Sociology Paper 3 (Year 2)



To define...

  • Cochrane and Pain (2000) - defines globalisation as the emergence of a global economic system which incorporates the people into a single global society
  • Cohen and Kennedy (2000) - defines globalisation as a series of transformations of the world which include concept of time and space, interdependent economies and increases in cultural interaction
  • Giddens (1990) - defines globalisation as the intensifications of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in the way that localities are shaped by events occurring miles away

Giddens, Dunier and Appelbaum (2005) - argues social change has occurred slowly, however if time was a 24hr day, social change has accelerated most within the last 30 seconds. This is due to advances in technology; societies are changing and the pace of social change is accelerating 

Marshall McLuhan - "global village" - states that the world is metaphorically getting smaller due to digital communication and advances in technology 


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The digital revolution

  • Carter (2005) - “Cybercity” = researched the ways in which digital communication is used within relationships in a global context. She used participant observations, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to investigate the community of Cyberspace and found that people who meet online continue this relationship offline – also argues cyberspace is becoming increasingly more dominant in everyday life
  • Boellstorf (2008) - explored the issues of gender, race, ethnicity (etc) and found that these roles can be changed within virtual worlds and used virtual ethnography. Concluded that identities are prevalent within offline identity and may be different to their online status. Also explores cybercrime and what happens when someone commits a crime online: HOW CAN THE INTERNET BE REGULATED?
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Social networks

  • Castells (2000) - A MARXIST - "network society" - claims society has transformed into an age defined by information which has occurred due to changes in technology. Argues that this reflects economic productivity which secures a Capitalist ideology and society – Globalisation offers opportunity for formations of relationships which is a central characteristic of social organisation. POWER NOW RESTS IN NETWORKS AND POWER NOW RESTS WITHIN SOCIAL CAPITAL: DIGITAL CAPITALISM  
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  • Cornford and Robins (1999) - “power in the hands of the few” – digital communication is seen as a new form of open communication which can lead to greater equality, however Cornford and Robins argue that open communication is not used for this purpose, but rather to ideologically control the public using medias. They further argue that the public are being exploited for profit and they do this through the means of digital communication – this is all under a disguise of “protection”
  • Garside (2014) - concerned about the amount of time spent online or within media (91% of youths have a mobile phone, 80% have social media and, on average, spend 4 hours a day in front of the TV) – argues it supports the idea of Capitalism and secures a state of “false class consciousness” within a means of “surveillance” where they are almost blindfolded and kept happy so that they don’t challenge their society
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  • Harraway (1985) - “a cyborg manifesto” = sees females as, because of digital communication, being able to overcome the stereotypes surrounding their gender as they completely recreate themselves online – being cyborg may help people rise above gender: WE ARE ALL CYBORGS
  • Muted group theory - Kramarae - argues that although both men and women use the internet equally, it is constructed and controlled by men and therefore concludes that digital communication is organised to silence women
  • Nakamura (2011) - argues that digital communication benefits women as it holds increasing support for “muted groups” – idea supported by Laura Bates’ “Everyday Sexism Project” which gives a voice to women who are silenced by patriarchy and oppression using digital communication 
  • Laura Mulvey (1945) - discusses the “male gaze” within the media and concludes that digital communication is used to silence women
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  • Jean Baudrillard - argues that we now live within a “simulacra” (a simulated reality) and “hyper-realities” which creates a blurred line between fantasy and reality: your imagination makes the simulated reality exist
  • Collins (2005) - argues that we need to look at social media as a “chain of interactions” to show how people construct their identities 
  • Bjorkland (1998) - argues that people now define “self” through social media which acts as a “digital autobiography” which can be regularly updated
  • Hart (2011) - has a similar argument but further argues that they reflect the norms and values of their society but this is not a true reflection of them
  • Case (2007) - discusses the idea that we’re all becoming cyborgs because we live within a media-saturated society and that we now have a digital footprint where everything is visible
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  • Boyle (2007) - “digital generation divide” = the divide between those who have grown up with technology (“digital natives”) and those who haven’t. Argues that with each successive generation, the greater the reliance on technology. Links to idea of “toxic parenting” where children are comforted by a media product instead of parent
  • Juliette Garside (2014) - “six year olds” – children are now “digital natives” meaning they are brought up in a society prevalent of digital communication and technology. Argues that because children use media products at such a young age they become fluent in it…average 6 year old understands more about digital technology than a 45 year old. This is present within the change of time spent in phone calls – teenagers used to be devoted to telephone, now 12-15 year olds using a phone to call someone amount to just 3% 
  • Berry (2011) - carried out research on secondary data looking at older users of the internet and found that they have a lack of skill because they are not “digital natives” as well as having psychological barriers – they don’t feel capable and it is costly 
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Social class

  • Mertens and D’Haenens (2010) - did a study in Brussels and found that the lower class were less likely to use the internet – 81% of those in the lower class were using it compared to 94% in the middle classes. Also found that the classes used it differently – 79% in lower classes used it for gaming compared to 65% of higher classes. ORIGINALLY WANTED TO STUDY IF ETHNICITY/AGE/GENDER ETC HAD THE MOST POWERFUL SOCIAL VALUABLE HOWEVER CONCLUDED THAT SOCIAL CLASS WAS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL 
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  • Turkle (2011) - “alone together” = is concerned about the ways communication tools distance us as we are “alone together” – in the same room but using devices to engage others
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  • Granovetter - argues that weak ties are more important than strong ones because weak ties connect members of a network, meaning the removal of a weak tie can do more damage to one’s social capital than a strong one
  • Miller (2011) - used an ethnographic study to explore the effects of social media on relationships. He found that Facebook not only helps to find and cultivate relationships but is also instrumental and imperative in breaking them down. For example, “friending” in Trinidad means to cheat – this linguistic difference can cause people to be paranoid of their partner. INFIDELITY, ONCE PRIVATE, NOW PUBLIC WITHIN SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Feld (1981) - suggests that one’s social network is linked with the number of strong and weak ties one person can maintain. Also argues that social ties are seen as very important within one’s identity as he suggests that people use social networks to evaluate themselves and others; AN INDIVIDUAL’S IDENTITY IS DETERMINED BY THEIR NETWORK AND SOCIAL TIES
  • Clayton - studied Twitter and found that it can lead to negative relationship outcomes. Spoke to 581 Twitter users and found that there was a correlation between the amount of time one spent on Twitter and the more conflict they had
  • Shaw and Grant (2002) - tested the hypothesis that internet can benefit its users. Measured their participants’ level of depression, loneliness, self-esteem and social support and found that it decreased the bad and increased the good significantly
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Conflict and change

  • Howard (2011) - talks about a “digital Jesus” which refers to a virtual church being built online – a religious movement without a central leader or institution: the use of technology can both power and disempower them 
  • The Taliban - they banned the internet as it was seen as anti-Islamic – use emails to communicate with journalists and propaganda for recruitment and radicalisation
  • Sutton, Palen and Shcklovski (2007) - talks of social media and social disasters and found that community information resources enabled social media to take an important role in disasters – these uses of social media suggest broader changes for the future of disaster response 
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Social movements

  • Kirkpatrick (2010) - “the Facebook Effect” = looked at how Facebook is used as a catalyst for social movements – MOBALISES CHANGE. Eg the police brutality in California
  • (Case study) the Arab Springs were a campaign which exposed police brutality using digital communication. The offline event of a fruit seller committing suicide (due to police brutality he sets himself on fire) causes protests to begin and the community record all of the brutality and posts it onto Facebook where their voices are heard. THE NEWS WERE NOT REPORTING ANY OF IT
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