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University Degree: Applied Sociology

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  1. Critically evaluate explanations of 'theory of mind', drawing out contrasts between cognitive and social accounts of this aspect of children's thinking; paying attention to recent critiques of dominant views.

    Wellman et al (1990) believes children develop theory of mind through a process of belief - desire reasoning.2 They predict people's behaviour according to what they think their beliefs and desires are. This is a very social explanation of theory of mind as it not really focused on how the thought processes occur within the child but what they believe to be true based on interactions surrounding them. Flavell (1986) was concerned with children's ability to distinguish between appearance and reality.

    • Word count: 2251
  2. Discuss the definition of and development of community and arising the definition of community development: Outline and discuss the contemporary issues affecting Community Development. Critique one community development project with which you are familiar

    - thus, giving rise to "fears about the supposed contemporary loss of community" (Wellman, 1999). The fear surrounding the breakdown of community is captured in Putman's (2000) 'Bowling Alone' very clearly. Wellman, a proponent of network analysis argues that community undergoes transmutation (transformation). Therefore, Community, of course, had never been lost. Yet since the industrial revolution, most people have believed that large-scale technological and social changes destroyed community in the developed world and were well on their way to killing it in developing countries (Wellman, 1999).

    • Word count: 7386
  3. To what extent can law be seen to operate as an integrative mechanism within society

    Sociology concentrate's on how and why people are organised in society, either as individuals, associations, groups and institutions. Sociology also known as "social science" is involved in resolving social problems and formulating a public policy. Thirdly law, legal systems around the world elaborate legal rights in different ways. These can be reflected in social and cultural ways. A basic distinction is made between civil law and common law. Some countries base there law on religious texts, customary law, or social legal theory, these are among the strongest. The most important institutions of law are the judiciary, the legislator, the executive, it bureaucracy, the military and the police and the legal profession.

    • Word count: 1842
  4. Methods used to research long-term effects of drug use in sport

    The world anti-doping agency (2004) compiled a list of banned substances, which they divided into categories. For my essay I am going to look specifically at only a few of these categories. Anabolic agents: Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is a male s*x hormone found in large quantities in most males and in some females. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids fall into one of two categories: 1) exogenous steroids are those substances that are not capable of being produced by the body naturally, and 2)

    • Word count: 1418
  5. DESCRIBE AND DISCUSS THE EXTENT OF r****m AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN BRITAIN.

    supports this view when he "criticises the tendency to treat r****m and racial discrimination as interchangeable notions." For Banton and others there is a danger that r****m will become a catchall term for quite disparate social, political and economic practices. Miles (1989) warns of the "danger of 'conceptual inflation' in relation to the term in the social sciences" (Solomos 2003: 225). The definition of racial discrimination like r****m cannot be defined in one way, and this has become the challenging debate for a number of sociologists and researchers today. In his book There ain't no Black in the Union Jack, Gilroy describes Britain's old-fashion image being hidden behind these blurs: "the first depicts the nation as a homogenous and cohesive formation in which an even and consensual cultural field provides the context for hegemonic struggle.

    • Word count: 2210
  6. The Gender Divide and Achievement

    "A 'laddish culture' is seen to be one where boys' groups adopt common practices commonly associated with male groups like football and drinking (Francis, 1999c in Francis, B & Skelton, C. 2005: 44). This can be linked to the gender divisions in experience, whereby 'lads' feel that school is uncool and emasculating. The 'boys will be boys' discourse was based around the 'natural' differences between boys and girls, whereby they are seen as "conventional masculine stereotypes" of being naturally clever but lazy and difficult to motivate, competitive, independent etc (Francis, B & Skelton, C.

    • Word count: 2421
  7. HOW FAR DOES HEALTH DATA SUGGEST THAT SOCIAL CLASS REMAINS THE KEY CONCEPT FOR UNDERSTANDING CONTEMPORARY UK SOCIETY?

    These were factors affecting people's life chances, which in turn affected health, survival and mortality. Weber moved towards a more complex view of social class structure than Marx. He defined class as property being one source of market capacity. In defining class in terms of market situation, referring to "material rewards and the life chances such as pay, security and opportunity for promotion," Weber's view of class was the population being divided up into groups according to "economic differences of market capacity that gave rise to different life chances" (Abercrombie, 2006: 56-7). However the supposed disintegration and disorganization of class structure in late/postmodernity has caused a shared belief of the death if class.

    • Word count: 2136
  8. Youth rights and Citizenship

    of which you will die with, if you are born within the united kingdom and move to the united states you are know to have renounce your citizenship this is done by taking up a green card, as a man you can be then drafted into the army. Citizens are expected to take part in our society and participate in election, jury service and follow the law which have been put into place. In order to be a citizen you must be a member of a state are able to access certain facilities such as the nhs, income support for the non working, right to a free trail, free education.

    • Word count: 1585
  9. modernisation vs dependancy theory

    Although this could be seen as the starting point for modernisation, modernisation theories did not emerge until after the outbreak of World War two in 1939. Modernisation theory emerged from three crucial events, in the world war two era. First, the United States rose as a super-power. The U.S was not weakened by World War two, unlike Britain, France and Germany. The U.S emerged from the war strengthened and became a world leader, with the help of the Marshall Plan.

    • Word count: 3197
  10. The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes was written and illustrated by Bill Watterson. The strip itself is about a six-year old imaginative boy, Calvin, and his energetic and sarcastic stuffed tiger, Hobbes. The strip began November 18th

    Hobbes is named after philosopher Thomas Hobbes, whom Bill Watterson was quoted saying "had a dim view of human nature." Hobbes is much more aware of consequences than Calvin, but rarely interferes with Calvin's troublemaking beyond a few warnings. This idea makes sense because in the end, Calvin will be the one to get in trouble for it, not Hobbes. Just like John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes might, the two characters are constantly bickering, often ending in a fight. Hobbes also everyday is waiting for Calvin to pounce on him, leaving Calvin with scrapes and bruises, and sometimes Calvin outsmarts Hobbes.

    • Word count: 1287
  11. The role of social sciences in the all forms of knowledge has a great impact in the systematic and organized body of concepts, theories, information and evidence about the social world.

    The language humans inherit shapes how they see and know the world. For example, when I see a car I know it is a car, but a mechanical engineer whose knowledge includes over a dozen different words for cars, will see a much more precise, complex and nuanced object than I will ever see. The roles of institutions are equally important in shaping the content and understanding of knowledge systems. The dominance and public legitimacy of knowledge systems has been backed up and underscored by the use of force, terror and censorship.

    • Word count: 1634
  12. Thomas Hobbes, is known more for his work in the field of political philosophy, however, his theories can also be applied to the discipline of sociology

    People free to do as they wish. Hobbes is often credited as the very first 'behaviourist', in that he did much work on why people behave as they do. He saw everything as material bodies, in constant motion until something or someone altered their path. Hobbes said that human beings, as well as every other entity are on a moving path, forever in motion. Things only stop moving when a force or an obstacle obstruct our course or change our path. Such as gravity holding us down or (a modern example)

    • Word count: 1829
  13. What does the term "alien" refer to in the concept of alienation? Do you find this concept plausible?

    Marx feels that man created this imagined entity called God and now he is ruled by this entity, therefore through his religion, man has alienated himself from his inner desires by placing them in the hands of the imagined entity of God. Through philosophy, man is also alienated through the concept of ideas. Man is reduced to the mental processes of speculation and logic, and he puts "the idea in the place of God" (3). Man is alienated from his true thoughts and feelings through his notion of ideas, just as he is alienated from his true desires and feelings by the notion of God.

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  14. Did Hobbes demonstrate that a valid theory of government could be derived from a general theory of human nature?

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly for Hobbes in the context of developing a theory for successful government, the natural condition and urges of man provide a justification for the absolute obedience to a sovereign required to uphold social order. The resonance of the deleterious effects of man's natural condition with the events of Hobbes's time (and history as he knew it), seems to show how easily the spread of indiscipline and inequality of values can bring about the ruin of society and lead to people's lives becoming "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".

    • Word count: 2156
  15. [1] Lisa Flavell Politics;

    The second key event in Hobbes' life, and arguably the most important, overshadowing the Venetian visit, was on another "Grand Tour" of Europe where he met Galileo near Florence. On this trip he became aware of French philosophical circles and it's emphasising on Galileo's physics. These theories, stemming from Martin Mersenne, offered a new science: answer questions for the Sceptics, of the previous, but also explicitly Anti-Aristotelian. In the 1640's Hobbes presented his first philosophical piece of work, influenced by Hugo Grotius "The Law of War and Peace".

    • Word count: 1696
  16. In considering Locke's analysis of the state of nature, we shall mainly be examining his Two Treatises of Government (1689).

    Philosophers then try to imagine what it would be like to live in these circumstances. Not all philosophers actually believed that the state of nature had been a real stage in human development, Jean Jacques Rousseau, with no Darwin to compel him, thought that it would have taken far too long for human society to develop in this way (from primal to political) while Locke thought that there still were present-day models of people living in the state of nature, namely native Americans and in Soldania1.

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  17. To analyse the following piece of Leviathan: "The Obligation of subjects to the Sovereign, is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth, by which he is able to protect them. For the right men have by Nature

    (chap. 21, p.153). This extract can be found in Leviathan's Part 2, 'Of Common-wealth'. It is preceded by 'Of Man', in which after having described men, their defining features, (such as the use of words, reason, judgement), Hobbes concludes that because men are born equal, but at the same time differ immensely in their opinions, and in the objects of their passions, no man can assume that his own judgement is better than that of one other, and, in dubious situations, men cannot come to any kind of agreement on what is good or bad; right or wrong.

    • Word count: 2125
  18. Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau are credited with the development of the Social Contract Theory, but their ideas reveal important differences.

    would consume society and all the brutality of this concept where bye abuse, exploitation and enslavement would occur. The state of nature which Locke describes is a place "Where there is no Law there is no freedom" (Heywood, page 87). Whereas the formation of a sovereign state offers a civilised existence which guarantees protection and liberty Discussion. As mentioned both theorists agreed on the principals of the social contract theory they both would rather have the organisation that comes with statehood who's advantages, it would appear far outweigh the horror of the state of nature.

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  19. How Does Hobbes Justify The Authority Of

    The closest comparison to 'The State of Nature' could be North America just after colonial rule and the settling of the relatively lawless west. Another example could be the book, "The Lord of the Flies," by William Golding, a story about a group of boys marooned on a desert island together and how they consequently interact, sometimes quite violently. He believed that all humans acting rationally would always protect themselves from any perceived threat. In this 'state of nature' people would kill each other in order to minimalise the risk of their own death.

    • Word count: 2025
  20. Interpretation and Criticism of Hobbes's "Leviathan".

    Thus, for Hobbes, no notions of what is good or evil, or of what is right or wrong, can exist outwith humanity, as such notions are dependent upon the desires and aversions of the individual that is using them. It would be easy, then, to mistake Hobbes' theory as being one based upon simple subjectivism, but this is not the case. While there are certainly elements in this theory identifiable with subjectivism, it would be wrong to assert that Hobbes's position is purely a subjectivist one.

    • Word count: 1766
  21. Rationality and the "Ideal Type" of Bureaucracy: the Contribution of Max Weber.

    Another, somewhat condensed, definition given by Huczynski & Buchanan (1997, p.365), classifies power as "the ability to get things done by threats of force sanction." Authority is a different, if related, concept. It is defined by Huczynski & Buchanan (1997, p.365) as "managing to get things done because one's orders are seen by others as justified or legitimate." Bureaucracies, and to a large extent, modern society itself is based around authority rather than power. The first type of authority identified by Weber was traditional.

    • Word count: 1848
  22. In what ways might we argue that there is a contractual relationship between government and governed

    a contractual relationship between government and governed, namely Marxism. Although Marx did not address the issue specifically, it should be possible to demonstrate this, using Marx's theories of capitalism and history. There are even "post-liberals" who argue that whilst there may once have been a contract it no longer applies to modern society. Unfortunately there is not enough space to discuss the work of all the great contract theorists so I shall limit myself to looking at the work of "unquestionably the greatest of all the contract theorists", Thomas Hobbes, before considering the post-liberal argument and then the Marxist analysis.

    • Word count: 1688
  23. Bureaucratic Structure and Personality.

    Weber has said that "in such an organisation there is integrated a series of offices, of hierarchized statuses" (p1). He goes on to say that each office has different jobs and responsibility, there is a pecking order in terms of how and what work is carried out, this pecking order is a way of "distribution of authority within the system" (p1). This can be identified with what is known as chain of command. Certain rules and regulations need to be followed, without these rules there will be no real order, people not working efficiently as there is a lack of discipline.

    • Word count: 822
  24. Assess the view that bureaucracy is the most efficient form of organization.

    It is true that bureaucracy can evolve and become a personification of a slow, inefficient, unproductive machine or robot, an un-motivating place to work where employees are restricted to become cogs in the machine, thereby destroying innovation and personal development. To fully understand the organisational structure that is bureaucracy we need to look at its original conception, subsequently we can look at its perceived advantages and dysfunctions. Several theorists have made major contributions to the theories of bureaucracies. The classic theories of bureaucracy were formulated by Max Weber, Robert Michels, Bruno Rizzi, Karl Marx and elaborating on Marx's work, Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein)

    • Word count: 2339
  25. Assess the competing theories of De Facto, Plato, Hobbes, Rousseau and Locke, whose justification of the State is based on the notion of a social contract.

    According to Hinsley, sovereignty is 'the idea that there is final and absolute authority in the political community'. (Hinsley, 1986, p1) By this, we might understand that states can be characterised as 'sovereign' due to the type of power they claim. Legitimacy of the State relies on the citizens' acceptance of the State's right to yield authority. Max Weber proposed that States are founded on 'force' and have a monopoly of the means of 'legitimate violence'. Citizens, therefore, relinquish their right of retaliation in the understanding that the State will provide the necessary 'force' to ensure their safety. Weber questions the ambiguous definition of 'force' and debates whether it means 'violence' or 'coercion'. (Jones et al, 1994 p11)

    • Word count: 1906

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