• 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. The cannabis debate

    Cannabis cannot be patented and it can be grown almost anywhere meaning that local communities have the opportunity for vast new industries. There is huge potential for more jobs, lower cost of living and a higher standard of living, without increasing taxes!

  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.

  1. Consumerism is a concept that has been increasing throughout society.

    It is clear that from this point there was a growing openness to fashion and dependence on acquisition. A second focus of consumerism involving purchases for home and family, points in the same direction. But it was not until the second phase of consumerism began, around about the late 19th

  2. Determining the Elite within Politics and the Judiciary.

    Over the same period the proportion of graduates rose from 17 per cent between the wars to 66 per cent today. In 1997 four times as many Labour MPs were school teachers as miners" (Budge et al 2001 p374) The Parliamentary Labour Party has thus become increasingly white collar, university educated and more solidly middle class.

  1. Social and action theories

    Marxism is a theory of conflict and they claim that there is mass equality and class conflict in our society rather than consensus. There is no common consensus of shared values or interests in our society. There is a class system and the conflict occurs between these classes.

  2. The Hidden Curriculum; Hegemony and Capitalism.

    When students come into a school, teachers make judgements on their ability, based on many different things. These labels are, for example, 'bright', 'able', 'thick', 'less able', 'practical', 'academic' etc. However, these labels are not neutral, nor do they describe the real possibilities of students, but are based on common-sense

  1. Disucss the conention that weak leadership, rather than any economic or political factor was ...

    over how the Chartist movement should be governed, which debatably lead to the inevitable split of Chartism. Two of Chartism's most impressive leaders, Fergus O'Connor and William Lovett loathed for what the other stood for.

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

    (Ehrenreich in Berger et al, 1995). Ehrenreich notes, "Thirty or forty years ago, male interest in consumption and shopping was seen as suspicious". However the 1960's brought James Bond, a cultural icon, who would play a "central role in legitimizing consumption" for men.

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