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NORMS, VALUES, ROLES, STATUS & CULTURE
A norm is a form of behaviour which most people in society follow. This term has been
defined sociology as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate or inappropriate values,
beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. Norms have generally been established over time, and
passed on from generation to generation adapted to fit the changing social climate. Norms
are fixed and unchangeable. People who do not follow norms are considered as deviant.
Sociologists believe norms are crucial and act as `social glue'.
An example of a norm may be shaking your hands when you first meet them. This is a norm
as it is tradition passed from generation to generation. This norm shows politeness and
respect. This also shows that the person respects them for who they are. Another example
of a norm is wearing a seat belt in the car.
A traditional English norm is having a cup of tea. THIS is a part of English culture and has
been passed on from generation to generation. A cup of tea is called for all types of
situations from relaxation to dealing with trauma. A cup of tea is considers as having
miraculous healing properties.
Values are defined as general principles or beliefs which the majority of society believe in.
Values develop over time and although largely stable, they are able to change. Values
provide themes which underline social norms.
An example of a value in society is: wearing a seatbelt in a car as it reflects the value we
place on the sanctity of human life. This is a value as it shows how important life is even in
little situations, therefore wearing a seatbelt value the sanctity of life and our life given by
Douglas suggested that middle class parents value education more than working class
families. This shows middle class value the concept of their education as they want children
to do well and have a middle class profession. Whereas, working class do not value ds as
their social status may be low compared to middle class people.
Another example is forming orderly wise queues which reflects values of order and fairness.
Also, remaining quiet in a doctors' room which places value on health and professional
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A status is a perceived social standing/ position of an individual or group. It is based on
social positron or standing within society. Status is associated with prestige, honour and
social standing. Status is ultimately based on evaluation of social differences as it is
someone's perception of you. There is high status and low, however you can hold both.…read more