Revision lecture weds 4th december2013

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  • 1. Wednesday 4th December 2013
  • 2. Aims Revise main themes and issues of the past 8 weeks Consolidate learning Add to notes Repetition + memory Questions and ways to answer
  • 3. British Society 1 A coalition government What are the political parties? What is the role of the Queen? Post-war changes in Britain A divided society?
  • 4. British Society 2 Changes in population An ageing population and its implications National statistics online: Mid-2009: Pop. Of UK 61,792,000 (increase of 394,000 on the previous year. Under 16s = 1/5 total pop Retirement and older = 1/5 Families, divorce and relationships Single parent families: 8% of all families in 1972; 22% by 1995; 1.3 million one-parent families in 2004; 89% of parents are women; One third of children under 5 have divorced parents Class divisions and wealth class is dead (Pakulski and Waters, 1996)? 53% of the financial wealth in UK = owned by 10% (Inland Revenue, 2000)
  • 5. The origins of sociology The sociological imagination (C. Wright Mills) Social interaction and social judgements Global social networks and social and economic development Class and gender The historical development of sociological thought Copernicus, Galileo and the Enlightenment Reason; Empiricism; Science; Universalism; Progress; Individualism; Toleration; Freedom; Uniformity of human nature; Secularism Key sociologists Comte(1798-1857) Durkheim (1858-1917), Marx (1818-1883) and Weber (1864- 1920) Forgotten sociologists
  • 6. Durkheim (1858-1917) Study social facts as things! (social life can be analysed as rigorously as objects in nature) Social facts: aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals: the state of the economy the influence of religion. Rapid change disrupts traditional life results in anomie (feeling of aimlessness and despair) Suicide seems to be a purely personal act, the outcome of extreme unhappiness. Is it? Durkheim discovered different levels in suicide rates in different countries. social factors influenced suicidal behaviour. Durkheim turned a personal problem into a public issue.
  • 7. Explaining modern industrial societies: Weber. Rationalisation & Disenchantment modes of thought have a powerful effect on society a great difference between the tradition of pre-industrial societies and the rationality of modern, industrial societies. bureaucratic organisations representing rationality) would crush human creativity. Webers books The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism The Sociology of World Religions Objectivity of Social Science and Social Policy
  • 8. Explaining modern industrial society: Marx. Capitalism & Conflict Historical materialism: Class struggle has a powerful effect on society conflict between social classes (masters and slaves; nobles and serfs; capitalists and proletariats). Industrial capitalism alienates workers from The act of working From the products of work From fellow workers From human potential Revolution: workers overthrow capitalists and the industrial-capitalist system. Marxs books: Das Kapital Economic and Philosophical Manuals of 1844 Wage Labour and Capital Manifesto of the Communist Party
  • 9. Marx & Weber on change Marxist ideas Dynamic of development is expansion of capitalist economic mechanisms Class inequalities are basis to modern societies Divisions of power come from economic inequalities Capitalist societies are transitional socialism will replace capitalism The spread of Western influence is a result of expansionist tendencies of capitalist enterprise Weberian ideas Dynamic is rationalization of production Class is one type of inequality among many Power is separable from other sources Rationalization is bound to progress further in the future Global impact of the West comes from its command over industrial resources and superior military power
  • 10. Globalization The context of modern societies Three Schools of Thought on the Globalization Debate: Hyperglobalisers Sceptics Transformationalists factors contributing to globalization: Economic Social Political Environmental One culture?
  • 11. Cultures, norms and values Culture definitions Elements of culture define: Language Symbols Values Norms Materials Sub-culture The Frankfurt School and mass consumption of culture Saphir-Whorf Hypothesis
  • 13. The British family is a dying institute. Discuss. Nuclear family/ extended family / tradition/ political Statistical evidence divorce/ cohabitation: why? gay & lesbian: why? single parent families: why? womens rights/ work Serial monogamy: why? Birth rates are falling: why?
  • 14. Why do some children from working class backgrounds not do very well in educational achievements? Class/ definitions/ British focus/ changes Marx: history is class conflict Mobility? Capitalist society - inequalities Economic hardship/ educational success/ fees Middle- class atmosphere of schools Bourdieu cultural capital / language /ways of talking Interactionists: the meaning people put on situations: doctors child or labourers child: who will you expect to get highest marks? What about gender?
  • 15. Each society has its own culture. Discuss What is culture? What are the 5 components of culture? Give examples of each of the 5 components. What is cultural relativism? Parsons: functionalism: transmitted from one generation Mores / folkways High culture/ popular culture Marxism: dominant culture reflects ideology of powerful Post modernist; reproduction of culture/ accessibility
  • 16. The major factor influencing gender roles is the mass media. Discuss What is mass media What is gender/ distinguish from sex. How are women presented: which roles? Mens mags Does media reflect the position or create? Reinforcing or creating? Media is one agent of socialisation. What are the other four. Give examples. Which agent is more powerful ?
  • 17. British politics Who is the executive? Who is the legislature? What is a constitutional monarchy? Which parties are in the coalition government, why do we have a coalition government at the moment, and what is a coalition government? Who are the main political parties? Where on the spectrum of left to right wing do these political parties stand? How is the parliamentary system bicameral? Who is Margaret Thatcher? What was the Thatcher revolution (what ideologies and political reforms did her government make?)
  • 18. British identity Where did a sense of Britishness come from? Imperialism/ colonialism/ industry UK: devolution, partition of Ireland Returning of colonies/ withdrawal from empire Globalization: competition National identities become stronger Attitudes towards Europe: isolationist? Immigration/ change Fragmentation Uncertainty Divided society: country/city, rich/poor, north/south, men/women & ethnic minorities
  • 19. Neglected sociologists Who was Harriet Martineau ? What was Martineaus criticism of sociological study? What did she argue should be included in sociological study? Who was Ibn Khaldun? According to Khaldun, what is a nomadic and a sedentary society? Why was group feeling or solidarity important? Why did Beduoin tribes become open to attack after they settled into urbanized life-styles? Why were these two early sociologists neglected? Women, racial minorities, reading, recognition, publication.
  • 20. Importance of sociology What particular style of thinking does sociology represent? How does sociology question common sense or stereotypes? In which careers would sociological training be necessary and why? Think of ten jobs. What does sociology aim to do? Who uses sociological research? Who pays for sociological research? Why?
  • 21. The sociological imagination How does C. Wright Mills sociological imagination turn a private issue into a public issue? Berger states that the first rule of sociology is things are not what they seem Berger, 1963: 34). What does he mean by this? Use your sociological imagination to analyse a cup of coffee according to: Social interaction Social