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GCSE: Sociology

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  1. Does the research method of participant observation (P. O.) reveal more about the society observed or about the cultural preoccupations of the observer?

    and in short, living the life of the people under study". (Hughes, 1976) Participant observation is a key ethnographic data collection technique. The term "ethnography" comes from cultural anthropology, "ethno" means people, and "graphy" denotes the description of something. Therefore ethnography means describing a culture of society and understanding the way of life from the people who actually live in that particular culture or society. Class exercise: The "Outsider" During the class exercise we were split into two groups and were told by our teacher the characteristics of our culture.

    • Word count: 2548
  2. How important is the relation between a person's occupation and his or her identity?

    v A way in which people identify themselves is by 'self categorization' (Turner et al 1987). This is very similar to Althussers´┐Ż Idea of interpellation[S4], in that we identify with a group or individual and then categorise ourselves according to the similarities or differences. v Children do this from a very early age. From the age of two a child, for example a boy, is able to identify with other boys in behaviour and selection of toys with which he's going to play (Bem 1970).

    • Word count: 2214
  3. The Myall Creek Massacre

    Prior to European invasion the Aboriginal people led a fairly nomadic lifestyle, with a belief system based upon that of the 'dreamtime'. "The dreamtime stories were used as an explanation of how the world came to be, and how people must conduct their behaviour and social relations". (6/Richard Broome, Aboriginal Australians, p19). The Aboriginals followed strict traditions, and preferred a life of continuity rather then change. Traditions and belief structures were passed between generations and were deeply engrained in society, ensuring Aboriginal communities were stable and struggles for wealth and power rarely existed.

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    it's about a system recognising the religious purity and individual positioning of people in society. While a caste system exists in cultures beside India, this is the most well known caste which I will be predominantly focusing on, to be exact the Varna Model. These divisions of status seen in a caste are religiously ruled 'arranged in hierarchical order...the Brahmins (priests), Kshatriya (warrior/ king), Vaishya (merchants) and Shudra (servants)' (Jayaraman 4). Below the Shudra is an even lower class known as the Harijan which have been labeled as the "untouchables".

    • Word count: 2640
  5. Discuss the view that the influence of religion on UK society is declining.

    Looking at statistics of ex and current communist countries it is clear that secularisation is very high with the majority of Britain from Chinese decent claiming they have no religion, it is also known that countries that follow a Marxist, however stringently, doctrine that government officials must have no religion, this is very widely enforced within the Peoples Republic of China's administration but not as obligatory within the soviets of the USSR. With only one class there should be no reason for a religion to control society, however when countries became communist the did not all suddenly drop there views

    • Word count: 2314
  6. With reference to the family, consider how functionalist perspective enhances understanding of the diversity of family in today's society

    The diversity of families today includes extended families, lone parent families, reconstituted families, same sex families (which have been endorsed with the introduction of the civil partnership law), cohabiting families as well as childless couples. Murdock's view is becoming outdated and is becoming increasingly hard to achieve, although this is what most people are striving for. Abbott and Wallace (as cited in Cree, 2000) inform us that in Britain approximately only 5% of families conform to the stereotypical nuclear family.

    • Word count: 2164
  7. The Corporate Social Responsibility Debate

    The second part of this essay shall voice the CSR-critic's opinion, such as the views of economist Milton Friedman of America, David Henderson of Britain and Roger Kerr of the New Zealand Business Round Table. Arguments against are that CSR increases costs, mishandles shareholder's money, is difficult to measure and account for and for most firms is merely a public relations ploy. Thirdly, I will evaluate the discussion and draw an informed opinion as to whether I think it is a sensible business strategy.

    • Word count: 2976
  8. Cultural Analysis of a Person: can we read people as cultural texts

    The subject of my assignment will remain anonymous therefore I will be referring to her with an alias name of Sarah Smith As a generalisation, I believe it is safe to say that most women are deeply concerned with how they appear to both people they do and do not know (public and private image). I know for a fact that keeping up appearances is one of Sarah's highest priorities even if she doesn't know this herself. Sarah may influence her image in many different ways; bodily adornment is the most central of these aspects, others to be taken into account are: cosmetics used, diets taken, periods of exercise, language spoken and even what scent she gives off.

    • Word count: 2916
  9. The Cherry Orchard is pessimistic in its analysis of social transition.

    Lopakhin, a local merchant, and Dunyasha, a maidservant, are waiting the return of Madame Ranevsky and her seventeen-year-old daughter, Anya. The audience learns later on that Madame Ranevsky's adopted daughter, Varya, has been overseeing the estate. [H3]In the early scenes of Act I, both Lopakhin and Dunyasha are excited that Madame Ranevsky has returned. Lopakhin begins to reminisce, but beneath his memories lies his self-consciousness: "My father was a peasant... but here I am in a white waistcoat and yellow shoes...

    • Word count: 2785
  10. profile on a learner

    Patterns of adult learning reflect class divisions in society and the different expectations and perceptions resulting from those divisions. Factors such as social class, gender and race impact on decisions to learn, as each is associated with particular cultural pressures and norms. According to Maslow (1973) once physiological needs have been met safety or security becomes predominant. In other words, there is a need for self-preservation and a common concern for the future e.g., will we be able to maintain our property and our job in order to provide shelter and food tomorrow and the next day?

    • Word count: 2190
  11. Why is there unequal division of household labour in most of the society?

    In this article, we address this issue by examining its general situation and exploring different approaches used by different sociologist to account for it. Through this process, it is hoping to find out the most comprehensive approach so as to determine whether the situation can be altered. A great amount of researches on the division of household labour have evidenced that women share the majority of the housework with especially the responsibility for regular, routine repetitive and childcare related housework.

    • Word count: 2730
  12. In this assignment I intend to thoroughly research the theory of Functionalism of the family

    They hold the view that meets well with the needs of an advanced industrial society for a geographically and socially mobile workforce. Functionalists highlight the ideal family type in a modern society, as the nuclear family. With this Marxism theory states the end result was the creation of the ideal family, not only did this provide a means of ensuring the more efficient reproduction of labor power. It also had enormous potential as an ideological weapon backing up the oppression of women.

    • Word count: 2182
  13. Explain the differing reactions of people in Britain to the policy of Evacuating children during the Second World War

    Most small children would have been crying and hugging their mums in confusion as the sources explain. It states "We marched down the school with all the mums and children crying and carrying on". The extraction from the Source states how the children's reactions were different to that of the mothers. "Some (children) remained quite and held on tightly to their mums' hands not really knowing what was going on..." The children would have held on to their mothers because they had no clue to what was going on.

    • Word count: 2982
  14. Why did Plato think women could be legitimate political guardians?

    order and have a constant companionship in the divine order of the world, He or she had to be able to see the way the world was and by doing all these and through their perceptions be able to guide the utopian state correctly and wisely. The object of the philosopher king or 'main goal' was to create a society which heaven would approve of and therefore one the god's approved of, his or her philosophers were to help upheld their laws and ideals, that had been set by the republic, the people underneath the king being the 'guardians' in other wise the guardians of the republic.

    • Word count: 2965
  15. How is the contrast between tradition and modernisation presented in these chapters and how important are the concepts to the novel so far (1-18)?

    Forster explores these three groups by setting them against one another, gradually intertwining their stories until they are complexly linked. One way that Forster presents the contrast between tradition and modernisation within Howards End is his reference and metaphorical uses of both homes and houses. From the opening chapter of the novel the reader is presented with the importance houses will have in the novel with Helen's long and detailed description of both Howards End and the Wilcoxes and then within chapter two an equally detailed account of Wickham place, the Schlegels home, "It is old and little, and is altogether delightful-red brick......

    • Word count: 2171
  16. To what extent do you think that psychology should be useful to society?

    It will be asserted that, in the postmodern era, social psychology is better suited to educating and assisting individual members of society with issues of 'selfhood'. Further, that the decline of traditional society necessitates an acceptance of social psychology as a moral science which provides normative prescriptions for living. Historically, social psychology has appropriately followed the social and political problems of the day both in the USA and Britain. Cartwright (1979, cited in Murphy 1996, pp.172-173) identifies issues arising from WWII, the status of women and urban unrest amongst others.

    • Word count: 2115
  17. Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of British society, but did it exist before within the extended family

    The family functioned to maintain health for its members, as there was no universal health care, they also provided welfare; those in the family who would make it to old age would have been cared for in exchange for childcare services. Then came the industrial revolution. Parsons believed that the industrial revolution brought about the dramatic change from the extended family to the nuclear and three fundamental changes to society. Industrialisation brought the geographically mobile workforce and no longer was the ascription of jobs important, instead achievement became the main and most important method once education had been introduced.

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  18. Are issues of Social Class still relevant in modern society?

    It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggles in place of old ones.' Marx and Engels, (1981) Modern Marxists continue to define the basic 'class' divisions as that between those who own and those who do not own the means of production however, a problem has arisen in their analysis of the 'class' structure as occupations have been further developed (See appendix 1, Standard Occupational Classifications 2000). There is no longer a clear definition of what is considered a 'proletarian' occupation (manual employment), as these types of employment can range from managerial and professional jobs to clerical or administerial occupations.

    • Word count: 2496
  19. How did the Renaissance affect ideas about women? Did it affect them enough?

    Renaissance means 'rebirth' and was the cultural development in England. Some historians argue that the English renaissance had little or no real link to the artistic developments and aims of the renaissance in Italy, though it has been stated that the dominant art form of the English renaissance was different to that of Italy in respect that the English Renaissances' dominant art form was literature and it was during this renaissance that some of the best ever literature written was recorded.

    • Word count: 2583
  20. My general hypothesis of which I'm studying to prove or not is; whether or not household tasks are adopted or allocated due to gender or expectation of gender in heterosexual relationships.

    My general hypothesis of which I'm studying to prove or not is; whether or not household tasks are adopted or allocated due to gender or expectation of gender in heterosexual relationships. My objectives are; * To investigate previous studies in order to understand their views on the allocation of household tasks and the changing distributions of domestic tasks so that then I will be able to compare this information with my own that I have found. * To look at perspectives to provide a deeper understanding of why there may be segregation.

    • Word count: 2085
  21. The consumer society: Has the signification of the product become more important than its functionality?

    This false assumption has lead many to focus on the economy as a social phenomenon; two of the most prominent theorists are seen to be Bourdieu and Baudrillard. Their work demonstrates that by focusing on the consumer as a social phenomenon a clear difference is created between this view and that of the economist. 'Their rational choice has here become conformist choice, the choice of conformity. Needs are directed not so much towards objects as towards values, and their satisfaction initially has the sense of signing up to those values' (Baudrillard, 1998, p70).

    • Word count: 2782
  22. To what extent do sociologists agree that different levels of educational attainment are affected by genetics?

    nurture" debate continues. Many definitions have been given to explain the nature of intelligence. A simple one is "the ability to perceive and solve problems" - the nature of the problems will however depend on the society in which they exist. A lot of research has been aimed at establishing whether, and to what extent, intelligence is inherited. Conclusions have ranged from that of Watson (1931) who stated "There is no such thing as an inheritance of capacity, talent, temperament, mental constitution and characteristics", and that of Floud, Halsey and Martin (1956), who argued "it is well known that intelligence is largely an acquired characteristic", to that of Jensen (1969)

    • Word count: 2043
  23. Social and action theories

    Functionalism A Functionalist study of society would look at Institutional arrangements and relationships and these would form the building blocks of society. The way in which institutions relate to each other determines the structure and basic character of any society. People are born into an existing system of institutional arrangements. These institutions are often compared to the workings of a human body. When all institutions work together there is a healthy society likewise when all the organs in the human body are working well then you have a healthy body.

    • Word count: 2179
  24. Women have been dealing with what we call today as 'gender issues' (to be politically correct) since the beginning of time. Most other people refer to it as chauvinism or discrimination. This thing

    Women were there only to cook and to bare the children of the tribe. But why has society chosen to put these images out there for us to believe. Do we have any proof that their woman were dragged around by the hair, or is it a simple rhetoric devise to play in the mind of our subconscious thinking to lead us to believe that men have and always have been more superior than women. As the ages have passed not much has changed for women.

    • Word count: 2249
  25. All societies and cultures place a great emphasis on the differences between males and females

    Thus the existence of gender specific capacities does not predict how or to what extent they will be used for purposes of adaptation. (Nadelson, pg 4, 1991) Field work carried out by anthropologists within non Western societies provide support for this point, in the East African highlands, where ploughs and animals are absent, the heavy work of cultivation is done largely by women. The same women carry 50-pound loads on their heads over considerable distances, in addition to bearing and raising children and managing their homes.

    • Word count: 2156

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