Explained – Sociology at Cambridge Seminars College

The study of us.

“I love to study people, and that’s basically what sociology is.”
Kamaru Usman, Martial Artist

Sociology is the study of society. That means the study of all social groups individuals belong to, and also, patterns of social relationships and interactions. These social groups are also called ‘structures’, because they existed before you were born and will, in some form or other, will exist long after you’re gone! Think about an average day in your life. – you will experience a range of social groups throughout the day: family, friends, teachers, classmates, media celebrities, news providers, musicians, artists, employers, strangers…

What sociology tries to do is make sense of how these social structures influence us as individuals, and how they shape our social identity (self-identity itself is studied in detail in psychology). The earliest example of this is primary socialisation, which refers to how a child learns values, appropriate behaviours and attitudes from their parents. This can be a positive experience, but not always. Furthermore, how much space and the amount of resources a child has at home can be determined by how much money the parents earn, which can have a huge impact on the child’s formal education and secondary socialisation, which in turn has a bearing on how far a child progresses and the type of employment or career they enjoy in adult life. 

What does it mean to study sociology at Cambridge Seminars College?

Studying sociology at CSC will introduce you to the classic sociologists of the 19th century, such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, who constructed theories of a society that was much different to the society of today. However, some things are the same, such as theories of social class, gender inequality, crime and deviance, culture and subcultures, as well as the methods of research used by sociologists: surveys, interviews and official statistics.  By the end of the course you will be a more socially aware citizen, you will recognise how society has changed from your parents’ and grandparents’ era and you will understand the various theoretical explanations of how society works and how it can all fall apart.

How are students assessed in the subject of sociology at Cambridge Seminars College?

The course covers the sociology of education, and the family, together with contemporary research methods. There are no individual research projects or coursework, but you will evaluate research methods in the context of educational issues. Foundation students are assessed through two exams: one in the middle of the course and one at the end of the course. Although the course content is biased towards Western Europe, many of the issues and themes can be applied to any society and culture around the world. The recent collaboration of sociology students from Malawi, Nigeria, and Vietnam has provided richness to the interpretation and discussion of sociological concepts in sociology lessons at CSC. 

Learn more about studying at Cambridge Seminars College here.

Posted by:

Jacob Klimaszewski

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