• SCLY1 Past Exams and what was to be included in answers

    January 2011

     Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage and cohabitation in the last 40 years or so.

    Answers should show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on the reasons for changes in the patterns of both marriage and cohabitation. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. The candidate will show the ability to organise material and to analyse and/or evaluate it explicitly so as to produce a coherent and relevant answer.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: re-marriage rates, divorce, secularisation, rise of feminism, access to contraception, birth rates, welfare provision, attitudes to careers, confluent love, access to higher education, neo-conventional family, legislation, individualisation, single person households. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance through comparing the relative importance of particular factors.

     Assess the view that the modern family has become more child-centred.

    In this band, analysis and evaluation will be explicit and relevant, and answers will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on the view that the modern family has become more child-centred drawn from Item 2B and elsewhere. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. Candidates will consider a variety of views on modern childhood.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: toxic childhood, child abuse, educational opportunities, child care, family size, divorce, affluence, commercialisation of childhood, leisure technologies, children’s rights, improved health care, infant mortality, dependency. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance by raising issues about the extent to which positive changes in child-rearing have been exaggerated.

     Identify three ways in which greater ethnic diversity has contributed to family diversity.

    Two marks for each of three ways identified, such as:

    • The number of extended families

    • The proportion of lone-parent families

    • Gender relationships

    • The number of children in a family

    • Relationships between children and parents

    • Attitudes to marriage.

    June 2010

     Examine the reasons for, and the consequences of, the fall in the death rate since 1900.

    Answers in this band will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on both the reasons for, and the consequences of, the fall in the death rate. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. The candidate will show the ability to organise material and to analyse and/or evaluate it explicitly so as to produce a coherent and relevant answer.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: life expectancy; infant mortality; improvements in health care; medical knowledge; sanitation; health education and living standards; ageing population; ageism; discrimination; dependency ratio; pension rights; positive aspects of retirement; beanpole family; extended family. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance through comparing the relative importance of particular factors, or by discussing the likelihood of particular consequences.

     Assess the view that, in today’s society, the family is losing its functions.

    In this band, analysis and evaluation will be explicit and relevant, and answers will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on the loss of functions of the family, drawn from Item 2B and elsewhere. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. Candidates will consider a variety of views – most likely functionalist, feminist, New Right and postmodernist views.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: the role of the education system; rising divorce rates; lone-parent families; births outside marriage; rise of feminism; child care; choice; singletons; family diversity; greater individualism; kinship patterns; the development of the welfare state; reproductive technologies. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance by raising issues about the extent to which changes in the functions of the family have been exaggerated.

     Identify three ways in which childhood may not be a positive experience for some children.

    Two marks for each of three ways identified, such as they may:

    • Live in poverty

    • Experience divorce/break-up of the family

    • Be subject to abuse by adults

    • Be bullied

    • Suffer health problems

    • Have to work to support family

    • Have to carry out the role of carer.

    January 2010

     Examine the ways in which government policies and laws may affect the nature and extent of family diversity.

    Answers in this band will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on the ways government laws and policies may affect both the nature and the extent of family diversity. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. The candidate will show the ability to organise material and to analyse and/or evaluate it explicitly so as to produce a coherent and relevant answer.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: Divorce Law 1984, Civil Partnership Act 2004, cohabitation, lone parent families, marriage rates, births outside marriage, policies relating to: adoption, child care, housing, immigration, taxes and benefits. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance through comparing the impact of various policies and/laws, or locating the account within a theoretical framework (for example New Right, feminist).

     Assess the Marxist view that the main role of the family is to serve the interests of capitalism.

    In this band, analysis and evaluation will be explicit and relevant, and answers will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on the role of the family in serving the interests of capitalism, drawn from Item 2B and elsewhere. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. Candidates will consider a variety of views – most likely Marxist, functionalist and feminist.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: primary socialisation, social control, ideology, hierarchy, authority, false consciousness, inheritance of property, consumerism, stabilisation of adult roles, gender roles, patriarchy etc. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance through a contrast between Marxist, functionalist and feminist views of the role of the family.

     Suggest two ways in which the position of children can be said to have improved over the last one hundred years.

    Two marks for each of two appropriate reasons suggested, such as:

    • More rights

    • More educated

    • Healthier

    • More protected

    • Families are more child-centred

    • More facilities in society geared towards children’s needs.

    June 2009

     Examine the reasons for changes in birth rates and family size since 1900.

    Answers in this band will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on reasons for changes in birth rates and family size since 1900. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. The candidate will show the ability to organise material and to analyse and/or evaluate it explicitly so as to produce a coherent and relevant answer.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: changes in infant mortality, the fertility rate, child centredness, the availability of contraception, rise in lone parents, gay and lesbian partnerships, secularisation, changing role of women, later childbirth, the rise of feminism, the rise in births outside marriage, more career opportunities for women, the rising age of first marriage. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance through a comparison of the relative importance of different factors, or locating the account within a theoretical framework (for example New Right, feminist).

     Assess the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern family life.

    In this band, analysis and evaluation will be explicit and relevant, and answers will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on gender roles and relationships within families, drawn from Item 2B and elsewhere. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. Candidates will consider a variety of views such as feminist and ‘march of progress’ theorists.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: triple shift, dual burden, domestic violence, gender role socialisation, decision-making, women’s paid work outside the home, conjugal roles, sons’ and daughters’ roles, house-husbands, domestic division of labour, financial control, symmetrical family. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance by raising issues about the extent to which changes in gender roles and relationships have been exaggerated.

     Suggest two reasons why there has been an increase in one-person households.

    Two marks for each of two appropriate reasons suggested, such as:

    • Increase in divorce

    • Increased geographical mobility

    • Less social stigma

    • People marrying later

    • Women more able and willing to pursue a career

    • Rise in affluence.

    January 2009

     Examine the ways in which childhood can be said to be socially constructed.

    Answers in this band will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on the social construction of childhood. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. The candidate will show the ability to organise material and to analyse and/or evaluate it explicitly so as to produce a coherent and relevant answer.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: the relation of children to the education system, children and the labour market, toxic childhood, dependence, family and child-centeredness, the commercialisation of childhood, age patriarchy, gender, class, and ethnic differences, cross cultural and historical differences. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance through international comparisons, or locating the account within a theoretical framework (for example New Right, feminist).

     Assess the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm.

    In this band, analysis and evaluation will be explicit and relevant, and answers will show sound, conceptually detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological material on family diversity, drawn from Item 2B and elsewhere. This will be accurately and sensitively interpreted and applied to the demands of the question. Candidates will consider a variety of views; most likely feminist, New Right and postmodernist views etc may also figure.

    Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: rise in divorce and cohabitation, births outside marriage, women’s paid work outside the home, conjugal roles, same-sex couples, lone parents, extended family, neo-conventional family, beanpole family, the pure relationship, divorce-extended family, reconstituted family, etc. Analysis and evaluation may be developed, for instance by raising issues about the extent to which changes in the family have been exaggerated.

     Suggest three reasons for the decrease in the death rate since 1900.

    Two marks for each of three appropriate reasons suggested, such as:

    • higher living standards

    • better sanitation

    • improved health care

    • medical advances

    • safer working conditions

    • childbirth has become safer

    • Improved health awareness and education.

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