Write a 2000 word essay on one of the following topics:
1.Consider the three revolutions (scientific, political and industrial-capitalist) underpinning “The Great Transformation”. Are any of these revolutions more significant than the others in giving rise to, and shaping, modernity? In addressing this question, be sure to clearly define what is meant by modernity and how its key features distinguish it from earlier forms of society.
2.“Health care outcomes are a social issue, not just an individual responsibility". Critically assess this statement in the light of relevant social research.
3.Australia is an egalitarian Society, in which wealth is distributed largely according to how hard you work. Critically discuss this statement in relation to the evidence available on income and wealth distribution in Australia over the past 120 years and the theoretical explanations of inequality.
4.Does education reproduce or reduce social inequality in Australia? Refer to both the evidence and theoretical explanations offered in sociological studies on this question. Be sure to define which form of inequality you are examining, e.g. class, gender, racialised, etc.
5.Discuss and critically evaluate two of the main cultural institutions or practices that hinder and/or enhance women's social equality with men in Australian society? What sort of sociological theory is best suited for explaining these factors impacting on women’s status?
6.While men make up less than half of the Australian population, males have traditionally dominated positions of power in political and economic domains. Explain how masculinity impacts on life-chances in Australia, and why social change movements that have advocated for gender equality over the past 30 years have not resulted in higher degrees of gender balance in political and corporate power in Australia. In answering this question you should refer to the relevant social theory and research.
7.Examine a particular industry and consider what factors contribute to the changing nature of work practices from 'Fordism' to Post-Fordist 'flexibility'? Based on the research in this area, is it more likely that we shall achieve a more flexible, technologically-skilled and autonomous workforce or are we entering a world of lower-pay and precarious, mass-underemployment for the majority? Be sure to draw upon some sociological studies to explain your argument.
8.Is technology contributing to alienation in the workplace in contemporary society? Discuss critically by drawing upon the work of sociologists to explain your argument.
9.Discuss how perceptions of “race” are socially constructed and how these perceptions can allow social inequality to be created and maintained. Illustrate your answer with examples of how Indigenous Australians and/or other groups in Australia have experienced discrimination or prejudice on the basis of perceived “racial” characteristics.
10.Religion, in the theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim is said to play a conservative role in modern society and likely to impede progressive social change. Max Weber on the other hand sees religion as providing a social group with a source of meaningful coherence for their actions that, under appropriate circumstances, may actually promote social change for better or worse. In comparing these three theories of religion and social change, which of them is the most compelling for making sense of contemporary religious movements? Select at least one movement to demonstrate your answer.
11.Is the importance of religion declining in Australian society today, is it undergoing a resurgence, or is its significance merely changing? Evaluate the arguments for and against the “secularisation thesis” and come to a conclusion. Refer to sociological evidence, concepts and theories to help explain why the changes you identify are occurring.
12.In what ways is globalisation influencing and challenging the power of nation- state? Be sure to define your key theoretical terms and provide appropriate examples when answering this question.
13.Apart from “fast food” select, investigate and analyse another example of a “MacDonaldised” institution and show how the four dimensions identified by Ritzer can be used to make sense of it? In analysing these processes, consider the extent to which the impact of McDonaldization has had positive or negative social consequences.
14.Compare and contrast Weber’s view of modern “bureaucracy” as emblematic of “Legal-Rational Domination” with Foucault’s image of the “carceral” organisation as epitomising “disciplinary power”. Is one more compelling than the other in explaining the way power is exercised in Australian society? Illustrate your answer with some examples of some aspect of government and its impact on citizens’ lives.
15.Discuss the factors that have lead to the rise of the “New Social Movements” (e.g. the Environmental, LGBT or Alternative Globalization movements). What obstacles and challenges do they face in trying to bring about significant social change in Australia, and what are the prospects of them achieving their desired changes?