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Do Youth Subcultures Within our Schools Aid Social Class Replication?

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Introduction

COURSEWORK Do Youth Subcultures Within our Schools Aid Social Class Replication? Aim To investigate the existence and influence over social class replication of youth subcultures, concentrating on commonly accepted groups. The study will focus on 'townies' and 'greebos' and key stage three of the school system. From a sociological point of view it is a relevant topic, as there has been limited research done in recent years, and I wish to follow on from work such as Cohen and Clarke's study of 'skinheads'. Youth culture is an important factor in the socialization of young people, and if it influences class replication then its repercussions affect society as a whole. Personally, I have experienced youth subculture and consequently have the advantage of inside knowledge on which to base my study, and interest in the topic. WORD COUNT 122 Context and Concept I am using an article from 'The Independent' Education section from 31st October 2002 as one of my contexts. It describes how tribal youth subcultures are dividing schools, primarily 'townies' and 'grungers'- a regional variation of the word 'greebo'. It goes on to give definitions of the types, and is based on the author's personal experience and knowledge gained through her own children. It raises the issue of class- the townies are predominantly working class and misbehave, the greebos middle class and hard working. ...read more.

Middle

They would say that youth subcultures such as 'greebos' give youth a sense of identity, status and belonging, which they do not receive within the family during this period of transition. Therefore, they do nothing to maintain or replicate class structure and capitalism. WORD COUNT 491 Main Research Method and Reasons The population will be made up of all school children in England in Key Stage three of the school system. They are already in a sampling frame, divided by LEAs, and then individual schools. Semi stratified sampling will be used, one school will be chosen from each LEA at random, and then all children in the relevant years in that school will be used. Closed question questionnaires will be used to collect the data in this explanatory survey. One theoretical reason for this is because they will collect quantifiable data, a Positivist approach, which is more useful in this case. This can be proved on the grounds of reliability; quantifiable data allows the research to be repeated and the results compared so as to check for bias. Quantifiable data also provides the opportunity for generalisation from a sample, as the data can be compared and contrasted, and this is essential when investigating this aim. Quantifiable data also increases validity; as the person writing the questionnaire asks all the questions without input from the candidate then they should get the information back that they need to answer their original aim, although this does also raise the issue of the imposition problem mentioned later. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no way of knowing if they were completed individually, or whether questions were discussed, which would taint the responses. There is also no way of knowing if the right person filled in the questionnaire, and whether they took it seriously. There is the ethical issue of using children under 16. It may be necessary to seek parental permission, and this would be timely and inconvenient, and could again alter the response rate and damage the quality of representation of the sample. Question design is another practical matter to be considered. It can be difficult to create a questionnaire that is free from leading and ambiguous questions. This would lead to bias and the undermining of objectivity. There is also the theoretical issue, the imposition problem. The writer is imposing their questions on the candidate, meaning they are in way directing the candidate, undermining objectivity and validity. Theoretically, Interpretivists would argue that methods such as unstructured interviews and observation are vastly superior to questionnaires, as they uncover meanings behind actions rather then just establishing the facts, and they emphasise validity. This is because these methods attempt to look at the situation through the eyes of the people themselves, verstehen, and let them speak for themselves about what they see as important and useful. Questionnaires do not take into account the fact that whilst people may share the same views, there reasons for doing so may be totally different. WORD COUNT 348 TOTAL WORD COUNT 1,412 Kate Collier 10/05/2007 Lynn Heath Coursework Page - 1 - ...read more.

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