AQA A2 Sociology Unit 4 - Methods and Context

  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 12-05-14 20:43

Marxist Approach to Society

Marxism conflict theory about the divide between the working class and ruling class

  • Superstructure of society - Institutions, Family and Religion are all influences by EB
  • Economic Base - Means of production and Relation to production 

Private owner ship and social class

  • Primative society - enough to survive 
  • Mass production - Working class dependancy culture ( Selling their labour)

Social inequality

  • Recognised expolitation of the working class to create a surplus value 
  • Bourgeoisie - exploit to make a profit, Proletariat are the exploited labour force
  • Capitalism are the dominant ideology - need to make a profit over better wages
  • Ruling class hold the means of production - hire and fire, factories, economy
  • Dominant institutions based on ruling class values - Religion (Opiot for the expoitation)

Revolution - class consiousness = revolution = communism 

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Neo- Marxist Approach to society + Evaluations

Neo-Marxists thought Marx placed too much importance of the economy

Gramsci - Hedgemony

  • This stops the revolution as this maintains ruling class ideology and influences behaviour
  • This stopped the rebellion 

Althusser - Capitalist Society System (Divide of Economic Base)

  • The Economic Level - economy and production of material goods
  • The Political Level - RSA - Government Organisations that involve politics and control
  • The Ideological Level - ISA - Ideas beliefs, values = Religion,Mass Media and Education


  • Marx - Shows importance of economy and private ownership
  • Marx - Predictions did not come true, Overemphasise, Metanarrative
  • Neo - Relative Autonomy and peoples idea's and how this effects institutions
  • Neo - Importance of the idea and meanings of individuals 
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Feminist Approach to Society

Feminist see society as patriarchal - they want equality

Liberal - Want equality,Some progress,Oakley - Media improvements,Challenge expressive role

Helen Wilkinson - Genderquake in society's views on women

  • Evaluations - Don't recognise causes, too simplisitic, changing laws not views 

Marxist - Women capitalism are reserve force and repoduction of labour, Ansley - takers of ****

Barret - Family is the only way to fufill life - oppression / Benson - Capitalism ideology

  • Evaluations - Fails to explain subordination in communism, How it maintains subordination

Radical - Partriachal = inequality, Political lesbianism, unpaid labour and sexual service

Firestone - Biologically dependant / Christine Delphy - Gender over class

  • Evaluation - Relationships involve power, Domination, Abuse by men
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Feminist Approach to Society Two

Difference - Social class effects patriarchy ( White,Western, Heterosexual, Middle Class)

Feminism and Research 

  • Reinhart - Research as **** - Reject structures interviews = expolitation of the gender
  • Oakley - Positive Masculine approach - High value on objectivity and science

Feminism Approach

  • Oakley - Values in ( Smart -Standpoint empiricism)
  • Involvement and non-detached
  • Equality between researched and researcher 
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Functionalist Approach to Society


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Interpretivist Approach to Society


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