Families And Households Sociology Essay

AQA A-Level Sociology: Topics in Sociology Exam: Advice for answer the families and households section 

  • Paper 2 is a 2 hour paper, out of a total of 80 marks.
  • You get a booklet of questions, split into two sections (A and B), you write your answers into a separate answer booklet.
  • You answer one topic from each section (whichever two topics you’ve studied), one topic from section A, one from section B.
  • There are three 3 questions per topic (10/10/20)
  • So across the two topics, you answer a total of 6 questions
  • You have 1.5 minutes per mark.
  • This blog post only refers to section A, families and households option!

AQA Families and Households Specification

  • the relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with particular reference to the economy and to state policies
  • changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures
  • gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships within the family in contemporary society
  • the nature of childhood, and changes in the status of children in the family and society
  • demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900: birth rates, death rates, family size, life expectancy, ageing population, and migration and globalisation.

The 10 Mark ‘outline and explain’ (no item) question 

Modified from the AQA’s advice on 10 mark questions sheet…

  • These ask about two elements from one or more bullet points within the specification topic (e.g. the nature of childhood in relation to demographic trends).
  • It will generally ask about the links or relationships between these two elements.
  • For example: ‘Outline and explain two ways in which the decline in birth rates has affected the position of children in society’ (10 marks)
  • Students don’t need to evaluate. Analysis is specified in the mark scheme for assessment objective 3.
  • Using PEEL (Point, Explanation, Evidence, Link) is useful for developing sufficient analysis.
  • Expressing each of the two ways in at least two separate paragraphs is useful tool.

Two examples of outline and explain families and households questions

Modified from the AQA’s advice on 10 mark questions sheet…

  • Outline and explain two ways in which women’s going into work has affected relationships (10)
  • Outline and explain two ways in which changes to gender roles have affected diversity of family structures (10)

10 Mark Analyse using the item questions 

  • These have an item which is linked to the question. It encourages linking two elements from the same or different bullet points in the specification.
  • The first part of the item contains a number of points about the first of these elements.
  • These points provide possible hooks, designed to be developed into an explanation of the relationships between the two elements.
  • The second part of the item links these points back to the question.

Example of a 10 mark ‘analyse from the item’ question

Read item A then answer the question below

Item B
Many commentators seem to agree that the ageing population is a problem for society – as it leads to an increasing strain on public services, and results in a greater burden being put on the younger generation to care for the elderly.

However, some claim that such problems have been exaggerated, and are based on stereotypical views about the elderly.

Applying material from Item B, analyse two consequences of the ageing population for British society (10 marks)

20 Mark Essay Questions 

  • Allow yourself enough time – 1.5 minutes per mark = 30 minutes.
  • Read the Question and the item, what is it asking you to do?
  • Do a rough plan (5-10 mins) – initially this should be ‘arguments and evidence’ for and ‘against’ the views in the question, and a few thoughts on overall evaluations/ a conclusion. If you are being asked to look at two things, you’ll have to do this twice/
  • your conclusion should bring the two aspects of the essay together.
  • Write the essay (35 mins)– aim to make 3-5 points in total (depending on the essay, either 3 deep points, or 5 (or more) shallower points). Try to make one point at least stem from the item, ideally the first point.
  • evaluations – don’t repeat yourself, and don’t overdo this, but it’s useful t tag this in before a conclusion.
  • Conclusion (allow 2 mins minimum) – an easy way to do this is to refer to the item – do you agree with the view or not, or say which of the points you’ve made is the strongest/ weakest and on balance is the view in the question sensible or not?

General Structure 

  • Introduction
  • Point (relate to question)
  • Explain
  • Expand
  • Criticise
  • (repeat 3-5 times)
  • Overall Evaluations
  • Conclusion (refer to item)

Some possible examples of 20 mark families and households essay questions…

  • Assess the view that the main aim of the of the family is to serve the needs of capitalism (20)
  • Assess the view that the family has become more child-centred (20)
  • Assess the reasons for changes in the birth rate and family size (20)

And repeat for section B!!!

Live Online Impact Revision Webinar – Tuesday 13 June, 19.00

If you like this sort of thing then you might like my upcoming revision webinar focussing on AQA Paper 2 (7192/2): topics in sociology, section A: families and households option.

Click here to purchase for £4.99 (class size is limited to 10) AND you get the revision PowerPoint and some exemplar answers for that.

The live 45 minute session consists of:

  • A brief overview of the structure of the structure of each of the topic sections within the 7192/2 exam
  • A quick overview of the course content of families and households.
  • Strategies for answering each of the three question types: 10 markers with and without an item and the 20 mark essay questions
  • A chance to ask questions at throughout and at the end of the session.

The class is scheduled for 19.00 Tuesday 13th June, and will be recorded so you can access it afterwards. The class will be run through WizIQ, a company which specialises in online education provision.

You also get…

  • -A 25 slide power point covering course content and exam technique, which will form the basis of the class.
  • A supplementary 12 page hand-out with 2 exemplars of 10 mark ‘outline’ (no item) questions, 2 exemplars of 10 mark ‘outline and analyse’ questions (with an item), and 3 exemplar essays.

First 5 get it for £4.99 – after that I may put the price up


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This page provides links to blog posts on the main topics of the AQA’s  Families and Households module. It’s gradually being populated and most of the families and households material should be completed by end of November 2016. If you like this sort of thing – you might like to check out my various revision resources for sale on Sellfy

An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family 

Defining the Family – class notes

Families  in the UK – Seven Interesting Statistics – class notes, with pretty pictures

Perspectives on The Family

An Overview of what you need to know –a knowledge check list covering key concepts, research studies, sociologists, and some suggested short answer and essay style exam questions 

The Functionalist perspective on the family – detailed class notes

The Marxist perspective on the family – detailed class notes

Feminist perspectives on the family – detailed class notes

The Liberal Feminist perspective on the family – detailed class notes and evaluations

The Marxist Feminist perspective on the family – detailed class notes

The Radical Feminist perspective on the family – detailed class notes

The New Right View of the family – class notes

The postmodern view of the family – class notes

The Late Modern perspective on the family – class notes

Dating and Relationships in Postmodern Society – exploratory extension/ evaluate post

The Personal Life Perspective on the family – class notes

All Perspectives Mind Maps – an overview of perspectives on the family in mind maps (external link, purchase for £cheap£)

Marriage, Divorce and Cohabitation

Overview of what you need to know – a knowledge check list covering key concepts, research studies, sociologists, and some suggested short answer and essay style exam questions 

Explaining the changing patterns of marriage – class notes 

Explaining the decline in marriage – external video link

Explaining the changing patterns of divorce – mind map

Examine the long term increase in divorce rates – essay plan

The consequences of declining marriage and increasing divorce – class notes

Trends in Family Structure – Family Diversity/ The Decline of the Nuclear Family?

Trends in family and household diversity – very brief class notes (really an introduction to the topic) 

Official Statistics on family and household diversity – trends 2016 update

Explaining the increase in family diversity part 1/3 – class notes 

Explaining the increase in family diversity part 2/3 –class notes

Evaluating the view that the nuclear family is in decline part 3/3 – class notes

Why do so many young adults live with their parents? – detailed class notes and evaluations

Examining how family life varies by ethnicity in the UK – class notes 

Power and Equality within Domestic Roles 

To what extent are gender roles characterised by equality? – class notes

To what extent is the domestic division of labour equal? – class notes 

Issues of power and control in relationships – class notes


To what extent is childhood socially constructed? – class notes 

The March of Progress View of Childhood – class notes 

Toxic Childhood – Toxic childhood and Paranoid Parenting – class notes

Is childhood disappearing? –class notes

Social Policy

Social policy and the family (an overview of social policies) – class notes 

Sociological Perspectives on Social Policy and The Family – class notes 

How do social policies affect family life? – external link, video


Explaining changes to the birth rate – class notes

Explaining the long term decline of the death rate – class notes

The consequences of an ageing population – summary of a Thinking Allowed Podcast from 2015

The consequences of an ageing population – mind map

Migration and its consequences for family life – very detailed class notes

A Level Sociology Families and Households Revision Bundle

If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my AS Sociology Families and Households Revision Bundle which contains the following:

  1. 50 pages of revision notes covering all of the sub-topics within families and households
  2. mind maps in pdf and png format – 9 in total, covering perspectives on the family
  3. short answer exam practice questions and exemplar answers – 3 examples of the 10 mark, ‘outline and explain’ question.
  4.  9 essays/ essay plans spanning all the topics within the families and households topic.

If you’re not quite as flush, how about this… just the 50 pages of accessible, user friendly, exam-focused notes for only £0.99* – from iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

*Price will vary with dollar exchange rate

Overview of my six general types of blog post

  • Knowledge check lists – these are quick check lists, typically for each topic rather than sub topic, literally just lists of concepts and some possible questions.
  • Class notes – Medium to long posts which go into each topic in some detail, text-book stylee if you like.
  • Evaluation/ Application Posts – what some students would regard as ‘bare long’ posts – these are the ones you should be reading, and writing for yourselves if you really want to ‘get’ sociology
  • Revision notes – what most of you are hear for you lazy s******* – the briefest versions of notes on each topic
  • Essay Plans – either complete or templates, sometimes bullet points – useful for exam training, but remember the exam board can quite easily throw you a curve ball essay.
  • Other types of post – sometimes I might bring out the bears or do a top ten post – in which case I’ll chuck it in here as and when I get time…

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