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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.

    • Word count: 1993
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Critically discuss the links between social theory and social research.

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    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.

    • Word count: 1250
  3. 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.

    • Word count: 1308
  4. 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."

    • Word count: 1496
  5. 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.

    • Word count: 1266
  6. 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.

    • Word count: 1524
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  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. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Life Chances of Characters in 7-Up Series

    When Rachel stepped over the wall to speak to Monica, did she have an implied license? The issue here is (i) whether or not Rachel was lawfully on Monica's property. The element that needs to be satisfied here is (ii) whether Rachel had an implied license at the time. By the binding authority in Halliday, 'in the absence of any indication to the contrary', any member of the public has 'the implied or tacit license... to go upon an open driveway...

    • Word count: 1931
  21. Free essay


    Prior to this it was referred to as 'personal' or 'primary' relationships. Intimacy implies closeness and closeness, according to Woodward (2002, p190), is culturally specific in terms of temporality and spatiality and may in itself create changes in the way relationships are presented. The boundaries of personal or intimate relationships are not fixed in time and space, they are subject to change. Social change is representative of the blurring of these boundaries and forms new types of intimate space, personal expression and also public disclosure. Jamieson (1998) describes this new form of relationship as 'disclosing intimacy', meaning to constantly reveal inner thoughts and feelings to each other, speaking from a position of increased equality and equal gender relations.

    • Word count: 1648
  22. Looking Glass Self - Women and the Media

    This media frenzy has overlapped and diminished the line between reality and an unachievable worldview. "A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience" (Wolf, 1991) Our obsessed culture has slowly yet steadily changed the view of what the "idealized" woman truly is. In North America, the idealized woman is by definition "tall, less than 30 years of age, thin, a size six dress, heterosexual, able bodied and white." These attributes reflect only 2% of the U.S population.

    • Word count: 1500
  23. What is culture? Cultures can some times be distinguished by the way people behave. All cultures have a different perspective as to what is acceptable behaviour and what is not; it is culturally unacceptable for Muslim men and women to consume alcohol

    Burton and Dimbleby (2006) One's culture is part of one's identity. Branaman defines one's identity as 'A set of reactions and performances by others, the expressive implications which tend to confirm one's detailed and imaginative view of himself...Role-support is centrally the implied confirmation of the specific content of one's idealised and idiosyncratic imaginations of self.' Branaman (2001) Cultures can some times be distinguished by the way people behave. All cultures have a different perspective as to what is acceptable behaviour and what is not; it is culturally unacceptable for Muslim men and women to consume alcohol and for Muslim women to reveal their neck, ears, hair and body shape in public and therefore they must wear a Hijab.

    • Word count: 1529
  24. The Stanford prison experiment was a psychological study of the human response to captivity, in particular, to the real world circumstances of prison life. It was conducted in 1971 by psychologist Phillip Zimbardo and his colleagues in Stanford university

    It was conducted in 1971 by psychologist Phillip Zimbardo and his colleagues in Stanford university. The question the researchers asked was how would the participants react when placed in a simulated prison environment. They set out to do this by placing advertisements in a local newspaper, stating that male college students would be needed for a study of prison life, paying fifteen dollars per day for one to two weeks ( Shuffleworth, 2008). Researchers selected twenty- four participants from a larger group of seventy volunteers because they had no criminal background, lacked psychological problems and had no medical conditions.

    • Word count: 1104
  25. All Souls (book review)

    Southie, as it is referred to, was a working class community typically populated by families similar to that of the MacDonald's. The majority were fatherless, Irish Catholic families who relied on the welfare system and were living in the poorly kept projects. Despite this, the people of Southie were a tight-knit community who were proud not only to be Irish, but to be from Southie. "There was always this feeling that we were protected, as if the whole neighborhood was watching our backs for threats, watching for all the enemies we could never really define.

    • Word count: 1041

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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