Posted in A2 Sociology: Religion

A2: Trump and civil religion

Image result for Trump's inauguration speech
Thanks to Sumera for a head’s up about Donald Trump’s inaugural speech which like so many before him is a very good example of civil religion:
“At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”
We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.
When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There should be no fear — we are protected, and we will always be protected.
We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God…
And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.”
Posted in General Sociology

A level – writing in a critical style

Sumera has asked me to write a quick post about writing essays in a more analytical and precise style. Hopefully, this will help you adopt a more effective and concise essay writing style particularly when under the pressure of timed exam conditions. Here are my tips:

  • Try to analyse and/or evaluate the information that you are discussing. A quick and easy way to do this is by using adjectives such as: comprehensive, exhaustive, perceptive, thoughtful, limited, outdated, deterministic, persuasive, presumptuous, authoritative etc. For example:                                                                                                                    There is much contemporary evidence to support Neo-functionalist, Robert Bellah’s perceptive argument that the United States has “an elaborate and well-instituted civil religion”.
  • The first sentence of every paragraph should often link to the last paragraph using connectives: , such as ‘however’, ‘consequently’, ‘moreover’, ‘a contrary explanation is that’, ‘although’, ‘as a consequence’, ‘as a result’, ‘accordingly’, ‘an equally significant aspect of…’, ‘another, significant factor in…’, ‘by the same token’, ‘but we should also consider’, ‘despite these criticisms’, ‘consequently’, ‘correspondingly’, ‘conversely’, ‘despite these criticisms’, ‘evidently’, ‘importantly’, ‘notably’,  etc…
  • Link the first sentence to the question. This will immediately demonstrate that you are not merely presenting information, you are applying it. For example, if the essay was asking you to evaluate the contribution of Marxism to our understanding of the role of religion in contemporary society, you might write something like:                       It is perhaps easy to dismiss Karl Marx’s analysis of the role of religion as overly deterministic and unable to understand the complexities of a late or postmodern society such as the UK. However, Neo-Marxists offer a more relevant and all encompassing model…
Posted in A2 Sociology: Crime and Deviance, GCSE Sociology

Crime and Deviance: ethnicity

A wealth of sociological research documents how Blacks are disadvantaged by the criminal justice system, from higher likelihood of being stopped by police to much higher rates of incarceration. In a recent American Journal of Sociology article, Ryan King and Brian Johnson extend that knowledge by investigating whether and how skin tone and “Afrocentric” phenotypical…

via Darker Skin, Harsher Sentence — The Society Pages

Posted in GCSE Sociology

GCSE Family: Model answer

MODEL ANSWER: Explain the feminist view of the family (4 marks)

Feminists are critical of the family. They argue that the family has a negative impact on the lives of many women. Feminists argue the family is patriarchal.  This means that men benefit from the family whilst women often suffer.  For example, many women experience domestic violence within the family.  However, liberal feminists have noted that whilst there are still many improvements to be made, they have found that UK society is becoming more equal and that campaigns are raising awareness of issues such as domestic violence.  However, radical feminists believe that little has changed and that men still hold power in society and in the family.  Some radical feminists suggest political lesbianism as a solution to the patriarchal nature of the family.