samjr
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Hi! So we've been given our first assignment, just wondering if anybody could help with the structure of the essay and content that I could include?

This is the brief:

-Compare and contrast two main theoretical perspectives in sociology.
-Evaluate with examples the strengths and limitations of two sociological perspectives.
-compare the views of Functionalists and Marxists, which view of society do you think provides the most accurate and useful insights into the way British society is currently organised? Is it mainly based on consensus or conflict? Give reasons for your answer, with examples to illustrate the points you make. Include examples demonstrating the strengths and limitations of the two sociological perspectives.

This is so difficult when we have only had 5 lessons!

Any help or guidance will be gratefully appreciated
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consensus
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I think you need spend an hour or two looking at Functionalism and Marxism again. I cannot go through everything here but as the question states they are polar opposites. Functionalism asks the question 'what is it that unites us?' whereas Marxism starts with the thinking 'all societies have class conflict'. The Functionalists would move on to norms and values and how/where we learn them, these are the things that make us co-operate and function as a society (the biological/organic comparison).

The question asks what are the things that are similar and what is different? Both look at bigger things in society usually rather than smaller interactions and both would consider things are often determined for us (grand theory). Both have been considered more important than they are today, but Marxism probably still holds more sway. Marxism was a theory pretty much starting with differences caused by property ownership. Marx had a theory and not much research, whereas Durkheim tried to research things like suicide to show societies were not all the same.

Some often used failings of Marxism are that the world did not become communist and some thought class based issues had died (pakulski), or at least become less important. I don't think that is true and the world, indeed Britain is a very unequal society. Many people are now owners of companies, albeit through shares but does that give them any more power? No.

Functionalists thought all parts of society work together to produce a sense of harmony. When there are some functions not working so well, problems occur and society becomes disordered. Some disorder is good because it is a chance for society to adapt to change and introduce new systems. However, are we united as a society? Crime and disorder are still present, as is inequality.

Just some very small thoughts for you as a starting point.

theconsensustutor (WWW)
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cwindo94
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I have exactly the same problem don't know where to start, have just outlined the theories, including similarities and differences. I don't know how to even start the second part, whether Britain is based on conflict or consensus, i thought i could use mike Ashley and the sports direct article to show how workers are still being exploited but not sure how to put a functionalist view on it?? also what references i am going to use as iv mainly just used my as sociology book ??? a quick reply would be great as iv only got until Monday to complete it?????
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samjr
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Literally been sat down all day trying to type it.
I've just written about the small similarities between the two, macro theory etc. mainly focused on family and the theories of Parsons and Murdock, as well as Zaretsky for marxist comparison. might write a small bit on education or religion. 1000 words really ain't long enough to go into detail.
Haven't thought about the british bit yet, i'll just find an article on marxist views on modern britain or something and evaulate that.
I'm guessing your at highbury? since the brief was written by Kate and Jane lol
Contacted a lot of people over the half term, but everyone seems to be in the same position...
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samjr
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(Original post by consensus)
I think you need spend an hour or two looking at Functionalism and Marxism again. I cannot go through everything here but as the question states they are polar opposites. Functionalism asks the question 'what is it that unites us?' whereas Marxism starts with the thinking 'all societies have class conflict'. The Functionalists would move on to norms and values and how/where we learn them, these are the things that make us co-operate and function as a society (the biological/organic comparison).

The question asks what are the things that are similar and what is different? Both look at bigger things in society usually rather than smaller interactions and both would consider things are often determined for us (grand theory). Both have been considered more important than they are today, but Marxism probably still holds more sway. Marxism was a theory pretty much starting with differences caused by property ownership. Marx had a theory and not much research, whereas Durkheim tried to research things like suicide to show societies were not all the same.

Some often used failings of Marxism are that the world did not become communist and some thought class based issues had died (pakulski), or at least become less important. I don't think that is true and the world, indeed Britain is a very unequal society. Many people are now owners of companies, albeit through shares but does that give them any more power? No.

Functionalists thought all parts of society work together to produce a sense of harmony. When there are some functions not working so well, problems occur and society becomes disordered. Some disorder is good because it is a chance for society to adapt to change and introduce new systems. However, are we united as a society? Crime and disorder are still present, as is inequality.

Just some very small thoughts for you as a starting point.

theconsensustutor (WWW)
Thank you so much for this! It was a great help, and got me thinking in the right direction.
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samjr
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Oh yeah, references; I've just used the book as well, and a couple of websites... not a lot really
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Rawkuss
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Just wanted to say thanks for starting this thread. It has been very helpful for this year
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Cparker1982!
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Hi I’m in a similar position with my first assignment but only having 1 2 hour classroom lesson and a PowerPoint zoom lesson so feeling extremely overwhelmed any pointers please
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