Monthly Archives: June 2016

Sociological Explanations of Educational Underachievement

This post attempts to demonstrate what sociology is by examining how the discipline approaches one particular issue – why some children do worse at school than others…from a sociological perspective, educational failure is not simply down to the individual! The … Continue reading

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Comparing Post and Late Modern views of self, society and sociology

A comparison of Post and Late Modern Views of self and society, and the corresponding purposes of social research Postmodern View of Society and Self -Globalisation destabilises social structures – Globalisation is an unpredictable process -Consumer culture is free from … Continue reading

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Marxism – A Level Sociology Revision Notes

Karl Marx and Louis Althusser are Modernist, Structural Conflict Theorists while Antonio Gramsci is  a Humanist Conflict Theorist. Karl Marx: Key Ideas Two classes – Bourgeois – Proletariat Relationship between them is Exploitation/ Surplus Value The Base (economy) determines the … Continue reading

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Althusser’s Scientific Marxism

While humanistic Marxists see humans as creative beings, able to make history through their conscious actions, for structuralist Marxists, it is social structures that shape human action, and we should be researching structures not individuals. The most important structural Marxist … Continue reading

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Gramsci’s Humanist Marxism

Gramsci (1891-1937) was the first leader of the Italian Communist Party during the 20s. He introduced the concept of hegemony or ideological and moral leadership of society, to explain how the ruling class maintains its position and argued that the … Continue reading

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The Functionalist Theory of Society for A Level Sociology – Revision Notes

Functionalism as a Structural/Systems Theory – it focuses on the needs of the social system as a whole; it is a consensus theory – it sees society as based on shared values; it is also a modernist theory – it … Continue reading

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Robert Merton’s Internal Critique of Functionalism

Criticisms of Parson’s systems theory have come from both outside and inside Functionalist. Within Functionalism, the most significant criticisms come from Robert K. Merton (1968). He criticises three key assumptions of Parsons. Indispensability – Parsons assumes that everything in society … Continue reading

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Giddens – Modernity and Self Identity Chapter Two

A brief summary of Anthony Giddens’ Modernity and Self Identity – chapter two – in which he focuses on the psychological aspects of identity Chapter 2 – The Self – Ontological Security and Existential Anxiety. An account of self-identity should … Continue reading

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Anthony Giddens on Late Modernism – Introductory Questions

A few ‘pop’ questions to introduce students to some of Giddens’ core concepts in an easy and accessible manner… Think about Globalisation – is there a ‘political, economic and/ or social structure at the global level, or is the world … Continue reading

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Tombs and Whyte: The Cost of Health and Safety Infringements

Marxist Criminologists argue that the costs of elite crime are greater than the costs of street-crime, yet the elite are more likely to get away with their crimes. The piece of research below strongly supports this view (refs to follow!) … Continue reading

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