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Key ideas: 

  • social solidarity 
  • social cohesion 
  • social integration 
  • anomie 
  • social order 
  • value consensus 
  • collective conscience 
  • socialisation - school, religion, police, parents, peers
  • e.g. history teaches social solidarity (Durkheim), Bellah's civil religion, school acts as bridge, role allocation, warm bath theory of the family, gender roles, religion and higher order (Parsons), rituals promoting psychological health. 
  • organic analogy - institutions
  • meritocracy - fair 


  • Positivism - large scale, Durkheim's suicide study, social facts, official statistics, quantitative data, causal relationships, reliability. 


  • overly positive - niave 
  • deterministic - lack of free will 
  • overstates consensus (post modernity and diversity)
  • outdated (1940s USA)
  • struggle to explain social change
  • ignores oppressive structures 
  • methods lack validity 



Key ideas: 

  • ideology - set of beliefs, form of control, legitimates inequality e.g. religion 
  • class consciousness - class for itself
  • false class consciousness - class in itself 
  • historical materialism - forces of production (means, mode, social relations), dialectical materialism (clash of material forces), ancient > feudal > capitalism > communism.
  • base superstructure model - substructure and institutions
  • revolution - marx predicted ultimate victory of communism
  • alienation - loss of control over labour, most extreme in capitalism where division of labour is most separated
  • Neo marxism - humanistic (co-ercion, consent, dual consciousness), scientific (structures shape history, reject base superstructure e.g. relative autonomy, ISA and RSA. 


  • dual consciousness 
  • will communism work? 
  • neo-marxism more realistic 
  • economic determinism 
  • idea of communist revolution is too abstract, how will it occur? 
  • lacks empirical evidence 
  • post-fordist 
  • too negative
  • ignores other forms of oppression 



Key ideas: 

  • Radical - patriarchy is universal/fundamental, all men oppress women, political lesbianism, separatism
  • Liberal - socialisation leading to more rational attitudes, change through law and social policy, promote appropriate role models, equal rights through gradual reform
  • Black - family resistance to oppression
  • Marxist - 'takers of ****,' source of cheap labour, subordination rooted in capitalism, reserve army of labour 
  • Dual systems - radical + marxist, men exploit women in capitalist structure, capitalism exploit female workers. 
  • Difference - focus on women oppressed by other factors e.g. black/homosexual, claim others focus on white western women, experiences are not all the same. 
  • Methodology - qualitative, sensitive, in depth, micro, rapport, interviews, validity, open questions. e.g. Ann Oakley 'division of labour' with 40 women, Watson's case study into veiling. 


  • radical overemphasise common experiences 
  • downgrades importance of class/ethnicity 
  • cannot account for women's change in position 
  • liberal - overly optimistic 
  • dual systems - underemphasise active role men play in women's oppression 
  • marxist - women still experience oppression in non-capitalist societies

Social Action Theories

Labelling theory - e.g. ideal pupil, self fulfilling prophecy, master status, deviant career



Anthony Oyekanmi

very good

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