• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically Examine The View That Voting Behaviour Is No Longer Class Based, But Is Determined By A Complex Mix Of Economic, Cultural And Ethnic Factors.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critically Examine The View That Voting Behaviour Is No Longer Class Based, But Is Determined By A Complex Mix Of Economic, Cultural And Ethnic Factors. A wide repertoire of highly complex factors, inclusive of economic, cultural and ethnic elements, are often suggested in which sociologists believe have great influence determining voting behaviour, however traditionally, political commentators have identified social class as the most necessary aspect to consider; this is directly illustrated by what Pulzer famously claimed, 'Class is the basis of British politics, all else is embellishment and detail'. There is great evidence, indicating that in the past, class has been in-fact, the major issue for one to consider when discussing patterns of voting behaviour - for example; up until the late 1970s, there appeared to be statistical evidence of people voting for their traditional party - this was during a time where people were regarded as either being middle or working class, with the definition being solely based upon their occupations. The vast majority of the working class voted labour, with the majority of middle-classes voting conservative. The labour party had a close link with many trade unions; and that's why therefore, they were extremely popular amongst the working class. Over the last thirty years however, the occupational and industrial structure of Britain has witnessed largely fundamental changes, such as the significant shift from manual to non-manual work. ...read more.

Middle

- The Conservatives did not only ditch an unpopular prime minister but also indirectly escaped being held responsible for the weakness of the economy. Sanders (1992), argues that the Conservatives won because they convinced enough voters that 'The modest recovery in their personal economic circumstances that they had recently experienced was more likely to be sustained under a Conservative government than a Labour government.' (1992). This example, directly shows how members of the public vote in accordance with interests related to the economic system and that it is obviously a hugely important element to consider when studying habits of voting behaviour. The factor of age, has, in more recent years become one of many important suggestions of which to consider greatly in terms of voting behaviour. There has been recent statistical evidence to show that around 40% of first time voters vote labour, (Crewe, 1992). Moreover, there is also a notion that younger voters are more likely to vote 'radically', for example; for the smaller, more 'revolutionary' parties, such as the Green party or Socialist Labour party, - however, some would argue that younger, more politically apathetic voters tend to vote (if they vote at all), for the party their parents / friends vote for, or for whoever is already in power. ...read more.

Conclusion

Theories of dealignment and issue voting, argue that voter's party loyalties are much weaker today than in the past; suggesting that a much higher proportion of the electorate is susceptible to persuasion to change their votes. Voters are likely to be swayed by any bias in the media and by parties that are more successful in using the media to put across their message. For example, one of Labour's most recent election campaign's encouraged popular musicians to become involve in supporting the party, under the banner of Labours 'Cool Britannia'; perhaps in an attempt to encourage younger voters to vote Labour. It has also been claimed that extensive media coverage of opinion polls can actually influence the results of elections since people may switch their votes because of opinion poll predictions. There is not great evidence to support this theory, however Crewe, suggests an element of tactical voting may have led to the Conservative victory of 1992, and that some Liberal Democrat voters may have switched to the conservatives at the last moment fearing predictions of opinion polls of a labour victory. In reference to the initial question asked, I believe I have clearly illustrated how voting behaviour is in today's society not in any way purely class based. When studying voting patterns there an extensive variety of complex factors one should consider, which cover the broad mix of economic, cultural and ethnic issues. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    Reference: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/breast/mortality/, Website viewed on 14 / 7 / 08 What Do Feminists Think About The Cancer? A feminist would feel women are more likely to catch cancer because they do the most work like house work for instance. This is because women have a lot of things to deal

  2. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    are middle-class then they are able to put a child in the best school even if it is not it their 'catchment area ', as they are able to afford to take or pay for their child to come any distance to or from school, or pay for boarding school.

  1. Explaining Social Class and Stratification. There are many elements to the changes in the ...

    believe these members are at the lower end of the middle class as opposed to there being a separate class and that there is a boundary problem between middle class and working class. Braverman's theory of proletarianisation is also evident with Sharon Lynas technology taking over the skills needed, simplifying

  2. Examine the extent to which husbands and wives now have a relationship based on ...

    more effort and other tasks are not considered in the division of labour. Focusing on tasks such as cooking and cleaning show that women do most of the work but if tasks such as fixing the car or paid employment are considered then it may be seen as more equal.

  1. Practical and Ethical Factors

    He defined sociology as the study of social action. He believed that action was social when it takes into account the members in society, he was careful to not affect their behaviour. He tried to understand the meanings and motives behind human behaviour.

  2. To What Extent is Human Behavior determined by society?

    This is a case in which both environmental/natural factors and society cause changes in human behavior, and shows that to an extent, human behavior is actually determined by both nature and society. However, it is entirely plausible to say that race and skin color are used by humans as a

  1. Race or religion? The impact of religion on the employment and earnings of Britain's ...

    Ethnic groups are Black Caribbeans, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, African Asians and Chinese. (1) It is possible to distinguish between those born in the UK and those born abroad since the definition of ethnic group in the FNSEM provides information both on ethnic group and on family origin.

  2. Social class is no longer relevant in modern Britain. Discuss

    opportunities; property ownership has become more shared out, making it less of a source of power; a broader scattering of wealth means more people are consuming beyond necessity. Ulrich Beck also believes that class is dying out, but rather than changing into a post modern society, it is transforming into a ?risk? society.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work