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AS and A Level: Sociological Differentiation & Stratification

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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.

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  1. Two important developments in the education systems in England and Wales since 1945

    This is turn would be extremely beneficial to the economy as better educated people would be striving for higher paying jobs. Larger schools that could accommodate more students would also be required which would provide more facilities and a greater range of subjects to study. There were a number of limitations of the comprehensive system however. Some people criticised the fact that children were expected to attend their local school regardless of its reputation. A failing school would not be desirable to prospective parents, yet their lack of choice may have had a negative impact on the education of the children they enrolled there.

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  2. There are six main influences of socialisation: Family, media, religion, school, peer groups and work. Each can have a huge effect on a persons instinct and a how a person behaves.

    There are six main influences of socialisation: Family, media, religion, school, peer groups and work. Each can have a huge effect on a person's instinct and a how a person behaves. All six of these aspects have several things in common. They all include a person trying to copy another person's behaviour, and ways to show approvals/disapprovals to courage/discourage certain behaviours. One of the main influences within our lives is our families. They teach us the basics: How to talk, walk, what our beliefs are, what's right /wrong and our general lifestyle.

    • Word count: 1348
  3. As radical feminists we recognise that we are engaged in a power struggle with men (New York Radical Feminists: Manifesto, 1969). How would different types of feminists react to this statement?

    Radical feminists believe that all social institutions are male dominated for example, the family, the media, religions and work. They believe that women are treated unequally in the family and that it is better for men than women. Families are patriarchal; women do the housework and childcare even if they have a job outside of the home. This is called a 'double burden'. The family role for women limits their job and career prospects, they have to break their careers to have children.

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  4. Bernstein Speech patterns and intelligence

    "She saw it". * Elaborated code - this code is characteristic of the middle classes. It fills in the detail and provides the explanations omitted by restricted codes. Anyone can understand elaborated code users in any situation E.G. "The young girl saw the ball". Bernstein explained the origins of these speech codes in terms of class differences in the family and the work situations of the working and middle classes: * In middle class families and in non manual work, relationships

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  5. The education system is meritocratic

    This meritocracy is said to sift and sort perspective students into their correct positions as an adult in society. According to Parsons school is simply the bridge between the family or primary socialisation and entry to employment. He views the education system as a positive system of placing the best students at the top both in school and eventually the work place. This idea is supported by Davis and Moore (1945) who say that meritocracy is the system which social institutes (this includes school)

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  6. Assess the view that subcultures are the key to underachievment in school

    Evidence suggests that it is because of anti school subcultures schooling experiences under achievement. It has also been shown that this under achievement is mainly from males, the working class and some ethnic groups. Willis studied counter school subcultures and the working classes affect within them and likelihood of why they are popular within them. His study was carried pout in the 1970's. Willis's study suggested that working class boys were highly likely to join counter school sub cultures because of there attitudes in the schooling environment. He believe it was because they had very little or no value to the academic work that the school would set and that they had no interests or aspirations of gaining qualifications.

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  7. Identity Paper

    He was living in an apartment in New Brunswick when he met my mother. They began dating and fairly soon after they were married to keep my father from having to go back to Lebanon. Months after their legal marriage, they were married in front of a church and their families. But still until this day my mother's parents do not even know their true anniversary. A year and a half later, I was born. Even though in the Lebanese culture the daughters usually take their father's name as their middle name, my mother would not allow it because she thought it did not sound right and did not make sense in the American culture.

    • Word count: 2545
  8. Sociology: Identity

    High degree of immobility and interaction stimulated them attached into distinct social class. Isolated areas which had inadequate amenities including institutions and communication, subsequently conducted to social isolation, absence of community and suggested by Marx, the 'false class consciousness'. 'Industrial societies not only produce and distribute goods and services, they also produce and distribute information and entertainment.' Industrialism has created mass production as well as mass media (ibid, p370). Instant communication has made information available to the societies promptly, conveniently and precisely.

    • Word count: 2083
  9. Assess the usefulness of official statistics as a source of secondary data in sociological research.

    However, Atkinson has criticized the validity of suicide statistics by claiming that the commonsense theories held by coroners influence the way they categorise sudden death. For example, death by gunshot is more likely to be defined as suicide if it took place in the countryside during an organized shoot. It is possible that some suicide cases are not recorded due to the coroners wrongly assume that it is a sudden death instead of suicide.

    • Word count: 493
  10. Discrimination. There are six types of discrimination excluding discrimination known as, nonprejudiced nondiscriminators, nonprejudiced discriminators, prejudiced nondiscriminators, prejudiced discriminators, and dindividual discrimination. I am only goin

    In our society, sometimes there are people that are too stereotypical. An example of it is when an employee at a retail store see a color person that dress up poorly or ghetto, that employee will think that the color person is stealing or doing bad things. Then there is also the people who are disable too that other peoples will discriminate against too. Those who get target against most often are a person of different skin color, disabled people, abnormal people, and religious people. According to Joan Ferrante, discrimination (p 255)

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  11. Evaluation of Functionalism and Marxism

    Major functionalist influences including Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) and Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) believe that society is made up of different interrelating systems, all of which have their own vital purposes and functions, which depend upon one another. An organic analogy is often used to liken the operation of society to that of the human body - The human body is also dependent on its various systems working together to keep it alive and well. As discussed before, functionalists believe that society is based around consensus, agreement and harmony amongst the people, and that order and balance are regarded as the normal state of society.

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  12. Most sociologists do not believe there is any straight forward relationship between religion and social change.

    Weber argued that these ideas helped initiate Western economic development through the industrial revolution and capitalism. The obsessive work ethic and self discipline showed by Calvinists, inspired by a desire to serve God, meant that they reinvested, rather than spent their profits. Such attitudes were ideal for the development of capitalism. To a certain extent religion is a force for social change. Max Weber argued the influence of religious leaders can bring about social change. Weber argues that religious and other authority takes on three forms.

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  13. - APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY

    F. Skinner investigated operant conditioning using pigeons and rats in Skinner boxes and discovered many of the principles of operant conditioning applied to human beings. Again, operant conditioning can explain abnormal behaviour. For example, adolescents who are ridiculed (punished) for being fat may stop eating to reduce their weight and go on to develop an eating disorder. Abnormal behaviour can be unlearned using the same conditioning principles. For example, Watson & Rayner (1920) proposed to rid Little Albert of his fears by pairing a reward (e.g. a sweet) with the sight of a rat until his fear was extinguished.

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  14. Biomedical and the socio-medical models of health

    consequences of behaviour such as poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, drug addiction, sexual practices or lack of exercise. On this argument, inequalities in health will be reduced when people make healthier personal behavioural decisions. The health selection explanation argues that people in ill health will inevitably fall to the bottom of society and that therefore inequality is inevitable and will persist. People in this group are also least likely to alter unhealthy lifestyles. The structural explanation sees factors outside the individual's control affecting life and health chances. Issues relating to the form and nature of employment and unemployment are critical; as is the individual's position in society relating to, for example, home ownership, education, income, quality of life, living conditions and poverty (where few people have any real choice).

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  15. The effect of government laws and social policies on family life.

    Also as women now had the choice of having children it changed their rights which also had an impact on the men as they didn't have all of the power. Following this the abortion act was legalised in 1967 under the labour government. This meant that even if women did become pregnant they to some extent still had the choice of whether they actually had the child. This had basically the same affects on the family as the contraceptive pill becoming available did because it gave women a choice which gave them more power both in society and the family.

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  16. Sociology of education

    latest stage was a symmetrical family where conjugal roles which had been separated, (husbands had played no part in the raising of the children or domestic chores) where now joint. Segregated conjugal roles were uncommon among middle class families but were a prominent in the working class; this is where the concept of the housewife was created .Ann Oakley's research differed from this definition; in her study she found that there was a greater equality amongst the middle classes, in terms of domestic conjugal roles.

    • Word count: 1708
  17. How can the activities illustrated in Items A and B be seen as religious? Item A depicts President Clinton flanked by athletes saluting the American flag, Item B is similar, showing Catholics carrying a statue of their neighbourhoods patron saint in Ha

    Weber explains that a belief in a power above the forces of nature is supernatural, which fits the definition. Durkheim's part of this definition, relation to things of a sacred nature can also be seen, the obvious sacred item is the American flag, it is, as Durkheim said, something that is " set apart and forbidden... evokes strong emotions of awe, respect and deference. " Nearly every American respects their flag, and would thus consider it sacred. Item A also fits the functional definition of religion, Durkheim says religious beliefs and practices "unite into one single moral community...

    • Word count: 953
  18. Sociologists who have studied the role of religion in society, and perhaps more specifically Functionalists and traditional Marxists often tend to adopt the view that religion is a conservative force.

    sacred quality and thus acting as moral codes, both formal and informal controls, to regulate out social behaviour and as a result control social change. Religion may also provide social integration and solidarity by encouraging collective worship to strengthen commitment and group unity. Uniting members with shared values and thus reinforcing social solidarity can also mean that deviant behaviour is restrained and social change restricted, by establishing collective conscience and obligations between people. Another way in that religion can be seen to inhibit change is in the prevention of anomie whereby religion acts as a barrier to social upheaval of religious revivalist movements that may create normlessness and so behaviour of society's members are less regulated.

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  19. Assess the usefulness of observations in sociological research

    However, covert observations can create issues with regards to safety. Patrick put himself in danger as the other gang members regarded him as a member and therefore expected him to participate in what were often illegal and violent acts. James Patrick's research had high ecological validity as it studied naturally occurring behaviour. We can conclude that the behaviour was natural as the gang members were unaware that they were being observed. In addition to this, the data collected was primary. This meant that it was contemporary and more accurate than secondary data may have been.

    • Word count: 1350
  20. Assess the view that the main aim of social policy has been to reduce social class inequality in education

    By 1944 it had become obvious that the state education system was failing the working classes and something had to be done. The war had brought different classes together somewhat and it was realised that a fairer education system was needed to provide social justice and reduce class inequality. The Act introduced the 11+, an exam sat by 11 year old children to determine the secondary school they went to. Three types of schools were available; grammar schools (for those who passed the 11+), secondary moderns (for those who failed the 11+)

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  21. Examine the Main Trends in Births and Deaths in the United Kingdom Since 1900

    Although these factors have been proven by sociologists to have caused a decline in birth rates, there has been a slight increase since 2001 due to immigration, as mothers from outside the UK have a higher fertility rate. Another reason for the decline in the birth rate is that women are now more independent and focusing on pursuing a career rather than having children and starting a family. This is mainly due to more educational opportunities open to women.

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  22. To the study of effect of industrialisation in Kolam village of Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh, I stratified 50 out of 75 households in the village for the survey to find out the situation of villagers, land holding patterns and resource availability be

    Primary data ii. Secondary data 7.2.3. Collection of Primary Data The primary data was done mainly by personal interviews and informal meetings. Primary data is collected at quantitative level and qualitative level. The quantitative data collected is based on individual questionnaires. Qualitative data is collected through focus group discussion, meetings with SHG members and teachers. 7.2.4. Collection of Secondary Data Secondary data pertaining to the Socio-Economic Profile of the study area in terms of the records collected from: Table 1: Secondary Source of data Sl No. Source Data 1 Gram Panchayat Office (Chitwahi) Village level Information 2 Anganwadi Records (Kolam)

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  23. Assess the view that the main aim of educational policy is to reduce social class inequality

    Although at face value it looks as though this policy is reducing social class inequality, the 11+ exam and the Tri-partite system have been criticised. This is because the 11+ exam was seen as being biased in favour of middle class pupils. In addition, there was supposed to be a parity of esteem between the 3 schools. However, Grammar schools were deemed much better. Further to this, working class children who secured a place at a grammar school by passing the 11+ exam couldn't even go anyway, as the price of various uniform and sports attire was too much.

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  24. Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, divorce and cohabitation over the past 40 years

    A reason for this is probably because couples want to "Test the water" before they make any commitments. Evidence to support the "marrying later in life" view is that the average age for first-time bridges in 2003 was 29 years and for all grooms 31 years, compared with 22 for women and 24 for men in 1971. In particular women may want to delay marriage so they can advance their career prospects. As well as a decline in the total number of marriages, there is also a decline in marriage rates (the number of people marrying per 1000 of the population aged 16 and over).

    • Word count: 1523
  25. Assess the extent to which Marxist and Feminist theories help our understanding of religion in society today.

    This example shows that despite the priest being a catholic and well aware of the 'afterlife', he was fed up of the oppression of the Proletariat and as a result rebelled to help improve their positions. As is seen from the above point, a Marxist theory of religion is that there is a distinction between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat.

    • Word count: 1423

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