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Cambridge IGCSE Sociology Assessment

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Section A: Theory and methods

Question 1 Source A

  • In the 1990s sociological research suggested that the internet has a negative effect on In 2002 this view was challenged.The researchers Shaw and Gant investigated whether using the internet can have a positive effect on health and well-being.

The sample for the study was composed of 40 students, 12 males and 28 females, in a university in North Carolina, USA. All participants volunteered for the study and their identities were kept anonymous.

The experiment was then conducted over eight weeks. The participants had five internet chat sessions with another participant in the study, but never actually met each other in real life. Each pair of participants were given topics and questions to discuss online. At different stages in the study, each participant also met with the researcher who gave them a questionnaire to fill in. The questionnaire asked about their feelings about depression, loneliness, self-esteem and social support. The same questionnaire was used each time participants met again with the researcher and any changes in participants’ answers over time were noted.

The study found that internet use significantly decreases feelings of loneliness and depression and significantly increases feelings of social support and self-esteem.

Adapted from: Shaw and Gant, ‘In Defense of the Internet: The Relationship between Internet Communication and Depression, Loneliness, Self-Esteem, and Perceived Social Support’. 

  • From the evidence in Source A identify two research methods that were used in the
  • Identify two examples of secondary data that could be used to research the ways young people use the [2]
  • Using information from Source A, describe two reasons why the research may not represent the experiences of all internet [4]
  • Describe two strengths of using content analysis as a research [4]
  • Describe two strengths and two limitations of semi-structured [8]
  • Explain why sociologists might use closed questions in sociological [10]
  • To what extent is a micro approach better than a macro approach when researching society?[5]

Answer either Question 2 or Question 3

Section B: Culture, identity and socialisation


  • Social identity is the result of many influences. Some sociologists argue that nature may affect human behaviour and identity. Others believe that nurture is more important and that individuals are socialised into roles and identities based on age, gender, class and Social institutions are very important in the socialisation process.
  • What is meant by the term ‘social institutions’? [2]
  • Describe two ways nature affects human [4]
  • Explain how females are socialised into [6]
  • Explain why roles influence an individual’s [8]
  • To what extent is age the most important factor in a person’s social identity? [15]

Section C: Social inequality


  • Sociologists disagree about whether societies are becoming more equal or not. Feminists argue that a gendered division of labour Marxists argue that the upper class have more power and greater economic rewards than others. Some sociologists argue that there is a cycle of poverty, others argue that social classes are changing. In many societies there is now the possibility for more social mobility.
  • What is meant by the term ‘power’? [2]
  • Describe two examples of a gendered division of [4]
  • Explain how privileged groups maintain their power and status in [6]
  • Explain why a cycle of poverty exists in modern industrial [8]

To what extent have social classes changed in modern industrial societies?

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  • Posted on : February 04th, 2023
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