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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. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that are evitable short lived and of little influence in contemporary society.

    Other individuals still seem to drink and smoke and this will never change as society is set on rules which maintain the way people think of life. As of now teenagers drink and will do whatever people say to them so these groups are not having a big influence on them. Many New religious movements have become to die out or most likely form in to a denomination. Usually a sect requires a strong, significant leader but when this leader dies, members of that particular NRM are in confusion of what to do, so many stray and most likely go back into their original way of life in modern society.

    • Word count: 3036
  2. Sociology independent project - mormons

    stated that he was disturbed by all the different denominations of Christianity and wondered which was true. In 1820, when he was 14, he went into the woods to pray concerning this and allegedly God the Father and Jesus appeared to him and told him not to join any of the denominational churches. Three years later, on Sept. 21, 1823, when he was 17 years old, an angel called Moroni, who was supposed to be the son of Mormon, the leader of the people called the Nephites who had lived in the Americas, appeared to him and told him that he had been chosen to translate the book of Mormon which was compiled by Moroni's father around the 4th century.

    • Word count: 2377
  3. Discuss the relationship between the role of social worker and the core value base. Consider changing the role of social worker in today(TM)s society.

    There are many things that have to be considered, for example, legal implications, there are many laws and regulations that are statutory and have to followed. Then there are the ever changing minor regulations that change from time to time. Whether it the colour of paperclips or the new terminology that is changing. For example, the use of citizen instead of client or service user. Then you also have the moral and ethical implications which you could be faced with.

    • Word count: 1143
  4. Social research

    E.g. engineers, technicians, assembly line workers, graduates. Jones and Rugg noted that all the people in their study faced problems relating to employment and housing and most solved this problem by staying in the family home for longer than they would have liked. Almost all of the young people said that the limited availability of affordable housing was a major factor in why they didn't leave the parental home. As the study was based on the countryside, many of the graduates said even if they wanted to stay in the countryside they were still constrained even more.

    • Word count: 1748
  5. sociological imagination

    In everyday language people may refer to the word 'society' as something that exists 'somewhere'. We talk about 'The British Society' for example. 'Society' in this tense therefore consists of individuals and these individuals have a connection in some sort of way, which then may relate to the word 'culture'. I will go into more detail about the connection between 'culture', 'society' and 'the individual' further on in my essay. "There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals and their families" (Thatcher). In relation to this quote, society is a generalised idea; you cannot think of a specific picture that illustrates the word 'society'.

    • Word count: 2139
  6. Sociological Theories

    These are examples of both formal and informal sanctions. The functionalist perception of religion is that it gives its' followers a basic set of shared beliefs, traditions, values and norms, this is otherwise known as a collective consciousness which make social life possible as without it a society cannot continue. Durkheim went on to explain that collective ritual and worship reinforce the collective consciousness and unifies a group of individuals. Durkheim had linked the worshipping of sacred things binding a group together resulting in the promotion of social solidarity this link was the main importance to the social functions of religion.

    • Word count: 1318
  7. Free essay

    To what extent is educational achievement today, still affected by inequalities?

    can originally come from working class backgrounds, pupils can be elected into private schools via a scholarship or may have acquired their wealth via some form of lottery, but they may maintain their working class values and principles and lifestyle. Over the years the government has made various amendments to Education Acts, for example in Butler's 1944 Education Act free education was introduced for all children (Spartacus 1997), to encourage the diminishment of inequalities and therefore reduce the distinction between social classes.

    • Word count: 2041
  8. Critically discuss the theories of modernisation and under-development.

    Hyperglobalists argue that contemporary globalisation defines a new era in which peoples everywhere are increasingly subject to the disciplines of the global marketplace. Although economic forces are an integral part of globalisation, it would be wrong to suggest that they alone produce it. Globalisation is created by the coming together of politics, social, cultural and economic factors. It has been driven forward above all by the development of the information and communication technologies that have intensified the speed and scope of interaction between people al over the world.

    • Word count: 730
  9. Social policy

    Many people consider large families as a blessing for social and cultural reasons. This in turn increases the burden on government resources, since this increase the dependency ratio and creates additional demands for health care and education. (c). Explain how some groups may benefit from having the power to define what is considered a social problem. (8) Ans. (c) Sociologists have argued that 'experts' or those in professional positions have access to knowledge and power, as a result of which certain groups may be in a strong position to establish what is considered a social problem.

    • Word count: 1147
  10. Assess the importance of evidence from studies of social mobility for the main theoretical debates about social class

    Saunders found that the rate of absolute mobility according to this study was 52%. This means that 52% of children in the study were in a different social class to their parents. He also found that in relation to relative mobility, those that were born in the middle class were twice as likely to end up in the middle class than those born in working class were. Due to this evidence Saunders concludes that Britian is a meritocracy as there are high levels of upward mobility between generations due to children acheiving qualifications.

    • Word count: 1562
  11. An investigation into people(TM)s belief about Hell

    question their beliefs in the metaphysical.3 And the participants will be selected using opportunity sampling in the library at Sandown High School. This study aims to look at three things: * Whether more males of females believe in Hell * Whether more religious or non-religious people believe in Hell * Whether peoples' belief about Hell affects their life Context # Context Hell and people's beliefs about Hell have always played a substantial part in the foundations of society. There are many views on what Hell is and how it relates to our lives; some, such as evangelicals, believe that Hell

    • Word count: 6955
  12. 'The data collected using interviews is socially constructed and for that reason it has little value in sociological research.' Explain and assess this view.

    Also, structured interviews allow the testing of a large sample and therefore are more representative of the society. While structured interviews are very straightforward, reliable and replicable, a lot of pre-planning is required. Complex issues cannot be explored in depth therefore affecting the validity of the data generated. Unstructured interviews take the form of conversations where there are no predetermined questions. Although unstructured interviews allow for more valid data by analyzing sensitive topics and complex issue in depth, they may not readily translate into statistical data unlike structured interview in which answers can be expressed quantitatively. The issue addressed in the question refers to a situation when the researcher inadvertently biases the results; a common problem with both structured and unstructured interview.

    • Word count: 838
  13. Crisis of Masculinity

    Why do British boys consistently underachieve academically in contrast to British girls in all subjects in education? In 1977, a school in Birmingham was subjected to an investigation by Marxist sociologist Paul Willis, the discoveries made would be of great importance. Willis wanted to discover why 'working class boys get working class jobs'. He concentrating on one group of boys in particular, these where white males, and referred to themselves as 'the lads', Willis realised that' the lads' fought the system rather than worked within it. These males that achieving academic success and paying attention in class, had no future bearing on the work that they would end up doing in the future.

    • Word count: 1247
  14. Changes in the social structure of education and its impact on class and gender inequalities

    Reforms in education since 1944 were aimed to provide "equality of opportunity" (Parsons, 1959, cited in Fulcher & Scott, 2006, p.321) irrespective of social divisions, to provide reward for value of achievements, which is central to an industrial society. The education system was to ensure that ability and effort decided one's place in society, that class or gender would be no barrier to success. The English state education system is, in historical terms, a recent development. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there was no national education system.

    • Word count: 3391
  15. Assess the reasons for gender differences in Educational Achievement

    Until recent years, the acceptance of these biological theories lead to a gender differentiated curriculum. The next possible idea is Culture. These explanations suggest that the stereotyped gender roles are promoted by the culture of society. Sue Sharpe carried out research in the 1970s, which supported this view. She interviewed working class children, and found that the vast majority of them valued marriage and a family, more than they valued a career. They also indicated that in front of their male counterparts, the females did not want to be seen as intelligent, as they believed that this was an unattractive quality in a female.

    • Word count: 1055
  16. How do race and ethncity impact on formation of identity?

    'Ethnicity' is a term used to describe those that share the same language or nationality, although sometimes they do not share the same identity e.g. the meaning of the term black. During the early 1980's black was used to describe those of Asian decent. During the later part of the 1980's, black, reverted to only describing those of black decent. Woodward (2004, p 119) argues that the 1960's Black is Beautiful movement campaigned the category of black, inclusive of Asians and any other non-white groups, as inappropriate.

    • Word count: 839
  17. Examine the reasons why sociologists choose to use secondary sources when conducting research.

    If a sociologist was studying children and how well they are doing in certain schools he/she could find league tables published by the government on the internet or elsewhere very easily. Another reason why sociologists are much more likely to use secondary data could be due to the fact that it is much cheaper and less time consuming to do so. For example say a sociologist wanted to collect data on primary schools it would cost the sociologist a lot of money to do a longitudinal study into finding out what they really wanted.

    • Word count: 1330
  18. Compare and contrast Marxist and functionalist views of religion.

    Parsons sees religion as being address to particular problems that occur in all societies. He argues that in everyday life people go about their business without particular strain but if life was always like this then religion would most definitely not have the significance that it does. Religion helps to deal with life crises such as death. In this way religion maintains social stability by relieving the tension and frustration that could disrupt social order. Malinowski, a third functionalist, sees religion reinforcing social norms and values and promoting social solidarity. However he does not, like Durkheim, see religion as reflecting society as a whole, nor does he see religious ritual as the worship of society itself.

    • Word count: 1912
  19. Culture & Identity

    Functionalists argue that the value consensus is subject to adaptation and changes. There exists social organisation's which primes society for change. For example education and economic organisations. For functionalists, culture is a product of the social system whereas identity is shaped by social groups , ideas and life styles. A study which contributes to the functionalist perspective of culture is that of Durkheim and Mauss : Primitive Classification (1903). This study makes an attempt to go back to the origins of culture. According to their idea's of culture , it only becomes probable once us as human beings develop the ability to make distinctions amid things and categorize them.

    • Word count: 1831
  20. Evaluate the view that sociological arguments and research findings generally have little influence on the social problems of governments

    He believed it shouldn't remain in the universities and it should be applied to wider society. Comte believed in order and progress, and saw sociology as supplying the ideas to reinforce order in society and direct social progress. Durkheim also focused on the question of order in society. He was concerned with the upheaval he believed resulted from industrialisation and the breakdown of value consensus. He saw sociology as a way of restoring order and strengthening social integration by making people aware of the breakdown. While Durkheim saw sociologists as working with governments to improve existing societies, Marx looked forward to the overthrow of governments and their replacement with communist societies.

    • Word count: 1066
  21. Whats a questionnaire

    If the questionnaire includes demographic questions on the participants, they can be used to correlate performance and satisfaction with the test system among different groups of users. It is important to remember that a questionnaire should be viewed as a multi-stage process beginning with definition of the aspects to be examined and ending with interpretation of the results. Every step needs to be designed carefully because the final results are only as good as the weakest link in the questionnaire process.

    • Word count: 657
  22. What is an Interview

    The interviewing method has strengths and weaknesses to consider when designing research, the design of the interview schedule and those concerned within the interview situation itself. The interview must be created so that the questions appear sensible to the interviewer and the interviewee flowing in an appropriate sequence, especially because the interviewee needs to be warmed up by feeling comfortable and relaxed with the interviewer. The interview is a form of social interaction, which can make it problematic; it reflects the circumstances by which the interview occurred - where it may have occurred whether it's being recorded and even gender of the interviewer.

    • Word count: 596
  23. Do schools provide educational equality?

    Educational Policy: Assimilation Multi-culturalism Anti-racism Research 'within' schools Looking at teachers Wright (1992) found that staff in four multiracial schools researched were committed to the idea of educational opportunity. But, some assumptions they held led to some black children being 'racialised'. That is, these children were unintentionally discriminated against because teachers held beliefs about 'racial' attributes. For example: Asian girls were seen as quiet and submissive and this rendered them 'invisible' in class. Afro-Caribbeans were seen as both behavioural problems and of low academic potential; this resulted in conflict with teachers. Wright (1986): A study of secondary schools focussed on the interaction between teachers and Afro-Caribbean students, which was often characterised by confrontation and conflict.

    • Word count: 1829
  24. To what extent are ethnic minorities treated equally in Britain and America today?

    Racial discrimination was still quite bad and there were obviously people that didn't agree with this idea. People didn't want them to have their say because of their skin colour. A cult was formed in 1866 called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) they were based in Tennessee. The main job and aim of the cult was to stop black people from voting and they wanted to take their rights off them. To do this they killed and tortured black people and any white Americas that felt sympathy for them. To disguise themselves they wore masks, white cardboard hats and white sheets.

    • Word count: 913

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