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Sociology Assignment : Social Planning Theory

Question

Task:This course is concerned with how sociology, social thinking and social theory is useful for planners.

This assignment is designed to encourage you to engage with the academic literature to articulate the utility of a social perspective, sociology and social theory for planners.

For this assignment you are asked to critically review and engage with the literature to build and support your argument.

A great place to start researching for this assignment is the course text book and the weekly topic readings (these weekly readings are all accessible via the course learn online site and/or from the Uni SA library).

Specifically, for this 1500 word assignment you are asked to review and draw from a range of academic literature to address the following four sections:

1. Define 'social theory'
Approximately 150 words. You need to use at least 2 academic sources to address this section. One of the academic sources can be the course text book.

2. Briefly discuss the utility of social theory/ies for planners.
Approximately 350 words. You need to use at least 2 academic sources to address this section.

3. Identify and define one key social theory.
Approximately 500 words. You need to use at least 3 academic sources to address this section. One of the academic sources can be the course text book.

4. Discuss why/how your identified social theory might be useful for planners.
Approximately 500 words. You need to use at least 3 academic sources to address this section.

Your responses to the four sections needs to be well developed and structured.

You also need to be concise with your expression and language.
The paper does not require an introduction or conclusion. Please present this assignment using the four sections as headings.

You also need to include a reference list, which is not included in the prescribed word limit.

The paper needs to be well formatted (i.e. 1.5 line spacing and appropriate font and font size, perhaps Calibri size 11 font).

This paper needs to be based on published academic sources, such as, for example, peer-reviewed journal articles and academic text books. You cannot use web-based sources for this assignment.

This assignment needs to be referenced in accordance to Harvard conventions.

A good place to start your research for this assignment is the course text book. However, you also need to engage with the wider academic literature and not rely on the course text book when developing your argument.

Answer

1. Define 'social theory'.
We are providing some sample solutions of sociology assignments, to help you in building up a concept plan in drafting the solution yourselves. Social theory is defined as the study that deals with the various scientific ways of idealizing about social life. It focuses on the ideas about change and development in the societies, about the various methods that explain the social behavior, about social structure and power, gender, ethnicity and class (Craib, 2015). It also focuses on civilization and modernity, utopias and revolution and the various problems and concepts in social life. Social theory also can also be defined as a set of interlinked concepts that are used to describe how the parts of a society are related to each other. Urban planners take into consideration various social theories in order to in order to develop positive aspects of their developments, which focuses on the benefits of the society (Seidman, 2016). Using the format given below will help you in drafting the sociology assignment in a descent way.

2. Briefly discuss the utility of social theory/ies for planners.
The student consigned us with this task because it was a sociology Assignment holding very demanding deliverables. The urban planners are responsible for land use planning (that deals with development, subdivision and regulation of land), strategic urban planning (such as core strategy, structural plans, for strategic urban development), regional planning (that deals with local development), conservation and heritage (that deals with conservation of heritage buildings and various cultural heritage), urban renewal, master planning (development of the Greenfields). It also deals with transportation planning, economic planning, urban design as well as infrastructure planning. The main aim of the urban planners is to work for the benefit and the development of the common people (Black, 2018). The critical social theories have specific purposes and they guide the planners on their way to plan effectively, while catering to the ethical considerations appropriately, like the legal considerations and the amenities to be made available to the common people, for their utility and benefit. The social theories also intend to reduce conflicts and differences. For example, considering the scenario when the construction of a flyover is underway, for the benefits of the people, the local people need to be shifted to some other place but they might not agree to the same. This gives rise to conflicts. The social theories help in critical decision making and solving the conflicts.

The laws play a very important role in urban planning and they are accepted socially. Planning systems have various rules to be followed and they are based on the standards of performance and professional cultures. All these influence the implementation, plan making, dispute resolution and others. In the case of urban planning laws and regulations help in providing a proper structure for the planners to act upon. It is not always possible for the urban planners to look into every aspect of social theories. In some cases, some dilemmas come up, where for the benefits and to develop advantages for the people, the environment gets harmed (for example constructions which involves burning of fossil fuels) (Fainstein and DeFilippis, 2015). Thus, social theories are of great utility to the urban planners for providing guidance to develop and implement their plans as well as benefit the people.

3. Identify and define one key social theory.
There are various social theories that can be applied by the planners such as the conflict theory, the structural functionalism theory and the symbolic interactionism theory. The Conflict theory is explained in details below.

The conflict theory: The conflict theory was proposed by Karl Marx and later reformulated by and developed by Max Weber. This is a macro-level theory that was designed to study larger national, social, global or regional levels of sociological phenomenon. The conflict theory makes it easy and useful to understand the various types of social phenomenon like wealth, poverty and war. It also explains the haves and have-nots, exploitation, ghettos, divorce, political strife, domestic violence, child abuse, slavery, rapes and other social phenomenon related to conflicts (Mymission.lamission.edu, 2018). This theory claims that the society is in the state of competition and perpetual conflict due to availability of limited resources. The conflict theory runs on an assumption that those people who “have” perpetually try to increase their wealth and resources at the expense of those people who “have-not”. This can be simply explained by the fact that the rich exploits the poor to become richer. The struggle of power is mostly won by the people belonging to the wealthy and elite class and lost by the people with common means. The “haves” are referred to those who hold power. There is a saying that holds truth that “health is wealth”. Power can be defined ability of one person to get whatever he or she desires even if there is presence of opposition. Authority is institutionalized as legitimate power. The team institutionalized signifies developing something (rules, values, a social role or norms) and making it official by placing them in an organization, a society or a social system as an established norm or custom within that defined system (Ritzer and Stepnisky, 2017).

Mark’s term, the “bourgeoisie” or “haves” wealthy elite (political, corporate and royal leaders) have the maximum power. The wealthy people are often referred to as the Goliaths of the society who may bully their wishes into desired outcomes. They are the ones who themselves own the control of the means and process of production taking place. The Mark’s term “proletariat” or “have-nots” are referred to as the common people, who include the people from the working class, poor people and lower class people in the society. According to Marx, both the “haves” (bourgeoisie) and “have-nots” (proletariat) cannot have it their own ways. Furthermore, to balance power and wealth both the wealthy and the poor rise up and revolt against each other and this gives rise to conflicts (Tucker, 2017). Both Mark and Weber realized that there is an imbalance in the society as it has different social class, which comprise of few numbers of rich people and more poor people. They said that the rich people “call the shots”.

The conflict theory has be applied and tested against various data that were scientifically derived and it proved to possess a wide range of applications among various levels of sociological study.

4. Discuss why/how your identified social theory might be useful for planners.
Urban planning leads to the development of the regions. The regional planning is not confined within local areas but in a wide range. The conflict theory is linked to the urban development and planning, and is useful to the urban planners. The conflict theory is a macro-level theory that was designed to study larger national, social, global or regional levels of sociological phenomenon. The concept of urban planning and development refers to the macro, meso as well as micro issues (Citeseerx.ist.psu.edu, 2018). All levels of the population (wealthy and poor) are affected by the planning and developments. Development is more of a process than a product. The societies are ever changing so, when the planning benefits some sections, other sections may not face the same, which may lead to conflicts. This can be explained by a simple example; the development of a bridge that will reduce traffic and thus, benefit the people may demand shifting of the people (usually poor people), who live at or near the site of construction, to some place safe. However, the residents may not be happy about the facts. This evidently leads to violent conflicts. The major group of residents comprises of the poor people usually, who might feel that the wealthy ones are exploiting them and thus, there are sensitive issues to be taken care of, under such situations. This is when the urban planners resort to the conflict theory to adopt the sensitive decisions and resolve the same (Fainstein and DeFilippis, 2015).

The urban planning needs to be done in such a way that it benefits the people and reduces chances of conflicts. The planners must take into consideration both the poor as well as the rich people in order to benefit both the sections. The example mentioned above can be possibly resolved by making the poor residents to understand the circumstances (construction of the bridge will help improve transportation) and arranging new homes for them. This will ensure that they understand that they are not being deprived by taking away their homes and exploited by the wealthy section. Thus, chances of conflicts will be reduced and this will help in proper planning and development.

In the long run, the urban planners who take into consideration this conflict theory, helps them to bridge the gaps between the rich and the poor, essentially referred to as the “haves” and “have-nots”. If a project is planned and the development is started, and halfway through the development it gives rise to conflicts then the entire project goes into vein and creates many issues and more resources are consumed (Lehtovuori, 2016). According to the conflict theory, the resources are limited and thus taking into consideration this theory can be very beneficial to the urban planners. Thus, this theory helps in the resource management. On the other hand, it also reduces the chances of risks involved in the development and planning process (reduction in conflicts). Thus, this theory also essentially helps in risk management. Hence, it can be concluded that adaptation of this theory might prove to be beneficial to the urban planners. You can observe that in this social assignment a detailed analysis is being conducted which helped us to arrive at the conclusion. Sociology assignment are being prepared by our assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable assignment help service.

Reference list:
Craib, I., 2015. Modern social theory. Routledge.

Seidman, S., 2016. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons.

Black, J., 2018. Urban transport planning: Theory and practice. Routledge.

Fainstein, S.S. and DeFilippis, J. eds., 2015. Readings in planning theory. John Wiley & Sons.

Mymission.lamission.edu. (2018). Retrieved from https://mymission.lamission.edu/userdata/alvarats/docs/Open%20Source%20Textbook/Social%20Theories.pdf

Ritzer, G. and Stepnisky, J., 2017. Modern sociological theory. SAGE Publications.

Ritzer, G. and Stepnisky, J., 2017. Modern sociological theory. SAGE Publications.

Citeseerx.ist.psu.edu. (2018). Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1026.1605&rep=rep1&type=pdf https://www.um.es/ESA/papers/Rn21_26.pdf http://www.csun.edu/~snk1966/Harrington.pdf

Fainstein, S.S. and DeFilippis, J. eds., 2015. Readings in planning theory. John Wiley & Sons.

Lehtovuori, P., 2016. Experience and conflict: The production of urban space. Routledge

https://mymission.lamission.edu/userdata/alvarats/docs/Open%20Source%20Textbook/Social%20Theories.pdf

http://cms.gcg11.ac.in/attachments/article/214/conflict%20theory.pdf

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