• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

For an increasing proportion of the United Kingdom population, protests and direct action have now replaced voting as a way of achieving political goals.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the view that, for an increasing proportion of the United Kingdom population, protests and direct action have now replaced voting as a way of achieving political goals. It is believed that for an increasing proportion of the United Kingdom population that protests and direct action have now replaced voting as a way of achieving political goals. However how true is this? During the 1950s, it seemed like there was a degree of political consensus. Functionalist argued that class struggle was on the decline and that the worst excesses of capitalism had been overcome by the mixed economy and the welfare state. Classical pluralism is a theory of political power that claims that in western democracies power is dispersed amongst many competing groups. Pluralists argue that Power is diffuse rather than concentrated and that in society a large number of groups represent all the significant and different interests of the population. These groups compete with each other for influence over government. All these groups accept the legitimacy of the decision making process and of its outcome, and the competition between groups ensures that no one group dominates. This classical pluralist position is no longer regarded as an accurate description of the distribution of power in contemporary liberal democracies. ...read more.

Middle

The study reflected the pluralists' preference for the study of specific issues and concrete decisions. Polsby (1963), who argued that sociologists should study specific issues in order to determine who gets their own way, echoes this conclusion. However a clear problem with this approach is that it is only examining the public face of decision-making. A group may also exercise power through its ability to prevent a policy option being considered - a process often called 'agenda setting'. This preventative option is the second dimension of power and is frequently called non-decision-making. Luke criticise the pluralist theory for being to 1 dimensional. The second face of power is managing the agenda and critics of the pluralist view argue that simply studying decision-making ignores a second dimension of power - the ability to control the agenda. Luke's third face of power is manipulating the views of others. He argues that although the second view of power represents a step forward, it still ignores a third dimension. This view sees power as the ability to shape the wishes and desires of others. Quite recently there has been the development of pressure groups, these groups seek to put pressure on decision makers in order to favour their views on policy issues. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although less people tend to be voting there are many reason for this especially in the post-modern society we live in. Many people can no longer be bothered to vote and would rather just get on with their lives. People may also no-longer feel the need to vote as both parties are so much alike as even the left-wing party is now moving to the right. People join pressure groups in the hope to change a certain aspect of society that they don't like or if it's just to get better treatment of money at work. There's a pressure group for everyone and on almost ever issue and with the development of the Internet finding and joining one has never been easier. Voting seems to be a very poor way of getting what you want and the government doesn't always listen anyway, or according to Luke they pretend to listen when infact there mind is already made up. Pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Trade Unions seem to get results if it's in preventing pollution or just getting extra money or more holidays at work. However is protesting and direct action really the best method of getting what you want, sure it gets results but if the state has already decided what's it going to do? ...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. Gender-issues - which way forward

    women presenting in public hospitals were injured in domestic assaults": the bleak reality is that this claim by Stark and Flitcraft was achieved only by classifying all motor-vehicle accidents as domestic violence... the real figure turns out to be somewhere between 2% and 5% - with men almost as likely

  2. The cannabis debate

    If the cannabis consumed illegally now was produced and taxed in Britain in exactly the same manner as tobacco, some £16 billion in excise taxes could be raised for the exchequer. That's enough to pay for 5p off the basic rate of income tax.

  1. The Hidden Curriculum; Hegemony and Capitalism.

    The superstructure consists of the legal, political, religious, intellectual forms through which life is known and lived, schools are a part of this superstructure. The institutions we build, the philosophies we adhere to, the prevailing ideas of the time, the culture of society, are all determined to some extent or another by the economic structure of society.

  2. evaluation of methods

    However I have given them space to write their opinion, to reduce the chance of them getting bored of writing and to make it easy for me, I think I should give them a range of options for them to choose from.

  1. Discuss the contention that postmodern culture and post modern living arrangements are diverse, fluid ...

    men interpret their relationships, reassuring them that their experiences were not unusual (Kimmel and Messner, 2001) These patterns of behaviour are just some of the ways men construct masculinity or provide themselves with re-assurance that positions of friendship are just that.

  2. Working More Creatively With Groups.

    and read over it and then answer three simple questions about it. 1) What does the passage mean to you? 2) Write down a key message from the passage. 3) How does it relate to you as a groupworker? The passage I had was on 'Potent Leadership' and to me

  1. Do you get it? If not youll want to - Salvador ...

    It encompasses "managing one's time, and practicing thrift" (Florida 192). This work ethic is organizational and socially efficient and is found in large corporations that grew economically dominant in the late 1800's. In short, one does ones duty. The bohemian ethic is more pleasure based, and away from gross indulgence and excess.

  2. Absolute Poverty in the United Kingdom

    Unlike in third world countries of which my focus is in the continent Africa, we can argue with many points and evidence that countries in Africa suffer from poverty. This is not in Africa, but a recent example of a people in poverty is Haiti.

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