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University Degree: Social Theory

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  1. Is childrens development a universal staged process or a social and cultural process?

    The scientific approach was used by theorists such as Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg and by using this they were "seeking to establish universal laws of cause and effect" (Rogers, 2003 p.12) for development in children and did this by devising theories and then testing them through observing and experimenting. Piaget watched groups of boys playing marbles for one of his earlier studies and noticed that different ages approached the game in different ways with regards to making up rules and the interactions between them at different ages.

    • Word count: 1596
  2. Critically consider the manifest and latent functions of schooling.

    The first "manifest function" of schooling would be to provide children with knowledge, skills and ways of thinking that are valuable and of practical use. These are attributes which are vital for work in adulthood. These purposes are obvious to all societies and don't bring much controversy to the function of schooling though as it is generally accepted that this is what a school is for. Less obvious functions be them "manifest" or "latent" can be questioned a bit more.

    • Word count: 2080
  3. This extract is about different approaches to feminism and how they have been affected by modernism.

    The first group of feminists described are the Suffragettes. They were middle-class and well-educated and were understandably frustrated by the inequalities they faced against men when they were intellectual and more than able to have a role within the workforce. Texts by "Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and George Eliot" (Lewis 2002) were of importance to the Suffragettes seeing that those texts also identified with the "concerns over the legal rights of women in marriage and property" (Lewis 2002) and enforced their opinions and encouraged them to speak out.

    • Word count: 1247
  4. Stanley Cohens critique of Hebdiges reading of the symbolism of the swastika. The extract is about the subculture of punks and the way they express themselves through fashion with their use of the swastika which is predominately associated with Nazi

    In this instance the swastika, which many believed was not used in a fascist way, but to rebel from their parents and 'stick two fingers up' at the British Government of the 1970s. Decoding was done within the dominant-hegemonic position. According to Cohen (1987) the "value of this new decoding work" can be extremely vague seeing that the motive why it was worn or the meaning that was being emitted would not have been apparent to those not belonging to the punk subculture.

    • Word count: 1266
  5. Theories of Rights. John Rawls, one of the most celebrated contemporary philosophers, puts forward a compelling concept in A Theory of Justice (1971) which attempts to delineate the features of a just society by way of a hypothetical contract, grounded i

    Not surprisingly, this egalitarian concept has come under critical attack as Rawls fails to acknowledge natural talent (Corlett, 1991) and that certain individuals may require more resources, for example, a 'person with paralysed limbs needs many more resources to achieve the same level of mobility' (Amartya Sen cited in Hayden, 2001: 221). In addition to this, Kukathas & Pettit (1990) suggest it not psychological realistic to be unmotivated by envy. Rawls also makes the distinctive assumption cited in Barry (1973)

    • Word count: 2505
  6. Biological explanations and social constructionist theories of deviance.

    Behavioral patterns seen as deviant can become normal behavior without realization that a deviant act as just taken place. ( Andersen & Taylor, 2007). Example, " the practice of employing domestic workers without reporting their wages is deviant-indeed, illegal- but is commonly done." ( Andersen & Taylor , 2007, p.169). This act is commonly done and is not always seen as taking place in a deviant act. What is defined as deviant can change over time example of this is tattoos and piercing were seen as 'gang related' and are now seen as a fashion statement among teenagers but may still be seen as a deviant act to the older generations in society.

    • Word count: 2092
  7. Social Constructionism and Identity Concepts of Disabled People. This essays outlines social constructionisms main ideas focusing on its concept of identities as socially constructed and negotiated by everyday, power-influenced social interactions.

    Language is vital because narrative accounts and discourses - our way of thinking and talking (Phoenix, 2007) - construct identities in everyday-life (Phoenix, 2007, Burr, 2003, Bartky, 1990). Processes of distinctions in language contribute to the making and validation of reality (Phoenix, 2007, Chiari & Nuzzo, 1996, Raskin, 2002). Moreover, language creates power-relations through discourses (Phoenix, 2007, Burr, 2003, Hall, 1992, Potter and Wetherell, 1987, Foucault, 1983, de Beauvoir, 1972). Groups of people, with similarities and differences in their identities, but who belong to the same social category, are often powerful enough to make others accept their constructs and can therefore negotiate their "reality" (e.g.

    • Word count: 3917
  8. Family life in the UK is always changing as we can see there are many factors that are changing the family in the UK. This essay will look some of the key factors that have transformed the family. Firstly the essay will try to define what a family is.

    "There has been a corresponding increases in single person households". H, Holborn (1995) pg347. Single parent families has become on the increase in Britain. As stated by the government statistics that in 1961 that 2.5 percent of the population lived in households that consisted of lone parents with dependent children. By 1992 this figure had risen to 10.1%. Between 1972 and 1991 the percentage of children living within single parent families rose to an extreme of 18percent.single parent families can be the result of the child being born into a single parent family or it could be because the partners have had a divorce, or due to death or it could be due to separation of the parents.

    • Word count: 3520
  9. Violence in the media causes violence in society. Explain how sociologists would challenge this common-sense assumption.

    For example, I have noticed that whenever I stick my finger in a flame, my finger gets hot. Therefore, there is a natural law that sticking my finger in a flame causes my finger to get hot. In this essay the cause will be violence in the media and the effect (later event) will be violence in society. What is media? Media is any medium used to transmit mass communication. Until recently mass media was clearly defined and was comprised of the eight mass media industries Books ,Newspapers, Magazines, and Recordings, Radio, Movies, Television and The Internet (Lane, June 29 2007).

    • Word count: 1443
  10. Provide a critical discussion of Herman and Chomsky's Propaganda Model

    The first filter discussed in manufacturing consent (1988) is the size, ownership and profit orientation of the mass media. Here Chomsky puts forward the idea that in the early part of the nineteenth century, there were more liberal press that existed that appealed directly to a working class audience. However throughout the century the cost of papers rose dramatically, and with advertisers being unwilling to support radical press such as this the paper collapsed. With this example Herman and Chomsky illiterate two things. Firstly the importance of advertising (examined more closely in the second filter)

    • Word count: 1913
  11. Social divisions

    All those stratification systems which I mentioned have their own social classes, which will be presented. Socio-economic stratification nowadays has three main classes: upper class, middle class and lower class, all these classes can be subdivided into smaller classes. The upper class consists of a small minority of individuals who have both wealth and power, and are able to transmit their privileges to their children. The upper class can be roughly identified as the top 1 per cent of wealth holders.

    • Word count: 1595
  12. Racism in UK

    which is based on by the idea of 'public issues' and 'private troubles' (Mills 1959: 8). To describe those troubles and to resolve them, he thinks, that we must attend the individual's biography and the scope of their immediate milieu - what Mills describes as 'the social setting that is directly open to his personal experience and to some extent his wilful activity' (Mills 1959:9). In contrast, issues have to do with 'matters that transcend these local environments of the individual and the limited range of his life' (Mills 1959: 8). An issue can often involve a crisis, for example: when, in a city of 100,000, only one man is unemployed, that is his personal trouble, and for its relief we properly look to the character of the man, his skills, and his immediate opportunities.

    • Word count: 1819
  13. The Substance of Friends

    gives a thumbnail definition of friendship as affection, shared interests, past, values, enemies, and delight in one another's company. Indeed there are a myriad ways of defining friendship. Whatever definition is preferred, it is generally agreed that the kind of friendships people maintain are based on the social and cultural context where relationships are formed. It is also widely accepted that despite its complicatedness, friendship continues to remain as a central aspiration of human beings as it was from a long time ago. It would be worthy to start with a classical view of friendship that has withstood the test of time.

    • Word count: 3237
  14. Unions and Workers Play in Promoting a Quality-of-Work Agenda

    The Economic Council of Canada has defined a "good job" as well-paying, secure, and skilled. (Lowe, 2000, p. 63) Canada's economic climate has seen falling real incomes, rising unemployment and increasingly insecure jobs which is shown in the rise in workers reporting a fear of losing employment from close to 25% in 1990 to around 40% in 1998. (Lowe, 2000, p. 68/36) The need for a living real wage and job security is critical for quality work. The Workplace 2000 survey showed that 86% of workers expressed overall satisfaction with their jobs but two-thirds of these workers reported their jobs were somewhat or very stressful.

    • Word count: 1491
  15. Labour Studies

    These responses included the Ontario legislature appointing a labour statistician and the creation of the Royal Commission on the Relations of Labour and Capital. (Heron, 2006, p. 24) The Knights' broader unionism form began to gain clarity and definition in the new labour model of industrial unionism by the turn of the century. (Heron, 2006, p. 35) Their new model was based on labour's relationship to a single employer and not on trade specific skills or traditions. They brought all wage labour sharing an employer into a single union, thereby increasing worker solidarity by removing traditional barriers.

    • Word count: 1303
  16. Critical analysis of Marxism and the convergence of utopia and the everyday

    Modernity is renowned on a variety of factors, such as economic, political and cultural grounds. For example this can be related to modern societies who typically have industrial, capitalist economies and a social structure founded on a division into social classes. However Gardiner focuses his journal a lot on the notion of the utopia and the everyday life. According to Abercrombie (2006:407), utopia which was formally defined by Karl Mannheim believed that the beliefs of subordinate classes, especially beliefs which emphasized those aspects of a society which pointed to the future collapse of the established order.

    • Word count: 2239
  17. Using relevant theory, explain how our social environment, social identity and demographic characteristics may influence food consumption.

    an everyday food such as lobster or salmon whereas a child from a middle class family would be more inclined to eat these items as Bourdieu mentions in habitus that people are more inclined to act in certain ways (Bourdieu, 1991). This example shows the great influence parents have on socialisation from a very young age. Another factor that plays a part in taste and consumption is that the higher classes will always attempt to create or invent new foods to keep their class that step higher than the working class as their tastes change to copy the higher classes.

    • Word count: 1339
  18. This essay will explore the concept of capitalism and the way in which capitalist society has developed. Viewed predominantly from a Marxist perspective, but with comparisons made with other social theories, it will discuss capitalist ideology and examine

    Marxist theory asserts that capitalism is a class system in which a minority of people, Marx (1963) termed these 'the bourgeoisie', has become the ruling class, as they own and have control of the resources necessary to produce and distribute the goods, whilst the majority of people, termed 'the proletariat', provides the necessary labour in return for a wage. For capitalism to exist there has to be a difference between the cost of producing the goods and the wage paid to the worker.

    • Word count: 2416
  19. To critically discuss the claim that citizenship is a contested and fluid concept, this essay will examine how modern citizenship was revived by sociologist T.H Marshall (1950). The work of Lewis (1998) and Turner (2001) challenge Marshalls theory and

    This statement emphasises the difficulty when attempting to define the concept of citizenship. To conceptualise citizenship, sociologist T.H. Marshall (1950), described it as a status bestowed on those who are full members of a community. He distinguishes three main elements of this status in his "tripartite" model, which focuses on rights, duties and the institutions which uphold them (Crossley, 2005). The civil aspect, concerned primarily with rights is upheld by the courts. The political aspect is upheld by Parliament and the last and most debated aspect of this model is social rights, associated with the institutions of the welfare state (Crompton, 1998).

    • Word count: 2410
  20. Equality and Diversity is an important dimension of modern society, and of current social policies. Explain and illustrate this statement with reference to age, using one area of social policy.

    Daly (2002) discusses that social care has a wide variety of policy measures at its disposal such as services in kind, cash payments to the user or service and benefits for carers. This illustrates the differentiation of the areas that policies can target to create equality for older people and also factors that can enable the current system to deal with the complexities and diversity of modern society (Walsh, Stephens & Moore, 2000). Care in the community was initially spurred by New Right ideology, escalating costs of institutional care and a shift of responsibility from the state to the individual and family (Walsh, Stephens & Moore, 2000).

    • Word count: 2731
  21. A Critical Analysis of Care Policy for Older People in Hong Kong

    The policy addresses from 2001-2009 have all emphasised there is 'no place like home'. This allows older people to remain in their community with family, neighbours and social networks in the vicinity to provide care (Chui, 2008). Hong Kong's highly industrialised economic landscape has had a considerable impact on its social policies. There is a consensus that welfare expenditure must not interfere with economic development nor create a welfare dependency culture as found in the West (Chui and Wong, 2005: McLaughlin, 1993).

    • Word count: 1425
  22. Notions of race, gender and disability have significantly informed the development of social policy and of welfare and educational practices. Critically Discuss

    This is reflected in LEAs continual allocation of special school placements, teaching practices and is further perpetuated by league tables, resulting in further discrimination against disabled children. After critically discussing these issues a conclusion will be drawn and discussed. Notions of disability are the ideas and beliefs which constitute our understanding and reaction to its occurrence. Saraga and Clarke (2006) argue that the way in which difference is constructed and the meaning given to this pattern of difference is the basis of how social policies are formulated and implemented.

    • Word count: 2673
  23. How does the concept of citizenship contribute to our understanding of the experience of disabled people?

    A conclusion will then be drawn. The concept of citizenship has become a tool to analyse a variety of difficulties in society such as disability (Blomberg, 2003). Citizenship however is a contested concept and difficult to define. An important starting point when considering contemporary citizenship is the work of T.H. Marshall, who argues that citizenship rights act as a counter balance to the inequalities caused as a result of the capitalist market. Central to Marshall's theory are three spheres of rights, civil, political and social. Civil rights are concerned with individual liberty and freedom of speech.

    • Word count: 2565
  24. This assignment will Discuss and compare two theories Marxism and Functionalism to make sense of the society and sport in England in the 21st century highlighting the benefits and problems. theories can help make sense of sport in England in

    a German social theorist and political revolutionist. He believed that the idea of 'class struggle' played a major role in the society and development of it. The working class who whom, Marx believed made the wealth of society, (Dunning, Maguire & Pearton, 1993) and the downfall of the bourgeoisie or capitalist. Coakley (2004) states that well established capitalist societies can only have change if the people without the power realise that change is needed. This ideology can be related to sport due to the working class not being able to afford a ticket because of the bourgeoisie want to make more money from the proletariat (Jarve, 2006).

    • Word count: 1665
  25. Free essay

    How is consumption affected by the proliferation of knowledge in contemporary society ? Discuss with reference to environmental knowledge

    The processes and contexts in which knowledge is produced can be referred to as the process of social construction. It is claimed by social constructionalists that all knowledge is produced and there isn't any truth or reality outside this process. Often knowledge is passed on by so called 'experts' who have trained to enter their chosen professions. Now experts can be found for almost all aspects of our lives. A daily deluge of advice can be found on daytime television advising us on matters like health, diet, relationships, holidays, shopping and financial planning (Goldblatt, 2004). Initially we learn our knowledge through interaction in our families, schools, media and other aspects of wider society.

    • Word count: 1866

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