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University Degree: Social Theory

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 3
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  1. Critically examine whether media coverage of immigration and national identity creates political and ideological controversy.

    Racism is denounced and denied as a political or rhetorical term but not as a theoretical concept (Essed, 1987). Racial taxonomies of popular pseudo-scientific representations of different people were social constructions with social consequences as modern racism need not presuppose the biological notion of race or the associated racial hierarchies, but presupposes their continued social-cultural construction as adapted to the current historical context (Omi and Winnat, 1986). Racism is not presently defunct as Europeans no longer believe the 'racial superiority', dominant norms and values have discredited such ideology, hence the legitimation of group dominance (Dijk, 1991). Groups remain dominant by using their resources to reproduce their dominance.

    • Word count: 3691
  2. This assignment will analyse critically key ethical, attitudinal, political issues and historical development of sexuality in relation to people with learning disabilities and services. This assignment will explore Task B, which is based on a young man w

    It could be argued that the eugenic movement was triggered by Jukes (1875) and Kallikaks (1912) study viewed people with learning disabilities and other sub groups to be linked to criminality (Lombardo, 2008). However according to Karellou (2007) Sterilisation is still common practice for women learning difficulties, in Canada as well as in many other developed countries (Karellou 2007). Historically society's views of individuals with learning disabilities were based on negative stereotypes, during the 19th century it was believed individuals with learning disabilities reproduced more rapidly compared to the rest of the society, the state feared rapid reproduction would overwhelm the population, therefore official checks needed to be placed to control this( Kempton and Kahn 1991).

    • Word count: 4625
  3. Learning Disability Research and Evaluation: Exploring Participatory and Emancipatory research in Learning Disabilities studies.

    in fact it seems normalisation had tremendous effect in inclusive research specially in the adaptation of participatory research, Jan Walmsley (2001) talks about the influence of normalisation in great detail in one of her research which was based on her reflection of inclusive research, her work shows that normalisation supplied the condition to allow people with learning difficulties to speak out in research (Walmsley, 2001).In fact almost every journal I have read on the topic of inclusive research all discuss the potential doors opened by normalisation and social role valorisation.

    • Word count: 4132
  4. Social Constructionism and Identity Concepts of Disabled People. This essays outlines social constructionisms main ideas focusing on its concept of identities as socially constructed and negotiated by everyday, power-influenced social interactions.

    Language is vital because narrative accounts and discourses - our way of thinking and talking (Phoenix, 2007) - construct identities in everyday-life (Phoenix, 2007, Burr, 2003, Bartky, 1990). Processes of distinctions in language contribute to the making and validation of reality (Phoenix, 2007, Chiari & Nuzzo, 1996, Raskin, 2002). Moreover, language creates power-relations through discourses (Phoenix, 2007, Burr, 2003, Hall, 1992, Potter and Wetherell, 1987, Foucault, 1983, de Beauvoir, 1972). Groups of people, with similarities and differences in their identities, but who belong to the same social category, are often powerful enough to make others accept their constructs and can therefore negotiate their "reality" (e.g.

    • Word count: 3917
  5. Family life in the UK is always changing as we can see there are many factors that are changing the family in the UK. This essay will look some of the key factors that have transformed the family. Firstly the essay will try to define what a family is.

    "There has been a corresponding increases in single person households". H, Holborn (1995) pg347. Single parent families has become on the increase in Britain. As stated by the government statistics that in 1961 that 2.5 percent of the population lived in households that consisted of lone parents with dependent children. By 1992 this figure had risen to 10.1%. Between 1972 and 1991 the percentage of children living within single parent families rose to an extreme of 18percent.single parent families can be the result of the child being born into a single parent family or it could be because the partners have had a divorce, or due to death or it could be due to separation of the parents.

    • Word count: 3520
  6. The Substance of Friends

    gives a thumbnail definition of friendship as affection, shared interests, past, values, enemies, and delight in one another's company. Indeed there are a myriad ways of defining friendship. Whatever definition is preferred, it is generally agreed that the kind of friendships people maintain are based on the social and cultural context where relationships are formed. It is also widely accepted that despite its complicatedness, friendship continues to remain as a central aspiration of human beings as it was from a long time ago. It would be worthy to start with a classical view of friendship that has withstood the test of time.

    • Word count: 3237
  7. Is class still relevant to the explanation of inequality in modern Britain?

    The question being asked however is whether class actually still matters in today's society when it comes to looking at the inequalities in wealth, status and power that people have. In this essay I will examine how three different sociological theories view social stratification, social groups and social mobility. I will then look at three studies conducted on social mobility, and compare these to the theories. I will then discuss the results of these studies, and whether they support the idea of class still being relevant in Britain today.

    • Word count: 3531
  8. Dark Side of Social Capital

    Social Capital as a concept Social capital is a concept that has generated various interpretations. Coleman (1990) emphasizes the functional aspect of social capital, as it facilitates actions among people, which will eventually lead to the achievement of their interests. In his opinion, trust makes possible human relationships, which are reduced to obligations and expectations. Social capital involves the idea of reciprocity, which is highlighted by the question: "Why do rational actors create obligations" (Coleman 1990:309). His explanation sounds like this: when a person does a favor, the costs are low and he expects to be repaid at a moment when his benefit will be high and the costs for the other part will be low.

    • Word count: 3082
  9. One of the most important sociological questions for Weber was the issue of how power operates in social life (Ashley and Orenstein). Analyse and discuss

    It will also pay attention to Weber's status groups of 'castes'. This is important as he did address this concept and felt that it was an important and unique denomination of a status group. It will be interesting to analyse whether these caste systems are still present in today's society and in what form. At the same time, I will attempt to look at Weber and Marx work critically and to explain whether they are relevant to society today. This is important, as it will give a greater understanding of the basic concepts if they are related to contemporary society.

    • Word count: 3605
  10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: 'McDonald's stands for American cultural imperialism'? Support your argument with relevant statistics about the company, and balance your answer by considering McDonalds from the point of view of the

    Said, 1997 has also emphasised the sense of domination that underlying the modernist production that is represented through global giants like McDonalds (Laura Chrisman, 2003). McDonalds is one of the crucial developments in America in twentieth-century that has influenced the world (Ritzer, 1996). In 1955 the first franchise of McDonalds was opened, by 1991 the number had reached to 12,000 outlets through out the world (Boje et al, 2006). Rigg (1994) states that McDonald's total sales in 1993 had reached 23.6 billion, achieving the profit of 1.1 billion.

    • Word count: 3936
  11. An Explanation of Child development, Based on Genetic and Environmental Influences.

    Further, the development of language will be analysed, as it clearly proves the interaction of nature-nurture in human development. Before proceeding to discussing the events this essay will begin with a definition of aggression and anti-social behaviour. "Human aggression is any behaviour directed toward another individual or thing that is carried out with the proximate intent to cause harm". (Bushman & Anderson 2001, Baron & Richardson 1994, Berkowitz 1993, Geen 2001). Moreover, according to Coin and Dodge (1999), aggressive behaviour appears to be a universal characteristic of the human species and a typical factor of antisocial behaviour (M. Knapp, S.

    • Word count: 3194
  12. Durkheim's core theoretical concepts

    'In societies where this type of solidarity [mechanical] is highly developed, the individual is not his own master... Solidarity is, literally something which the society possesses.' (Durkheim, 1933). The Organic solidarity is based on the dependence individuals in modern societies which begin to industrialise and where the division of labour begins to increase. Individuals in the organic solidarity do perform different tasks and often have different principles and interests and the very survival of society depends on their dependence on each other to execute their precise task.

    • Word count: 3138
  13. Rupert Murdoch Vs BBC: Is the battle between private sector and public Sector media a threat to UK democracy?

    For example during the Iraq war viewers turned "to the BBC as a source of news in overwhelming numbers."4 With the BBC dominating the world of news in the UK it is no surprise that Murdoch wants to use his power to shift the BBC into a niche "quality" market, catering only for the minority middle class interests. It is for these reasons that I base the discussion of democracy on the hostile relationship between these two media corporations. The question of this paper asks whether, the battle between the private sector (Murdoch)

    • Word count: 4703
  14. Explain how advertising persuades people most effectively, and also explain some of the ways in which it might fail.

    If the source is considered to be credible and believable, the message is more likely to be effective. This can be expressed through confidence and appearance. The source is considered credible if they are an expert in the field and they are trustworthy. If the source is a perceived expert, the target is more accepting of what they say. However, even if a source is thought to be an expert it doesn't make them trustworthy. Often, to decide if they are trustworthy, an individual will look at their motives for persuading. If they appear to have a lot to gain from it, many will discard the message.

    • Word count: 3202
  15. Rousseau's Lawgiver

    To soothe the fear of misrecognition experienced in prior undemocratic social relations by ensuring equal treatment of each member's interests, 2) Impart to the members knowledge of the social whole from the perspectives of all others 3) Produce a motivation for members to consider the other in their deliberations. These three notions remain crucial to our current democratic reflections. They point toward an institutional life that supports the participation and reproduction of fair deliberative settings and egalitarian outcomes. Yet unlike many accounts of the lawgiver's activity, it is crucial to recognize the limited means by which the lawgiver attempts to execute his task.

    • Word count: 3309
  16. In the vast literature on identity and gender, several approaches have found it useful to regard women and men as members of social categories (e.g. Deaux, 1984; Deaux & Major, 1987; Sherif, 1982). For example, gender stereotypes are pervasive

    Erikson (1969) assumed that there are some important differences between males and females in identity development: females develop a sense of identity later than males, allegedly because they realize that their identity and social status will depend very much on the type of man that they choose to marry. In support of this theory some studies have addressed the issue of sex differences in identity formation. Douvan and Adelson (1966) obtained support for Erikson's position . Adolescent girls had greater problems than adolescent boys with identity development, and this seemed to be because they focused on the changes in their lives that would result from marriage .

    • Word count: 4879
  17. How useful is Marx's theory of historical materialism to the understanding of the development of capitalism?

    The progress of human society then, begins with the study of economics. Marx's theory of historical materialism examines history as developing through a number of definite stages of economic progress or modes of production. To understand these various stages of development, it is central to first consider the materialist methodology used to develop historical materialism. As already established, the first historical act is the production of the means to satisfy mans needs, the second leads to man acquiring new needs, and the third act is mans entrance into relations of procreation, hence; the family.

    • Word count: 3689
  18. The social control theory of surveillance can be traced back to the utilitarian work of Jeremy Bentham

    Michel Foucault (1926-1984), in his work 'Surveillir et Punir' (Discipline and Punishment), gives a modern interpretation of Benthams 'Panoptican'. For Foucault the 'Panoptican' represented a key spatial figure in the modern project and in the creation of modern subjectivity, in other words in the remaking of people (and society) in the image of modernity. The drive to self monitoring through the belief that one is under constant scrutiny. 1.2. Contemporary Surveillance The modern use of surveillance has been enforced through the use of Closed Circuit Television as a situational crime prevention, which has increased dramatically over recent years.

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  19. A research project into the perceptions of graffiti by certain individuals and groups can be seen as having grounding in both sociology and criminology. The sociology of deviance and delinquency

    In Greater Manchester, a police metro unit, like others in the UK, has proactively been trying to identify perpetual graffiti artists through photographing examples on public transport and contacting local schools. There have also been attempts to trace the sale of aerosol cans and marker pens back to the graffitist. Government legislation though, may be responsible for deterring some of those engaged in graffiti, but some suggest that without such legislation there would be less incidents of this particular property crime.

    • Word count: 9073
  20. Investigating the Relationship between Self-esteem and Rape in Jamaican Men

    * Marital rape- when the victim of forced intercourse is the spouse. * Rape by instrumentation (a relatively new legal concept) - this refers to any intrusion of the male penis of any part of the persons body that could be interpreted for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification or an act of violence; or the forced intrusion of any object into the genital or anal openings of another persons body. LITERATURE REVIEW Among the many theories and views of rape and its perpetrators, three stand out: the feminist theory, the evolutionary theory and the biosocial theory (other wise known as the synthesized theory).

    • Word count: 5679
  21. Symbolic Interactionism is a social action theory which focuses on the subjective experience of an individual as the basis for understanding and studying society.

    Underlying this micro approach is the belief that we, as individuals, do not simply drift through life as passive objects of socialization. Instead, we actively engage in constructing our social world, thus creating our own social reality. The three core elements of symbolic interactionism are: * The symbol * The self * The interaction Interactionist sociologists have no interest in institutions and structures in the society nor do they formulate a manufactured assumption of consensus and conflict in society. The behavior of human beings to them is not governed by the system of the society but by social interaction.

    • Word count: 3118
  22. Richardson's Pamela and Dafoe's Roxana provide us with two very different, yet similar examples of how the social values of the time work against women

    against women and force them into situations that they might not choose if they were allowed the freedom and power to choose according to their own wishes. For me the word "or" in the titles suggests ambiguity and the presence of a subtle irony on the part of both authors, which encourages close scrutiny. Pamela or Virtue Rewarded alerts the reader that if virtue is rewarded a hidden cost may well exist in obtaining the reward. Roxana or The Fortunate Mistress raises the question of how Roxana can be fortunate since the very word mistress is indicative of a ruined woman.

    • Word count: 3492
  23. An account of the Uncertainty Anxiety Management, Communication Accommodation, Intercultural Adaptation and Network Analysis theories of intercultural communication

    Uncertainty Anxiety Management (UAM) Theory Uncertainty Anxiety Management (UAM) theory was developed by Gudykunst (1985) who extended Berger and Calabrese's (1975) uncertainty reduction theory (Gudykunst 2003:169). The theory incorporates objectivist and subjectivist factors that influence intercultural communication. Examples of subjectivist factors are the communicator's self-concept and ability to empathize with strangers (Gudykunst 2003:170). Objectivist factors include situational conditions such as normative support for dealing with strangers and complexity of scripts governing interaction with strangers (Gudykunst 2003:170). According to Gudykunst (2003:168)

    • Word count: 3419
  24. Critical Theory

    Then, critical theory looks at the possibility of political action against this process (Nowlan, 2000). The ideas, methods, and texts of the critical theorists have influenced the ways that many of us continue to view the interplay of theory, culture, and society (Kellner, 2001). Due to this reason, it is imperative for this paper to include at least two critical theorists to substantiate this impact. The first one will be Michel Foucalt, who was a French philosopher. His work is often described as postmordenist.

    • Word count: 6014
  25. Discuss some of the ways in which English has been shaped as a tool for work.

    Discourse communities The concept of discourse community is very important for understanding how English is used as a working language. It was developed principally by the linguist John Swales who observed that particular types of communities exist in which people do not necessarily live close together or even have personal contact, nonetheless they use a common spoken or written language to achieve a shared objective. In the words of Neil Mercer the notion of this type of community Professional discourses are not static but change and develop naturally to adapt to the needs of people working in a specialised field of work.

    • Word count: 3049

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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