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Cambridge IGCSE Physics

Teachers Resource
David Sang

Cambridge IGCSE
Cambridge IGCSE Physics matches the requirements of the
Cambridge IGCSE Physics syllabus (0625). It is endorsed
by Cambridge International Examinations for use with their
This Teachers Resource is intended to be used alongside
the Cambridge IGCSE Physics Coursebook and Workbook.
Jonathan Blundell

Cambridge IGCSE
The Teachers Resource CD-ROM contains:
animations to illustrate key syllabus concepts
question sheets and answers covering each block from

the Coursebook

Physics Teachers Resource

answers to the end-of-chapter questions in the
Coursebook and the multiple-choice questions from the
Coursebook CD-ROM
guidance notes for the Activities included on the
Coursebook CD-ROM
answers to the exercises in the Workbook.

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David Sang
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

The resources on this Teachers CD-ROM have been written to help students studying the Cambridge IGCSE
Sociology syllabus from Cambridge International Examinations. The materials are designed to support the
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Coursebook.
The CD is intended to be a practical guide, an equally useful tool for:

teachers who are already experienced at teaching Sociology at IGCSE

teachers who will be teaching to this level for the first time
teachers who are not Sociology specialists but who have been asked to take on the teaching of this subject.

The CD will help teachers:

to gain a full understanding of the syllabus in terms of its content, what will be assessed, what format the assessment will
take, the depth of knowledge which students will require and the skills which they need to develop
to plan and organise their teaching effectively
by providing practical suggestions regarding resources, schemes of work, teaching strategies and student activities.

The resources include:

answers to the activities, case study tasks, test-yourself and exam practice questions (including mark schemes) in the

a range of teaching ideas centred around research, presentations, discussions and debates, pair and group work and
written work
revision notes
worksheets and answers
practice examination questions in the style of Cambridge Paper 1 and Paper 2 questions with mark schemes and
guidance, written by the author.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Introduction 1

Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Answers to Coursebook activities
Test yourself (page 8)
1 Structuralist approaches focus on large-scale (macro) social structures and institutions rather than
individuals. Interpretivist approaches focus on small-scale (micro) social interactions and look at how
individuals make sense of society and of social actions.
2 Encourage different styles of learning by allowing students to show ideas in a visual way. Key ideas include: the
difference in emphasis on society and social structures and on individuals, and on the macro and micro levels
of social interaction. Allow some written explanation but keep this to a minimum. Possible examples: mind
map, flow chart or diagram, using found images (e.g. from magazines or the internet), using photographs
taken for this work.

Test yourself (page 12)

1 For Marxists, societies are divided by social class, with higher classes exploiting lower classes. Marxists want
to change society by abolishing class divisions and thus the exploitation of one class by another. Feminists are
concerned with how males have greater power than females and want the two sexes to become equal.
2 a Marxists see the government as acting on behalf of the ruling class (bourgeoisie), ensuring that its power
and wealth are not challenged. Functionalists see the government as representing all sections of society,

finding a consensus based on shared values.
b Marxists see the police force as enforcing laws that benefit the ruling class, arresting and charging
offenders who are working class. Functionalists see the police force as enforcing laws that reflect societys
shared values.

Activity: discussion (page 12)

Students could make a case for either type of approach; their case should be based on evidence, probably drawn
from their own society.

Test yourself (page 14)

1 Sociologists can understand human behaviour and predict how people will behave in particular situations.
We cannot predict the behaviour of a particular individual, but we can predict the behaviour of significant

numbers, e.g. the number of suicides in a year and what types of individuals are most likely to commit suicide.
2 They have a different view of society and of social behaviour. They are interested in small-scale social
interaction and in the meanings people attach to their actions so they favour methods such as participant
observation and unstructured interviews. Positivists, on the other hand, favour experiments, surveys and
structured interviews which provide statistical information.

Test yourself (page 17)

1 Choice of sampling method and sample will decide the findings of the research. Sampling method or sample
may lead to findings which can be criticised as lacking in validity, reliability or representativeness.
2 Pilot studies are a way of checking before the main research that the research tool (such as a questionnaire) is
fit for purpose and will produce the data required.

Test yourself (page 19)

1 The student should first introduce themselves, their institution or funding organisation, and the nature and
purpose of the research. The introduction could continue: You are being invited to take part in this research.
Taking part is voluntary. Please read the information carefully so that you can make a decision about whether
to give your informed consent to taking part. You may choose not to answer questions. We will do everything
we can to protect your privacy. Your identity will not be revealed in any publications that result from this
study. The information in the study records will be kept strictly confidential. Individual data will be stored
securely and will be made available only to persons conducting the study. No reference will be made in oral or
written reports that could link you to the study.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 1
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

2 Ethical issues include:

Informed consent: whose consent would you need to obtain and how? Teacher, pupils (and/or their parents or
guardians), other adults, such as teaching assistants.
Anonymity and confidentiality, e.g. do not identify teacher or pupils by name.
Deception: the researcher should inform everyone of who they are and why they are there.
The researcher may also affect behaviour in the classroom by their presence (the Hawthorne Effect) and this may
have ethical implications.
The researcher may see unacceptable behaviour by pupils and have to decide whether or not to tell the teacher.
The findings may make the teacher question their abilities or competence.

Case study (page 23)

1 The census is a social survey involving the whole population rather than a sample. There were 23.4 million
households in England and Wales. The first modern British census was in 1801. Questions are asked about
a wide range of aspects of peoples lives, for example who they live with, their work, their qualifications,
their ethnicity and their religion. By law every householder (someone who owns or rents a dwelling and is
responsible for paying bills) has to complete a census form. The punishment for not doing so is a fine of up to
1,000. The information is used by governments and others for a wide range of purposes, including planning
for social changes; for example an increase in the number of births may mean that more classrooms or schools
will be needed in the future. The data from completed forms are published only as statistics. The completed

forms are stored securely for 100 years before being made public.
2 Strengths: gathers information about very large numbers of people, in statistical form which enables councils
and governments to plan. Questions are standardised and data are reliable. Weaknesses: does not give any
information about reasons for changes. Respondents are not asked to give explanations or reasons; e.g. the
census may show that people are having more children, but not why. Not everyone is included in the census;
e.g. homeless people or people who are abroad may be missed out, making the findings less representative.

Case study (page 27)

1 Because the interviewer is able to spend time putting the respondent at ease, e.g. about confidentiality, and

winning their trust. The respondent is more likely to give truthful, honest answers.
2 Focus groups create a group dynamic. The women were from different parts of the UK and would not know
each other. They might have to travel a long distance and would not want to be away from their family. They

might be wary of each other and the discussion might be dominated by one woman, with others feeling unable
to speak up. The researcher would have to work hard to ensure that all the women felt at ease and joined in.

Case study (page 28)

1 The children would be aware that they were being observed, so might not have behaved as they normally
would the Hawthorne Effect.
The children may have been trying to please the observers by doing what they thought they were meant to do.
The experiment seems to have tried to get the intended results by frustrating the children by depriving them of toys.
Bobo dolls are intended to be hit.

2 Because it would involve real people being victims of violence, and it might seem to the children that they
were being encouraged to be violent or to think that violence might be a good thing. These are ethically

Case study (page 29)

1 To find out how important teacher expectations of children were in deciding how well children did to
investigate the self-fulfilling prophecy.
2 That there was a self-fulfi lling prophecy. The random selection of children as potential high attainers means
that their success can be attributed to their teachers knowing that they had been identified as such. The way
that the teachers then worked with those pupils must have improved their progress.
3 Some children made more or less progress than they would otherwise have done. The teachers were victims of
a deception and would almost certainly have been distressed when they discovered what had been done.
4 Because it is ethically unacceptable. It is also likely that teachers or parents would sue the researchers for damages.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 2
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Case study (page 30)

1 Longitudinal research makes it possible to track changes over time, rather than at a single moment in time,
and to see what factors may have changed peoples lives.
2 They have been involved in sociological research all their lives so will know a lot about the survey, and will
have thought a lot about the issues and data. They may have been influenced by what they have learned
through being involved the Hawthorne Effect.

Case study (page 31)

1 The case study provides detailed information about the people involved at different stages in their lives,
showing change and continuity over time. The participants became committed to the project and were likely
to provide valid information.
2 a Being involved in 7 Up would make people think more about their lives and decisions they made, knowing
that a large television audience would be interested in them. They might therefore make different decisions
than had they not been involved.
b Over time, some participants might decide they did not want to continue. None of the participants has yet
died, but this will inevitably happen at some point.

Case study (page 33)

1 Problems: Venkatesh had a problem getting access; he had to be vouched for by J.T., who acted as a gatekeeper.
The gang may not be representative of other gangs. The behaviour of the gang may have been different

because of his presence (the Hawthorne Effect). We only have Venkateshs account so it is difficult to check
whether his observations are accurate. Advantages: because he was accepted by the gang, Venkatesh was able
to go around with them and to observe their behaviour in different situations. His observations are likely to
have been valid.
2 A covert researcher would spend a lot of time and effort maintaining their cover. It would be very difficult to
make notes, as this would be suspicious. If the covert researcher was discovered, they would be in danger, as
gang members would feel they had been deceived.

Case study (page 35)


1 They had to decide how to record data, e.g. whether to note the length of items, and what to do about news
items that referred to several countries or to developing countries generally; how to describe and analyse the
tone of an item and which non-news programmes to include.

2 To measure tone, the researchers would probably have considered the use of particular words, the angle or
emphasis of the report and the tone of voice used by reporters.
3 Content analysis could also be used for radio broadcasts, newspapers and magazines, and news websites.

Test yourself (page 36)

1 Structured interviews involve standardised questions with a limited range of answers. They differ from
questionnaires because answers are recorded by the researcher. With unstructured interviews there is no list
of questions, and the interviewer can follow up what the interviewee says.
2 Longitudinal research allows changes over time to be observed. If a panel is used, the involvement of the
sample over a long period is likely to increase the validity of the findings.
3 Practical issues: With participant observation (PO) there are difficulties in access and acceptance; it is
time-consuming and expensive; and it is difficult to make field notes while observing. Non-participant
observation (NPO) does not have these problems to the same extent; acceptance by the group is less of an issue
as the group may not even be aware they are being observed. Ethical issues: Covert PO involves deception and
informed consent will not be possible. With overt research, informed consent may be difficult because of the
size or nature of the group. The researcher must ensure that no harm comes from the groups involvement in
the research; NPO involves fewer risks. Theoretical issues: Representativeness of the group and its behaviour
is an issue with both types of research. PO is not very reliable because it is difficult to repeat, but NPO can
often be repeated. Both are high in validity but this can be limited by the Hawthorne Effect.
4 Encourage creativity, but look for whether the student has seen and made clear the connections between the
different research methods.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 3
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Test yourself (page 37)

1 Students own answer. The case studies in the Coursebook give enough information for students to be able to
make basic points that show their understanding of the concepts.
2 Participant observation and unstructured interviews, as these depend to a large extent on the researcher.
Who the researcher is should make no difference in most experiments and in social surveys; in these, the
participants may not meet or see the researcher.

Activity: evaluation (page 37)

Points may include:

cost and source of funding

time, access and availability of a sample
ethical issues, such as whether a method might risk harm to respondents or the researcher
the theoretical stance of the researcher, e.g. positivist or interpretivist
the appropriateness of the method for obtaining the type of data required.

Activity: discussion (page 37)

Points may include the following:

Positivists insist that research should be free of bias, that sociologists should be neutral.
Interpretivists argue that being free of bias is probably not possible, because sociology is about people and their

social lives.
Experiments (the most positivist of methods) can be free of bias in the sense that the researcher can ensure that they do
not themselves affect the outcome.
Other methods in sociology show bias to some extent; for example, in participant observation research the researcher
sometimes develops a strong bond with the group. Interpretivists see this as strength rather than a problem.

Activity: data interpretation (page 40)


1 UK
2 Sierra Leone


1 Highest: Italy; lowest: The Gambia

2 The Gambia

Bar charts
1 Tokyo
2 Mumbai
3 Tokyo, Osaka, Los Angeles, New York

Pie charts
1 a Asia and the Pacific; b developed countries
2 The total population of each region, the number of undernourished people in each region.

Activity: evaluation (page 44)

Quantitative secondary data: official statistics are readily available, often free of charge. Governments have
spent more time and resources collecting these statistics than a sociologist could. They are usually produced
by well-planned research with large samples, but they may be incomplete or inaccurate, and they are social
constructions. They are probably not the exact data the sociologist wants and may be affected by political bias.
Qualitative secondary data such as diaries and personal documents may be high in validity. They offer first-hand
accounts and provide descriptive detail missing in statistical sources. But we often do not know if the accounts
are representative or biased. The usefulness of media depends on factors such as possible bias and selectivity, and
whether there is an accurate representation.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 4
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Test yourself (page 44)

1 Primary data are data collected by the researcher. Secondary data are data that already exist, having previously
been gathered by an earlier researcher (at which time they were primary data).
2 Encourage students to think about statistics that are meaningful to them, e.g. football league tables, or scores
in computer games, or exam and test results.
3 By asking questions about their origin and context: who wrote this? What do we know about them? What were
their personal circumstances when they wrote this? What was it written for? etc. They can also be compared to
similar sources.

Exam practice questions

1 a To protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents. Note: This might alternatively
be worded along the lines of, so that no one could work out who the women were. [2]
b Types of interview include:

Group/focus group
Face to face

One mark for each correct type of interview identified (up to a maximum of two)
c Answers are expected to give two reasons why sociologists might question generalisations from this
research. They might suggest that;
The sample is too small; the sample was drawn from only one town, which may not be typical of other
towns. The researchers would probably not have known about all the young women who became pregnant
at that age and at that time in that town, and so we cannot know if the sample is representative
One mark for each reason correctly identified (up to a maximum of two)
One mark for development of each reason (up to a maximum of two)

d Answers are expected to give two strengths of group interviews, such as:

answers are more likely to be valid, because we form our opinions as members of social groups rather than as

the interview can bring out what members of the focus group think is important
answers can provide depth/detail/understanding of respondents point of view
save time and money
individuals tend to be less shy in a group than in a one-to-one interview

One mark for each strength correctly identified (up to a maximum of two)
One mark for development of each strength (up to a maximum of two)
e Answers are expected to give two strengths and two limitations of questionnaires, such as:

all respondents answer the same questions with the same answer (the questionnaire is standardised)
easy to analyse and compare results
can be used with large samples
respondents can be geographically distant from researcher (questionnaire can be conducted by post)
should be possible to generalise findings to a wider population


Researcher decides possible answers

Respondent cannot always give the answer they want to give

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 5
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Low response rate

Lack of validity
Respondent cannot usually explain in their own words

One mark for each strength correctly identified (up to a maximum of two) and one mark for description of
each strength (up to a maximum of two)
One mark for each limitation correctly identified (up to a maximum of two) and one mark for description
of each limitation (up to a maximum of two)
f Answers need to demonstrate an understanding of the interpretivist tradition and the preference for
methods that produce qualitative data, for example referring to validity, understanding the point of view of
social actors and the depth and detail of data.

Band 0
No creditworthy response

Band 1 (13)
Answers at this level are likely to show limited understanding and be based on common sense or demonstrate
little in the way of clear sociological knowledge or terminology. At the top of the band answers may begin to
use some appropriate knowledge or terminology.

Band 2 (47)
At the bottom of the band, answers demonstrate basic understanding of the issue and begin to use some

appropriate knowledge and terminology. Supporting explanation may be weak or over simplistic. At the top
of the band, answers use appropriate knowledge and terminology but may not fully focus on the question.
Answers are likely to offer more than one reason.
Band 3 (810)
The answer is fully focused on the question. There is evidence of good use of sociological terms and candidates
make clear reference to theoretical issues such as validity. They may also refer to different methods that
produce qualitative data (such as unstructured interviews and participant observation) and may use terms

such as Verstehen or empathy. At the top of the band they should offer a range of reasons why interpretivists
prefer methods that produce qualitative data, as well as demonstrating accurate use of sociological concepts.
g Answers should show an awareness of what is meant by ethical issues and the extent to which they
influence ethical issues (for example, compared to theoretical and practical issues). Ethical issues that could

be discussed include informed consent, deception, anonymity and confidentiality, risk/harm (physical
and psychological) to researcher and to participants. Reference may be made to any sociological research
methods, and examples of research studies raising ethical issues should be credited.
Answers might talk about:

informed consent
anonymity and confidentiality
risk/harm (physical and psychological) to researcher and to participants
codes of practice/guidelines


Practical issues such as time, cost, access to respondents/data

Theoretical issues such as positivism/interpretivism, types of data, validity, reliability and representativeness
Absence or relative unimportance of ethical issues in some methods (e.g. use of secondary data)

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 6
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Band 0
No creditworthy response

Band 1 (14)
Answers in this band may be largely based on common sense showing limited or no knowledge of sociological
terms and concepts. Answers are unlikely to show understanding of ethical issues.

Band 2 (58)
In this band answers will tend to offer some basic discussion of one or two ethical issues. Alternatively, they
may offer an answer which is list like in nature but there will be no real attempt to address ethical issues. At
the top of the band, candidates may offer a description of more than one method or issue.

Band 3 (912)
Answers in this band will show good use of sociological language and will make some attempt at addressing
ethical issues but this may be weak or focus only on asserting that they are important. At the bottom of the
band, answers may provide a good range of points but there might be a lack of focus on ethical issues. At the
top of the band, answers are likely to show either strong agreement or disagreement with clear focus on the
question, but are unlikely to discuss both sides.

Band 4 (1315)
Answers in this band will be clearly focused on the question and address the extent of the importance of
ethical issues. Answers will offer a range of arguments both for and against but this need not be balanced.

They will show excellent grasp of sociological terms and knowledge. At the top of the band there will also be
an evaluative conclusion.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Answers to Coursebook activities 7
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Teaching ideas
Content analysis (AO1, AO2, AO3)
Choose a topic such as How are young people represented in the media?.
Explain to students that the main research tool used in content analysis is a grid. Show them examples, either
ones you have devised yourself or from the internet or from books. Ask students to devise their own grid and
then try to use it, for example analysing one newspaper or magazine. They will almost certainly find that some
information is hard to fit in their grid. Allow them to revise the grid; explain that they have piloted their grid,
and now have an improved version. They can then investigate the topic in more detail. Different students could be
given different media texts to analyse, and the results could be put together.

Survey design (AO1, AO2)

Students should decide on a topic of sociological relevance about their classmates, for example how much time
they spend using social media, or how much time they spend on homework. This should be suitable for survey
research. In small groups, ask students to design a questionnaire based on advice from the Coursebook
(see page 21). Where appropriate, they could include different types of questions (such as closed, scaled and
open). The questionnaire should be piloted and revised, then distributed to a sample and the results collated and

analysed. This will take students through the main stages of a research project.

Research methods (AO1, AO2)
Individually or in pairs, ask students to prepare a presentation for the rest of the class on one of the research
methods (experiments, surveys, unstructured interviews, participant observation, longitudinal studies, content
analysis, and so on. They should aim to make the presentation memorable and informative, and should cover
issues such as time and money, validity, reliability and representativeness, ethical issues and examples.

Sampling methods (AO1, AO2)

Ask students to prepare computer presentations (using PowerPoint or similar presentation software) with
at least one slide on each of the main methods of producing samples (random, stratified, systematic, cluster,

opportunity, quota and snowball samples). They should include examples and illustrations (e.g. a random sample
could be illustrated with a lottery) and make sure that they use the terms population, sampling frame and

Discussions and debates

Class debate: Sociologists cannot be unbiased. (AO1, AO2, AO3)
Introduce the topic by reminding students of the theoretical context, that this point of view is held by
interpretivists and contested by positivists. Students should then be allocated to one side of the debate or the other
and should gather ideas and information, wherever possible using examples from the Coursebook (such as the
case study on participant observation: Gang Leader for a Day, page 33).

Group discussion: Can statistics be trusted? (AO1, AO2, AO3)

Students should research and discuss this in groups, putting together a range of ideas covering different types of
statistics (such as hard and soft) and different examples (such as demographic data and crime rates). They should
consider points both for and against the credibility of statistics. Their ideas could be displayed in poster form.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Teaching ideas 1
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Pair and group work

Functionalist, Marxist and feminist viewpoints (AO2, AO3)
Provide students with suitable news items from newspapers or websites. In pairs or small groups, ask them to try
to explain what a functionalist, a Marxist and a feminist would say about the item. This exercise could also use
research findings.

Sociological topic (AO2, AO3)

In pairs or small groups, give students a sociological topic, for example the way boys and girls behave in school,
or how people use their leisure time. Ask them to work out in detail how this might be researched using positivist
methods such as a survey, and then how it might be researched using interpretivist methods such as unstructured
interviews or participant observation. Then ask them to decide which would be best for this topic and to justify
their choice.

Written work
Exam-style question: To what extent are practical issues the most important factors when
sociologists are choosing which method to use? (AO1, AO2, AO3)
To help students come to terms with the demands of this type of question, it is a good idea to break the task down
into a series of stages. Allow students first to see the generic mark scheme (provided in the syllabus by Cambridge
International Examinations) and discuss this with them, giving ideas about how they can meet its demands.
Stage 1 students identify relevant material.

Stage 2 students compile two lists, one containing ideas about why practical issues (such as time, money and
access) might be the most important and the other containing ideas about why ethical and theoretical
issues might be more important.
Stage 3 students reach a judgement based on stage 2.
Stage 4 students formulate the argument to be pursued in the answer.
Stage 5 students decide how they will ensure balance in their answers.
Stage 6 students produce a plan containing:
an introduction

a conclusion
brief details of the composition of each of the other paragraphs, showing how they will link together.
Stage 7 students write an essay.

At each stage there should be interaction between students (in pairs or small groups) and between student and
teacher. Students should then write their complete answers. You should mark the answers and provide feedback.
Any problems identified should be set as targets for improvement in the next practice exam question.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Teaching ideas 2
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Revision handout
Key terms
Make sure that you understand the key terms and can explain them in your own words. Below is a list of key
terms for this unit, with their Coursebook page numbers.

Bias 12 Interviewer effect 27 Respondent 20

Case study 29 Laboratory experiments 27 Response rate 20
Causation 8 Longitudinal survey 30 Sampling frame 15
Comparative study 39 Macro/micro approaches 7 Sampling methods
Conflict 9 Non-participant observation 34 (random/snowballing/quota/
Consensus 9 Objectivity 12 stratified) 16, 17
Content analysis 34 Official/non-official statistics 38 Secondary data 38
Correlation 8 Open/closed/pre-coded Self-completion questionnaires 20
Covert participant observation 32 questions 20 Semi-structured interview 24
Ethical issues 18 Overt participant observation 32 Social survey 19
Field experiments 28 Perspectives 9 Structuralism 7
Focus group 24 Pilot study 15 Structured interview 21

Generalisability 16 Positivism 12 Subjectivity 27
Group interview 24 Postal questionnaires 20 Survey population 15
Hawthorne/Observer Effect 28 Primary data 38 Telephone questionnaires 21
Historical documents 42 Qualitative data/research 20 Trend 38
Hypothesis 14 Quantitative data/research 12 Triangulation 35
Identity 8 Questionnaires 19 Unstructured interview 24
Interpretivism 8 Reliability 23 Validity 23
Interviewer bias 27 Representativeness 36

Key revision points

The main points that you need to cover in your revision are:

Structuralist approaches focus on social structures and institutions and how these influence how people behave;
interpretivist approaches focus more on how individuals make sense of society.
Functionalism is a consensus theory.
Marxism and feminism are conflict theories.
Positivists and interpretivists have different approaches to carrying out research, with positivists preferring a more
scientific and objective approach.
Each stage of the research process involves choices and decisions involving a range of practical, ethical and
theoretical issues.
Sociologists use different types of research methods, including surveys, interviews and participant observation
and experiments.
Other types of research include case studies, longitudinal studies and triangulation.
All methods and types of research have strengths and limitations.
Sociological methods and their findings can be evaluated in terms of their validity, reliability and representativeness.
Research can produce quantitative or qualitative data.
Sociologists also use both primary data and a range of secondary data, including official and unofficial statistics,
documents such as diaries and letters, media and published sources.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Revision handout 1
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Things that often cause confusion

Some things that confuse students are:

Validity and reliability: Many students use these terms interchangeably, as if they had the same meaning. It is important
that students understand the difference between the two terms.
Sampling methods: Only four sampling methods are on the syllabus: random, snowballing, quota and stratified. In
wider reading, students may come across others, such as systematic, purposive and cluster sampling. It can be helpful to
know these additional methods but questions will not be asked about them in examination.
Interpretivism: This term is similar in meaning to interactionism; students are now only expected to know the term
Representativeness and generalisability: Students sometimes do not appreciate the difference between these related
terms. If a sample is representative of a wider population, then generalisations to that wider population can be made
from it.
Strengths and limitations: When a question asks for these, your answer should be as specific as possible. For example,
if a question asks for the strengths or limitations of covert participant observation, credit is unlikely to be given for
points that apply to all participant observation (overt as well as covert). Being cheap and quick as strengths (or time
consuming and expensive as limitations) are not usually good points to make, especially as students tend to apply these
indiscriminately to all methods, without explanation.


Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Revision handout 2
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Worksheet 1
Methods: key terms
Sociologists use a range of different terms when discussing the methods used to study society. Draw a line linking
each of the methods below with its correct definition.

the extent to which a method gives consistent

and repeatable results

the extent to which a research method

Interpretivism represents the social phenomenon it claims
to measure

Reliability when two variables are related to each other

how a researcher may influence the behaviour
of respondents
Validity using several methods to check the findings

this is carried out at intervals over a

Response rate

the view that the social world is very different

Triangulation from the natural world, and should be

studied using non-scientific methods

the view that the social world is made up of

facts which can be studied in a scientific way

the proportion of survey forms that are

Sampling frame
returned to the researcher

carrying out a small-scale test of a research

Longitudinal survey
tool such as a questionnaire

whether the results of research can be said

Hawthorne/Observer Effect to apply to a wider group than those directly
taking part

Pilot study a list of people from whom a sample is chosen

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Worksheets and Answers 1
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Worksheet 2
Theory and methods A to Z
The missing words each start with the letter given. Sometimes when there is no word beginning with that letter, it
is elsewhere in the word, but the first letter is given to help you.

A Respondents are this if their identities are not known

B When the respondent is not neutral
C Observation is this if those studied are unaware of the
D A variable that is changed (causally influenced) by
E These issues are about what is acceptable
F g An interview with several people at the same time
G When findings about a sample can be applied to a larger
group of people sharing the same characteristics

H A statement which research sets out to prove or disprove
I Perspective that argues against using scientific methods
J Rosenthals partner in the Pygmalion in the Classroom
K Marxs first name
L A controlled environment in which an experiment can be

carried out
M Can be studied using content analysis
(R) N A sampling method in which all in the sampling frame

have an equal chance of being selected. (N is the third

O When the researcher watches peoples behaviour
P A small-scale trial of a research tool
Q A standardised list of questions
R r The proportion of distributed surveys which are completed
and returned (two words)
S A sample is this if the sampling frame is sorted by
characteristics such as age
T A survey can be carried out at a distance using this
U An interview without a set list of questions
V The extent to which the findings accurately reflect reality
(I) W Can be structured or unstructured. (W is the last letter.)
(E)X Seen as the most positivist of methods. (X is the second
(S)Y A sampling method selecting every nth person on a list
(M) Z Content analysis may be used to study the content of this

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Worksheets and Answers 2
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Worksheet 3
Case study: Eileen Barker triangulation
Barker studied a religious sect, the Unification Church, popularly known as Moonies. This Church had received
some bad publicity in the news media, being accused of recruiting students by brainwashing them. The Church
invited Barker, a sociologist of religion, to come and research the Church. They hoped the research report would
reveal that it was not the sinister sect portrayed in the media.
Barker used a variety of different methods to collect as much information as she could about how the Church
was organised and how this affected the day-to-day lives of its members. She lived with a community of Moonies,
sharing in their everyday lives. Although senior Moonies knew who she was, most people assumed she was a
new member; she did not tell them she was not a member. She found that helping with washing up dishes was
a good way of overhearing people talk about life as a Moonie, and after a while she felt able to ask questions.
She interviewed people in depth, and also interviewed some ex-Moonies about why they had left. She used the
interview findings to develop hypotheses which she tried to test in a questionnaire sent to all members of the
Church in the UK; the response rate was high because the Church leaders told members to complete it.
Barker concluded that the Church did not brainwash new members.

1 What three methods did Barker use?

2 Why was it useful to use different methods?

3 How was Barker able to gain access to do this research? How could the research have been done if she could
not get access in this way? What problems would there be?

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Worksheets and Answers 3
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

4 How is being neutral a problem in research like this?

5 Why do you think Barker did not ask questions straight away?
Unit 1 worksheet 3 case study

The source of information for the case study in the worksheet is:
Barker, E. (1984), The Making of a Moonie, Blackwell, Oxford.

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Worksheets and Answers 4
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Unit 1: Theory and Methods

Answers to worksheets
Worksheet 1

Positivism the view that the social world is made up of facts which can
be studied in a scientific way
Interpretivism the view that the social world is very different from the
natural world, and should be studied using non-scientific
Reliability the extent to which a method gives consistent and repeatable
Generalisability whether the results of research can be said to apply to a wider
group than those directly taking part
Validity the extent to which a research method represents the social
phenomenon it claims to measure
Response rate the proportion of survey forms that are returned to the

Triangulation using several methods to check the findings
Correlation when two variables are related to each other
Sampling frame a list of people from whom a sample is chosen
Longitudinal survey this is carried out at intervals over a long period
Hawthorne/Observer Effect how a researcher may influence the behaviour of respondents

Pilot study carrying out a small-scale test of a research tool such as a


Worksheet 2
Anonymity Jacobson Stratified
Biased Karl Telephone
Covert Laboratory Unstructured
Dependent Media (accept mass media or magazines) Validity
Ethical (issues) Random Interview
Focus group Observation Experiment
Generalisability Pilot Systematic
Hypothesis Questionnaire Magazine
Interpretivism Response rate

Worksheet 3
1 Participant observation, questionnaires and unstructured interviews.
2 Using three different methods (methodological pluralism) means that the researcher can get more data and
answer different questions. The data can also be used to check validity; findings from different methods may
corroborate (support and confirm) each other or there may be contradictions which suggest that one set
of answers is invalid. Findings from one method can also be used to develop ideas that can be tested using
another method; Barker used interview findings to help her develop hypotheses to test in a survey.
3 Barker was only able to gain access because she was invited to do the research by the Unification Church.
Without this, she would not have been able to live with Moonies, or be able to contact all the members for a
survey. She would probably have been able to find some ex-members. Without permission, she would have
had to carry out covert participant observation which would be unethical and very demanding in terms

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Worksheets and Answers 5
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

of maintaining a cover. Barker would have had to behave at all times as a believing Moonie. Making notes
without arousing suspicion would have been difficult, as would leaving the research situation.
4 Barker had an initial problem in that the Unification Church invited her to research. She would therefore have
to insist that she be given access to all areas of Moonie life. Without this, her research would be compromised;
she might not be able to give a full account and could be accused of allowing herself to be used by the Moonies
to present a misleadingly positive account. She would also face a problem when carrying out her participant
observation because, living with the Moonies, she would not have access to other ideas and might find herself
going native accepting Moonie ideas and becoming a Moonie herself. Even if this did not happen, she
would, as usually happens in participant observation, become so close to the Moonies that she would see
things from their perspective and so it can be questioned whether her account is unbiased.
5 Because at first she was a stranger, and also she would not know what to ask. After listening in for a while, she
would be able to ask meaningful questions.


Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Unit 1: Worksheets and Answers 6
Cambridge IGCSE Sociology

Paper 1 exam-style questions

Answer Question 1 and one question from Sections B and C.
Disclaimer: Please note that this exam practice material has not been produced by Cambridge International
Examinations and it should not be assumed that Cambridge examinations will follow this exact pattern.

Section A: Theory and Methods

Question 1
To research whether the number of people in poverty in the UK was being reduced, Palmer, MacInnes and
Kenway used data from a wide range of official statistics and government-funded surveys. These covered the
whole population, so there was not a problem with representativeness. They used information about home
ownership, income, pensions and child poverty over a period of eight years. They found that there had been
progress in reducing poverty but this had not been enough for the government to reach the targets it had
set itself.

a Explain what is meant by representativeness. [2]

b Identify two types of secondary data other than official statistics. [2]
c Describe two reasons why sociologists use official statistics. [4]
d Describe two limitations of using postal questionnaires in sociological research. [4]
Describe two strengths and two limitations of covert participant observation. [8]

f Explain why positivists see the use of experiments as a good research method in sociology. [10]
g To what extent do qualitative methods lack reliability? [15]
Total marks available 45

Section B: Culture, Identity and Socialisation

Question 2
Most people conform to the norms of their culture most of the time. When they do not conform, the society
may use formal or informal social control to regulate their behaviour. A wide range of rewards and sanctions

can be applied. Norms can vary between age groups; for example, the behaviour expected of an older person
is not the same as that for a teenager.

a What is meant by the term informal social control? [2]


b Describe two sanctions that can be applied to those who break norms in schools. [4]
c Explain how rewards and sanctions are different in modern industrial societies compared to
traditional societies. [6]
d Explain why age can be described as socially constructed. [8]
e To what extent does gender influence social identity? [15]
Total marks available 35

Section C: Social Inequality

Question 3
Gender is an important form of stratification in all societies. Although women are often said to have become
more equal to men in modern industrial societies, they still face disadvantages. Women do not earn as much
on average as men, and many women experience the glass ceiling as they approach the higher levels in their

a What is meant by the term glass ceiling? [2]

b Describe two reasons why women may find it difficult to break through the glass ceiling. [4]
c Explain what measures governments can take to reduce gender inequality. [6]
d Explain why working-class people may find it difficult to move into the middle class. [8]
e To what extent does social class decide life chances? [15]
Total marks available 35

Cambridge University Press 2014 Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Exam practice 1