• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19

A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Chris Swinton - The University Of Hull A-Level Theory + Methods Revision SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY 1. Sociological Analysis - focus here is on social structures or systems sometimes phrased a MACRO or big worldview. Structuralist: - Positivist methodology aimed at being objective + uncovering causal laws. Based on EMPIRICISM i.e. hard data, which proves the theory true. Reliable - Replicable - Based on influence of external forces. Functionalist Marxist Weber as a conflict? Structuralist - mainly in topic stratification --> Giddens' Structuration Theory 1979 - Post Modernism --> Radical ? of +ism, a diverse range of perspectives should be accepted. 2. Individual In Society - focus on the methods, meanings, beliefs + motives of the person * MICRO approach i.e. the reality of 1 person in the day-to-day situation = critical. Interpretivist - How social actors actively make their own social reality - diff to inanimate objects in natural sciences i.e. "Thinking feeling reflexive beings" Methodology is small scale yet in detail there4 high in validity. Backed up by QUALITATIVE DATA i.e. rich in description of words. Weber's PHENOMENOLOGY ETHNOMETHODOLOGY Symbolic S.A.T. from philosophy charting Practical experiments to Interactionist base of meaning. show where commonsense "How you know what you know" meaning lies FUNCTIONalist --> Every part of society or social institution has a function or distinct role in contributing to the well-being + maintenance of society e.g. FAMILY - primary socialisation. Education - Role allocation, important core values + individual incentives to work. KEY PHRASES - "Everything works together for the good of the whole". "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" - ORGANIC ANALOGY. --> Reifying an abstract concept into concrete properties, in this case the human body, where each organ has a distinct function, BUT they work in tandem with each other. The system is self-righting i.e. maintains a sense of balance + equilibrium (HOMEOSTASIS) e.g. when body temp ? ...read more.

Middle

why a person becomes criminal. * SAT sees understanding as the key focus of sociology, not explanation. * Verstehen. Nothing is objective + measurable as everyone has different perceptions. Assumptions - External forces shape our actions. Positive methods will resemble structuralist to explain causal relationships e.g. poverty - influences a woman's reasons for becoming a prostitute. The Importance Of The Theory - SAT offered the 1st rigorous criticism of Structuralist theories, for e.g. Weber's work on the rise of capitalism emphases the role of ideas in producing soc. change. For Marx, economic determinism (ownership of wealth + the means of production) shapes everything else in society. Rather then seeing consciousness + ideas shaped by objective + economic forces, W. sees consciousness, ideas + social situations to be the products of actors (people) in their social groups. There is no objective social reality external to man. It is our own interpretations by what we see class systems etc. Social situations that are defined as "real" by actors and are "real" in their effects. SAT Broken Down * The values + perceptions of a situation determine the actors choice of goals - selection of the means of achieving these goals. * The meanings attributed to the behaviour by the actor + others determines soc. action not external social forces. * The social world exists only in the mind of people. It has not objective (all see in the same way) external reality, in that we all may perceive it differently. * Social order emerges from shared meanings. * Roles = negotiated by people not imposed by a ruling class (Marx) or shaped by a norm (Durk). Method Broken Down * The approach = anti-positivist + rejects scientific measurement + hypothesis. * The sociologist should seek to understand the meanings that the actor attaches to events in the social world. * Insight into the actor's experience of the world can be achieved by understanding the language; meaning can be achieved by "Verstehen Methods". ...read more.

Conclusion

* Make sure the diff strata in the population are correctly represented in sample. * Make sure everyone in the sample population has an equal chance of being selected. * Try to ensure the full sample are interviewed i.e. common fault with postal Q's - their low response rate. --> Similar Q's should be easily understood by different respondents + capable of eliciting a precise answer. Sampling Techniques - Random sample - based on pure chance. Everyone has the same likelihood of being selected. * Systematic (or quasi-random) - every Nth person in the sampling frame is chosen. A sampling force is the list from which those to be sampled are drawn (such as an electoral register). * Stratified - a random sample = taken from predetermined categories such as occupation, age, gender or ethnicity. This ? the chances of obtaining a representative sample. * Quota sampling - the "High Street" version of stratified. The researcher stands in a city centre street + interviews quotas of people e.g. N number of single men, women aged over 30, manual workers, etc. This is a quick but less reliable method. * Cluster or multi-stage sampling - Instead of researchers interviewing respondents in every city a no# or representative cities are selected. Then a number of representative areas are selected within each of the selected cities. Thus one sample is drawn from another. Samples can be UNREPRESENTATIVE yet still produce valuable results --> Snowball sampling - based on personal recommendation + is sometimes referred to as opportunity sampling. The researcher finds 1 suitable respondent, who then introduces the researcher to another suitable respondent who in turn, introduces the researcher to another and so on. It provides a way of investigating groups, which may be reluctant to be investigated. Respondent Sampling - Those selected = of particular relevance to the investigation. Classic e.g. = The affluent worker study (1968) in Luton. The above-average wages of the Luton car workers made them untypical of the British W.C. But this very untypically made them an ideal group on which to test out the embourgeoisiement theory. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. The classical and positivist approaches to criminological theory

    It proposed a clear, concise code, with limited power of judicial discretion and interpretation, with proportionate punishment to deter rather than to 'may the criminal pay'. The positivist theory was much less radical in its approach, despite the difference in period within which it emerged.

  2. This essay will compare two different sociological perspectives Marxism and Functionalism through society and ...

    Individuals can release energy and manage their tensions and tempers in a societal acceptable way as sport does underline traditional values like competition, success, etc. Sport can prepare individuals to cope with social qualities like challenges, teaches basic values, norms and beliefs (Coakley, 2004), which can be used in other social situations.

  1. Compare and contrast Karl Marx's and Michel Foucault's analysis of the concept power.

    However because of there being so many competing ideas, institutions and discourses no single authorised truth can ever emerge to dominate society. So, in a sense biopower is liberating, because one can choose a position(s) from one of many circulating through culture, but it always produces a resistance so never completely achieves its goals.

  2. Social structure today has 4 main components: status, roles, groups, and institutions. Each ...

    This social network ties people directly and indirectly and forms stronger bonds between the individuals (Ferris 153). Groups are also directly tied to the last structure block in our society. Institutions are establishments in our social structure that govern our behaviors and actions through a system that has standardized patterns of rules and regulations (Elements).

  1. "Compare and contrast the functionalist and Marxist competing views concerning the purpose of the ...

    This is the socialisation process that Marx believed led to their being such an unfair, closed or caste system with no chance of meritocracy. Marxism stresses the negative view on the substructure believing that the representatives of the state are put into their positions of power by the bourgeoisie, and

  2. The Fundamental Differences Between Functionalism, Marxism and Social Action Theory.

    The various parts of the society, such as the family or religion must be seen in relation to society as a whole. (Haalambos and Halborn, 5th Edition, 2001,page 9) Most functionalist agree that society is structured and that the majority of the citizens are bound by a set of rules (the expected norms and behaviours).

  1. Discuss the key concepts within, and state the similarities and differences between, the following ...

    Functionalists continue by stressing the importance of compatibility between the institutions, arguing that they are inter-related and inter-connected in their maintenance of society, much like the human body and its various organs. [Haralambos & Holborn 6th ed.] If an organ such as the heart were to fail, the whole system would fail and the organism would die.

  2. Outline Some Of The Key Tenets Of The Functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist Theories Of ...

    where the skills they need to obtain to become a member of society are gained, such as respect and following rules that are in place. Emile Durkheim suggested the idea of differentiation. He said that as societies develop and become more complex, they need to enhance the division of labour and provide specialist agencies for executing this function.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work