Study Skills Essay Sample

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Listen to others
Respect people
No sharp objects
No technology
No distractions

Identify key terns
Recognise organisational lecture patterns
Relate details to main point
Listen for clues
Take ownership of the information
Paraphrase- don’t just write what you hear
Write down what you don’t know and get help with it
Make new ideas and connect points

Consolidating and understanding
Encourages you to think widely about topic areas
Develop organisation of ideas
Understand everything- ask anyone for help
Gather information
Think about structure
Redraft essays
Check work
Re-write the question if necessary

Deals with the point
Balanced evidence
Back up ideas-accurate evidence
Flows logically- chronologically
P.E.Q, date, title
Beginning, middle, end
No opinions
“Evidence suggests”, “According to”
Quotation marks- name the place you got it from

Adults with children
People that are relate through marriage or by blood
People that care for you
People you’re close to- refer friends as family
Made up of love, care and affection
Emotionally support one another
Parent figures/role models
Romantic love
Primary socialisation
Learning to become human
Norms and values are taught- socially acceptable behaviours- important/political Cornerstone of society- most important institution
Family( families- varied types

Families Households A family is a group of people generally related by blood ties or No one is related marriage. It consists of people of various ages (adults and their children) who teach each other norms and values in life through No infants around primary socialisation. They all need jobs to pay for bills Share domestic labour Share domestic labour All related  Love, choice, freedom, respect Financially beneficial Respectful of one another and their belongings Hierarchy Live in a household to circumstances and convenience No social pressures No hierarchy Choice of democracy Budgeting Decision making Individualised environment Households are becoming popular

Murdock, Giddens and Families

Families are starting to become dysfunctional, they are not as popular as
they used to be and nowadays not everyone wants a family, so some see it as those people aren’t living up to expectations.

Murdock’s definition of a family excludes every family type apart from the nuclear family.

Murdock’s views are outdated and narrow-minded as society has developed.

Murdock approves of reconstituted families.

Murdock believes that the family is universal but it’s not, relationships are.

Main functions the family can perform:
Sexual reproduction- healthy sex life stops sexual ‘free for all’ Educational production- socialisation/norms/values/learning
Economic production- consumption/food/shelter
Reproduction- creating and rearing the next generation

Murdock researched 250 different societies
People raise families in differing ways
Poverty affects family life
Economically there are ‘cogs in the machine’ due to unemployment He’s trying to control society
Critical of others/excludes families in his theory

Social structure (1999) ( universal

Matrifocal families:
Found in Afro-Caribbean families
Headed by women- no men around
-This is an exception to Murdock’s belief-

The Nayer:

Women live without husbands
Husbands visit
Each man has several wives
Children marry before puberty but they have no commitments to each other Limit of 12 husbands
No limit for wives
Fathers do not provide for their children
Frowned upon to be a kept woman

No emotional commitment
Sex ‘free for all’
No fathering responsibilities

+ Provides each woman with a ‘sister’ to help them
+ Security is provided for the family
– Husband fails to nurture the children
– No relationship commitments

+ Economically beneficial
+ Always at least one husband around to help the wife and children
– Jealousy between siblings
– The woman may not like a certain husband/brother

+ Women help one another
+ No emotional commitments to tend to
– No commitment from men
– Women have to nurture children alone

+ Committed relationships
+ Financial support
– No help from husbands if they leave
– Most marriages end in divorce-50%

Giddens includes other family types within his views making them less outdated and his ideas are broader which fits in better with our forever changing society.

Functionalism’s Families

Functionalism dominated society

Extended family (( Industrial urbanisation(( Manufacturing economy Agricultural economy Nuclear family


Geographically Mobile

Pre-industrial society Industrialised society
Technological Development

Family as producers(((((((((( Family as consumers
Labour intensive production Machine intensive production

Talcott Parsons

Believes that the family can only perform two functions
Change in agreement with family consensus
Don’t need a mother and a father in your life
Everyone makes mistakes/what people do is up to them

Primary socialisation- children learn to accept norms and values

The stabilisation of adult personalities: the family gives adults emotional support necessary to cope with the stresses of everyday life.


Functionalists see a society based on value consensus and they believe that society is harmonious and that everyone within the society is in agreement. Functionalists also believe that the family is the heart of society, and the family itself contributes to society. They only ever see the good in society and refer to the family as a ‘warm bath’ as it is meant to be a place where members can gather to release all of their frustrations and forget about the stresses of everyday life.

Patterns of behaviours/beliefs
Systems that make social life possible

Despite the family being the main agent of primary socialisation, socialisation itself is a life long process.

The family supports the children as they grow up and help them settle into society.

Families specialise in primary socialisation
Personalities are ‘made not born’
Internalising norms and values

Steal & Kidd (2007)
Care and socialisation of children creates sense of responsibility of the adults

Cheal (2002)
Parents are encouraged to feel they have a special responsibility to ensure their children are happy, healthy and strong in everyday life


Inheritance of property
Ideological functions( COMMUNISM
Unit of consumption

Engels: inheritance of private property
No restriction on sexual relationships

Primitive communism( No private property( All society members owned means of production( No families as such

For people to obtain private properties they had to be inherited, and men did not want to give their properties to some other man’s child so monogamous relationships were formed so biological offspring could inherit their riches: this is arguably the most demeaning and worst thing that could have happened to women as they would just be used to produced the next generation and be kept women.

False class consciousness- exploitation without realising it Socialises children into the idea of inequality


Advertisements to urge the family to ‘’keep up with the Jones’’’ by consuming all of the latest products

The media target is children and they use ‘pester power’ to persuade parents to buy products

Children who lack the latest things are mocked and stigmatised by other people

People are judged on acquisitions: what they have

Marcus (1964)
Families preserve a fake need of consumption: being greedy by buying the latest gadgets which they do not even need


Since the 1960s the changing pattern of divorce has increased, from 1961 to 1969 the number of divorces doubled and doubled again by 1972. the increases were continuous and have dropped slightly since, though most divorce petitions are carried out by women as 70% file for divorce in comparison to men.

The law has changed for divorce in 3 ways:
-Equalising the grounds for legal reasons, between men and women
-Widening the grounds for divorce
-Making divorce cheaper

The equality between men and women showed a great increase in divorce, the wider ground made divorce easier to obtain and as the price decreased, the amounts of people filing for divorce increased significantly.

A stigma refers to a negative label, social disapproval or shame attached to one person. Marriages that took place in churches were common, but the churches condemned divorce. As the stigma of divorce decreased, the amounts of divorces increased.

Secularisation refers to the decline in the influence of religion in society, as a result of this, people such as Christians went against the fact that it was frowned upon to get a divorce. So they rose since there were hardly any religious impacts on society.

People have high expectations of marriage which causes more divorces, as fewer couples are willing to stay together in an unhappy marriage.

Women now have more rights such as being able to work and receiving benefits, which means they are now able to look after themselves and have a stable life. Unfortunately this increased the divorce rates as they no longer had to rely on their partners.


Benson (1972)
(Marxist Feminists
Fran Ansley

Domestic labour
Women are oppressed in the home-trapped
Cooper (1972)- Ideological conditioning- a set of ideas
Sex class-biology-women become independent
Male stream- criticises sociology concepts
Use value- reserve army of labour
Children are raised to believe that there will always be a patriarchy, someone bigger and better than them Some women want to be at home- the theory could be outdated


Wanted to change the law
Look at women’s opportunities in society
Do not focus on oppression
Equal pay act
Sex discrimination act

Ideological Conditioning

Sommerville (Liberal)

Separatism will not work
Women living alone without companionship will not work, mean and women have agreed for love/relationships and companionships. We are attracted to sexual relationships: the nuclear family would disappear if women lived alone as they cannot reproduce.

Greer believes that we should live alone

Sex class

Egalitarian- equality in relationships

Feminists need to acknowledge progress made already. This is positive. There is more equality in relationships between men and women now than there ever has ever now men are prepared to share childcare and domestic labour. Women can show men ‘the door’ now if they are in an unsatisfactory relationship.

Thoughts on the film Jody showed us:
People thought feminists were lesbians
No one thought feminism was important
People still thought that men should be the patriarchy in society Negative attitudes were shown throughout which shows that society still has a long way to go because although new laws have come in, people’s attitudes towards women haven’t changed meaning that more things need to be done to gain full equality. Women mainly gained more equality during the First World War, as they proved that they could work just as well as men when they took over the jobs they left behind. Women sacrificed a fucking lot to gain rights! It’s disgraceful that people still do not approve of full equality between the sexes: both sexes are equal! Men can be feminists as well

New Rights

1980- Journalists & Politicians

=love & parents
=fatherless families
=divorce rates
=same sex couples


Idealised view of the past
SMART- they scope single parent families, so they find it easy to blame them Blame people for what isn’t their fault
Discriminates against family set ups

Decline in traditional family values
Generous welfare benefits
Sexual permissions

Breaking down
Under threat
Nuclear family

Dependency culture- welfare is the cause of irresponsible behaviour Underclass- people that do not work because they do not want to-causes crimes Decline in monogamy- contraception has encouraged this

Encourages women to become “married to the state”
Reinforcing the idea that single parent families are to blame

Family Diversity

McRae (1999)
Society (Britain) is more diverse and complex than in the past, with great diversity in households.

Crowley (1992)
Normative families are a statistical minority with only 25% of households consist of the nuclear family.

Edholm (1982)
Rejects the views of the nuclear family being the norm (the unnatural family) Kinship is socially constructed, relatives are made.

Factors affecting people so they no longer in Nuclear families( -marital status
-do not want children
-sexual orientation

Giddens: powerful ideology
Nuclear family is idolised and portrayed as normal and natural- ideological view New Rights are concerned about family diversity(what might family diversity mean to them? New Rights: anything that is not a Nuclear family is a poor substitute

Family Diversity

Rapoports (1982)
Surpassed family diversity – family diversity is positive

Eversley & Bannerjea ( 6 types ( outdated theory
Regional diversity
-sun belt
-inner cities
-truly rural areas
-geriatric wards
( strong kinship attachments in working areas

1982- 30 years ago
Things have developed and changed since
New/ older declining industrial areas

Chester (1985)
Neo-conventional family: similar to symmetrical family, family diversity is exaggerated(

Family life cycles- people live in a nuclear family during some stage in their life

Life cycle:
Lucy born in 1990 died in 2090
1. born into a nuclear family (0-13)
2. Lucy’s parents divorce, she lives with her mother (13-18)
3. Lucy goes to university (18-21)
4. Lucy lives as a singleton in a household (21-25)
5. Lucy falls in love with Owen and cohabitates (25-28)
6. Lucy gets married to Owen and has children (28-48)
7. children leave home, Lucy and Owen are left in an empty nest (48-78)
8. Owen dies and Lucy lives as a singleton (78-100)

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