Category Archives: Social Theory (A2)

Bauman’s ‘The Individualised Society’ – A Summary of the Preface

It may sound odd doing a summary of a preface, but there is a lot of heavy stuff in here…. According to Bauman ‘Sociology can help us link our individual decisions and actions to the deeper cause of our troubles … Continue reading

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What is society, and should sociologists study it?

Working Definition: ‘Society is a concept used to describe the structured relations and institutions among a large community of people which cannot be reduced to a simple collection or aggregation of individuals.’ (1) Origins of the Concept: The concept of society … Continue reading

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Sociological Perspectives – Key Supporting Evidence

Below are a few quantitative and qualitative sources (case studies and statistics) that can be used to illustrate aspects of the main perspectives within A-level sociology – Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Social Action Theory and Post and Late Modernism Functionalism Bruce … Continue reading

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Sociology and Science – Some Key Terms

  Bias – where someone’s personal, subjective feelings or thoughts affect one’s judgement. Falsification – where scientists attempt to design experiments to disprove a hypothesis rather to prove a hypothesis correct. Generalisability – the extent to which research findings can … Continue reading

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Outline and explain two reasons why Positivists generally prefer to use quantitative methods (10)

The theory and methods 10 mark question appears as a special treat at the end of paper 1 (Education, Methods in Context and Theory and Methods), you’ll also get a big 30 mark essay question at the end of paper … Continue reading

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Bourdieu’s Structuration Theory

Bourdieu didn’t like the label ‘social theorist’ because he insisted that there was a fundamentally important relationship between empirical data, research methods and ‘theory’. He was not interested in making grand theoretical claims, but rather was engaged in examining particular … Continue reading

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Structuration Theory – A Summary

From a structurationist perspective, a social theory must explain both social reproduction (social order being reproduced over time by people continuing to act in ways inherited from the past) and social transformation (how social order is changed by people, intentionally … Continue reading

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Giddens’ Structuration Theory – A Summary

  Social Structure is also only ever the outcomes of practices which have previously happened, and it makes practices possible (the duality of structure), and it is not separate from action. Giddens rejects Positivism because of its mistaken search for … Continue reading

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Modernism and Postmodernism – What’s the Difference?

Modernism and Postmodernism – What’s the difference? The table below is taken from David Harvey’s Condition of Postmodernity (in turn taken from Hassan 1985). Harvey suggests that its a useful tool which helps us to see how postmodernity is, in … Continue reading

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Theory and Methods for A Level Sociology: The Basics

An overview of theory and methods for second year A level sociology – a very brief overview covering the bare-bones of (1) Positivism and Interpretivism, (2) Is sociology a sicence?, (3) Sociology and value freedom, (4) Functionalism, (5) Marxism, (6) … Continue reading

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