GCSE: Sociology essays

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1,931 GCSE Sociology essays

  • Marked by Teachers essays 13
  • Peer Reviewed essays 11
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the Functionalist and Marxist views of society.

    5 star(s)

    Functionalism was developed by Emile Durkheim, he believed like Comte that sociology should be viewed as a precise science and that society should be studied objectively. Durkheim placed an enormous amount of emphasis on social facts which he saw as ways of acting, thinking or feeling that are external to individuals and have their own reality outside the lives and perceptions of individual people. This is known as the macro approach, which places a great emphasis on the structure of society and how an individual operates with that society.

    • Length: 949 words
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Youth is just a biological stage" evaluate this claim

    5 star(s)

    All these things tend to happen no matter their influences. However, youth is not just a biological stage and although children grow physically their minds also, nowadays it appears that youth may be more related to âtransitionâ and change. Transition basically means a period of change from one stage to the next and it can be defined differently in different cultures. Many cultures have special ceremonies to recognize these significant times, often known as ârites of passageâ. Some examples of ârites of passageâ include Jewish boys and girls having a bar mitzvah at the age of 12 or 13, during this time they will learn more about their religion and prepare for their future as a Jewish adult.

    • Length: 988 words
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Marriage is no longer important. Evaluate the arguments for and against

    4 star(s)

    For example, a man with a fortune of 10 million pounds, might get married to someone and after a while, decides to get a divorce. As they are married they man might end up having to give a few million pounds in a divorce settlement to his âwifeâ, so many people cohabit as it is quite easy to separate. One of the reasons why marriage is no longer important, because of the expense of marriage, as marriages can cost up to the thousands of pounds.

    • Length: 1736 words
  4. Marked by a teacher

    All crime would be solved with longer prison sentences. Evaluate the arguments for and against.

    4 star(s)

    in prison, you can't commit crime (unless it�s against their fellow prisoners), therefore having criminals in prison must reduce the number of committed crimes and the longer they are in prison the longer they can�t commit crimes for.   Another reason why introducing longer prison sentences would help solve all crime is, because it helps reform criminals, teaching them many skills, which will hopefully help them when they are released from prison and help them prevent committing further crimes. It also helps reform them through rehabilitation and giving them the change to receive an education and gain qualifications.

    • Length: 602 words
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Deviance is relative. Evaluate this term

    4 star(s)

    An obvious act is lawbreaking. Killing someone, for example, is seen as horrific, but it is not always seen as deviant. For example in self defence. Someone could be a victim of an armed robbery and might stab the burglar in defence. Murder would be seen as okay by most people as it is a form of self defence. Also, soldiers fighting in the war might kill lots of soldiers on the opposition, but even though they have killed people soldiers are still deemed ?heros? by society and their act of killing people is not seen deviant as that is their job and what they are expected to do.

    • Length: 666 words
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse the extent to which bias, influence and attitude formation are important issues in the sociology of the mass media. Use two contrasting theories and relevant studies in your answer.

    4 star(s)

    This model states that the media expects an anticipated response; this is known as the "preferred reading". It sees the messages as being fed to the audience in a slow drip, drip process over a long period of time. Media companies no longer are restricted by national boundaries so powerful co-operations are able to gain monopoly and control over the industry. This is known as concentration of ownership. For example, there are only 5 huge co-operations that own all of mass media in the USA. Rupert Murdoch has control and ownership of over 40% of the mass media on a global level.

    • Length: 1734 words
  7. Marked by a teacher

    outline and evaluate feminist contributions to our understanding of gender

    4 star(s)

    Feminists have challenged the relationship of men and women as one where women belong to one group and men belong to the other. Whilst 1st wave Feminism (1850-1930) gained women the right to vote, 2nd wave Feminism has also resulted in great improvements of the lives of 20/21st century women. It has heightened awareness of gender issues in areas like the family, the workplace, education, and the media to mention a few. Some of the successful Feminist campaigns resulted in things such as the 1975 sex discrimination act, the 1970 equal pay act and women's refuges.

    • Length: 1270 words
  8. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the claim that the family has become increasingly symmetrical

    4 star(s)

    Willmott and Young take a 'march of progress' perspective on the family and its history. The family is viewed as a progressively improving situation for all members and that is becoming more equal and democratic. They also argue that for a while now the trend has been a movement away from segregated conjugal roles and towards joint roles where everyone helps in a 'symmetrical family'. Willmott and Young's definition of a symmetrical family is one where although not equal, the husband and wife roles are far more similar, this is because couples are now spending far more leisure time together whereas before the man would have gone to the pub or working men's club and wife would have looked after children or socialised with other housewives or relatives.

    • Length: 1452 words
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of the family.

    4 star(s)

    New Right considered any type of family that wasn't nuclear as deviant. Thus it could be assumed that the contribution of functionalists is limited and does not significantly aid our understanding, as many of us acknowledge there are alternative family structures such as single-parent families or gay and lesbian families. Additionally in the period of the modernity there were other views of society that began to establish themselves and many that were contradicting functionalism such as feminists, that felt functionalists do not look at the negative aspects and only concentrate on the positive region.

    • Length: 2664 words
  10. Marked by a teacher

    Should drugs be legalized in the UK?

    3 star(s)

    They just want to change their situation and their life style. If they're depressed, they want to become happy. If they are stressed or nervous, they want to relax, and so on. By taking drugs, young people often think they can be the person they want to be. Therefore eventually, the continuation of taking drugs becomes the problem. Young people have to remember that no matter what, drugs won't help them in any situation. Difficult as it may be to face the current problems, the consequences of drug use are always worse than the current problem one is trying to solve with them.

    • Length: 1543 words
  11. Marked by a teacher

    Does the nuclear family benefit the bourgoisie?

    3 star(s)

    Marxists tend to see institutions like the family in terms of what they do to support the overall structure of capitalist society, their function within the limit of a particular form of economic production. Unlike Functionalist sociology, Conflict sociology tends to view these functions from more than one angle (for example, the family as an institution may serve useful purposes for upper class men, but not for working class women). Eli Zaretsky ("Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life", 1976) a Marxists believes that the family is a prop to the capitalist society.

    • Length: 1102 words
  12. Marked by a teacher

    Essay on Alienation

    There may even be the Alienation from the family due to marital constraints and the child is compelled to make the choice of which person they will stay with, this makes them feel alienated from the other parent as they might like both as both might have their advantages and disadvantages. This might also lead to being abused by the parent as the child is basically being isolated or tries to avoid the parent the only person they have learnt to love due to them fearing because they might be ridiculed or abused, they feel the compelling sensation to lock themselves up or just hide away and not meet their fears.

    • Length: 829 words
  13. Marked by a teacher

    Childhood in crisis - pressures on today's children.

    In the present system of society and education, nobody takes the responsibility of the child's wellbeing. Parents think that it is the responsibility of the teachers, because child stays in the school for six hours a day. While teachers are of the view that it is the duty of the parents, because the children belong to their parents, and in future the children will come to any use only to their parents and families. (Swain.R, n.d, retrieved from http://www.publishyourarticles.org/knowledge-hub/essay/essay-on-childhood.html ) As nobody is much concerned about the children thinking and attitude, the levels of depression and antisocial behavior in children have increased dramatically in modern societies.

    • Length: 794 words
  14. Peer reviewed

    Assess the Functionalist claim that the family benefits both individuals and society as a whole

    5 star(s)

    As the family forbids relations outside of marriage, it stabilises the system, and prevents conflict for the individuals involved. He claims that the Reproduction factor is key in maintaining and continuing our society, as we would not exist without it. The Economic function of the family has furthered the family from being a unit of production to a unit of consumption; this supports society's economy as opposed to self-sufficiency. Lastly, the Education function performs the primary socialisation of young individuals, and adjusts the family to the norms and values of society's culture.

    • Length: 1306 words
  15. Peer reviewed

    Outline + Discuss the View That Roles of Men and Women in the Family are Becoming More Equal

    5 star(s)

    a lot in common. This type of diversity would require its own set of studies and essays, and so for the sake of this essay I shall limit my studies to families from this country, and to statistical evidence; rather than individual families. There are many different views concerning the equality between men and women in the family. The traditional nuclear family as we consider it today would be a married man and woman with children, with the man going out to paid employment and the woman staying at home to do housework and look after the childrenWillmott and Young's views are similar to those of Postmodernists, a sociological school of thought that developed in the 1980s.

    • Length: 1742 words
  16. Peer reviewed

    Are the differences between radical and liberal feminism greater than what unites them?

    5 star(s)

    Liberal feminists thus believe all humans are of equal moral worth, regardless of their sex amongst other things like class or race. Individuals should be judged on rational grounds and thus women should be regarded as rational creatures in their own right. One should instead take into account their talents and personal worth. This leads to the belief in equal rights for all, both publicly and politically. Mary Wollstonecraft's 'Vindication of the rights of Women' argued this. In addition Mill argued that sex was merely an 'accident of birth' and was irrelevant compared to the notion of reason.

    • Length: 1641 words
  17. Peer reviewed

    Asses whether sociology could and/or should becomeconstrued as scientific

    5 star(s)

    In the mid eighteenth century science became, as Hamilton (1992) would say it, "for the intellectuals of the Enlightenment, the epitome of enlightened reason." Science was perceived as knowledge that people could trust and that would be true for all circumstances, hence, science became a powerful force in society and assumed a new status as a superior form of understanding. This belief in science led two strands of sociologists being formed, Positivists by Comte and anti-Positivist by Mead. Positivists want sociology to be regarded as a science as they believe that it did not develop independently of science.

    • Length: 1379 words
  18. Peer reviewed

    Assess the view that religion is a conservative force within society (40).

    5 star(s)

    Durkheim viewed religion as being a major source of social integration - all religious activity has one main function - the celebration of the community. Religion is not about the worship of god, but of society. People are drawn together through religious activity and this helps to create a value consensus and a common belief system containing the collective morality of that society. Durkheim saw religion as being social cement, binding people together. Durkheim's conclusions are based on his analysis of aboriginal society.

    • Length: 1610 words
  19. Peer reviewed

    Is the Nuclear Family universal?

    4 star(s)

    A sexual relationship was a point Murdock thought was important, within most societies there are rules that limit sexual relationships or even forbid them before marriage. Sexual relationships provide sexual gratification for both adults in the relationship. This makes the family stronger as the strong emotions sex creates helps bring them closer together. Not only this, but it helps strengthen society as the disruptive effects that would result is there was a free for all helps to unite people. This function applied to most societies making it a universal feature of the nuclear family.

    • Length: 1280 words
  20. Peer reviewed

    To what extent have the goals of feminism been achieved?

    4 star(s)

    Another major social goal for the feminist movement is the equal treatment of women in the media, including an end to media and advertising exploitation of women's bodies. This has always been seen as a crucial area by feminists, as sex-role theory states that men and women will mirror the characters they see in the media, meaning that they will continue with sexist stereotypes that are being shown to them. (Craig 1994) As the media is an area that has traditionally been totally dominated by males, they stereotypes used often to be prejudice against women, and even when they weren't,

    • Length: 2052 words
  21. Peer reviewed

    Assess the contribution of feminist perspective to an understanding of modern family life ( 20 marks)

    4 star(s)

    religion, education and family but rather with the cultures and attitudes of the people in it. They look at the oppression of women to be blamed on the patriarchal society that we live in, and the way that roles are defined by gender, therefore liberal feminists try to overcome the stereotypical views of roles that men and women should do and enable women to have equal rights as men. Much of the inequalities women face according to Ann Oakley is because the central role of the woman is still seen by a male dominated society to be childcare and housework.

    • Length: 1767 words
  22. Peer reviewed

    Examine the usefulness of functionalism for an understanding society

    4 star(s)

    Functionalism can mean positive. The functionalist theory was the very first major attempt to produce a macro view by Parson. Functionalism allows sociologists to look into culture and how people have weddings which are not really necessary for humans. This theory has consensus value and functionalism revolves around society agreeing on norms and values that they see are the key for survival of society, social cohesion. Functionalism shows how each institution such as education, media, and family is all linked together because if family did not teach children norms and values then the education institution would have a difficult time teaching them.

    • Length: 1609 words
  23. Peer reviewed

    Assess the values on sociological research of value free sociology, value laden and committed sociology.

    3 star(s)

    Positivists also refer to social facts. These are the statistics obtained from surveys and official publications. According to O'Connell Davidson and Layder the personal views of the researcher are never relevant in sociological research, and they point to the accuracy of opinion polls on a range of subjects to display the accuracy of their surveys. A second group of sociologists believe that weather objectivity is desirable or not, it can never be achieved within sociology. They are known as value laden sociologists. They also claim that sociologists who argue that the subject is value free are doing it a dis-service.

    • Length: 834 words
  24. Functionalist sociologists agree the family is the key foundation to society.

    * Meeting the member's economic need: society provides the essentials for its members, such as food and shelter. Parsons believes society meets other functions. Family is structured in various forms, depending on the society will affect the shape. Parson perceives two different family structures: * The nuclear family: just two parents and dependent children * The extended family: of three generations living under one roof. The extended family best suits the geographical mobile workforce; this is because this family type was traditional during pre-industrial society. During this period of time, people often spent their existence living in the same village, stuck in the same occupation.

    • Length: 1162 words
  25. Assess the strengths and limitations of experiments for the study of labelling.

    This is known as the "Hawthorne Effect." The validity of the experiment in the classroom may be affected by the teachers acting differently around the children then usual if the researcher is studying them in the room, this can cause the information found by the sociologists to be an incorrect study of what really happens within the classroom. Positivists find that laboratory experiments may cause ethical concerns; this can include a lack of consent needed from the children's parents, as they are unable to give consent themselves.

    • Length: 1487 words
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Sociology is the study of societies, the ways in which they are organised and the groups of which they are comprised. You'll be studying the family, social control, gender, poverty and the world of work amongst many other topics. There will be plenty of discussion and many contentious issues to debate and you'll pick up some valuable skills along the way. In order to succeed you'll need to develop abilities in analysis and interpretation, in critically appraising ideas and policies and in expressing yourself verbally and in writing.

The assessment is done by examination and Marked by Teachers can help you gain the necessary skills. Our site has a large number of GCSE Sociology answers that you can access, gaining an insight into what makes a good essay for the subject at this level.GCSE Sociology is great preparation if you have designs on studying it at Advanced level but it is also a useful subject to have studied if you are going onto take Geography, Politics or Economics.

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