This unit uses sociological methodology to explore the social category of youth and the social institution of family. Sociologists draw on methods of science to understand how and why people behave the way they do when they interact in a group. Sociology attempts to understand human society from a holistic point of view, including consideration of society's composition, how it is reproduced over time and the differences between societies. When sociologists investigate a topic, they attempt to do so with a reflective, critical mindset. Sociologists are guided by theories, or frameworks, to explain and analyse how social action, social processes and social structures work. 

Area of Study 1 explores the way youth is constructed as a social category, in the light of differing experiences of young people. There is a range of potential negative impacts of categorisation, including stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination.

In Area of Study 2, students investigate the social institution of the family. In a multicultural society like Australia, different communities have different kinds of families and experiences of family life. Factors such as changing demographics, feminism, individualism, technology, changes in the labour market and government policies have been identified as influencing the traditional view of the family. There is a range of theoretical approaches used by sociologists to explain the purpose and experiences of family life, including functionalist and feminist approaches. Comparative methodologies also enable a comparison of family types and family experiences across time and space.

This unit is delivered in Year 11.

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:


Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: Outcome 1 On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe the nature of sociological inquiry and discuss, in an informed way, youth as a social category. Outcome 2 On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse the institution of family.Assessment will follow the requirements set out in the VCE Sociology Study Guide: The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. A variety of learning activities and assessment tasks will provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes. Assessment will be a part of the regular teaching and learning program and will be completed mainly in class and within a limited time-frame. All assessments at Units 1 and 2 are school-based. For this unit students are required to demonstrate achievement of two outcomes. As a set these outcomes encompass all areas of study in the unit.

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