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

Using examples describe a range of sociological perspectives and theories (including both classic and contemporary perspectives)

Extracts from this document...


Unit 4: Applying Sociology Task One 1. Using examples describe a range of sociological perspectives and theories (including both classic and contemporary perspectives) Sociologists try to explain how society orders itself but there are many different theories for this, which often conflict with one another. Some of these classic theories include Marxism, Functionalism, and Interactionism. There are also more modern or contemporary theories such as Feminism. Each sociological perspective has different beliefs. Marxists are concerned with the distribution of economic power and wealth. They believe that society is in conflict between two classes. Those classes are the Bourgeoisie; who own the means of production, i.e. land and the Proletariat; who sell labour to these owners for wages. The Proletariat are being exploited in order for the Bourgeoisie to gain economic and cultural power over them; Marxists believe this leads to antagonism, arguments and conflict between the two classes. An example of this could be in a factory. The manager owns the factory, which is a means of production, so he is a Bourgeoisie whereas the factory workers are the Proletariat because they work for the manager in exchange for wages. Functionalists argue that society is organised much like the Human Body. Everything must function correctly in order for society to work as a whole, just like every organ in the body must function correctly in order for the body to work as a whole. ...read more.


Marxist Feminism argues that a capitalist system benefits from women. Feminists who agree with the tenets of Marxist and socialist feminism believe women are seen as a sex class, gendered by society into a secondary position through a systemic sex gender system that dictates social roles, purposes, and norms. These feminists believe that women are exploited as both a sex and a class, and that women are consigned to reproduction and their natures. Men take the roles of goods production and potentially reach freedom. To change this situation, Marxist and socialist feminists seek an end to gendered socialization, an alliance of oppressed groups, and a beginning of a sharing of the wealth.? Anti-Racist Sociologists believe that society is racially structured and that it works in order to protect the interests of the white majority at the cost of minority ethnic groups. They believe that society is at conflict between ethnic minorities and whites. Anti-Racist sociologists see society as black and white with White people being the oppressors and Black people being the oppressed. They see racial discrimination at many different levels; individual, institutional, and societal playing a large factor in determining the life experiences and events of a non-white individuals and groups. They believe that encouraging tolerance of different cultures cannot just solve the issue of 'race' and ethnicity because for some it is deeply ingrained in the minds, culture and institution of Whites. ...read more.


Because of this they are really set apart from the other sociological perspectives. So their big weakness is that none of it explains human behaviour it just thinks of solutions for the environment and tries to change human behaviour to be more environmentally friendly. 3. Explain the methods of research and social investigation that are used by sociologists in relation to the development of social behaviour. Sociologists are much like researchers because they have to research their chosen area and look into it more. The way they do this can affect the outcome so it is important to be extremely careful. Here are some popular methods: Questionnaires Questionnaires are the most common marketing research method. They are used for structured interviews, written surveys, e-mail and internet surveys. They are written lists of questions that you distribute to your users who in turn fill them out and return them. Interviews An interview is a face-to-face meeting between a researcher and subject. It enables the former to attempt an assessment of the personality, competencies, appearance and manner of the applicant and to confirm, discuss and expand upon the formal details already recorded on a questionnaire. Observations Observation means watching a particular group to see how they interact with each other and what they do on a normal basis. For example, someone may observe a classroom, an encounter between doctor and patient, or the way people use public parks. Some observers actually participate in the group which they are observing, which depending on the situation, can either enhance or hinder the study. ...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. Peer reviewed

    Are the differences between radical and liberal feminism greater than what unites them?

    5 star(s)

    This idea of overcoming the inherent authority structure of society arose with early radical feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir and Germaine Greer. According to them the existing structure pervades the culture, philosophy, morality and religion of society and they place particular emphasis on the notion that in every aspect of life women are inferior to men.

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

    are not taken into consideration and neglected. The relationship between sports a society in a Marxist view, according to Coakley (2001) is never set once and for all, due to the changes of interests in the various groups of societies, as it based on shared values of existing conflicts and interests happening at the same time in society.

  1. Different Sociological Perspectives on Crime

    This theory looks at how those in the ruling class try to cover up deviancy and crimes of those in that class. It looks at how those who have power, wealth and their politics can manipulate the courts and justice system.

  2. What are the basic elements of Feminism? What are the differences between liberal and ...

    economy but in all aspects of social, personal and sexual existence which 'ensures male superiority' (Coote and Campbell)8. Kate Millet developed this idea in Sexual Politics in which she defined the 'patriarchal government' as an institution 'whereby that half of the population which is female is controlled by the half which is male'.

  1. “The nuclear family is the cornerstone of society”.Discuss with reference to three sociological perspectives.

    to the general public, as such they act as a cornerstone to the society. They also emphasize a normal state of affairs, or state of equilibrium, comparable to the normal or healthy state of an organism. They argue that the family is a peaceful unit, there is no conflict.

  2. The position of widows in Nepalese society - sociological study.

    There are significant differences in the mean age of marriage between rural and urban women, among women of various ecological zones, and between educated and noneducated women. Urban women marry later than rural women do. From an ecological zone perspective, a higher proportion of females is married at an earlier age in the Terai than in the hills and mountains.

  1. Within this essay I am going to discuss social action theory and symbolic interactionism ...

    These properties could be exchanged for money in the economic market - he was of the opinion that this position in the economic market place determined class position so that in theory there would be as many class positions as economic positions.

  2. 'Sociological Imagination'.

    This refers to the factors specific to the individuals, such as their psychological characteristics, their state of health, their ability or simply their luck. If one out of every three persons in a particular society were unemployed then this is seen as a "public issue of social structure".

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