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GCSE: Sociology

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 13
  • Peer Reviewed essays 10
  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.

    • Word count: 949
  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 ?transition? 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 ?rites of passage?. Some examples of ?rites of passage? 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.

    • Word count: 988
  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 ?wife?, 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.

    • Word count: 1736
  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.

    • Word count: 602
  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.

    • Word count: 666
  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.

    • Word count: 1734
  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.

    • Word count: 1270
  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.

    • Word count: 1452
  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.

    • Word count: 2664
  10. 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.

    • Word count: 1306
  11. 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.

    • Word count: 1742
  12. 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.

    • Word count: 1641
  13. 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.

    • Word count: 1610
  14. 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.

    • Word count: 1280
  15. 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,

    • Word count: 2052
  16. 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.

    • Word count: 1767
  17. 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.

    • Word count: 1609
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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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Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
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  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
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  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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