Sociology Theorys



Patriarchy is a system of society or gonvernment in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

Gender inequalities; Occupations, family, triple shift, earnings, education.

Liberal Femnism - This is the type of feminsim mainly concered with socialisation and sex-role conditioning in order to show that gender roles are not biologically determined. The main aim of this type of feminsim is to change the way children are socialised in order for girls to be sen as equal to girls.

Betty Friedan is a liberal femnist and states 'Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victimd. The real enemy is women's denigration of themselves.

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Feminism 1.2

Marxist Femnism - This feminist approach looms at womens oppression in relation to capitalism and the class system. One of the aims of this type of feminsim is to look at the role of dometic labour wthin capitalism and the role of women play in producing the next generation of the labour force. support this and state 'To accomplish the task of insuring survival for an entire sex, we must simultanously address ourselves to the social and material source of sexism: the capitalist form of production and distrubution of products.'

Radical Feminism - This type of feminism sees the cause of womens oppression as men. It assumes that men deliberately exploit women as this benefits them. One of the main aims of this theory is to address concerns over violence against women, especially in sexual relationships.

Andrea Dworkin is a radical feminism who states 'Seduction is often difficult to distinguish from ****. In seduction, the ****** often bothers to buy a bottle of wine.'

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Feminism 1.3

Dual-System Theory - This theory links radical and Marxist feminsm. It sees women as being exploited by capatlism, within that structure, being oppressed by men. Most work for women is part ime and insecure and family life restricts womens choices.

Hedi Hatmann is a dual system theorist, stating 'These low health insurance rates and the persistent wage gap limit womens ablity to move out of poverty. Women continue to sacrifice almost a quarter of their earning power every year to gender inequalities in the labor market.'

Black feminsim - This approach is primarily concerned with black and Asian womens experiences of oppression and exlpoitation. It combines ideas about capatalism, patriarchy and anti-racism.

Audre Lorde is a black feminist who states 'I recognise the my power as well as my primary oppressions come as a result of my blackness as well as my womaness and therefore my struggles on both of these fronts are inseparable.'

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Marxists think that society is made up of lots of conflicting ideas from different groups.

This is shown through dominant ideology, which shows the most powerful of something or is held by the majority and consists of beliefs, values and ideas. An example would be of the UK which its dominant ideology is;

  • Middle class
  • White
  • Male
  • Able-bodied
  • Christian
  • Hetreosexual
  • Has a nuclear family
  • Is supporter of the monarchy.

They also think the ruling class (bourgeoise) havve power over the working class (proletariat).

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Marxist Key Words

Capatalism - It shows inequality as different gender roles are recieving different amounts of pays. Therefore you work hard to make money for yourself to spend on things you may need/want. But the pay depends on job/family wealth.

Conflict Theory - Conflict between theorys.

Structual Approach - It explains how society is strucutured for marx and money.

Bourgeoisie - The ruling class and are often the owners of factories.

Proletariat - They are the workers, often cheap labour.

False Consciousness - It is where the hierachy says everything is fine and apporiate.

Class Consciousness - This is where the workers become aware of the unfair system and start of strikes and protest.

Communiusm - It is the oppsite of capitalism, so it allows equality and for you to get what you need not want.

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Functionalism - How is Society Like a Human Body?

Functionalism looks at society as though it were a living thing, like a human being.


Every part of the body has a function that helps keep it alive and healthy.

  • The human body grows and develops.
  • All of the parts of the body link together in to one big system.
  • The body fights disease.


Every part of society helps to keep society going - for example the family helps by bringing up the next generation.

  • Societies gradually develop and change.
  • All of the oarts of the society work togetther and depend on each other - they are interdependent.
  • Society has mechanisms to deal with the problems when they occur such as police and legal system.
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Functionalism - Talcott Parsons

Talcott Parsons (1902 to 1979) thought many things;

  • Social institutions socialise people in to the values of society so most members of society share common values and norms of behaviour.
  • Social instituions creat moral codes which most people follow. The can be formal, like laws or informal, like dissapproval from your family.
  • Social instituions encourage solidarity, a sense of community and social integration.
  • The end result is value consensus and a sense of shared identity.
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Interactionism // Social Action Theory

Functionalists think that peoples behaviour is the result of the social institutions. Society impacts people.

Interactionists think that indivduals have a much greater impact upon their own lives. Prople impact people.

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Interactionism - Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman (1922 to 1982) was really in to interactionism and thought everyday life was like a play and we were all actors play roles.

In differenet situatuions, people play different roles. For example your behaviour with your friends is different to your behaviour with your parents and your teachers.

There are even scripts to follow such as saying 'Hello, how are you' to greet people.

We all have a catalouge of different identities which we use to create a particular impressions in given situations.

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Interactionism - Labelling Theory

Labelling theory is the key component of interactionsits ideas.

Continuous labelling can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Labels may be given to someone by a teacher or a person e.g. stupid, this is something that they may become being a self-fulfilling propehecy.

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Postmodernism - Auguste Comte

Auguste Comete was very excited by this whole modernity thing.

He was a founding father of sociology and helped start it all. He believed sociology is the science of society and that sociological research based upon scientific rationality could rid the world of social probelms like crime and poverty.

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Before postmodernity there was modernity.

Modernity was characterised by massive social change and many theories have sought to explain these changes by proving the 'truth' about it.

Postmodernists, however say there is no truth and meta-narrative which try to find it ae irrelevant.

Postmodernism has been used to

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Postmodernism - What it was like?

What it was like?


  • Dominated by mass factory production - repatative/no responsiblity
  • Jobs were seen for life from a young age


  • Didn't have to worry about fitting it
  • Not so 'media-satuarted'
  • Relgion - Church was compulsory


  • Not so influenced as theres not a lot to be influenced by
  • Labelled due to class, gender, ethnicity and family


  • Not as much communication
  • Nothing to challenge national and local cultures
  • Simple and family run


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Postmodernism - What's it like now?


  • Mainly located in the service sector, dominated by jobs mainly involving processing informaton or serving of consumption.
  • There is now a range of flexiblity - Part Time/Full Time


  • Society, media and other cultural industries - film, music and fashion - have grown wealthier
  • There are a variety of ways which advise how we should look
  • We tend to mix and match with different styles


  • Influenced by main stream popular culutre
  • Greater coice of how you should look
  • Labelling; Not defined


  • Expansion of transnational companies; McDonalds, Sony, Coca-Cola, Nike etc
  • Symbols are much more recognised
  • Less local business


  • Global village
  • Advanced technology
  • Lack of privacy
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