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University Degree: Social Theory

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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the pluralist and elitist accounts of political power.

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    The old Soviet Union had great social variety and numerous interest groups, yet in elections there was only one political party to vote for. There was social pluralism, but not political pluralism. Political pluralism means the government will attempt to satisfy the demands of the various interest groups. Political pluralism needs to have seven distinctive features. Contemporary Britain and the USA are said to have these. These comprise of: 1. Free and fair elections, which have no coercion or ballot rigging.

    • Word count: 2151
  2. In this paper I hope to discuss the ways in which television and the media has negatively played a part in the cognitive development in children.

    With the help of these sources, this paper will help us to gain a better understanding of how television has severely impacted the mental development and thought processes of children and how this might impact their future. It is easy to see that television and the media is a raging force in our society today. These days however, more and more children are introduced at an early age to the media and television programs. But what are the long term effects of television watching on learning?

    • Word count: 2066
  3. Law is an institution of the most pernicious tendency. (Godwin) Should we agree with the anarchist and abolish law?

    Firstly looking at Kropotkin, he argued for an egalitarian society, in which all the people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights. His claim was that the state exploits people and only gives power to the limited minority. Following up on this he was keen to show the uselessness of law and he did this by making three categories. These were protection of property, government and persons. Laws that concern property are said to 'rob the producer'.

    • Word count: 2650
  4. Is there an existence of Equality and Diversity with regards to Race and Ethnicity in Britains Welfare State?

    Unfortunately public opinion surrounding migrants who settle in Britain has been largely negative. Immigrants have been accused of taking advantage of Britain's welfare provisions (Hayes 2000 & Goodhart 2004 as cited in Williams 2010 p 21). Attitudes such as these are left unchallenged, the fact that the migration of Black and Chinese workforces in the 1960/70's enabled the fulfilment of many emerging public sector jobs which in turn provided a boost to services to the nation, was not always publicised (Williams 2010 p 21).

    • Word count: 2134
  5. This report aims to research interpersonal communication in a `dynamic` environment, in this case, West Quay, the biggest Mall in Southampton. Its purpose is to comment on some important aspects regarding consumerism and to analyse human behaviour under

    Perhaps all the individuals should learn to give something back and try to be less selfish. It needs to be emphasised the fact that, humans, by consuming, have a major negative impact on the environment, and because they waste too much, we can say that people destroy and produce at the same time. By having a huge number of demands and by giving back so little, the Planet`s resources are diminishing day by day. Unfortunately, the number of people willing to do something and stop this from happening is much lower than the number of those who only care about themselves.

    • Word count: 2013
  6. Social Aspects of Intergroup Conflict between Muslims and Hindus in India

    As Khan & Sen, (2009) have suggested, whilst many academic disciplines such as sociology, political science, economics and history have discussed the group relations in India, psychology theory and research has been slow. This paper will discuss some of the social psychology aspects of intergroup theories that this case study highlights. Groups, and in particular religious groups, provide their members with a comprehensive social identity with shared values and norms, which assists in mobilizing and justifying collective actions. Social identity is not only derived from the group membership but also the members of the group strive to gain a positive self esteem through maintaining a positive social identity; this is commonly known as the self esteem hypothesis (Breckler, 2006).

    • Word count: 2388
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Discuss the impact on British Society of second wave feminism

    Suffragettes from the 18th to early 20th century, perhaps the most famous being Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, took direct action. Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and through using tactics such as violence and arson the suffragettes managed over all to get the most discriminatory laws amended (Walters, 2005). Evans (1977:239) believes "One of the major drives behind feminism was the need felt by middle class women to reassert their superiority of status over socially or racially inferior men to whom political and social change was bringing rights and thus status, which they were...

    • Word count: 2460
  17. Free essay

    Sociological concepts. Enlightenment / social change, Progress / stages of history, Rationalisation / bureaucracy,Organic solidarity / meritocracy.

    On the other hand, feminism has criticized enlightenment as presenting a view of reality which would be seen as biased by a cynical person. According to the Dictionary of Sociology and related sciences, the origin of Social change is portrayed as ''regressive or progressive, planned or unplanned, temporary or permanent and or beneficial or harmful.'' Content The idea of enlightenment can be described as the freedom to use one's own intellect. It is the freedom of thought and expression, the criticism of religion, the value of reason and science, a commitment to social progress and the significance of individualism.

    • Word count: 2070
  18. Is deviance a social necessity

    (Becker, 1966) Nevertheless, deviant behaviour has been discovered to originate from different sources. Some theorists believe deviance is a psychological defect in personality development, through abnormal social learning (Eysenck, 1964). However, it has been challenged, by the idea that, everyone plays a role in social situations, nevertheless, your personality traits will not indicate how you perform in that specific role, and therefore there is no evidence in such deviant behaviours such as stealing. (Marshall. B. Clinard, 1968) Psychoanalytic learning approach, (Alexander and Ross 1952) believed that deviance was due to a weak super-ego, which meant controlling the id was difficult as it was continually dominant.

    • Word count: 2065
  19. Is Society Intrinsically Unequal? Barbara Ehrenreichs Nickel-and-Dimed on (Not) Getting By in America

    However, she confesses to having advantages such as having "starter" and emergency money. Today, American society faces issues concerning rises in the price of gas, food, and services. In Nickel and Dimed, the author explores living off minimum wage and the tribulations one experiences while trying to survive on minimum wage income. Barbara Ehrenreich allots herself a small amount of money for startup, and then proceeds to find work and a place to live in Key West, Florida. She finds herself working as a waitress, and a second job as a housekeeper in a hotel.

    • Word count: 2091
  20. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of Marxism and Functionalist theory within the Family

    The least favoured family unit is the single parent family, and this has been reinforced by government statistics where the children have achieved less at school than children from the nuclear family. A technique to understanding the concept of 'family' is to learn what it teaches or provides to the individual. The idea of appealing to an individual is very important to Functionalists as they believe strongly in influence over individuals rather than looking at groups of people. The family is described by George Murdock (2004)

    • Word count: 2092
  21. human rights

    or to do all that could reasonably be expected of them to avoid a real and immediate risk to life of which they have or ought to have knowledge[2]. Consideration of positive obligations has lead to suggestions that Convention rules can in some circumstances bind private parties. The better-and certainly more orthodox-view is that the Convention only impacts upon the conduct of private parties adjectivally when action is taken by the State to secure the rights protected by the Convention which requires or prohibits certain conduct by individuals.

    • Word count: 2800
  22. Weber used the term, Iron Cage(TM) in relation to bureaucracy. Does this mean that his view of social development is pessimistic?

    One of these ideal types includes the contribution Weber made to the concept of bureaucracy, which was "concerned with rational and efficient organization, comprising specific attributes for both positions and personnel..." however "...it is much more than this" Scott, J. and G. Marshall, (2005: 46). To help organise the complex modern society, bureaucracy is needed as it holds the belief in expertise and success earned through merit, gaining qualifications and training through hard work in order to be allocated to particular roles.

    • Word count: 2547
  23. With reference to sociological theory and concepts covered in lectures to date, critically analyse the extent to which the areas of social capital, the voluntary and community sector, and governmental policy are interconnected.

    Scott, J. and G. Marshall, (2005:606). Other influences on social capital include the social structures and the environment, which surround individuals, as well as their culture, norms and sanctions. This demonstrated in the three different types of networks within social capital, which include bonding, bridging and linking. 'Bonding' can be described as the social support we may receive from the people we are close to as part of our backgrounds, it "Relates to common identity, for example ties among people who are similar to each other...within communities."

    • Word count: 2112
  24. Citizenship as a fluid and Contested concept.

    to members of the society, so that they assume the status of being a citizen. As cited by Dwyer, Lister (1998a), Oliver and Heater (1994) state that citizenship is used across multiple disciplines as well as in different dimensions thus, universally applying a hard and fast definition to citizenship is intricate. However, Faulks (1998) defined citizenship in three perspectives i.e. Legal, Philosophical and Socio-political definitions. According to Faulks, the legal definition synthesizes nationality with citizenship, thus a citizen of a country cannot be deported from that country and should be able to return without restrictions.

    • Word count: 2307

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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