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AS and A Level: Sociological Differentiation & Stratification
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UK trends - gender
- 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 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 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 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 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 In the family people from working class backgrounds are more likely to marry younger and to get divorced.
- 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 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 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 British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have the highest rates of poverty, living in cramped housing and female unemployment.
- 3 British Indians and British Chinese have higher than average educational success rates.
- 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 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
Lastly, women are said to suffer from horizontal segregation which is the idea of gendered jobs. Women are more likely to have certain occupations which often reflect the "expressive" role outlined by Parsons in which women are claimed to be more caring, therefore women are highly concentrated in jobs such as nurses for example. These are often lower status professions than that of traditional male occupations. Marxist Feminists argue that the cause of gender inequalities in the workplace is not the result of men exploiting women but the exploitation caused by the capitalist system. Marx argued that a reserve army of labour was necessary within the capitalist system, a pool of potential recruits that could be used in times of economic boom then dropped during times of economic slumps.
- Word count: 1553
As put forward by Durkheim, the education system helps to achieve this through the National Curriculum, brought in by the Education Reform Act 1988, which helps to create shared values amongst all pupils throughout the country. Furthermore, Durkheim suggests that subjects made compulsory through the National Curriculum such as History and Religious studies help to enhance cohesion and social stability, minimising conflict within society through value consensus,- keeping social order. In this sense, Functionalism places significant emphasis upon the education system as an institution which contributes to the wellbeing of society.
- Word count: 1589
Sexist attitudes and stereotypical beliefs about gender are culturally constructed and transmitted through socialisation, meaning in order to achieve gender equality, liberal feminists must change society's socialisation patterns. Liberal feminism is an optimistic theory, very much in keeping with the Enlightenment project and its faith in progress. They believe that political action to introduce anti-discriminatory laws and policies is steadily bringing about progress to a fairer society. They also believe changes in socialisation and culture are gradually leading to more rational attitudes to gender and overcoming injustice and ignorance.
- Word count: 1502
Examine the weakness of different types of documents used in a sociological research. Examine why positivist prefer quantitative data whilst interpretivists prefer qualitative data.4 star(s)
For example, there was claim that Hitler diaries were fakes. Personal documents may also potentially lack the credibility. Documents may be difficult to believe, when considering the author's sincerity. For example, politicians may write diaries that inflate the own importance. The availability of personal documents may be difficult for researchers to gain access to. For example, private documents such as diaries are becoming less available sociologist. However, a document written for personal purposes has a high degree of validity. It permits the researcher to get close to their social actor's life in giving them a genuine insight through the detailed qualitative data.
- Word count: 865
According to Scott (1991) the upper class maintains their "ruling" position through part taking in the Old Boy Network. This is a type of social exclusion which ensures that high status jobs (according to the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NSSEC) scheme these are jobs like large employers or high managerial occupations) are "banked" for other upper class-men. This could also be called "Elite Self-Recruitment. Next is the middle class who typically included populace with professional occupation, for example teachers. They are the second-smallest, they don't have as much power as the upper class-men, and however they still have high-status occupation which provides generous incomes, usually in the non-manual (tertiary)
- Word count: 1407
comparative study of crime rates in different countries. Positivists favor the use of official statistics, as they are useful for identifying correlations. In Durkheim's study of suicide (1897) he was able to identify religious beliefs as a significant social factor in the explanation of why people committed suicide. Official statistics are very high in terms of reliability and representativeness. Sometimes the entire population is required by law to provide statistical information often relating to demographic and economic trends. As well as this, the government has the necessary resources to carry out this type of sampling.
- Word count: 993
Durkheim argues that education prepares young children to be able to conform to social life. By teaching the children values, norms and to obey authority and understand their role in society, education fulfils the needs of society. School can be viewed as a miniature model of the social system whereby children are given their first doses of interaction with different people and start to understand how society works; Durkheim states that this would develop a sense of self discipline in the children.
- Word count: 1105
Functionalism is a macro structural theory, which focuses on the needs of the social system as a whole. It is a modern theory and shares the goals of the Enlightenment project. For Parsons, the central question sociology tries to answer is "How is social order possible?" Parsons would argue it is achieved through the existence of a shared culture, or in his own words, a central value system. This provides a framework of what is socially acceptable. Social order is only possible if members of society are on these norms and values, this is what Parsons calls, a value consensus.
- Word count: 1844
Produce an essay identifying the different sociological approaches to secularisation with reference to Marxism, Webber and Durkheim.4 star(s)
The Education System can place religion where it wants on the time table, not religion dictating to the Education System. This in itself shows how it would lead to a reduction in religion. If religion is given less time in people's everyday life, whereas before, in pre-industrial society people would spend as long as they needed practicing and reading religious literature. The average 9-5 job and school timetable does not allow this. Durkheim, however, did not believe religion is condemned.
- Word count: 1909
However some sociologists disagree that religion can change society. Functionalists such as Durkheim argue religion is a conservative force which promotes the 'collective conscience'; the morals and values a society abides by. Functionalists see religion as the 'social cement' which is needed for society to stay healthy and bind the masses together. There are examples to support this view. Firstly, the Ten Commandments which are heavily tied to our legal system are used as the moral guidelines and values to live by.
- Word count: 1029
Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of religion to social change (18 marks)3 star(s)
Again preparing people of life under capitalism as it requires hard work. Weber did not say that Calvinism was the cause of modern capitalism, but that it was one of the causes. Weber's theory is often seen as a direct assault on Marx's theory. Bruce was interested in the relationship between religion and social change he compaired two examples of religiously inspired protests movements in the USA, the civil rights movement and the new Christian right. According to Bruce the black civil rights movement in the 1950's and 1960's was an example of religiously motivated social change.
- Word count: 1338
Assess the functionalist view that religion benefits both society as a whole and its individual members.3 star(s)
While participating in shares rituals binds individuals together reminding them that they are a part of a community which they owe loyalty. The power of society came from these rituals and without them they are nothing, to which they owe everything. The individual see's religion performing a significant function allowing them to feel apart of society and seeing that religion strengthens us to face life's trials and motivates us to overcome obstacles that would otherwise overpower us. Like Durkheim Malinowski sees religion as reinforcing social norms and promoting social solidarity, however, unlike Durkheim he does not see religion as reflecting society as a whole or interpret ritual as the worship of society itself.
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Marx comments on religion disguising the true nature of exploitation, they see religion as a means to justify economic and social inequality in supernatural terms. Marxist theory on religion, like all sociological theories, can be highly criticized. As such by functionalists who see religion as the 'social cement' which holds society together and which promotes a 'collective conscience'. For example the Ten Commandments are used as the societal rules to live and abide by. Primarily functionalists see religion as a positive influence on society whereas Marxists see it only positive to the dominant, capitalist ruling classes.
- Word count: 1066