Sociological Theories


  • Emile Durkheim = argues that social order is essential for society to function organically. The role of the agents of socialisation is to ensure that the norms and values consensus is passed on - society is then based on consensus, social solidarity and a sense of intergration
  • Talcott Parsons = "organic analogy" - developed Durkheim's ideas and stated that behaviour is directed by the consensus of society which needs to work like a human body 
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The New Right

  • A branch of Functionalism 
  • Charles Murray (1984) = coined the term of the "underclass" who reverse the norms and value consensus of society and instead base their norms and values on laziness and deviancy - they are the "not working class"
  • Particulary blame single mothers as they incorrectly socialise their children and create a "dependancy culture" on the benefit system 
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  • Karl Marx = states that society is based on conflict and this is a result of the capitalist society which is purely based on exploitation of the Proletariat by the Bourgeoisie - the unequal relationship of the two social classes. Predicted that a revolution would occur by the Proletariat against the Bourgeoise but states that it hasn't because of "false class conciousness" 
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  • Labelling theory = Howard Becker (1963) = looks at our "self" and how it is effected by labelling which then leads to the "self-fulfilling prophecy" - this label then becomes their "master status"
  • Interactionism = a theory that states that our norms and values change depending on the social situation we're in, meaning that people are influenced by their social world - we have no set norms and values as they're constantly changing 
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  • The gender pay gap in 2017 = 9.1%, 2018 = 8.4% - going down!
  • "Glass ceiling effect" = women are less likely to achieve top paying jobs as they can't access them due to their gender
  • Women are represented as passive, submissive and domesticated
  • Women working full-time earned, on average, 20% less than men also working full-time
  • Liberal feminism = Ann Oakley (1974) = gender role socialisation (pink and blue)
  • Marxist feminism = Margret Benston (1972) = women's unpaid domestic labour keeps the male labour fit and healthy
  • Radical feminism = Rich (1980) = women's sexuality has been oppressed by the patriarchy and argues that women are not inherently straight but are forced to be
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  • Jean Baudrillard = "hyper-reality" - VR, Disney World, etc 
  • Marshall McLuhen = "global village" = the world is metaphoricallt getting smaller as we now have the ability to speak to anyone with no boundaries of geographical location 
  • Paksulki and Walters (1996) = "class is dead"
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