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Sociology Essays

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Class identities are created during primary socialisation

The concept ‘class identity’ refers to an individual’s position in society based upon wealth, employment, materialism and education. Each of these assets contributes to determine one’s socioeconomic status. The contemporary UK arguably consists of four predominant classes: the underclass, the working class, the middle ‘classes’ and finally, the upper class. Each class consists of certain…

Subcultural theories

Subcultural theories examine the behaviour and actions of various groups within society – groups with either reject or depart from the traditional norms and views of the majority. These groups are referred to as subcultures, and subcultural theories attempt to explain why these groups – most are concerned with “youth gangs” and gang delinquency –…

Social Control and the Salem Witch Trials

In life, individuals form groups to obtain a desired good more effectively. This good typically cannot be produced individually, and this particular good’s availability is generally limited outside the group. Thus, it seems that it is in an individual’s best interest to remain a part of this group and work effectively with other members to…

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What is the difference between brute, social, and institutional facts

Searle starts his explanation of social reality by outlining ‘brute’ or observer independent facts. Searle is a realist and does not subscribe to the view that ‘all of reality is somehow a human creation’ and that there are ‘only facts dependant on the human mind’. The foundation of Searle’s construction of social reality to use…

Why does group polarisation occur

Group polarisation refers to the tendency for groups to make more extreme decisions or judgements after discussion when compared to the initial views of group members. This phenomenon has interested psychologists since 1961, when Stoner discovered the risky shift, and is central to understanding social influence in groups; therefore the major theories of social influence…

‘McDonald’s stands for American cultural imperialism’

Consideration of the facts, statistics and the phenomenal growth of McDonalds- with a product that is closely associated with American culture- makes McDonalds a form of representation of ‘American cultural imperialism’ on rest of the world. The essay considers different perspectives about the issue; for example, McDonalds as a global organisation, its justification for the…

Is altruism or helping behaviour decreasing as people live in larger and more dangerous cities

Imagine a world where people give of themselves simply because they want to. Not out of a sense of debt. Or because they want something in return. No ulterior motives. No guilt feelings. Just a desire to give for the sake of giving. Imagine a world where people helping their fellow human beings in distress,…

How much control do we have in shaping our own identities

The amount of control we have over shaping our own identities brings about a tension between the personal and the social and thus between structure and agency. I will explore these tensions in the context of social constraints such as migration, ethnic diversity, gender and occupation. Firstly there is the question of how identities are…

How You Would Develop An Attitude Measure Using Either The Thurstone Method Or The Likert Method

There is no single, universally accepted definition of attitude. However, several authors seem to agree that attitude may be thought of in terms of “a tendency to evaluate a stimulus with some degree of favour of disfavour, usually expressed in cognitive, affective, or behavioural responses” (Watkins, Christopher – Attitude Measurement: A Methodological Approach. Unpublished Essay)….

Erving Goffman: Dramaturgy, Symbolic Interactionism, and presentation of self

Erving Goffman is generally associated with the ideas and concepts of symbolic interactionism and was strongly influenced by the work of George Herbert Mead. Goffman was interested in exploring human interactions and how people presented themselves in everyday settings, especially in public places. This led to one of Goffman’s key works in sociology, ‘The Presentation…

What are the main causes of social exclusion

Social exclusion occurs where individuals become excluded from mainstream society, thus placing them at a disadvantage in terms of life chances. Contrary to the common view that social exclusion is confined only to council estates, individuals from teenage mothers to older adults of various socio-economic levels and family types can easily become excluded from society….

The forgotten group memeber case

The “facilitator”, Christine, is assumed to embrace the same roles and adhere to the equivalent theories defined for a “leader”. Also, it is believed that the principles taught within Professor Rasmussen’s Organizational Behaviour class are consistent with those discussed by Dr. Keeping. The outcomes associated with the alternative solutions are based upon the likelihood of…

Anthropology Tutorial: ‘The Incest Taboo’

In attempting to answer the essay questions posed both by this tutorial and Robin Fox in his book Kinship and Marriage (1967 ch 2), I have divided the essay to deal with each question seperately in attempting to explain the incest taboo, why it exists and why it is so universally frowned upon. As you…

Marx and Durkheim agreed about the nature of the problems of industrial capitalist society but disagreed about their cause and solution

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was a French, arguably quintessential, sociologist with his assertions that ‘society sui generis’ is the subject matter of sociology. “Treat social facts as things” is a famous dictum of Durkheim by which he means social phenomena is an objective realm, external to individuals. “Social facts are ways of acting, thinking or feeling…

Human Origins – The Origins of Bipedalism

Upright walking is far more complicated than many people think. It requires a number of highly specialized adaptations that have taken millions of years to evolve. It is part of what defines the human race, because there is no other organism on the planet that shares this group of skills. An understanding of the origins…

To what extent do the mass media influence their audience

It is generally believed that daily newspaper’s, television, radio, films, the Internet, or any form of message communication that is targeted at a large audience has an influence on behaviour, (Moore 1996) but to what extent? How much influence do the ‘mass media’ really have on society and the individual’s within a society that have…

The Social and Economic Effects of Volcanic Eruptions

Although there are many hazards on a physical geographic scale associated with volcanic eruptions, it is important not to neglect the havoc which also engulfs the social and economic world. Both social and economic effects occur on a spatial and temporal scale causing significant repercussions in a regional, national and even a global context. It…

Social facilitation theory

Social facilitation describes the process in which performance is affected by the presence of others and is studied due to the importance of performance improvement in workplaces, education etc. Within social facilitation are coaction and audience effects. The term ‘audience effect’ is used to explain the effect of a passive presence on performance and was…

Le Bon and Freud

Le Bon was of the opinion that when people joined large, relatively unstructured social groups, they sometimes engaged in spontaneous and atypical collective behaviour. Le Bon suggests that crowds are ruled by a collective mind, and that contagion causes crowd members to experience similar thoughts and emotions. Freud, on the other hand, argues that individuals,…

Critically examine two theoretical perspectives, The Feminist Theory and Psychoanalysis

In academic writing on media practice different theoretical perspectives are applied according to the author’s research agenda. Critically examine TWO theoretical perspectives before providing examples of how each has been applied within academic writing on the media. After comparing these theoretical perspectives say why ONE will be more relevant for your dissertation work in Level…

The emergence and growth of multinational enterprises

Among the many existing economic and social theories on the emergence of the multinational enterprise (MNE) and its relationship with foreign direct investment (FDI), internalisation theory has room for further development in a present day context, thus is the subject of this study. An MNE is ‘an enterprise that engages in foreign direct investment (FDI)…

Marx’s theory of alienation

The main focal point of Karl Marx’s work was the way society works and how the institutions in society work together or rather how they do not. Marxism is based on conflict theories and ideas, Marx looks into many aspects of society and I will be focusing on the aspect that is capitalism and the…

The defining activities and principles of ethnographic research

The term ‘ethnography’ relates to a specific method upon which a researcher goes through to understand a certain situation. These methods involve the ethnographer becoming interrelated either ‘covertly’ (whereby the researcher does not let the participants know who they are; either they hide their identity or they observe from a far) or ‘overtly’ (whereby researchers…

Sociology defamiliarizes the taken – for- granted nature of the everyday

As an area of sociological study the everyday only emerged relatively recently. It might seem too mundane, too ordinary a field to study, but as Lefebvre commented, the everyday life is the base of everything (Lefebvre Book 1, page 317). The home is often viewed as a central location for the everyday to take place…

Power is Everywhere – Michael Foucault

  Michael Foucault (1926 – 1984) is widely held to be one of the most influential philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. He achieved this status by offering an alternative ‘currency’ to the existing liberal and Marxist theories as well as the linguists-based structuralism of some of his contemporaries. His currency was…

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