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AS and A Level: Sociological Differentiation & Stratification

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UK trends - gender

  1. 1 Men tend to outperform women in terms of income, wealth, promotion at work; they are more likely to have full time and /or permanent contracts.
  2. 2 In the home men do less housework than women and are much less likely to suffer domestic violence than women. Men are more likely to have control of finances and power in decision making in the family.
  3. 3 Women have better life chances in terms of life expectancy, preferential treatment by courts when awarding custody of children, some evidence of greater leniency in sentencing, more time off paid work with their children, lower suicide rates and are doing better in schools.

Key UK trends - social class

  1. 1 At work, those in the working class are more likely to have a below average paid job, a temporary contract and work part time.
  2. 2 In terms of policing and the criminal justice system, the working class are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police and to be arrested.
  3. 3 In the family people from working class backgrounds are more likely to marry younger and to get divorced.
  4. 4 In terms of health the working class are more likely, more likely to smoke, to miscarry their baby, to die of an accident at work and to die before their first birthday.
  5. 5 In education the working class are more likely to be placed in lower streams or sets at school, to leave school with fewer educational qualifications, and much less likely than the middle class to go to university.

Key UK trends - ethnicity

  1. 1 African Caribbean Britons are at high risk of being stopped and searched, getting longer custodial sentences, being excluded from school, being unemployed, living in a single parent family and achieving the lowest average GCSE scores.
  2. 2 British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have the highest rates of poverty, living in cramped housing and female unemployment.
  3. 3 British Indians and British Chinese have higher than average educational success rates.
  4. 4 White Britons have better life chances than ethnic minorities in nearly all areas, with the exception of the British Indians and British Chinese.
  5. 5 There are significant differences WITHIN ethnic groups, so men and women, people from different social classes and ages have significantly different life chances.

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  1. Assess the view that changes in the law led to an increase in divorce in 1970

    was unacceptable, however, changes in society now means that this stigma does not really exist as much due to it being more socially acceptable. However, the 'Divorce Reform Act' of 1969, which came into effect in 1971, it was no longer necessary for a spouse to prove their partner guilty of a matrimonial offence, they simply had to prove that the marriage was broken down beyond repair. This change in law led to huge increase in divorce after 1971. However the law most responsible for the dramatic increase in divorces was 'The Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act' of 1984, this

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  2. What do I understand about Functionalism?

    Functionalism is the oldest, and still the dominant, theoretical perspective in sociology and many other social sciences. Functionalists are very positive about society and always see the good in everything. They even think that crime is good for society. They look at society on a Marco scale [this means that they look at society on a large scale]. They want to generalize their ideas to the whole of society. For example they look at what education does for society as a whole not just certain people in society. Functionalists also believe that society is based on consensus, this means agreement, i.e.

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  3. Free essay

    How was the education system organized before 1944? What changes were brought in after that date?

    To fix his problem the only way was to change the Education system. The aim of this was to give every pupil an equal chance to develop their abilities to the full within a free system of education. The act decided to reorganize the structure of education into three stages which are 1. Primary for 5-11year olds 2. Secondary for 11-15 years old 3. Further/Higher education The change was mostly made in the secondary sector as the question "What sort of secondary education would provide equality of educational opportunity for all children from the age of 11?"

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  4. Compare and Contrast Functionalist and Marxist views of Society

    He said that these were all Inter-related and yet Inter-dependant, i.e. our Organs work independently, but at the same time all work together to keep us alive, much like social institutions do to society. Durkheim said that the job of these Social institutions is to socialise people into the culture of a society by the use of Norms and Values (What is expected in a community, such as men not wearing skirts). He said that because Social institutions shape us in to what we are, everyone has the same norms and values, so we form a Collective Conscience, which is the foundations of society which holds us all together, creating social solidarity.

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  5. Growth of Religious Fundamentalism

    However, despite regarding the existence of different Gods and Goddesses Hinduism does not deny other religions. Apart from a cult system, the society also comprises of Sect, which is defined as a group formed from a dominant religion whereby there has been disagreements over the interpretation of the religion. However, these members are closely connected to the current state of the society and those elements, which are opposed to the public. Another view that Steve Bruce describes is the process of sects information that "from time to time the church would face revolt", meaning that there would be protestations from

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  6. Critically discuss the theories of modernisation and under-development.

    Hyperglobalists argue that contemporary globalisation defines a new era in which peoples everywhere are increasingly subject to the disciplines of the global marketplace. Although economic forces are an integral part of globalisation, it would be wrong to suggest that they alone produce it. Globalisation is created by the coming together of politics, social, cultural and economic factors. It has been driven forward above all by the development of the information and communication technologies that have intensified the speed and scope of interaction between people al over the world.

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  7. 'The data collected using interviews is socially constructed and for that reason it has little value in sociological research.' Explain and assess this view.

    Also, structured interviews allow the testing of a large sample and therefore are more representative of the society. While structured interviews are very straightforward, reliable and replicable, a lot of pre-planning is required. Complex issues cannot be explored in depth therefore affecting the validity of the data generated. Unstructured interviews take the form of conversations where there are no predetermined questions. Although unstructured interviews allow for more valid data by analyzing sensitive topics and complex issue in depth, they may not readily translate into statistical data unlike structured interview in which answers can be expressed quantitatively. The issue addressed in the question refers to a situation when the researcher inadvertently biases the results; a common problem with both structured and unstructured interview.

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  8. How do race and ethncity impact on formation of identity?

    'Ethnicity' is a term used to describe those that share the same language or nationality, although sometimes they do not share the same identity e.g. the meaning of the term black. During the early 1980's black was used to describe those of Asian decent. During the later part of the 1980's, black, reverted to only describing those of black decent. Woodward (2004, p 119) argues that the 1960's Black is Beautiful movement campaigned the category of black, inclusive of Asians and any other non-white groups, as inappropriate.

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  9. Whats a questionnaire

    If the questionnaire includes demographic questions on the participants, they can be used to correlate performance and satisfaction with the test system among different groups of users. It is important to remember that a questionnaire should be viewed as a multi-stage process beginning with definition of the aspects to be examined and ending with interpretation of the results. Every step needs to be designed carefully because the final results are only as good as the weakest link in the questionnaire process.

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  10. What is an Interview

    The interviewing method has strengths and weaknesses to consider when designing research, the design of the interview schedule and those concerned within the interview situation itself. The interview must be created so that the questions appear sensible to the interviewer and the interviewee flowing in an appropriate sequence, especially because the interviewee needs to be warmed up by feeling comfortable and relaxed with the interviewer. The interview is a form of social interaction, which can make it problematic; it reflects the circumstances by which the interview occurred - where it may have occurred whether it's being recorded and even gender of the interviewer.

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  11. To what extent are ethnic minorities treated equally in Britain and America today?

    Racial discrimination was still quite bad and there were obviously people that didn't agree with this idea. People didn't want them to have their say because of their skin colour. A cult was formed in 1866 called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) they were based in Tennessee. The main job and aim of the cult was to stop black people from voting and they wanted to take their rights off them. To do this they killed and tortured black people and any white Americas that felt sympathy for them. To disguise themselves they wore masks, white cardboard hats and white sheets.

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  12. Assess the extent to which Marxist and Feminist theories help our understanding of religion in society today.

    Religion therefore offers and illusion for the followers as they believe they will be compensated for their suffering in the next life e.g. Hindu caste system places the 'untouchables' at the bottom of the society. Also because of the ruling classes religious beliefs they don't see this unfair exploitation as their position is justified to them. However this Marxist view is anachronistic as people no longer see their position in society as divine. Marx sees religion as the 'opium for the masses' as it obscures the true nature of society.

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  13. Critically evaluate the functionlists aproach on Education

    Thus shared values usually result in people cooperating and pulling together in the same direction. Functionalism is no longer fashionable, however functionalist ideas on the role of education in society still influence some researchers. Emily Durkheim argued that social solidarity is essential for the survival of society. Social solidarity is based on 'essential similarities' between members of society. According to Durkheim, one of the main functions of education is to develop these similarities and so bind members of society together. Durkheim sees a common history as vital for uniting members of society. American school children grow up with stories about their county's founders e.g.

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  14. Examine the different functions that the education system may perform for individuals

    Another reason was to re-socialize the 'feckless' and teaching them to change there lives from drinking too much and living immorally to leading a more responsible and more respectable life. Compulsory education was a plan to also help reduce the level of crime, by making young pickpockets' go into schooling, cutting down therefore on petty crimes. The education system also performed well for middle class and upper class students because they were well nourished and lived in warm heated homes, their general health was better those students from a lower class background, this is important because without good attendance those

    • Word count: 606
  15. Humanism and humanistic psychology.

    Maslow's (1968) Hierarchy of Needs shows what he believes people aspire to. These things include basic physiological needs such as food and water, and the feeling of being loved and safe. When all the things he has outlined are met, he describes this as 'self-actualization', Maslow also believed it was only a small number of people who would actually self-actualize as not all needs are met at the same time. Carl Rogers (1968) believed that people's perception of the world around them affected their behaviour and not extrinsic factors, and that everyone seeks approval and have a need for positive regard.

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  16. To What Extent is it Possible to Produce Value-Free Research?

    This means that the views of the researchers do not affect the validity of the investigation. Positivists tend to take a researcher on the outside approach; they do not become greatly involved in the lives of their participants. Therefore, the Positivists are less likely to form attachments with their participants that may cause the result of the research to be subject to the researchers' opinion of their participants. This can prevent the views of the participants from interfering with the research. Like most research, Positivist research may not be completely value-free. A critical aspect of Positivist research is setting a hypothesis, a statement suggesting that one variable causes another.

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  17. Is Feminism Still Important?

    Liberal Feminists attempt to improve the position of women within society by campaigning for equal rights for women. The work of Liberal Feminists has been successful; they have achieved legislation such as the Equal Pay Act and the Sex Discrimination Act. It can be argued that the work of Liberal Feminists is still necessary for society and that there is still inequality for women even within the workplace, women are still paid only 70-80% or what women earn. Marxist Feminists state that the Capitalist system results in patriarchy that oppresses women. The Capitalist System causes men to attempt to control women in many ways.

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  18. Britain is a sexist society

    In addition, they believe that being female harmed their chances of career progression (82%) in 2006, compared to 78% in 2002 because males are the dominant office culture. The main reasons that sexism takes place is because one gender will feel another gender is weaker and not as successful as another. They will feel as if they have not got the ability e.g: workplaces without giving them any chance to prove themselves. This is clearly a stubborn and an ignorant way to treat people. Sexism is certainly taking place in the UK and there are numerous ways, which denotes that sexism does manifest in this country, such as: making prejudice statements and using offensive terms.

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  19. Modern Britain is now a secular society to what extent do sociological evidence and arguments support this view?

    The fall and rise of statistics in different areas show that religion has little influence today. Interpretive sociologists say that these statistics should be treated with caution as statistics for previous centuries may be inaccurate as data wasn't collected as well as it is today, the golden myth is not accurate and it could be misleading. On the other hand present statistics may not either be reliable as different religious organisations could have different counting methods to one another and also previous centuries. Bellah questions the validity of statistics, as they don't show the full picture e.g.

    • Word count: 840
  20. Social Experiemt

    I am going to carry out my experiment by acting like I am a stranger in my own house, by asking other people to do things for me, and also not doing things such as laying down on the couch. I am going to do it during a weekend because it is the time when I am at home for the longest periods of time after I have finished working and it is also when everyone else is most likely to be in.

    • Word count: 568
  21. Rastafarianism is a religion that was created in the early 1900 hundreds due to the social and poor economic conditions of the Black people in Jamaica.

    The older members are either ex-Graveyites (related to Marcus Garvey) or sympathizers of his movement. Women play an important role in the Rastafarianism today, but the majority are followers of their husbands. In 1965 the membership was essentially lower class, but this is no longer the case. They are found among the elite, some are students at prestigious University of the West Indies; some are in the medical and legal professions and other upper-class occupations. The Rastafarians have their roots in the teachings of Jamaican Black nationalist Marcus Garvey, who in the 1930's preached a message of Black self-empowerment and initiated the "Back to Africa" movement.

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  22. Qualitative and Quantitative methods of gathering data an overview.

    Also sociologists sometimes use non-representative sampling such as studying a criminal group. Scientific sampling is one way in which sociological researchers follow the logic of the experiment and control he variables of what they are studying. Structured methods are reliable as researchers insure that every interveiw or questionnaire is exactly the same, this allows the answers to be compaired accuratly. As the data is reliable another researcher can do a follow up study and come to the exact same conclusions. Altohugh structured methods and high in reliability it is often said that unstructured methods arnt very reliable cause each participant observation and unstructured interveiw study is unique.

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  23. Free essay

    Outline and asses the Weberian explanations of the changing structure in the contemporary UK

    Weber furthered on originally Marxist ideas, claiming that an individual's class arises from the person's market situation, meaning there is a division between those who have considerable property meaning they can live off the proceeds and the propertyless that have to sell their labour. However Weber furthered this, as of course, within the propertyless there are those who are able to sell their labour for a higher price, and unlike Marx, Weber saw that more than just different occupational groupings could form classes.

    • Word count: 797

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