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Degree: Economics L100 (Bachelors) - Durham University
My name is Julia, and I am Durham University student. I have just been through the stress of A level exams - I've been in your shoes, so now, my goal is to make your exam preparation as smooth and painless as it can be. I can help with your exam technique, memorising any facts and figures that you need to remember, or explain anything you feel you might have missed in your lessons.
Looking forward to meeting you!
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Growth is typically considered great - improvement in GDP per capita, incomes and living standards. However, if asked in the exam, there is something for you to mention.
Firstly, consider nature of growth. If it is caused by an increase in aggregate supply, there may be unneccessary spare capacity. For example, imagine a firm that buys 20 new machines but only uses five and does not need the rest? Same can happen in the economy. There is growth of economic potential and increase in unemployed resources. Alternatively, growth caused by an increase in aggregate demand can be inflationary (use a digram to demonstrate),
Secondly, is the growth always good? What if the growth is caused by an increase in gun production?
Thirdly, how equitable and inclusive is growth? If only the richest people and the government get the biggest share of the increase in incomes, growth is no good for general population.
Lastly, do we become happier when we get richer? Easterlin paradox (you don't have to remember the name) shows that people are only happy with the rise in income in the short term; in the long term, they are unsatisfied again, because the new amount is not enough again. Also, Bhutan, for instance, promotes an increase in happiness and not GDP per capita as their national policy. The government thinks that as people grow richer, they become less moral and forget spiritual values.see more
There is a standard answer framework that you should stick to to boost your marks. For an illustration, let's consider a question that came up in 2013 in crime and deviance module - outline and assess Interactionist explanations of crime and deviance.
In the first paragraph, explain key concepts that you see in the question. In your own words, define Interactionism (a sociological theory that emphasises the role of individual in shaping society). Link Interactionism to crime - step-by-step, explain the role of individual interactions in the criminal world, explain the concepts of master status, labelling, self-fulfilling prophecy. After each concept you mention, give a brief definition - you will lose marks otherwise.
Then, bring in statistics to support what you have said. For example, young males are likely to be negatively labelled by the police - use your textbook or the ONS website to find numerical evidence for that (e.g. they are more likely to be arrested or imprisoned than other social groups).
Once you are done, look at the flipside and any flaws that you can see in this theory. If you are discussing an individualist theory, such as Interactionism, you can always bring in structuralist views that consider society as a whole (e.g. Marxism, that says that individual can have no impact upon society).
ALWAYS remember to criticise the data - are the numbers that you used before right? Or are they shaped by the media, are they biased, are they a result of an under-reporting?
Remember that all of the above has been already said by some researcher.When you talk about labelling, mention Becker who came up with this theory. When you use statistics, try to memorise a publisher and a year when the data has been released. If you struggle to remember the exact year in the exam, just say 'a sociologist' - although, do try to memorise some names.
In conclusion, assess the theory you have been talking about in terms of validity, reliability, representativeness and ethics. Interactionism, for example, is good for talking about ethical issues - how the research was carried out? Did the researcher 'spy' after a drug dealer? Is it fair on the drug dealer, and should the researcher report the observed crime to the police?
Finish off with a very brief summary of what you have said.
Writing should take you between 45 minutes and an hour.
This is a general answer framework - you are welcome to ask any specific questions about theories or statistics! :)see more
Try writing mock essays - after five or six, you will know which figures you are most likely to use! You will end up with ten to twelve numbers that you need to memorise. Do not forget sources and years.
Alternatively, just remember general patterns. For instance, it is fine if you just say that vehicle thefts are three times more likely to occur in urban areas than rural - as long as you have got a valid source and year, you don't need to go into very precise level of detail!see more