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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. 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.

    • Word count: 785
  2. An X Rated Society

    Derek's murderous attack on the two black teenagers gave him three years in the penitentiary. He had no problem with finding a group of friends that were also skinheads but later finds out that they were not true to their beliefs. Derek tries to get them to hate all the minorities and to become a white supremacist group but instead, they turned on Derek and raped him in the shower. Derek was forced to work with a black man in the laundry room that helps him survive the rest of his prison sentence.

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  3. Globalistion has brought improved inter-relationships

    This means economic inter-relationships between societies have improved. - Increasing cultural interaction - Through developments in mass media, we can now encounter and consume new ideas and experiences from a wide range of cross-cultural sources in fields such as fashion, literature and food. This, again, improves cultural inter-relationships. Kennedy and Cohen conclude that the transformations have lead to 'globalism', a new consciousness and understanding that the world is a single place. However, as sociologists, we also need to be cautious in our use of the term 'globalisation' - as Wiseman indicates: "Globalisation is the most slippery buzzword of the late 20th century because it can have many meanings and be used in many ways."

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  4. Sociology - AQA Unit 5, June 2007

    - The researcher has the choice of which methods to use that fits their theoretical position. - The researcher has control over the question design/structure/format. - The researcher has choice of sampling technique - Data can be created that is specifically relevant to the research aims and is, therefore, more valid. However, primary data has many disadvantages and may not be useful for some sociologists. There are problems with interviews, involving interviewer bias, social desirability (people represent themselves in a better light) and validity (the respondent may be lying). Observation can be seen as less useful because of time, cost, loss of objectivity, changing behaviour or the Hawthorne Effect and ethics.

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  5. 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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  6. Outline and Assess the Usefulness of Conflict Theories in Explaining Social Class Inequalities in the Contemporary UK

    The ideology makes class positions appear just and fair. This leads to class inequality as the working class are unable to changes their class positions. The Marxist concept that the ruling class exploits their workers is present today. Examples such as Western rich company owners using sweatshops abroad where that can pay their workers next to nothing reflect this aspect of Marxist theory. It can be argued that Capitalism is now present on a global scale. The education system is one that can define the roles of people in later life.

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  7. 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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  8. Free essay

    Inequalities in Health

    Social class We could argue that the standard of healthcare in different social classes are because of geographical reasons, and the level of funding that the government gives to poorer, lower class areas compared to the level that is given to richer, middle/higher class areas. This can be seen in the Black Report (1980) and The Health Divide (1987). These reports clearly show such strong evidence of social class inequalities in health that the government tried to suppress the findings.

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  9. The Making of a Moonie

    The first being a personal level, then an interpersonal level and finally an impersonal level. She then conducted In-depth interviews. She interviewed 30 British members selected randomly with the interviews lasting between six and eight hours. The main part of her research was Participant Observation. She lived with the members both at home and abroad over the six years. Her role as a participant observer went through three distinct stages. The first stage was passive observation, then interactive observation and finally aggressive observation. During the participant observation stage it was always known that Barker was not a Moonie her self.

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  10. Emile Durkheim - suicide

    Moreover, collective conscience is a general structure of shared understandings, and beliefs. Also, collective representations is a concept and a social forces. Durkheim focused on division of labor's differences in traditional societies and modern societies. He claimed that agriculture societies were mechanical and people had things in common. Farmers are self-sufficient and link to other by the same tradition. In modern societies, he thought that the division of labor is complicated. People are dependencies because there are different specializations in employment. People must rely on others to meet their needs. He also claimed that the rapid changes in society lead to increasing the division of labor.

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  11. Gender Roles

    The pressure is evident with the rising anorexia and plastic surgery; the pressure from the media forces girls to go to extremes to look like images they see in the media. In the aspect of educational success, I am not surprised that more pressure has been put on girls. This is because there are becoming more jobs available for women that traditionally would be male dominated and also because all girls and boys get an equal opportunity within education. Girls feel pressurised to compete and do well because not only they may want to prove to men that they can

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  12. cultural deprivation theory

    It attributes the working class under-achievement to the fact that they have often been brought up with a negative attitude towards education. Cultural deprivation theory is not now as significant in theory as it once was, but it still justifies some thought. It begins with the understanding that working class people have a different culture from middle class people. That means working class people do less well in education. Some Theorists then make a causative link between the two ideas and suggest that working class people do less well because their culture is somehow inferior.

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  13. Health and Society

    Various medical schools of thought have drawn up (so to speak) there own medical models to what defines illness, some models it certainly would appear that the simple answer to dealing with ill health is to have more doctors per patient ratio. Other models as we sill cover later on will put the emphasis of ill health not on the shoulders of the medical profession but on society and individuals. Various social groups as well as medical groups have tried to define what health is, and also how health varies depending on your sex, age and social background.

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  14. 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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  15. Free essay

    Critically examine the use of social surveys as research method

    This method was used by Gordon Marshall et al in their study of class. Structured interviews do have an advantage, as there is a trained interviewer there to assist with any issues such as the wrong interpretation of a question. However as the interviewer is present the problem of interviewer bias may arise, this means that the interviewer may influence the response of the interviewee, for example if the questionnaire is personal the interviewee my feel intimidate and pressured to be dis-honest. This method is also expensive as there are ranges of costs, for example; the interviewer needs to be paid, an establishment is needed for the interview to take place this may be

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  16. 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.

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  17. 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.

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  18. sociology of education

    It makes an assumption that the values taught in school will automatically be embraced by students. In reality some students will and some won't. Also the values taught are ethnocentric and pupils from different cultures often reject and rebel against this. A functionalist view could also be criticised by suggesting all pupils are not offered an equal chance to succeed, and therefore education is not meritocratic. There is evidence which highlights working class pupils have a disadvantage and black pupils are labelled and discriminated against. Functionalism is too simplistic in its approach. It suggests the higher a pupil's level of achievement academically, there will follow a greater reward in the workplace with a better paid job.

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  19. Social Evils

    It is a renowned phrase that: "A filthy fish can contaminate the entire pond". Thus, this proverb aptly suites the modern times. We cannot negate the fact that Social Evils have been present eversince Man has started to exist in groups. Man, who is ironically the "higher creation" has degenerated himself to such an extent that the entire surrounding in which he lives tends to have a negative impact as well. "A man is judged according to his actions". Any conscious person with a sound moral sense is able to notice the vivid deterioration of his or her society.

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  20. Empiricism Vs Rationalism

    A key Empiricist is John Locke. Each theory, however, has a problem of knowledge because you can never solely have empirical or rational knowledge. This essay will explore the arguments for each theory in turn. The fundamental idea of Empiricism is that we can only be sure of something once it has been tested, proven and experienced. An Empiricist would argue that we ought to only make decisions once a person has got the information needed in order to make fact, usually by using the five senses.

    • Word count: 1058
  21. Individual Vs Society

    From this standpoint, society controls and influences the individual. Emile Durkheim, the founder of functionalism, compared society to the human body in which there were many parts working together as one. He therefore believed that for example the education system was beneficial for the economy due to role allocation and training. Along side this; Durkheim believed that education was important in socialising people into consensus and following the same norms and values. This was important as Durkheim thought that uniformity was essential to a smooth running society. Whilst Marx believed in a conflicting society, Durkheim believed in a functional social order, which holds a optimistic ideology where individuals work to help social structure.

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  22. Comparison of the discrimination faced by two contrasting groups

    I will be looking at two contrasting groups facing discrimination, the Dalits (India) and the Indigenous (IA) Australians. India's population is around 1 billion, while India's major religion is Hinduism, it is also home to many Muslims, Buddhists and Christians. It is the Hindu influence that has produced the caste system, on which India's culture hinges. This social structure has 4 very distinct levels, and comprises about 2/3rd of India's population, the remaining 1/3rd of the population are known as Dalits or "untouchables".

    • Word count: 1026
  23. How is gender influenced by social structures

    A female would be identified by the absence of a penis. The problem with defining gender identity by simply using anatomical evidence is that is this day and age, we live in a society where most of our bodies are generally covered by clothing, so judgement can also be obscured by the unisex clothes that are worn by both men and women. Most of us are always manipulating our outer appearance according to the latest trends or fashion. It is more acceptable for a woman to wear clothing that is generally thought of as more masculine, but it is seldom that a man can wear clothing that is thought of as feminine.

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  24. essay question sociology - education

    The value of equal opportunity is given when all students are made to sit in one class and give the same exam. Talent varies from person to person. All students strive to work hard and do well. Those who succeed are rewarded, and those who do not succeed realize that it is still just and alright as they had an equal opportunity. This is ho they explain differences in achievement. This does not apply solely to schools. This applies in society at large as well(example you are talented and hard working you will get a high status job).Schools are very

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  25. Assess the usefulness of participant observation as a research method for sociologists.

    They believe that participant observation is more useful than other methods because it is naturalistic. Behaviour is observed in its everyday setting. Experiments and social surveys, on the other hand, they believe are superficial. Trust and rapport can be established resulting in valid data. Observation does not impose the researchers definition of what is important on those being studied. Observation may uncover taken-for-granted assumptions by observing what people actually do rather than what they say they do. Positivists believe that only science can provide the objective 'truth' or facts about the world.

    • Word count: 1303

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