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Chapter 4 and chapter 5 - Essay Example

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Chapter 4: Society Conflict theory is one of the most important perspectives in sociology, as it uses the inequality found between certain social groups and uses this to highlight the problems in society. Karl Marx is one of the most important conflict theorists, and he famously linked the principle to capitalism, suggesting that it would produce such tensions that it would lead to its own destruction…
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Download file to see previous pages This means that the poor members of society are likely to have bad education and healthcare systems, meaning that they will never have the same opportunities as the rich and therefore stay in their economic and social bracket. In this way, there would be eternal conflict between those that ‘have’ and those that ‘have not’ in society, eventually leading to the breakdown of capitalism. In this way, a capitalist society is presented as one full of tension and upset for those victim to inequality. Despite this, there are problems with conflict theory (and therefore there may be benefits to capitalism). The major problem with conflict theorists such as Marx and Du Bois is that they have a tendency to look at society from a macro perspective, meaning that several of the intimate details and familial perspectives in conflict theory are lost. Secondly, the very nature of conflict theory is that it focuses on disharmony and discontent in society, and is much less effective in discussing the positive aspects of society, such as co-operation. Despite these flaws, it is evident that a society without any leveling mechanism (such as a majority capitalist society) will lead to inequality, and inequality always has the possibility to lead to disharmony. We can see this from the current events in the United Kingdom between those who support the Prime Minister in owning four homes (the ‘haves’) and those who feel this is unfair (the ‘have nots’) and the news stories that focus on the discontent and protests about this matter. Chapter 5: Socialization Socialization is an important concept in sociology, as it is used to describe the process of gaining our social norms and customs; essentially the way we see and act in the world. This process of socialization gives a person their ideologies and forms at least part of the way that moral outcomes are decided. We can see this in practice by viewing the laws of different countries – what is defined as wrong can differ dramatically between countries or even states. The purpose of this paper is to explore how my own personal socialization has shaped and impacted on my life, and to link this to the important sociologists Mead and Cooley. One of the most important parts of socialization is one that is accumulated somewhat subconsciously: language. My own language is English of the sub-set American, which has come to socialize me in many ways. This is linked to the concept of linguistic determinism (which suggests that the language we speak is somehow linked to the way we think) and of linguistic relativity (which suggests that distinctions between ideas, objects or concepts are present or absent in different languages). Speaking American English has given me a lot of ways to express an interest in music (because I can talk about a lot of different genres) but I don’t have a way for describing different types of snow in the same way. I have been socialized to place more importance on music than on snow. Likewise, language changes over time in its meaning, meaning that my way of describing ethnic minorities (for example) is different to that of people in generations past, and as a result my generation are generally more tolerant than previous – an effect of socialization. George Herbert Mead felt that communication and symbols were one of the most imp ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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