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Functionalism

The theory is a consensus structural approach to viewing society. Consensus means agreement,
harmony, balance and structuralism refers to the way in which the individual is seen as constrained by
society. New- rights have built on the research conducted by functionalists and are often regarded as
the modern functionalists.…

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likelihood of egoistic suicide increases. Elderly people who lose these ties are the most susceptible to
egoistic suicide.



Parsons 1902- 1979
Talcott Parsons is credited with the development of the modern strands of functionalism and the
introduction of the biological (organic) analogy where society is compared to the human body…

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Although Merton is a functionalist like Parsons he did have some issues with the work and ideas put
forward by Parsons.
Dysfunctional elements (e.g. crime)- Merton recognises that some elements of society can be
harmful, for example in some cases Religion can unite people, but can also cause divisions.
Indispensability…

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Marxism

The theory is a conflict structualist theory. This means that Marxists believe that society is based on
conflict, in comparison to functionalism which argue that society is based on conflict. There are a
variety of different conflicts that are explored throughout the theory of Marxism. Structuralism means
that Marxists…

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Criticisms of traditional Marxism
It is along with functionalism is, a reasonably successful attempt to produce a general theory
about society.
It is seen as too simplistic. Society is more complex than the two classes described by Marx.
Weber argued that status and power are also important factors.
Class polarisation…

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not forming them. He also looks at how capitalism keeps going- it regenerates every generation via
socialisation. The ideological state apparatus (ISA) transmits the values via the family, education and
the media. Also there are repressive state apparatus (RSA) to keep us further in line- the Police and
the army.…

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Feminism

Sex and gender- Oakley (1972)
Talk about the difference between gender and sex . She argues that sex refers to thebiological
differences between males and females for example their reproductive roles, hormonal and physical
differences. Gender refers to culturally constructed differences between the `masculine' and
`feminine' roles and why…

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social inequality and conflict . The key division is society is between men and women as men are
women's main enemy. All many oppress all women. All men benefit from patriarchy especially from
women's unpaid domestic labour and form their sexual services. Patriarchy is direct and personal ,
not only…

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Some Marxist feminists argue that non-econic factors must also be taken into account:

The ideology of familism - Barret - women's role in ideology. The overthrow of capitalism is necessary
to secure women's liberation.
Femininity and the unconscious - Mitchell - femininity is part of who women are.

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Sociology and social policy

Social policy refers to the tackling of social problems. It looks at how the actions of the government
both locally and nationally affect the lives of its members, both positively and negatively.

Even when sociologists aren't directly concerned with the research into social problems, there is…

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