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

AS and A Level: Sociological Differentiation & Stratification

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Word count:
fewer than 1000 (5)
1000-1999 (3)

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

UK trends - gender

  1. 1 Men tend to outperform women in terms of income, wealth, promotion at work; they are more likely to have full time and /or permanent contracts.
  2. 2 In the home men do less housework than women and are much less likely to suffer domestic violence than women. Men are more likely to have control of finances and power in decision making in the family.
  3. 3 Women have better life chances in terms of life expectancy, preferential treatment by courts when awarding custody of children, some evidence of greater leniency in sentencing, more time off paid work with their children, lower suicide rates and are doing better in schools.

Key UK trends - social class

  1. 1 At work, those in the working class are more likely to have a below average paid job, a temporary contract and work part time.
  2. 2 In terms of policing and the criminal justice system, the working class are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police and to be arrested.
  3. 3 In the family people from working class backgrounds are more likely to marry younger and to get divorced.
  4. 4 In terms of health the working class are more likely, more likely to smoke, to miscarry their baby, to die of an accident at work and to die before their first birthday.
  5. 5 In education the working class are more likely to be placed in lower streams or sets at school, to leave school with fewer educational qualifications, and much less likely than the middle class to go to university.

Key UK trends - ethnicity

  1. 1 African Caribbean Britons are at high risk of being stopped and searched, getting longer custodial sentences, being excluded from school, being unemployed, living in a single parent family and achieving the lowest average GCSE scores.
  2. 2 British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have the highest rates of poverty, living in cramped housing and female unemployment.
  3. 3 British Indians and British Chinese have higher than average educational success rates.
  4. 4 White Britons have better life chances than ethnic minorities in nearly all areas, with the exception of the British Indians and British Chinese.
  5. 5 There are significant differences WITHIN ethnic groups, so men and women, people from different social classes and ages have significantly different life chances.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 8
  • Peer Reviewed essays 5
  1. Briefly explain some of the main features of any two sociological theories and evaluate some of the main differences between them. With reference to contemporary society.

    A central feature and premises of symbolic interactionism (a postmodernity perspective) is to put interactions, symbols, and meanings as its core subject matter when studying contemporary society; this methodological approach is the optimal way of collecting empirical data according to symbolic interactionalism (SI). (Bown, Pountney & MaricÌ, 2015) p21. Sociological theories fall onto three analytical levels; micro-level, the study of the individual interactions (SI); meso-level, the studying of organisations, towns and cities; and macro-level, the focus of broader social functions and systems.

    • Word count: 1697
  2. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of using covert participant observation to investigate pupils with behavioural difficulties

    This would raise ethical issues such as deception of both the children and staff. If access is successful, the method will allow the researcher to ?witness directly the pupils behaviour? wiping out the chance of creating a hawthorne effect and increasing validity. The second practical issue is the characteristics of the researcher. The sociologist may have a hard time fitting in unless they possess the characteristics a working class boy might respect.

    • Word count: 532
  3. This essay will evaluate three groups within society; the Feminists, Postmodernists and the Marxists, providing information and supporting the theory that medicine is being used as an institution of social control.

    â It is the patient’s responsibility to make recovery a priority and they have a responsibility to seek appropriate treatment for their condition, by seeing a medical professional they are agreeing to becoming a ‘patient’. These rights and responsibilities are only in effect whilst the individual is ill and therefore may be temporary (Scarince, 2016).â Parsons work provided insight into an experience that affects society at some point in their lives however, would a person today find that their sickness/absence from work, matches Parsons description from 60 years ago?

    • Word count: 1968
  4. Assess the sociological explanations for ethnic differences in educational achievement.

    Another factor is Language which has also been examined as an indicator for differences in ethnic minority achievement. For many EM students, English is a second language and their difficulties in communicating may be viewed as a lack of ability by teachers. However, both Driver and Ballard and also Modood found that Asian and white students had a similar level of language development by the age of 16 with it only being a temporary disadvantage for Indian pupils. Furthermore family life is a factor, with Bhatti?s study of B, P and I parents showed how parents had a high level of interest in their children?s education which was supported by close family and community ties.

    • Word count: 922
  5. Evaluate sociological explanations for ethnic differences in educational achievement.

    Another factor is Language which has also been examined as an indicator for differences in ethnic minority achievement. For many EM students, English is a second language and their difficulties in communicating may be viewed as a lack of ability by teachers. However, both Driver and Ballard and also Modood found that Asian and white students had a similar level of language development by the age of 16 with it only being a temporary disadvantage for Indian pupils. Furthermore family life is a factor, with Bhatti?s study of B, P and I parents showed how parents had a high level of interest in their children?s education which was supported by close family and community ties.

    • Word count: 921
  6. Evaluate the contribution of Marxist theories to our understanding of the role and functions of religion in the world today

    Marx is further supported by LENIN who argues that religion is much like a ?spiritual gin? that is doled out to the masses by the ruling class in order to keep them in their place. The ruling class use region to manipulate the masses and keep them from attempting to overthrow the ruling class by creating a ?mystical fog? that obscures reality. Religion also legitimises the power and privilege of the dominant class by making their position appear to be divinely ordained, e.g.

    • Word count: 985
  7. Research Methods - the strengths and weaknesses of unstructured interviews.

    It is known to be very difficult to manage and organise the large amount of qualitative information gathered and also sociologists may disagree on what the important points in the participant?s interview are. Access to the group of people that the researcher wants to interview might be difficult so if there was a gatekeeper it would be much easier. Due to the difficulty of getting a large sample, a group of researchers may be trained but this will be both costly and time-consuming.

    • Word count: 581

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Assess the extent to which religion produces social change. Many sociologists such as functionalists and Marxists would argue that religion doesnt affect social change and is a conservative force.

    "In conclusion, many sociologists such as functionalists and Marxists would argue that religion doesn't affect social change and is a conservative force. Functionalists would say religious does this by keeping social solidarity in tact which prevents people needing a change; they also describe people of having a value consensus which is the shared beliefs in society which prevent social change. Marxists would argue that religion is ideological apparatus which distracts the working class from oppression and distracts people from seeing a need for social change. However internationalists would disagree as they see religion as causing radical changes such as the Calvinists being a major factor of the industrial revolution due to their similar ethics. Other sociologists would also argue that religion causes social change such as Neo-Marxist Gramsci, who claims religion is a relative autonomy and allows change to take place."

  • Identify & Discuss The Factors Which Will Influence A Researchers Choice Of Methods

    "In conclusion, there are many different viewpoints on how researchers should choose their methods when studying a topic. While both sides have their pro's and cons, either way can be used. Some circumstances call for one type of view to be used, for example Positivists, while another may need an Interpretivist viewpoint. Maybe a combination of the both can allow better results (triangulation)."

  • Discuss the view that conjugal roles are becoming joint in families.

    "In conclusion time provides the evidence in the last century that there has been a change in the conjugal roles meaning that they have become more equal which could be argued that this is due to the fact that more women are now in paid employment this has made a significant contribution to the way in which women are now portrayed as. They are seen to have a more equal status to men which has changed their position in the family. However this is debate is a complex one and it can also be argued that the equality of these conjugal roles depends a lot on age, class and ethnicity. Paman Sidhu"

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.