The Spirit Level – A Summary

The Spirit Level – Why more equal societies almost always do better – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett This book is relevant to both the module on Crime and Deviance and Theory Methods Based on thirty years of research – Its findings are that almost every modern social and environmental problem is moire likely to … Continue reading “The Spirit Level – A Summary”

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Agenda Setting in The Mainstream News

Agenda-setting is where the media only ask a limited range of questions about a topic, thus limiting the number of perspectives or angles from which an issue is explored. It is a concept mainly associated with Marxism, and it is one of the main ways in which the media maintain ideological control according to Marxist … Continue reading “Agenda Setting in The Mainstream News”

Company Bosses really don’t deserve their high incomes

The link between what bosses are paid and a company’s financial performance is “negligible”, according to new research summarized by this BBC news item (December 2016) The median pay for chief executives at Britain’s 350 biggest companies was £1.9m in 2014 – a rise of 82% in 11 years – the study by Lancaster University … Continue reading “Company Bosses really don’t deserve their high incomes”

What is Happiness?

 Happy – lucky, fortunate; contented with one’s lot, glad or pleased[i] Synonyms [of happy]: Pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction.[ii] “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” (Aristotle) [iii] “The very purpose of life is to seek happiness.” (The Dalai Llama)[iv] It Sounds crazy – especially … Continue reading “What is Happiness?”

Income Inequality in the UK – Some Infographics

Stratification is one of the core themes within A level Sociology and Sociology more generally. One of the major sources of stratification is found in differences between wealth and income within the UK. According to various sources of statistics (of course you should always question where these come from!) the UK is one of the … Continue reading “Income Inequality in the UK – Some Infographics”

Social Policy and Sociology Summary

Social Policy may be defined as actions the government carries out, or actions political parties propose to do,  in order to exert an influence over a specific area of social life, such as education, the family, or society more generally – such as policies concerning taxation and wealth distribution. This posts consists of a summary of Sociological … Continue reading “Social Policy and Sociology Summary”

What are ‘Social Facts’ ?

Social Facts are one of Emile Durkheim’s most significant contributions to sociology. Social facts are things such as institutions, norms and values which exist external to the individual and constrain the individual. The University of Colorado lists as examples of social facts: institutions, statuses, roles, laws, beliefs, population distribution, urbanization, etc. Social facts include social … Continue reading “What are ‘Social Facts’ ?”

Assess the Usefulness of Positivist Approaches to Social Research (30)

Just a few thoughts on how you might go about answering this question… if it comes up on paper 3 of the A level sociology exam  Paragraph one – outline the key ideas of Positivism Positivists believe that sociology can and should use the same methods and approaches to study the social world that “natural” … Continue reading “Assess the Usefulness of Positivist Approaches to Social Research (30)”

The Myth of Meritocracy and the Structure of Luck

This recent Thinking Allowed podcast summarises a recently published book –Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank The key message of the book is that almost everyone who succeeds (in education, or business for example) does so on merit – they are both hardworking and talented, but they … Continue reading “The Myth of Meritocracy and the Structure of Luck”

Evaluate Sociological Perspectives on Prison as a Form of Punishment (Essay Plan)

1. Functionalists would point to the positive functions prison might perform in society –Prison could act as a deterrent – thus reinforcing social regulation; and it should also work to maintain equilibrium and balance in our society – making up for the failings of other institutions such as the family and the education system – … Continue reading “Evaluate Sociological Perspectives on Prison as a Form of Punishment (Essay Plan)”