Made Simple

1st Edition - January 1, 1982

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  • Author: Jane L. Thompson
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483103716

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Sociology: Made Simple covers issues being discussed in contemporary sociology. The book tackles Sociology with regard to its definition, social sciences, theories, and different approaches (i.e., positivism, functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and Marxist sociology). The text also discusses social class in Britain; family life in contemporary Britain; the main aspects of the sociology of education; and studies in youth culture. The effects of mass media, industrialization, work, poverty, welfare, state, politics, and distribution of power in the process of social control are also considered. Each chapter of the book is provided with lists of further reading. Students engaged in sociology course and general readers will find the book invaluable.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    1 What Is Sociology?

    Sociology and the Social Sciences

    Sociology and Science

    Early Sociology

    Emile Durkheim

    Max Weber

    Karl Marx

    Different Approaches



    Symbolic Interactionism

    Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology

    Marxist Sociology

    Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    Where's the Evidence?

    Positivist Research

    Interpretive Research


    In Conclusion


    Further Reading

    2 Social Class in Britain

    Test Your Class-Consciousness

    Subjective and Objective Definitions of Social Class

    The Middle Class and the Working Class

    The Upper Class

    Income and Wealth

    Economic and Cultural Definitions of Social Class

    What About Women?

    Does Class Count?

    The Embourgeoisement Debate

    Social Stratification

    Distributing Resources

    Marx' Theory of Class

    Criticisms of Marx' Theory of Class

    Max Weber's Theories of Stratification

    In Conclusion


    Further Reading

    3 The Family

    Human Nature or Social Convenience?

    The Functions of the Family

    The Family and the Economic System

    Subsistence Economies

    Socialist Economies

    The Family in Socialist Societies

    Capitalist Economies

    The Family in Capitalist Societies

    Family Problems

    Changing Roles within the Family


    Further Reading

    4 Education

    Informal and Formal Education

    The Historical Context


    Secondary Education for All

    Views on Segregation

    Tripartite Schooling

    Research and Party Politics

    Conservative Government

    The Current Situation

    The Social Functions of Education

    Education and the Economic System

    Education and the Social System

    Education and the Political System

    Education as an Agency of Social Control

    Social Factors Affecting Educational Failure

    In Conclusion


    Further Reading

    5 Studies in Youth Culture

    Defining Culture

    Subculture and Culture

    Culture and Economics

    The Creation of Culture

    Adolescence and Culture

    The Social Class Factors

    Youth Culture

    Why Study the Workers?

    Ruling by Consent

    The Swinging Sixties?

    The Re-emergence of Class

    The Response to Social Changes in the Fifties and Sixties

    Youth Cultural Response: Mods and Skinheads

    Youth Cultures in Context

    Counter-School Culture

    Girls and Youth Culture

    In Conclusion


    Further Reading

    6 The Mass Media

    One-Way Communication

    The Media Business

    Independent Television and Radio

    The BBC

    Broadcasting and the State

    Areas of Concern

    The Effects of Broadcasting

    The Press

    The Growth and Development of the British Press

    Centralized Control

    Indoctrination or IncoφOΓation?

    What is News?

    It Can't Be All Bad!


    Further Reading

    7 Industry and Industrial Change

    The Industrialization of Britain

    The Organization of Labor

    Industrial Change

    Industry and Capitalism in the North-East before the Second World War

    Industrial Decline—A Regional Problem?

    Industry and Capitalism in the North-East after the Second World War

    Industrial Decline—An Inner City Problem?

    The Class Factor

    Capitalist Concentration

    Government Intervention

    The Impact of Science and Technology


    Microelectronic Processors

    A New Industrial Revolution?

    Support for Small Businesses

    The Pattern of Industrial Change—A Summary


    Further Reading

    8 Working Lives

    The Definition of Work

    Studies of Work

    Job Satisfaction

    The Influence of Work on Leisure Activities

    The Culture of Work

    Middle-Class Culture of Work

    Working-class Culture of Work

    Shop-Floor Culture

    Cultural Weaknesses

    'Enlightened' Management

    The Professions

    The Old' and the 'New' Professions

    Professions and Other Workers

    Professional Status and Social Respect

    Sociological Disagreement


    Social Work

    Women in the Workforce

    Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination

    The Equal Opportunities Commission



    Further Reading

    9 Poverty and Welfare

    State Intervention

    The Discovery of Poverty

    Industrialization and the Growth of Capitalism

    The Turn of the Century

    Poverty and Unemployment Between the Wars

    The Beveridge Report

    Women Dependants

    Other Legislation

    The Appointed Day

    Post-War Developments

    Definitions of Poverty

    Absolute Poverty

    Relative Poverty

    Affluent Britain?


    Rediscovering Poverty

    The Government's Poverty Program

    'Blaming the Victims'

    'Blaming the System'

    Cutting the Welfare State

    Jobs Threatened

    State Care or State Control?


    Further Reading

    10 Politics and Power


    The Distribution of Power

    Ruling Class



    Power and the Ruling Class

    Wealth and Income


    The Controllers of British Industry

    Business and Government

    Elitism and Power

    Pluralism and Power


    The Pluralist Interpretation of Legitimation

    The Process of Legitimation—A Marxist Analysis


    Political Acquiescence

    Politics and Power


    Further Reading



Product details

  • No. of pages: 302
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Made Simple 1982
  • Published: January 1, 1982
  • Imprint: Made Simple
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483103716

About the Author

Jane L. Thompson

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