A major UK examination board has overhauled its Sociology A Level syllabus to include the study of social media, cybercrime and selfies.
Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR) said that the new course “reflects key contemporary social challenges, including a compulsory module on the profound changes arising from globalisation and the digital media revolution”.
The new A Level would be implemented from September 2015, and will see Sociology “shake off its image as a softer subject with the inclusion of evidence-based research on globalisation in the digital era”.
Students will, for example, refer to studies on how Facebook makes people less satisfied with life; why 75% of 16-24 year-olds claim they couldn’t live without the internet; how the sexes behave differently online; and how the global digital divide affects inequality, the OCR said.
It further noted that with more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook, over a million selfies posted each day, and more people worldwide having access to a mobile phone than to a working toilet, students will analyse how societies manage the positive and negative impacts of, for example, freedom of information, privacy, online safety, equality of access to technology and gender stereotyping.
Victoria Hunter, OCR subject team manager said: “Globalisation and digital communication are transforming work, family and leisure life. No Sociology A Level would be complete without making it compulsory to study how people are responding to the new rules of the digital global village.”
“The course will be an excellent foundation for university and pave the way to a wide range of careers, from business management to public policy,” Hunter said.