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University Degree: Social Theory

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  1. Max Weber Ideology of Class

    receive similar economic rewards'1. Higher an individual's market position easier it becomes to obtain and access goods and services of a prestigious value and their power increases to dispose of them. This results in social groups becoming segregated and differences become evident because individuals in the same market position are more likely to share the same lifestyles and feel a sense of belonging and acceptance within that group. Thus excluding and creating prejudice against other existing groups which Weber refers to as Social closure, 'the way power is exercised to exclude outsiders from the privileges of social membership'2.

    • Word count: 724
  2. 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
  3. 'Access to specialised knowledge makes decision-making easier in contemporary society.' Discuss with reference to one or more of the theories from Chapter 4, using examples. Medical knowledge.

    That sort of dilemma cannot make decision-making easier, it merely creates more zealots and atheists. The problem with knowledge is that, 'once knowledge of something exists, it cannot be un-learnt.' Michelle Ashton X384338 TMA04 How to divide an atom, cannot be un-learnt. Without the existence of medical knowledge, hypochondriacs would not exist. Therein lies an anomaly, how is it that a hypochondriac can physically manifest an illness, including symptoms, but a person with an illness can not dissipate it in the same way? There probably exists 'specialised knowledge' to explain this. 'Knowledge is not 'given' or self-evident but it is 'produced' by reference to different kinds of evidence.' (Margaret Kiloh, Workbook 5, Chapter 1, p.17.)

    • Word count: 1153
  4. Social Inequalities- race & Class

    It is fair to say that inequalities within society today have been socially constructed. By socially constructed it means that people have made an issue out of something that does not have to be an issue. In an ideal world regardless of our age, our skin colour, our classification and our sexuality preferences everyone would be equal and treated the same. However, this is not the case. Social class can be based on different factors. The main factor is income. In the UK today society has many different classification systems for example 'The National socio-economic system' which was adopted by government in 2001 whereby society is divided into 8 classes based on occupation, ranging from higher managerial positions to never employed.

    • Word count: 1665
  5. Stress. The total stress score from the social readjustment scale does not adequately reflect what the author believes to be his personal level of stress associated with social readjustment. The scale covers most issues that deal with social readjustment.

    Theories are needed to explain and predict stress, as well as for the design and evaluation of interventions. Although there has been a history of developing, testing, applying, and refining psychological theories on stress, debates and limitations in evidence exist (Dombeck and Wells-Moran, 2006). The component of theories which, for example, predicts change should be better elaborated so that we can more easily understand what actually reduces stress. Theories need to be empirically testable in two ways. Theories need to specify a set of changeable predictors to describe, explain, and predict behavior change, and they should enable us to design an effective intervention that produces exactly those changes in behavior that are predicted by the relevant theory.

    • Word count: 673
  6. Free essay

    Media Audiences

    Audience research has been explored to explain the 'effects' of media information and how this information may or may not influence behaviour. 'Effects' research is usually in reaction to public concern or moral panic about how the media affects people. Effects research assumes the audience is passive, so the viewer, especially vulnerable viewers like children, will absorb media information. The information they receive changes their behaviour and changes or reinforces their values (Sonia Livingston, 2005). To investigate media effects a number of methods have been undertaken.

    • Word count: 1505
  7. Define and explain the respective meaning of absolute poverty and relative deprivation(TM)

    Poverty may also be defined in relative terms. In this view income disparities or wealth disparities are seen as an indicator of poverty and the condition of poverty is linked to questions of scarcity and distribution of resources and power. Poverty may be defined by a government or organization for legal purposes, see Poverty threshold. Poverty may be seen as the collective condition of poor people, or of poor groups, and in this sense entire nation-states are sometimes regarded as poor.

    • Word count: 1037
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. A new strategic plan, which will help refocus the team and improve the service to the public.

    (Blakemore, K. 2003, 'Social Policy An Introduction, Second Edition, Open University Press, pp 273.) Prior to implementing a strategic plan there are many issues to consider. A new strategic plan has to be implemented as today's environment it is nearly impossible to forecast demand and predict certain changes. In the year 2000, Gary Hamel, a founder of a management-consulting firm called Strategos believed that all strategies no matter how strong they are will lose its affect over time. I agree with this notion because the nature of the public service organisations will become routine as time progresses and become pejorative.

    • Word count: 2902
  12. Critically discuss the ways that Marxists would understand inequality

    In short, Marxists see inequality as exploitation; they believe the bourgeoisie are allowed more opportunities then the proletariat - we do not live in a meritocracy. Karl Marx predicted that once the proletariat become aware of this exploitation they will rise up in a socialist revolution and redistribute wealth equally. However, new right theorists disagree with this view; they claim that the western world does contain equality; the new right claim that class inequality is necessary in any successful economy.

    • Word count: 1502
  13. reinforce forms of oppression in mental health

    The essay would start by defining key terms i.e. Oppression and inequalities, then move on to give an overview of the Mental Health policy that would be critically examined by analysing how the policy oppresses on the basis of race, class and gender. Moreover, the essay will reflect the personal reflections of the author to the topic as well as socially constructed views and opinions and policies historically supported by the Government in the United Kingdom. Oppression can be defined as a situation where an individual, group, society, culture or state, have power, be it economic, military or political; and exercise that power to disadvantage, and or subjugate those who do not.

    • Word count: 1554
  14. How has the experience of citizenship affected ethnic minority?

    In this essay I will focus on how the experience of citizenship has affected black people in the U.K. Being a British national has benefits like unlimited travel entries, free movement within the European Union, voting rights and other benefits to which the natural British citizens are entitled. Usually after the indefinite leave to remain (ILR), if there are no facts detrimental to a permanent citizenship, usually British citizenship is granted so that the minorities could become naturalised citizens of Britain. Today, United Kingdom touts its commitment to multiculturalism and also allows dual nationality. This is perhaps the best policy, because people who do not want to give up their own nationality too can become citizens of Britain and get the benefits.

    • Word count: 1595
  15. social research, reflection and writing

    The research team based their work around the networks, families and friends of fifteen people each with learning difficulties. The team undertook a total of fifty interviews which involved those with a learning difficulty as well as the people within their networks. Interviews, observations and diagrams were used to present the findings relating to each person with learning difficulties, these were then compared to the findings of the other participants by looking at differences and similarities. The researchers used activity diaries and network diagrams (showing circles of friends)

    • Word count: 2670
  16. is there one childhood or many

    In medieval society the idea of childhood did not exist" (Aries 1962:115) (Giddens Antony) 175 As one can see from Aries childhood isn't a particular easy subject to define, as it changes over time, and is extremely fluid, although his points of reference on mediaeval childhood could be still in effect as we will read about later on concerning childhoods in non western countries. To understanding the increasingly shifting forms of childhood firstly we must see the characteristics of childhood, as a social concept Hendrick identifies a collective of childhood models as consisting of the romantic, natural, evangelical and

    • Word count: 2368
  17. theories of inequality in society

    Social stratification is a characteristic of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences. Though it persists over generations, social stratification is universal but not variable. It involves not only inequality but also beliefs. Social stratification can be viewed upon from a Marxist perspective. However it can be questioned if Marx's concept of class has any relevance to the analysis of modern society today. All of Marx writings can be directly or indirectly related to class, but a concise summary of his exact position is difficult. However, his concept of class relationship can be simplified into three dimensions: ownership, production and struggle.

    • Word count: 2552
  18. psychology, sociology and social policy

    This is apparent from him being imprisoned beaten and interrogated about his family's political beliefs. The Human Rights Education Associates (2006) define torture as a serious violation of human rights; therefore, this inhumane act has been strictly prohibited by international law. As the use of torture strikes at the very heart of civil and political freedoms, it was one of the first issues dealt with by the United Nations (UN) in its development of human rights standards. Amnesty International (2001) highlights the use of torture and found that every year thousands of perpetrators beat, rape and electrocute other human beings.

    • Word count: 2859
  19. How are children's perceptions of parenting constructed and how do these vary between age and gender?

    This will be discussed further within the discussion section of this document. This study and the research question was initially formulated due to reference to a still ongoing longitudinal online research project and part of the popular programme 'Child of Our Time' (best_mum_best_dad, 2005). This particular research posed the question that much if not most research into childhood perceptions of parenting has been based on research from the parents perspective, very little research had been completed whereby the child's perspective was the main focus of the research process.

    • Word count: 2470
  20. To what extent and in what ways are people fixed or open to change?

    Piaget (1896-1980) was a leading researcher on child development. Piaget called his general theoretical framework "genetic epistemology" because he was primarily interested in how knowledge developed in human organisms. The concept of cognitive structure is central to his theory. Cognitive structures are patterns of physical or mental action that underlie specific acts of intelligence and correspond to stages of child development known as schema or schemata. There are four primary cognitive structures (i.e., development stages) according to Piaget: Sensory motor, pre-operational, Concrete operations, and Formal operations. In the Sensory motor stage (0-2 years), intelligence takes the form of motor actions.

    • Word count: 1625
  21. Understanding Foucault, Baudrillard, and Postmodernity

    The comodification of knowledge fosters the simulation present in contemporary American society. Baudrillard helps one realize that society has been socialized to a certain type of knowledge which may not be real. An example of this is plotted in Wag the Dog (In order to deconstruct the simulacrum that is foreshadowed, four main points should be critical and analyzed. They are as follows: 1) acknowledging and understanding the simulation and/ simulacra formulated, 2) agency to contest the authorities, 3) the influence of discourse and discursiveness, 4)

    • Word count: 2689
  22. Is Goffman a systematic theorist?

    He uses the theatrical metaphors to describe techniques used by the individual to present a certain self to a particular audience. His methods of illustration involve drawing on (many tenuous) examples of everyday life from literary novels or depicting situations where a waiter may face difficulty in his job etc. Goffman fully acknowledges the triviality of the observations but highlights how consistent these observations tend to be in the make-up of everyday life and hopes that his approach, in 'providing a clear cut dimension for formal sociological analysis'i will establish a new perspective in sociology.

    • Word count: 2708
  23. The Third Aryan Onslaught

    This shall be clarified subsequently. Moreover, the word 'invasion'1 in our discussion does not mean or connote an act of aggression. For instance, we use the word in the same manner as we do to describe the 'advent or entry of technology in our homes'. So, the phrase 'Aryan invasion' in our discussion denotes an 'infiltration of' or 'infection by' one culture over another. And therefore, the question that we ask ourselves at this stage should not be the occurrence or the nature of the invasion, but rather the existence of two separate cultures.

    • Word count: 1694
  24. 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
  25. The Rise of Modern Society

    In this paper, I would further discuss how Durkheim's and Weber's theoretical perspectives explain the rise of modern society. Society is defined as a group of people that form a semi-closed social system, in which most interactions are with other individuals belonging to the group (Jenkins, R. 2002). According to Emile Durkheim, who helped established the idea of the study of society and gave sociology its academic credibility and influence, he attempted to answer the question "What is modern society?" by focusing on the moral basis of social order and stability- the moral basis of what he termed social solidarity.

    • Word count: 2192

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