Theory & Methods makes up 25% of your A Level mark. It is examined in both paper 1 & 3 (30/80 in paper 1 – 20 in education section & a further 10 marks in for a free standing question on theory & methods). In paper 3, in the crime & deviance section, there are two questions one worth 10 marks the other worth 30.

Understanding sociological theory is essentially in order for you to provide valid analytical arguments in your topics. Once you have a good understanding of the theories your confidence will grow in your ability to talk and write in a sociological manner.


The development of sociology as a subject is linked to modernity. Modernity refers to the period from the mid seventeenth to the mid twentieth centuries. During this period there was a growth in scientific understanding as religion and Philosophy took more of back seat. Understanding the world and increasing human knowledge was no longer about subjective talk but about proving and scientifically testing ideas about people and society.

The link below will take you to the class ppt and your PLC which lists the key figures in sociology.

The video below, although it hard to read the prezi, is really useful in just outlining sociology’s development.


Social order is really what sociology is about. It’s interested in concluding how large groups of people manage to live together and relate to one another in such a way that society is stable and calm. How are social structures and institutions founded, developed and maintained by people. So social order is about how and why society is as it is. Sociology may discover better ways for society or it may simply help to understand and maintain society. Sociology achieves this through positivism, scientific investigation though the modernity and into the post modernity ages.

The theories take different perspective, conflict or consensus theories but also take different views on the determined and free will nature of society and people.

The following table also gives a nice summary of our theories, before we go on to study them in more detail.