Humanities: Case Studies

These are all the case studies that you could use for the different topics in the Humanities GCSE. Hope they help! :)

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  • Created by: Myst
  • Created on: 01-05-11 13:55

CULTURE & BELIEFS: Nature & Nurture

Kamala & Amala were two feral girls raised in India, who were supposedly raised by wolves in the 1920s. Kamala was eight, whilst Amala was one and a half, and because they had grown up around wolves, they acted like wolves. They could not speak, scratched people who tried to feed them, enjoyed raw meat and were nocturnal.

This can be used to show what you learn through your experiences. It is an example of SOCIALISATION; mainly this would be primary socialisation, as they had been with the wolves since a young age and had learnt all of their fundamental skills from them. It supports the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture argument.

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CULTURE & BELIEFS: Nature & Nurture

Isabel was brought up without the influence of other people - from birth, she was confined to the chicken coop, and was fed chicken feed. She was disformed, couldn't speak, and instead communicated by beating her arms and feet like a chicken.

This case study shows the effects of SOCIALISATION. It shows how the way you are brought up between the ages of 0-4 (primary socialisation), it affects how you are for the rest of your life. If Isabel were to lead a normal life from there on, she would still be affected by the first years of her life. It supports the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture argument.

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CULTURE & BELIEFS: Nature vs. Nature

The Jim twins are an extreme case of two identical twins who were seperated at birth, and reunited when they were 39 years old. They were both named Jim by their adoptive parents, both married twice (the first time to women named Linda, the second time to women named Betty), both had dogs named Toy, drank the same beer, smoked the same cigarettes, and drove the same light blue Chevrolets. The first Jim named his son James Allen, and the second named his son James Alan. They both had jobs as sheriff's deputies, took holidays in the same places, and left love notes to their wives.

Although this is an extreme case, it supports the nature side of the nature vs. nurture debate. These two people spent no time together between birth and the age of 39, and yet had so many similarities, due mostly to their genes and the way they thought. Most identical twins are 80% alike in everything, from IQ to political opinion. This shows that even though socialisation is a big part of your upbringing, your genes will always dictate part of your identity.

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CULTURE & BELIEFS: Beliefs & practices

Christians believe in God, and practice this belief by going to church on Sunday. They believe in Jesus being born on the 25th December, so celebrate Christmas, practicing their beliefs.

These practices are part of the Christian culture, and are some of the ways they celebrate their faith. These beliefs and practices may influence a Christian's behaviour - for example, giving each other presents on Christmas Day.

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CULTURE & BELIEFS: Moral issues

Euthanasia is an issue because people have different opinions on it: two organisations, Pro-Life Alliance (against) and Voluntary Euthanasia Society (for) are the two organisations you could use as your case study. The former believes life is a gift from God, and that it would compromise the role of a doctor, whilst the latter believes people should decide when and how they die, and that it can quickly relieve the suffering of a patient. There are other organisations you could use, but these are two well-known examples.

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There are many problems with the Brazilian rainforest, including extraction of materials, logging, major engineering projects, cattle ranching and small-scale farming. You could choose any of these as your case study of how they are destroying the ecosystem of the Brazilian rainforest.

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There are many threats to coral reefs: global warming, nuclear testing, fishing, pollution, tourism and mining are some of them. Coral reefs are ecosystems, consisting of many plants, animals and organisms, and any of these threats could destroy part of the ecosystem, which would eventually lead to the whole ecosystem being destroyed.

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Greenpeace is an environmental organisation or pressure group with aims to help the environment. These include promoting the use of clean, renewable fuels, defending the world's oceans, and ending the use of toxic chemicals. They use direct action (protests, lobbying, etc.) and indirect action (petitions, campaigns, etc.) to raise awareness and stop people from doing things which the organisation believes is wrong. They investigate potential threats to the environment, do political work, have a registered charity and offer lectures and newsletters, all in the hope of raising awareness about the environment.

You could use this case study of a well-known pressure group to help you on any pressure group question, to show what they do and how they do it.

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CONFLICT & CO-OPERATION: Small-scale conflict

Some of the causes of bullying are poor discipline at home, a sense of failure, or peer pressure to bully other people. Some effects are injury to a person, lack of self-esteem, a community reputation or lack of educational progress. A resolution could be formal (with the law or the police) or informal (punishment from parents).

This is an example of small-scale conflict. It is small-scale because it is only between a few people, and is not a communal, national or international concern. It only has small-scale effects (injury to a single person, lack of progress) rather than large-scale effects (genocide, refugees in other countries.)

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CONFLICT & CO-OPERATION: National conflict

This is a large-scale conflict, as it is national, and concerns a lot of people. The causes were state laws, made to ostracise black people; the economy, where black people were given the worst jobs; society, where segregation had set in, including on buses and in schools. The effects were: leaders like Martin Luther King emerged to lead a black revolution; non-violent protests like sit-ins; marches such as those in Washington, promoting black rights; Supreme Court rulings, which desegregated schools; the media, which raised awareness across the world. The resolutions: Civil Rights Act (1964) made it illegal to segregate or discriminate; Voting Rights Act (1965) increased the number of black voters. However, ghettos were formed in many US cities, and some of the laws made were not upheld.

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CONFLICT & CO-OPERATION: International conflict

This is an international conflict, involving more than one country and therefore being a large-scale conflict. The causes: the domino effect, where the USA wanted to stop the spread of communism; civil war, where North Vietman invaded South Vietman, wanting to make it communist; the Gulf of Tolkin, where a US ship was attacked by a Vietnamese ship - which was later found to be a lie by the US government to justify the conflict. The effects were: political, as the US lost its first war, and the domino theory was proved wrong; social, as 2 million people were killed and more injured - US soldiers also suffered; economic, as it cost the US £120 billion - Vietnam was made very poor. Resolution: both sides used force but it didn't work; deterrent showed that the US and USSR couldn't use nuclear weapons; protests started in the US with anti-war rallies; international co-operation, as peace talks took place after the US withdrew their troops, which led to peace five years later.

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Have you any suggestions for which areas to focus on now that the sources are out?

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