Sociology Essay

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A third form identified was linked to the state of moral order identified in the Division of Labour, that of 'Anomie'. The cyclical nature of economics, disrupting the nature of social stability and leading to a demoralisation of society, drives up the suicide rate in both times of depression and expansion. The causal factor is identified therefore not as the material circumstances themselves, but due to the social instability they create, in the words of Durkheim "Every break in equilibrium ... gives boost to voluntary death.' (Suicide pp 271). Sudden increases in wealth, such as the winning of the National Lottery, lead to a social declassification, and anomic suicide flourishes wherever there is a collapse of the rules and conventions which pose realistic limits on the desires, expectations and aspirations of the fated individual.
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It is a reaction to the poor of their marginal position in society. In effect it is the characteristics of this culture that perpetuates poverty. This fact, he proved with a research among the poor in Mexico, giving evidence that, individuals had a strong feeling of helplessness, dependence and inferiority. Also on the family level, due to high rates of abuse and divorce, individuals tended to be more mother centred hence society was mainly matriarchal.
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The theory is governed by rational choice motivational assumptions: "individuals act so as to obtain maximum advantage." Thus the discriminator will have the incentive to discriminate if there is gain involved. However, the mere existence of incentive does not necessarily imply the power to bring the system into being. The advantage therefore has its roots not in the comparison between two actions which the discriminator might perform, but arises almost regardless of the person's actions from the person's comparative positions in two social systems: one free of discrimination and the other including racial discriminatory social precedence.
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