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Tutor: Elspeth Cordell

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1 Tutor: Elspeth Cordell
Perspectives Tutor: Elspeth Cordell

2 Outcomes for the lesson

3 Structural theories Structural theories- handout1
Theory can be said to be like looking at society through different lenses – each give it a different perspective or appearance. The society and its structure is more important than the individual There is no individual- just roles! Society makes us who we are Society is structured either through Consensus or conflict The power of the society over us happens through socialisation…

4 Socialisation What is it? How does it work?

5 Recap questions Structural theories is like looking through a …….?
Is there any individual in this perspective? What are the two theories in this perspective? Which one is which?

6 Functionalism TASK: Can you list jobs that are ‘valued’ more?
Emile Durkheim ( ) Division of labour- people have different functions, skills and abilities which are worth more or less in terms of financial gain, power, prestige, education level TASK: Can you list jobs that are ‘valued’ more?

7 Value consensus (key term)
Members of society : happy to take their place within this division of labour because they believe in it’s ‘moral worth’ – this comes from Stratification Hence there is a common agreement- a consensus about how a society is formed Therefore we accept that occupations should be graded in terms of their value to society and those occupying the most functional or most valued should have more rewards (Moore 2004)

8 Therefore A Stratification system is a moral stratification system embodying and reflecting common values and beliefs (Durkheim)

9 Values and beliefs We believe in a meritocratic society
This inspires us to keep going- training, education. We see our rewards increase as we work harder and train more Hence the system is seen as fair and just so we keep functioning within it!

10 Summing up functionalism
lets break it down again Functionalists believe that society FUNCTIONS as a whole and works by social consensus, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole- harmony and social order. Social consensus- agreement on core values, norms and roles. Thus happens neatly and with order – as it happens through socialisation

11 This agreement (Consensus)Happens..
This agreement happens through the process of socialisation Parents, school, work, religion, media Teach people the ways of the culture- norms, values, roles. Remember a baby learns the way of life from the parents!

12 Gapped handout

13 Class inequality Inequality benefits the society… T What do you think?

14 Davis and Moore (1955) 4 points – Handout
Work through the hand-out and answer the questions Saunders (1996) New right thinker… ‘ Economic growth has raised the living standers of all members of society, and social inequality is a small price to pay for society as a whole becoming more prosperous’ …

15 Weaknesses of functionalism
Are all underpaid jobs ‘nonessential?’ For example - Nurses vs Doctors Earning from £15,000 to £10,000 per annum: Pharmacy and other dispensing assistants: £14,826 Sales assistants and retail cashiers: £14,598 Cleaners and domestics: £14,436 Sales and retail assistants: £14,326 Playworkers: £14,142 Nursery nurses and assistants: £13,910 Kitchen and catering assistants: £12,904 Bar staff: £12,847 Waiters and waitresses: £12,429 Hairdressers and barbers: £12,138

16 Weakness of functionalism
Unequal distribution of wealth and rewards – ‘ Fat Cat pay’ This disparity of rewards and income is one of the major causes of deviance and crime..

17 Marxism and social inequality

18 Marxism: Karl Marx “You must have doubts about everything”
Born 5th May 1818 German Founder of Marxism Was on the German £100 pound note until he fall of the Berlin wall Died 1883

19 Marxism Marxism – society is structured so that some groups do better than others Marxism is a belief that capitalism allows the owners of capital (the ruling-class or bosses) to exploit the workers (employees) and this causes conflict between the two classes Fixing workers in their place Thus society is structured through disagreement and conflict If everyone got power= less wealth, control!

20 Happens by… Lower classes sell their labours for little money (to live on) Ruling class makes big profits selling off the products produced by the workers! See cartoon hand-out In industiralisation: “Transformed the living worker into a mere accessory of the machine” (Marx, 1862)

21 The hierarchy of the workplace
Socialisation happens through obedience to higher social classes It is the struggles of rich people holding onto their money whilst the poorer get poorer… Only way to get social equality is through revolution… Any evidence for this?


23 The social Class Focus on social class
Difference between the classes is what causes conflict Society is structured around this So that the powerful classes get to keep this power Middle class is just another ploy to give the perception that society is fair

24 Evidence to back up Marxism…

25 Comparison of the two

26 Education from both perspectives
Marxism: Louis Althusser (a Marxist) (1971) the reproduction of an efficient and obedient work force. transmitting the ideology that capitalism is just and reasonable (school teaches you to compete with your fellow pupils by trying to do better than them) train future workers to become submissive to authority (schools teachers you to accept as normal to do as you’re told, this way when your boss orders you what to do, it seems perfectly normal) if not born into wealth then chances of getting power is not real, just painted like this to make lower classes have hope. Functionalism: People have the opportunity to be anything if you work hard enough Socialises children and prepares them for society- norms, values, beliefs etc. Education serves social control or the regulation of deviant behaviour as it keeps people off streets, by keeping them busy and getting them achieving. teaches confidence, knowledge and self esteem, thus raising the whole society.

27 Healthcare what would these perspectives say??
Functionalism Marxism

28 Summing up Gapped handout But has this theory got any weaknesses?
Are you happy that the structural theories discount YOUR contribution to society?

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