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University Degree: Social Theory

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 3
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline some of the main differences between quantitative and qualitative Research methods. (1000 words)

    3 star(s)

    'The ultimate goals of research are to formulate questions and to find answers to these questions. The immediate goals of research - exploration, description, prediction, explanation and action - provide us with a strategy for figuring out which questions to ask and which to seek' (Dane, 1990: 56). In terms of research, there are two predominant methods, and these tend to be quantitative and qualitative. Whilst there are other methods used such as official statistics, research is rarely ever carried out that does not have a firm grounding in at least one of these methods. It should be remembered also that under the broad headings of qualitative and quantitative methods, there are many subdivisions and overlaps between the two groups.

    • Length: 1993 words
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the pluralist and elitist accounts of political power.

    3 star(s)

    The old Soviet Union had great social variety and numerous interest groups, yet in elections there was only one political party to vote for. There was social pluralism, but not political pluralism. Political pluralism means the government will attempt to satisfy the demands of the various interest groups. Political pluralism needs to have seven distinctive features. Contemporary Britain and the USA are said to have these. These comprise of: 1. Free and fair elections, which have no coercion or ballot rigging.

    • Length: 2151 words
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Critically discuss the links between social theory and social research.

    3 star(s)

    May (2001) identifies that if our own values do not interfere with the research it is objective. This objective view predetermines what type of research to carry out, which tends to be quantitive techniques. Experiments will be set up so that particular effects are being looked at from the outset, this predetermination of what to look for is reproduced in other research methods in order to obtain an objective outcome. But can social research be objective? As mentioned in the introduction social research is an investigation into social life and we (the researchers) are part of this social life.

    • Length: 1250 words
  4. Counselling theory. In this essay I shall analyse the philosophy of the humanistic person centred therapeutic modal in relation to its origins, historical development and the people who influenced its development

    After graduating history in 1924 he moves to New York and married Helen Elliot against the wishes of his parents. Carl Rogers began working in New York, with the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (Merry 2002). Working as a psychologist using the psychodynamic approach. The psychodynamic approach, recognized as pioneered by Sigmund Freud, is based on a medical model i.e. the client needs to be fixed, cured, treated or changed. This type of therapy assumes that the therapist knows what is best for the client and therefore is directive by nature.

    • Length: 5143 words
  5. Root causes of terrorism. Analysts such as Tore Bjorgo argue that terrorism is a set of methods of strategies of combat rather than an identifiable ideology or movement (Bjorgo, 2005).

    Generational Matrix The psychological causes of terrorism are different for nationalist-separatists and social revolutionary terrorist. This is demonstrated in a generational matrix (figure 1). The top right hand quadrant indicates a situation where a person is loyal to their parents and thus to the political regime. These people do not become terrorists. In the top left hand quadrant are those youths who are loyal to their parents whom are disloyal to the political regime (Bjorgo, 2005). They have thus become damaged as a result of the political regime.

    • Length: 2762 words
  6. Review the main features of TWO welfare reforms passed by the post war Labour government 1946-1951.

    Labour government created the National Health Service Act, based on the proposals of Sir Beveridge Report. The National Health Service Bill was introduced into the House of Commons in March 1946 and came in to being in 5 July 1948. 'It started with clear assertions of the responsibility of central government for the health of the nation and of the principle that services should normally be free of charge'. (Hill, 1993:32) There were reforms in coverage, eligibility, governance and founding. Coverage became universal, with no exclusion on grounds of income or wealth. Direct payments for health care (fees and charges)

    • Length: 598 words
  7. The Unemployment Provisions of the 1911 National Insurance Act

    The National Insurance Act covering health (Part I) and unemployment (Part II) was the kingpin of the social policy of a Liberal Government. (Fraser et al: 2003/ p.188) Churchill and his advisers had been working on unemployment insurance scheme since 1908. Churchill relied on Beveridge and Llewellyn Smith, Permanent Secretary at the Board of Trade, to work out the details of an unemployment insurance scheme. Beveridge had insisted in 1909 that 'the principles of proportioning benefits to contributions must clearly be embodied in the Bill' (cited in Frasier et al: 2003/p.188)

    • Length: 630 words
  8. What is meant by the term New Right? Review the major criticisms of the post 1945 welfare state made by new right thinkers.

    The New Right believed their ideas concerning the welfare state were 'absolutely essential' if Britain's economy was to survive and be transformed from its present crisis (Alcock, 1996). Their transformation of the welfare state was long overdue since they argued that the crisis of the economy and welfare began as a consequence of war and due to the Keynes and Beveridge's ideals about society in the 1940's which was a far cry from the society of the 1970's.

    • Length: 650 words
  9. Explain in your own words what you understand either by the term disciplinary society

    He has to obey commands; otherwise, the war is lost". Indiscipline cannot carry order of growth. Self-discipline or discipline by approval is self-control. One controls his emotions and needs and gives room to listen to other's points of views. Man has a lot of needs and impulses. If they are allowed "free play" without discipline, it in high probability will end in chaos. The discipline does not mean simply training of mind and character for self-control, practice of duty and observance of rules and laws. The aim of discipline has always been accommodation, integration and also complete identification with the existing social relationship not alienation from the organization called society.

    • Length: 1806 words
  10. Critically examine the contribution of Emile Durkheim to the scientific study of society.

    Despite the theories mentioned above, Durkheim intended to differentiate sociology from biology and psychology especially psychology (Craib, 1997). Therefore, Durkheim introduced a new subject in 'the rules of sociological method' (1895)-social facts. Moreover, Durkheim argued that 'the whole of sociology was based on our fundamental principle, the objective reality of social facts' and 'social facts must be studied as things'---social facts referred to social phenomena or factors which should be studied as things 'external to the individual' and 'independent of the observers' (Lukes, 1973). However, Durkheim's subject of a social fact is considered by criticisms, Lukes (1973), Lee and Newby (1983) as vague and inadequate, such as standard of identification of social facts is not clear (Craib, 1997).

    • Length: 2404 words
  11. Parson's structural functionalism and the family

    Furthermore, Cheal (1997) makes a very relevant and important claim that they are bound to value judgements. He stresses how 'obvious' or 'true' the idea of 'the family' is and this results in those studying family to fail to realise that the adoption of the family model involves adopting a clear value stance which he claims tend to be racist, sexist , heterosexualist and ableist (Bernardes,1997,pg.30). We can thus see the complications that attempting to study such an ambiguous topic pose and how the results of the attempts to study 'the family' could be problematic.

    • Length: 3535 words
  12. Power is Everywhere - Michael Foucault. In the books Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality the expression of the relationship between power and knowledge were examined

    Whilst Foucault was clearly a key figure in philosophical terms his work has had its detractors. A coherent all-embracing critique is made more difficult by his works "somewhat fragmentary character" which "encompasses a variety of apparently disparate topics".4 Despite this Foucault certainly succeeded in generating a good deal of criticism and controversy particularly following the publication of Discipline and Punish in 1975 (and translated into English in 1977) He seeks to strengthen his standpoint by describing himself as a 'historian' rather than a philosopher and certainly sought to avoid being seen as a political theorist, arguing that his theories are more verifiable as a result.

    • Length: 5123 words
  13. The Contribution Sport Makes to Society

    Also it provides opportunity to take different social roles and develop social skills such as tolerance and respect for others as well as teams skills such as co-operation and cohesion. Wankel and Sefton (1994) feel that the psychological benefits of sport and physical activity reduces feelings of anxiety, depression and helps improve socialisation, community integration, educational attainment and social status. Furthermore sport can help tackle obesity and the subsequent illnesses associated with it. The latest health survey for England revealed that nearly 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children aged 2-10 were clinically obese.

    • Length: 1308 words
  14. Critically examine whether media coverage of immigration and national identity creates political and ideological controversy.

    Racism is denounced and denied as a political or rhetorical term but not as a theoretical concept (Essed, 1987). Racial taxonomies of popular pseudo-scientific representations of different people were social constructions with social consequences as modern racism need not presuppose the biological notion of race or the associated racial hierarchies, but presupposes their continued social-cultural construction as adapted to the current historical context (Omi and Winnat, 1986). Racism is not presently defunct as Europeans no longer believe the 'racial superiority', dominant norms and values have discredited such ideology, hence the legitimation of group dominance (Dijk, 1991). Groups remain dominant by using their resources to reproduce their dominance.

    • Length: 3691 words
  15. In this paper I hope to discuss the ways in which television and the media has negatively played a part in the cognitive development in children.

    With the help of these sources, this paper will help us to gain a better understanding of how television has severely impacted the mental development and thought processes of children and how this might impact their future. It is easy to see that television and the media is a raging force in our society today. These days however, more and more children are introduced at an early age to the media and television programs. But what are the long term effects of television watching on learning?

    • Length: 2066 words
  16. Law is an institution of the most pernicious tendency. (Godwin) Should we agree with the anarchist and abolish law?

    Firstly looking at Kropotkin, he argued for an egalitarian society, in which all the people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights. His claim was that the state exploits people and only gives power to the limited minority. Following up on this he was keen to show the uselessness of law and he did this by making three categories. These were protection of property, government and persons. Laws that concern property are said to 'rob the producer'.

    • Length: 2650 words
  17. Foucault: Proliferation of Power into Society by Discourse. Modern punishment shifts the focus away from the violence itself and rather focuses on emphasizing to the criminal and the rest of society that those who break the law are not accepted in societ

    Thus, the penal system called for reform. Punishment was no longer to be a spectacle. "It was as if the punishment was thought to be equal, if not to exceed, in savagery the crime itself." (Foucault 9) Torture was therefore not to be condoned and the public exhibition of it was declared of being 'a disgusting scene.' The process of punishment itself had to be hidden so as to not alienate the people from the power that had to execute these punishments - "if it too strikes, if it too kills, it is not as a glorification of its strength, but as an element of itself that it is obliged to tolerate."

    • Length: 1496 words
  18. Is there an existence of Equality and Diversity with regards to Race and Ethnicity in Britains Welfare State?

    Unfortunately public opinion surrounding migrants who settle in Britain has been largely negative. Immigrants have been accused of taking advantage of Britain's welfare provisions (Hayes 2000 & Goodhart 2004 as cited in Williams 2010 p 21). Attitudes such as these are left unchallenged, the fact that the migration of Black and Chinese workforces in the 1960/70's enabled the fulfilment of many emerging public sector jobs which in turn provided a boost to services to the nation, was not always publicised (Williams 2010 p 21).

    • Length: 2134 words
  19. What factors have led to the development of the British welfare state?

    The state allowed markets to operate freely without regulation. There was also a mass migration of people moving from towns to the cities seeking employment. Many of these people were dependent on employment within the factories and on the assembly lines. Although there were many benefits from industrialisation on the economic front, urbanisation created a large concentration of people in many areas, his lead to major problems with health and housing. In addition, when jobs were no longer available, men were unable to support their families.

    • Length: 1266 words
  20. Should children who commit crimes be seen as responsible for their actions? nitially I will look at the three different approaches: scientific approach, this seeks objective facts about children through observations and experiments; a social constructioni

    A scientific approach is used to show how children develop by using experiments. Jean Piaget, a developmental theorist, used experiments to check children's stages of development. He broke down his stages into different age groups, making it very black and white; a child should, according to Piaget's view, do certain things at a certain age. He used experiments such as the liquid task. The child is shown two identical transparent beakers, each about two thirds full of liquid. The experimenter then pours one of the beakers into a taller narrower beaker, this is then put next to the first beaker full of liquid and the experimenter asks the child which has more in.

    • Length: 1524 words
  21. This report aims to research interpersonal communication in a `dynamic` environment, in this case, West Quay, the biggest Mall in Southampton. Its purpose is to comment on some important aspects regarding consumerism and to analyse human behaviour under

    Perhaps all the individuals should learn to give something back and try to be less selfish. It needs to be emphasised the fact that, humans, by consuming, have a major negative impact on the environment, and because they waste too much, we can say that people destroy and produce at the same time. By having a huge number of demands and by giving back so little, the Planet`s resources are diminishing day by day. Unfortunately, the number of people willing to do something and stop this from happening is much lower than the number of those who only care about themselves.

    • Length: 2013 words
  22. This assignment will analyse critically key ethical, attitudinal, political issues and historical development of sexuality in relation to people with learning disabilities and services. This assignment will explore Task B, which is based on a young man w

    It could be argued that the eugenic movement was triggered by Jukes (1875) and Kallikaks (1912) study viewed people with learning disabilities and other sub groups to be linked to criminality (Lombardo, 2008). However according to Karellou (2007) Sterilisation is still common practice for women learning difficulties, in Canada as well as in many other developed countries (Karellou 2007). Historically society's views of individuals with learning disabilities were based on negative stereotypes, during the 19th century it was believed individuals with learning disabilities reproduced more rapidly compared to the rest of the society, the state feared rapid reproduction would overwhelm the population, therefore official checks needed to be placed to control this( Kempton and Kahn 1991).

    • Length: 4625 words
  23. Learning Disability Research and Evaluation: Exploring Participatory and Emancipatory research in Learning Disabilities studies.

    in fact it seems normalisation had tremendous effect in inclusive research specially in the adaptation of participatory research, Jan Walmsley (2001) talks about the influence of normalisation in great detail in one of her research which was based on her reflection of inclusive research, her work shows that normalisation supplied the condition to allow people with learning difficulties to speak out in research (Walmsley, 2001).In fact almost every journal I have read on the topic of inclusive research all discuss the potential doors opened by normalisation and social role valorisation.

    • Length: 4132 words
  24. Social Aspects of Intergroup Conflict between Muslims and Hindus in India

    As Khan & Sen, (2009) have suggested, whilst many academic disciplines such as sociology, political science, economics and history have discussed the group relations in India, psychology theory and research has been slow. This paper will discuss some of the social psychology aspects of intergroup theories that this case study highlights. Groups, and in particular religious groups, provide their members with a comprehensive social identity with shared values and norms, which assists in mobilizing and justifying collective actions. Social identity is not only derived from the group membership but also the members of the group strive to gain a positive self esteem through maintaining a positive social identity; this is commonly known as the self esteem hypothesis (Breckler, 2006).

    • Length: 2388 words
  25. Free essay

    Nietzsche Genealogy of Morality. Nietzsche focuses much on the origin of words and the meanings and connotations of these words that we as people tend to link to good and bad.

    Their thought, Nietzsche argues, is "unhistorical" because it suggests that noble acts and unselfishness predates value-judgments. From Nietzsche's understanding, these terms rose from the natural aristocracy. Nietzsche focuses much on the origin of words and the meanings and connotations of these words that we as people tend to link to "good" and "bad." In Nietzsche's distinction between a thing and its meaning, we find the initial doubt with which Nietzsche unravels so many of our assumptions. Nietzsche battles with the usage of the word "good" as he unravels the origin or history of the word. He says that these masters, or the ruling class, have been able to define what is good, therefore strength, power, health, wealth, and happiness are all considered "good" because these are qualities linked to the ruling class (Nietzsche 11).

    • Length: 795 words

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Expound Durkheim's theory of anomie, bringing out the acute and chronic types. Evaluate Durkheim's view that the main source of the malaise of modern society lies in this phenomenon. How could it be minimised?

    "In conclusion, the idea of 'anomie' is still very much relevant today and is especially evident in modern society, where we are further separated and divided by computer technology, the Internet, increasing bureaucracy, and specialisation in the workplace. Perhaps more than ever before, members of Western society are exposed to the risk of anomie. However, much of Durkheim's ideas of anomie have been criticised and even Merton's theory has been criticised for assuming too much conformity and consensus along with an overly integrated view of society, and an over socialised view of people."

  • "Classical sociological theory has likttle relevance in understanding contemporary employment" - discuss

    "In conclusion, classical sociological theory still helps us to understand how best to deal with complex employment situations and how to re-order society to give the workforce more status and involvement. It must be noted, however, that there are limitations to the theories because of the way the workplace has changed since Marx and Durkheim's time. Their theories can be used as a basis for analysis, but not as definitive guides to understanding contemporary employment."

  • "Compare and evaluate Durkheim and Tonnies' accounts of social integration in modern societies"

    "In conclusion, both Tonnies and Durkheim present views on social integration within modern society, and they have both shown how social integration has adapted over time. Society has become increasingly diverse, and although this may mean that communities may have suffered as a result, and social integration may have weakened in some respects, it has also given rise to great freedom of expression and freedom of choice. Durkheim has displayed how individualism and solidarism are compatible and can both live along side each other, however he has also shown possible problems that may occour from this social situation. In a large city it would be impossible to say hello to every body as you walked down the street, and although Tonnies may argue that this reflects a decline in social integration, Durkheim may argue that this reflects an interdependent functioning society."

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