Introduction to Sociology – questions and answers Essay


Describe in full what Sociology is.Sociology is a critical study of society and the social world we live in, It is a study of Me, You, People and Institutions. It investigates and analysis things such as social problems, social behaviour, culture, culture differences, human behaviour as groups and also on larger more predominant behaviour as a society on a whole. This study uses a lot of different methods in order to investigate the way society works and why humans do the things they do as a society.

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2. Identify and explain one difference between Sociology and Common sense.Common sense is not based on fact, it is almost a set of beliefs learnt from experience and other peoples. Sociology is based upon research and scientific evidence.

3. Identify two differences Sociology and Psychology.Sociology looks at society on a large scale, where Psychology studies an individual. Psychology can be said to be a science that deals with individual mental behavior.

Sociology on the other hand a science that deals with the development of human society.4. Describe one similarity between Sociology and Psychology.Both Psychology and Sociology study human behavior, which is how they are similar.

Having said that, Psychology goes a little deeper and tends to defines behavior as normal or abnormal.5. Sociology is a critical social science. Describe what you understand by this statement.

Sociology is a critical science because it places society almost under scrutiny so it can analyze, challenge and turn over every leaf to get close to a better understanding of society and why/how it functions.Section Two1. Give a full definition of the following terms:A) Culture is a way of life within a particular society. It is what people follow, adapt to and learn from birth and social behaviour.

With culture comes Beliefs, Traditions and Values.B) Norms within society are similar to rules. In sociology a norm is a shared expectation of behaviour in specific situations. Let us take cueing up in a shop for instance, the norm would be to wait in an orderly line until your turn not bypass the cue and take your turn.

C) A Role is a way you are expected to conduct yourself given the particular role you play in society. If you are a Mother for instance you are expected to be an adult about things, decision make, nurture, and love. Another example would be that of a Teacher, a teachers role and what is expected of them would be for the teacher to be professional, have the knowledge required to teach, respectful but at the same time authoritative.D) Socialisation this is the social process we all learn and pick up on from the day we are born and in our everyday lives.

Primarily we start to learn our culture through family and our households, it then furthers on to a second stage which comes from learning, whether being at school, work or socially networking.2. Identify two values of British society. Briefly describe one way each value is expressed within society.

Two values of British society are* Education* WorkEducation within the British society show values by constantly trying to gain better levels of education whether being attending short courses or University.The Work value stems from the value of education as the British society in fact better there knowledge, skills and education to gain a better paid job. As we grown and adapt into society we are constantly told to go to school, gain as much education and get a well-paid job.2.

Identify two social institutions involved in the process of secondary socialisation.* Educational institutions: Secondary School/University* Religion: Unified beliefs3. Describe one norm of learner action within a class room.One norm of a learner action in a classroom would be to conduct yourself in a “Student” manner, which consists of taking a seat, listening, take instructions, feed in information.

4. Describe why sociologist suggests that human behaviour is best understood as learnt rather than ‘natural’.Sociologist suggest human behaviour is learnt because there is nothing in our natural instinct or genetic make-up that suggests humans are forced to behave in certain ways, for example kind or aggressive. From birth we have natural instinct elements which are to sleep and eat, if there was more to our natural instincts the population of the world’s behaviour would not differ so much and would be continuous.

This shows us there are things we learn and are taught. As time goes by people change, things change around us and we adapt and learn the behaviour as well as being shown.Section Three1. Describe at least two features of the following sociological theoriesFunctionalism* Functionalist believes society is a system formed of different bits.

* Society is held together by consensus order.a) Marxism* Is a structural conflict theory which believes society is divided into two parts, Economic Base/Infra Structure ; Superstructure* Believes everything to so with society starts from the Economy.b) Interactionism* A social action* Based upon yourself concept from the response of others.2.

Describe two criticisms of two of the above theories.Marxism only looks at two classes, The Ruling Group and the working class. Functionalists have tended to be less concerned with the ways in which individuals can control their own destiny, instead they see humans in society as puppets.Describe one similarity between Marxist and Functionalist sociological theories.

They both are macro perspectives meaning that they look at society as a whole rather than the individuals.3. Describe one point of contrast between Interactionism and FunctionalismYou can contrast the two by function, either being structured through socialization or through interacting with individuals that make you feel a certain way which influences how you function.Section four1) Define the following terms:a) Primary Data is observed or collected directly from first-hand experience.

b) Secondary Data is existing data already collected.c) Qualitative Data is data in word format such as Books and Newspapers.d) Quantitative Data is data in number format such as Surveys, Accounts and Statistics.e) Validity meaning do the findings reflect the reality of what it is you are trying to measure.

f) Reliability meaning the repeatability of a piece of research.2. Describe one difference between Structured and Unstructured Interview.Structured interviews are preset questions with limited answers where as unstructured are open questions which give higher validity as you can gain more truthfulness from answers given.

3. Outline one similarity and one difference between covert and overt participant observation.Compared to other research methods covert and overt produce high validity because you are watching and observing this is a similarity between the two. The difference between them is one is undercover observation the other is not.

4.Describe what non participant observation is.This is a method where the researcher observes a study but does not participate, this is done in it true form which avoids the observer effect.5) Identify two advantages and two disadvantages of the questionnaire method.

Advantages of questionnaires, one, it covers a large amount of people so answers are more generalized and two It is easy to convert results into statistics. Disadvantages are people are aware they are taking part in an experiment so the answers they give could be dis-honest. Also as it may be fixed question questionnaires participants would not be able to express their views in full.6, Describe what quantitative analysis is.

This is a study of content referring to pictures or text. With this method the researcher would use existing information to produce quantitative data based on what it is they are studying.7. Take one of the following research areas:a) Identify and describe one appropriate research method to investigate the issue.

Relationship between gender and educational achievementa) Identify and describe one appropriate research method to investigate the issue.A research method that could be used for this study could be to analyze Secondary Data such as government statistics.b) Using what you understand about the strengths of the method present a justification for your choice.By doing this the researcher can use data already existing to compare and contrast.

Quantitative data maybe looked at for example government statistics and charts which would provide an established degree of validity and reliability. Secondary Data provides useful background historical data on people which makes this method the choice I would use.c) Describe the possible weaknesses in using the method.The data being looked at could actually be incomplete which would not be very resourceful for the researcher.

Also the data maybe out of date.

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