Sociological theory social action help

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rebecca414
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Can anyone provide any help with how to answer an essay on action theory for aqa sociology new spec if it was a 20 marker on paper 3?

We have been taught weber, mead, blumer, becker, cooley, goffman, phenomenology, ethnomethodoly and giddens. Would you be required to talk about all of these in a 20 marker?

Really struggling with trying to understand the phenomenology and ethnomethodology also, any help is appreciated.
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desolationise
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why has no-one answered this bc i have no idea what to do either???
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Quirky Object
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desolationise and rebecca414, someone will have to confirm this as I don't know anything about AQA sociology marking criteria, but they won't make you write a disproportionate amount for an essay question even if the title seems broad. If the question were something like "Explain the significance of the notion of social action" (and again I'm not sure if this is how the question would be phrased) you would only need to give however many examples as you normally would for a 20-mark question, and the question might be more specific since there are obviously a lot of instances in which Weber/related thinkers used the concept of social action.

As for phenomenology and ethnomethodology, this is a good summary; if you have more questions about the two, feel free to ask.
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desolationise
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(Original post by Sonechka)
desolationise and rebecca414, someone will have to confirm this as I don't know anything about AQA sociology marking criteria, but they won't make you write a disproportionate amount for an essay question even if the title seems broad. If the question were something like "Explain the significance of the notion of social action" (and again I'm not sure if this is how the question would be phrased) you would only need to give however many examples as you normally would for a 20-mark question, and the question might be more specific since there are obviously a lot of instances in which Weber/related thinkers used the concept of social action.

As for phenomenology and ethnomethodology, this is a good summary; if you have more questions about the two, feel free to ask.
thank you for the guidance, do you have any more notes on theory as my teacher wasnt in half the year and im seriously feeling like im going to fail tomorrow
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Quirky Object
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(Original post by desolationise)
thank you for the guidance, do you have any more notes on theory as my teacher wasnt in half the year and im seriously feeling like im going to fail tomorrow
That's annoying; don't worry about it too much, you'll end up knowing a lot more than you think. I don't (you can probably find some notes at getrevising.co.uk) but I'll probably be able to help you if there are specific concepts you're stuck on.
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desolationise
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(Original post by Sonechka)
That's annoying; don't worry about it too much, you'll end up knowing a lot more than you think. I don't (you can probably find some notes at getrevising.co.uk) but I'll probably be able to help you if there are specific concepts you're stuck on.
thank you for trying to help, is there any way you could try and explain giddens structure thing to me pls x
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Quirky Object
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(Original post by desolationise)
thank you for trying to help, is there any way you could try and explain giddens structure thing to me pls x
Ah, that's an interesting one. Structuration theory was basically a reaction against the dichotomy which had developed in 20th century sociology of viewing the development of society as primarily a product of either social conditions and institutions like the family, economic system, educational institutions etc. (structures) or individuals acting freely according to their desires (agents). Giddens argued that neither of these two has a greater effect than the other; rather, they have a symbiotic relationship. Although humans do always have agency and can act as they please which makes them too spontaneous for their actions to be predicted by "grand schemes" like those proposed by Marxists and positivists, their agency is limited by structures because these structures mould how they think on a subconscious level. In turn, structures are limited by agency. A key point is that to Giddens, unlike to some other theorists (structuralists etc.), structures weren't these fundamental social phenomena which evolve in some mysterious, organic way; they were simply patterns of actions carried out by individuals. For example, a tradition only becomes a tradition because individuals decide to do it over and over again. Therefore, not only do agents depend on structures to an extent according to Giddens - structures depend on agents too. This is the main idea of structuration theory. Do you need more detail?

Edit: Just realised I didn't explain what structuration itself is. Structuration is the point at which an agent and a structure exert the aforementioned symbiotic influence on each other. Giddens identified three of such points (briefly put; Constitution of Society goes into a lot of detail on this): signification, which involves the shaping of discourse and language, legitimation, which involves the shaping of social norms and domination, which involves how power structures are built and legitimised. When rapid change happens in a social system, according to Giddens, it is due to reflexivity, which is when individuals do not comply with the rules provided by structures and act outside of the boundaries they impose.
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desolationise
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(Original post by Sonechka)
Ah, that's an interesting one. Structuration theory was basically a reaction against the dichotomy which had developed in 20th century sociology of viewing the development of society as primarily a product of either social conditions and institutions like the family, economic system, educational institutions etc. (structures) or individuals acting freely according to their desires (agents). Giddens argued that neither of these two has a greater effect than the other; rather, they have a symbiotic relationship. Although humans do always have agency and can act as they please which makes them too spontaneous for their actions to be predicted by "grand schemes" like those proposed by Marxists and positivists, their agency is limited by structures because these structures mould how they think on a subconscious level. In turn, structures are limited by agency. A key point is that to Giddens, unlike to some other theorists (structuralists etc.), structures weren't these fundamental social phenomena which evolve in some mysterious, organic way; they were simply patterns of actions carried out by individuals. For example, a tradition only becomes a tradition because individuals decide to do it over and over again. Therefore, not only do agents depend on structures to an extent according to Giddens - structures depend on agents too. This is the main idea of structuration theory. Do you need more detail?

Edit: Just realised I didn't explain what structuration itself is. Structuration is the point at which an agent and a structure exert the aforementioned symbiotic influence on each other. Giddens identified three of such points (briefly put; Constitution of Society goes into a lot of detail on this): signification, which involves the shaping of discourse and language, legitimation, which involves the shaping of social norms and domination, which involves how power structures are built and legitimised. When rapid change happens in a social system, according to Giddens, it is due to reflexivity, which is when individuals do not comply with the rules provided by structures and act outside of the boundaries they impose.
god its so complicated thank you so much tho you're amazing
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Quirky Object
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(Original post by desolationise)
god its so complicated thank you so much tho you're amazing
No problem, best of luck for tomorrow
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