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· Family usually consider there parent to be part of different generations, age groups.
Family socialises what is seen as young and old.
· Age is vital in education; E.G. year group, child's age. Phrases such as "she died when she
was old" socialises age identity.
· Role of peers is key to identifying youth identity. As you grow, your peers will change and
the norms, values and culture they acquire develop (Shain (2003)).
· Elderly are more religious than the younger.
· Youths represented as deviant/troublesome (Munice (2001)). Middle age represented as
time of difficulty and Od age is represented as time of dependency.
Youth Middle Age Old Age
· Associated with people of the age 12 25. · A widely used concept in contemporary UK. · Associated with those aged 65 or above.
· Youth allows young people to be identified as · Is a stage of development between young · Retirement and pension associate a
growing, rebelling, have fun & excitement. adulthood and old age. person with old age.
· Abrams (1959) = young people part of same · Victor (2005) = distinctive phase of life related · McKingsley (2001) = those aged 85 & over
youth culture; they are learning the path to to people in 40's & 50's, preceding the onset of are the fastest growing segment of the
adulthood. being considered `old'. population, this is referred to as the
· However, young people differ according to · Middle age associated as a stage in life when `oldest old'; suggest there is a `youngest
class, gender and ethnicity. their children are leaving home. old'.
· Clarke (1976) = Consider youth as being based · Also associated with: Norms = car, clothes · Victor (2005) = suggests old people are
around concept of rebellion and resistance. shop, hobbies and holidays; Values = health stereotyped and identified as a period of:
· Subcultural groups (punks, chavs) are used to issues and quality of life; Roles = being a loneliness, learning disability, poor health,
represent the youth by the media; this is seen parent, grandparent, carer, or employee. dependent on others.
as unfair. · Middle age can identified as having a low · Bytheway (2005) = people accept being
· Youths often associated with popular culture status; being too old for certain things. old as a fact of life, but, find it difficult
and creation of new fashions and styles. · However, Bradley (1996) = middle age brings adjusting to it.
· Polemus (1997) = youth mix and match with higher status' than old age and youth. · Many of the elderly use the period of old
their identities. · Middle aged is associated with the stage in age as a time to do things which they
· Willis (1990) = Most youths identified as your life-course and the age of the person couldn't when they were younger.
`ordinary'. applying the label. · `My Generation' (written by The Who
1960's) = "I hope to die before I get old".
· Old age seen as a social problem; family
will assume that they need more care than
they need.…read more
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· A concept used to describe the beliefs, customs and ways of life of a society/group within society, (William (1993)).
· However, it is said that William's approach to culture is meaningless, anything can be classed as culture.
· Woodward (2000) = culture of society is based on shared meanings, values and practices.
· Associated with Leavis who was writing in the 1960's.
· Linked with the elite, upper class, familes and individuals with ascribed status'.
· Associated with arts: opera, ballet and classical music; sports: polo and lacrosse; leisure pursuits: hunting and shooting.
· High culture is a place which is forbidden to outsiders (elites and the exclusive).
· However, some sociologists argue that high culture doesn't exist anymore; people can now buy into it using achieved status'.
· Associated with shallow activities enjoyed and accessed by the masses,
· Strinati (1995) = media are largely responsible for creating popular culture in contemporary UK and consumptions play a key role.
· Through TV & mass communications, world has become consumer angled; popular culture uses this to advertise consumer goods (E.G. designer items).
· Popular culture uses ideas from high culture and then popularises them; E.G. golf was once an upper class sport, now is associated with everyone as a social event.
· Some sociologists argue that popular culture brings people together, however; Adorno = sees it as a way the masses can be socialised into being distant from unimportant
matters, deflecting their interest from important social concerns.
· Is a culture enjoyed by a small group in society.
· Have distinct norms and values which make them a sub-section in society; only a minority follow it.
· E.G. (in contemporary UK) emos, skaters or unheard of religious groups.
· Subcultures are seen as cultures which people follow as means of finding meanings in their lives.
· Is a concept which relates to culturally-embedded differences within society.
· Parekh (2006) = outlines 3 different types of diversity:
1. Homosexuals trying to diverse society to their views so they are accepted; those who live different lives.
2. Members of society who rebel against central principles, rejecting dominant values; (E.G. environmental group `Reclaim the Streets').
3. Different cultural communities; such as the Bangladeshis in London or Pakistanis in Bradford.
· There are different areas which portray cultural diversity; E.G. `China Town'.
· Cultural diversity does not necessarily mean the decline of cultural sameness; it is still possible for a society to have diversity, however, still agree on norms & values.
· Parekh (2006) = similar to cultural diversity.
· Sociologists define this as many ethnic groups living together in one society.
· Multiculturalism promotes the belief that ethnic groups are of the same status; they still can follow their traditional cultural heritage.
· Barker (2003) = sees a multicultural society as looking to celebrate there differences; (E.G. teaching multi-faiths in R.E in school).…read more
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· Clearly related to thing we consume and use in society.
· Contemporary UK is a consumer society.
· Consumer culture is based on two factors; culture and economic.
· Culture = society provides sense of identity through consumer goods; (E.G. Asian food, Chinese Food, etc.).
· Economic = economic condition within a society is crucial in the creation of a consumer culture.
· Lury (1996) = identifies some features of a consumer culture: wide range of goods, shopping as a leisure pursuit, different forms of shopping available, debt is a social
norm and packaging and promoting goods is a large-scale business.
· Process when events in one part of the world affect other parts of the world.
· World has become increasingly interconnected; (socially, politically, economically).
· Economically = world's stock markets connected because of international investments.
· Politically = world leaders have particular interest in who they ally with and why.
· Socially = trends and fashions from large cities spread quickly to other cities.
· Global culture has emerged due to patterns of migration, trends in international travel and the spread of the media exposing people to the same images from the same
dominant world companies.
· Global culture means the world has become a small place, `Global Village' as stated by Mcluhan (1989) where culture homogeneity is a key feature.
· Example; McDonalds (American Culture).…read more
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Different Views Of Class
· For some social class exists for some it doesn't.
· A variety of factors are considered when making a judgement on someone's class, if you meet someone for the first time you would consider a number of things, where
the person lives, house, car, occupation, clothing. Class brings constraints Marx theory.
· There is also an argument that social class does not exist. A person from a working class family (miners) may not be able to find a job in mining and so gain employment in
teaching their class for some has changed as they have what some consider a middle class occupation. The occupation was choice so can be housing, clothing.
Marx and Class
· Marxism and postmodernism are two conflicting theories.
· Marxism, after Carl Marx; Marxist sociologists saw social class as directly related to a person's economic position and their relationship to what Marx termed `the means
· Traditional Marxists saw two main social classes the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
· Bourgeoisie = rich, upper class who owned the means of production.
· Proletariat = Worked for the bourgeoisie; they were paid low wages and treated as slaves, thus, both conflicting with each other.
· Marx believed that the proletariat would become more aware that they were being exploited, thus, they would develop `class consciousness'; this will allow them to
realise that they are the working class, and together they can over throw the bourgeoisie.
Bourdieu and Capital
· Pierre Bourdieu was a Neo-Marxist sociologist who used the concept of capital (resources) to show social class differences. Bourdieu (1996) = identified different types of
capital that people could possess:
1. Economic Capital = relates to income wealth and financial inheritance. Can be either ascribed or achieved. Social classes with most economic capital tend to have higher
paid jobs or a lot of inherited wealth.
2. Cultural Capital = relates to education, classical music and literature. This is passed down through generations; thus it cannot be bought or achieved; only lerant from the
family and school.
3. Social Capital = relates to resources based on social connections and group membership; it is generated through networking and relationships with different groups of
people. It is largely achieved; in contemporary society, it seen as looking out for others.
Postmodern Views Of Class
4. Social class is changing in contemporary UK, through globalisation.
5. Postmodernist sociologists argue that consumer culture has blurred these lines, more people are able to buy items from designer brands and pick their own identity.
6. Migrants from Eastern Europe are being employed cheaply, this has affected working class jobs; (less wage, bad treatment).
7. Concerned more with culture rather than tradition.
8. Lyon (1994) = postmodern world is a consumer society; results in a decline in the belief of traditional values as people can `pick and pix' to form there own ideal social
3 Different Classes
The Working Class :
9. Consisting of people who lack both ownership and control and simply work for a wage.
10. Willis (1977) study found working class communities were based around the same culture.
11. Manual jobs, traditional gender roles, wife cares for the children, boys encouraged to follow after fathers, strong communities, strong link with the labour party (left wing)
12. Changes privatised living, home based, high level of aspiration, educational achievement, owning own homes.
The Upper Class :
13. Consisting of people who own and control businesses (owners).
14. Traditionally made up of the aristocracy, rich families who won massive estates, value tradition, hierarchy and tradition.
15. Sub group = The super rich achieved wealth using media to their advantage. These two groups are united through an economic capital. Aristocracy has ascribed status',
super rich have achieved status'.…read more
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The Middle Class
· Consisting of people who, although they do not own businesses, are charged with the day-to-day running of these enterprises (managers). Traditionally doctors, teachers,
solicitors. Occupations which need educational achievement.
· White collar non-manual jobs, high levels of social mobility, educational achievement, owning own homes in desirable places, cultural capital
· Changes changing nature of employment patterns means that more jobs are non-manual which has changed the middle class structure.
· Create norms and values that can be class based.
· Middle class image of eating dinner all sat together around the table as a family. Working class mealtimes are seen as being earlier to coincide with the end of the manual
working day. Also having meals in front of the T.V.
· Studies - Reay (1998) studies show that middle class mothers had more of an influence on their children's primary schooling than working class mothers. In Reay's
research he found that working class mothers had less time to devote to their children due to demands from work, housework, childcare.
· Cater and Coleman (2006) studied teenage pregnancy rate and found that a teenage girl from a unskilled family background was ten times more likely to become a
· The main influence education has on a person is the type of school a person attends. Private schools are surrounded by cultural signs, even pupils who receive a bursary.
· Formal curriculum may influence Latin lessons, Power et al (2003) argues that middle class children who achieve top grades are actively encouraged to apply to top
universalities as a sign and measure of the schools success.
· Bourdieu (1990) argues that for middle class people to attend university is like a fish in water for a pupil from a working class family it can be intimidating and a daunting
· It is difficult to define how religion, class and identity interlink.
· Due to the changing way of society in contemporary UK religion is diverse and the changing nature of class.
· It was seen that the attendance at Church of England ceremonies was for the middle classes. It is thought that attendance at church provides a degree of status in
· Whereas religions such as Rastafarianism is more diverse and working class based, located in inner-city.
· Under researched area.
· Peers play an important part in class identity in terms of the young, where they live, hobbies they have, schools they attend.
· In some ways social class can influence the formation of peer groups.
· A group of girls who play Lacrosse would not be identified as working class and would not identify themselves as such.
· Strong association with manual work and working class identity.
· Non-manual work with the middle classes.
· This will change over time as the workplace changes.
· Media representations of social class can from identity.
· Think of Shameless it portrays the working class as assertive, aggressive, playing the social system, drugs, alcohol.…read more