributed to the decline in religious belief. Other factors that might have led to the decline will be considered and there will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band, the assessment may consist of simply describing the different arguments for and against the view that the growth of science has been the main factor behind the decline in religious influence in society. Better answers will engage more directly with the debates and develop well-reasoned arguments for supporting a particular view about the influence of science on religious belief. High-quality answers may also show other elements of sophistication, such as questioning the extent to which a scientific way of understanding is incompatible with religious belief and/or discussing whether there actually has been a decline in religious belief in modern industrial societies.

8 (a)Explain the difficulties in researching the extent to which people hold religious beliefs. [9]

[0–4] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few simple points about the nature of religious belief, with little or no reference to the difficulties of measuring religiosity, would fit the lower part of the band. Answers that provide a simple account of one or two difficulties in measuring the extent of religious belief would trigger the upper part of the band. A simple account is likely to be based mainly on assertion and lack references to appropriate sociological concepts and analysis. Likewise, a list-like summary of a few difficulties in measuring the extent of religious belief could score up to 4 marks.

[5–9] At this level, there will be some use of relevant sociological sources, such as concepts, theories and explanations. Answers will cover a range of points and show a sound understanding of the issues raised by the question. A basic sociological account of a few reasons why it may be difficult to measure the extent of religious belief would be worth up to 7 marks. To go higher the answer must show a stronger understanding of the methodological difficulties in measuring religious belief. The required level of sophistication is likely to be conveyed through the use of appropriate concepts and/or references to studies and research evidence. Good answers may also discuss different ways of operationalising the concept religious belief.

Difficulties in assessing the extent of religious belief include:

• Problems of definition.

• Lack of reliability of comparative statistics from earlier periods.

• Different criteria are used to record membership of religious organisations.

• Church attendance is not necessarily an indication of religiosity.

• People may conceal the truth about their religious practice and sentiments.

• Difficulty in operationalising the concept of religious belief for the purposes of sociological investigation.

(b) ‘Religion is a form of ideology that supports the interests of the ruling class’. Assess this view. [16]

[0–6] At this level, there may be little or no reference to relevant sociological sources. Answers may rely on general knowledge and/or personal observation. Explanations will be brief and cover only a narrow range of relevant points. A few simple assertions about the nature of religion, with no direct links to the wording of the question, would be worth up to 3 marks. Answers that offer a simple account of the functions/roles of religion in general, with no clear emphasis on issues of ideology and ruling class interests, could score up to 6 marks.

[7–11] Answers at this level will provide a sound account of the relationship between religion and ruling class ideology. Answers that provide a basic account of the Marxist theory of religion, with no further development, could gain up to 9 marks. To go higher the explanation of how religion may serve the interests of the ruling class needs to be explored in greater detail, possibly with references to different Marxist theorists and/or good use of relevant concepts such as ‘false consciousness’, ideological state apparatus, hegemony, ‘opium of the people’, etc. Answers within this band may be entirely descriptive, with no attempt to assess the view on which the question is based.

[12–16] Answers at this level will provide a good account of the ways in which religion may serve the interests of the ruling class. Other perspective on the social significance of religion may be considered alongside the Marxist perspective. There will also be an attempt to assess the view on which the question is based. Lower in the band the assessment may be through the simple juxtaposition of the Marxist perspective with one or more contrasting views of religion. Higher in the band the assessment will be explicit and clear conclusions will be reached about the extent to which religion is an ideology that serves the interests of the ruling class. Good use of different strands of Marxist thinking may be a feature of answers that merit the top part of the band. Candidates might also accept the ideological nature of religion but question whose interests it serves and whether religious organisations have as much influence over the working class as the view expressed in the question assumes.

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)