Exploring Socialisation, Culture & Identity

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  • Created by: Ruqaiyyah
  • Created on: 08-06-13 18:53

Formation of Culture

Culture - "a way of life"

Popular culture - mass participation of practices like soap operas, pop music, Hollywood movies

Cultural diversity - society with culturally embedded differences

Multiculturalism - society where different cultures exist

Global culture - process where national boundaries become less relevant and the world becomes a smaller, more interconnected place

Woodward (2000) - element of choice required for identity - "belonging to something"

Bradley (1996) - passive (born/socialised into, eg. ethnicity, age) and active (choose to pursue eg. footballer) identities.

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Gender Identities

Passive femininity - acceptance of traditional female behaviours and roles

Normative femininity - socially acceptable way for women to dress and behave.

Seidler (2006) - perception and expectations of Asian girls based on experiences in the family. Brothers can do more in the family than girls. Girls don't want to go against izzat and therefore this may lead to a double life.

Blackman (1995) - "New Wave Girls" adopted an assertive femininity, challenged sexism of male teachers and peers.

Sue Sharpe - girls' expectations have changed over time. 1970s - love and marriage. 1990s - work and careers.

Ladette - girls who adopt more masculine behaviour like binge drinking, swearing and smoking.

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Gender Identities (cont'd)

Hegemonic masculinity - dominant type of masculinity

Complicit masculinity - new men might be said to adopt in taking on a shared role in the family

Marginalised masculinity - used to describe sense of loss experienced by young men

Subordinate masculinity - gay men who are viewed as behaving differently to expectations of dominant hegemonic masculinity

Connell - masculine identity associated with male supremacy, aggression, laddish culture and heterosexuality.

Willis (1977) - boys messed around in school, boys who worked hard were feminine. Qualifications weren't important. Planned to do manual labour like their dads

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Creation & Reinforcement of Gender Identities


  • Language used: "pretty", "handsome"
  • Accepted behaviour. Girls will cry more than boys.
  • Toys given: Barbie and Action Man
  • Clothes: dresses and trousers.

Frosh (2002) - when boys talked about their parents, mums were more sensitive and emotionally closer to them than their dads.

Mitchell & Green (2002) - mum-daughter bond strong for w/c women, especially after daughter had baby.


Gauntlett (2002) - magazines give advice about how to be attractive in terms of gender. Teach males and females how to act, dress and behave.

Gill & Herdieckerhoff (2006) - "chicklit" persuades young men that the body is a key source of their identity.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Gender Identities (con


Burdsey (2004) - Asian footballers tried to hide their Asian identity to fit in with the laddish behaviour of other players.

MacDonald & Marsh (2005) - peer groups important to disengaged young males who are in similar social and economic status. Helped to reinforce and shape each other's masculinity.


Jackson (2006) - distinction between masculinity and femininity were becoming blurred. Girls taking on laddish behaviours - "ladette"

Mac & Ghaill (1994) - teachers sometimes colluded with males who held views that were anti-gay or hostile to women.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Gender Identities (con


Butler (1995) - Muslim women in Coventry and Bradford found that although their religion was important, they wanted to pursue higher education and careers.

Woodhead (2007) - for Muslim women, the veil has become an important part of their identity.


Mac & Ghaill (1994) - "crisis of masculinity". w/c men have lost their jobs and are unprepared for other skill areas. Women are taking on job roles women might have taken.

Adkins (1995) - women take up subordinated femininities to obtain and keep the jobs they financially need.

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Ethnic Identities

Hybridity - a coming together of cultures, styles and identities forming new ones.

Assimilation - immigrants in UK would abandon their cultures and adopt their "immigrant hosts"

Code switching - ethnic groups may behave differently with family and peer groups; white masks

Hewitt (1996) - young white w/c felt sense of injustice because they felt like they couldn't celebrate their white w/c culture

Modood (2005) - ethnicity involves culture, descent, sense of identity.

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Ethnic Identities (cont'd)

Othering - involves individuals seeing themselves as positive and anything different from them as negative

Bond & Rosie (2006) - in terms of identity, Scottish people said their ethnic identity was Scottish over their national British identity.

Jacobson (1997) - young Pakistanis see Islam as crucial in forming their identity. Affects their diet, dress and behaviour

Back (1996) - researched new hybrid identities and found they weren't fixed

Johal & Bains (1998) - "dual identities". Immigrants have a number of different identities, which they switch to depending on who they are with.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Ethnic Identities


Francis & Archer (2006) - educational achievement valued by British Chinese families making sacrifices to ensure success for children.

Dench et al. (2006) - extended family still important for Bangladeshi families


Mason (2005) - schools are ethnocentric

Sewell (2000) - National Curriculum needs to be more inclusive of Black history, and that the achievements in Black history need to be emphasised.

Wright et al. (2006) - black girls in her study felt teachers treated them unfairly. Racist


Modood (2005) - 100 years ago African American theorist Du Bois said that 20th century would be century of colour (black & white). In 21st century divide in Islam and the West.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Ethnic Identities (con


Alexander (1996) - studied formation of black culture and identity in black British youth. Importance of peer groups crucial in "the art of being black"

Cultural comfort zone - peers from the same ethnic group form friendships and socialise together because they feel a sense of sameness.


Jhally (1992) - in 1970s and 1990s, ethnic representation in the media was limited to stereotypes and marginalisation

Parker & Song (2006) - websites influencing ethnic identities


Song (2003) - Chinese living in UK employed in catering sector, mainly in Chinese takeaways and restaurants. Family important in influencing employment.

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Age Identities

First age - period of socialisation

Second age - phrase of work and child rearing

Third age - time of independence


Abrams (1959) - young people are all part of the same youth culture. Known as transition stage

Clake (1976) - youth to be rebellious and resistant

Supermarket style - young people pick and mix their customs and identity.


Victor (2005) - distinctive phase of life, related to people in 40s and 50s before reaching old age.

Bradley (1996) - middle age can bring with it a higher status than being young or old.

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Age Identities (cont'd)


Victor (2005) - period of loneliness, unable to learn, poor health, dependent on others.

McKingsley (2001) - 85+ fastest growing segment of population. "oldest old"

Clarke & Warren (2007) - "active ageing". 60-96 year old engaged old age in a positive, proactive way.

Bytheway (2005) - although people accept chronological ageing, they have difficulty fitting themselves into middle age and old age.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Age Identities


Family members assume elder relatives will want and need more care than they actually do.


Hidden curriculum - words used by teachers such as "young" or "old" can reinforce age identity


Peers particularly important in shaping youth identity.

Shain (2003) - research on Asian girls found that the girls formed distinct identities as a way of coping with school.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Age Identities (cont'd


McKingsley (2001) - religion used as a coping strategy for those aged 85 and over.


Muncie (2004) - youths represented as deviant and troublesome

Thornton (1996) - media largely responsible for creation of youth culture and range of youth identities in contemporary UK.


Most likely site for age discrimination.

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Social Class Identities

Social class - relates to the ways of life of similar social groups, including social and economic position

Economic capital - income and wealth leads to power and privelege

Cultural capital - cultural advantages held by the u/c and m/c

Social capital - networking and helping each other out informally

Ascribed status - someone is born into/inherits

Achieved status - someones works to achieve

Class consciousness - Marx's description of how the w/c would become aware of their exploitation by the ruling class

Skeggs (1997)  - w/c women tried to distance themselves from the norms and values of traditional w/c women.

Savage (1992) - identified a split in the m/c based on lifestyle and employment.

POSTMODERN: Lyon (1994) - postmodern world is a consumer society. Increase in popular culture, decrease of traditional class cultures. "pick & mix"

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Social Class Identities (MARXIST)

Capitalist societies contain two main social classes divided on the bases of their economic position

Bourgeoisie (rich) owns and control the means of production.

Proletariat (workers) are exploited and oppressed.

Proletariat will develop a class consciousness and a revolution will overthrow the bourgeoisie.

Class revolution leads to societies becoming based on communists ideals of equality.

Neo-Marxist sociologists argue that economics and culture play a role in explaining social class divisions.

Pierre Bourdieu uses concept of different types of capital to explain social class divisions.

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Social Class Identities (W/C CULTURE & IDENTITY)

Traditionally based on features such as community, family, manual work and immediate gratification.

Changed w/c emerging. Increasingly based on privatism, individualism, non-manual work and consumption.

Changes because of factors in education and employment.

w/c identity is changing.

Savage et al. (2005) - 50 interviews in Manchester. Strong culture of manual labour gave area a "practical flavour". 21% has clear social class. 41% has no clear social class. 40% w/c. 18% m/c.

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Social Class Identities (M/C CULTURE & IDENTITY)

Traditionally based on professionalism, educational qualifications and cultural capital.

Changing nature of employment means jobs in non-manual occupations and therefore there is a changed structure.

Blurring of m/c and w/c cultures.

Devine et al. (2005) - 50 interviews with doctors and teachers in Manchester. Didn't refer to social class at all - felt uneasy using m/c. Maybe being felt as though they are superior to others.

Wynne (1998) - m/c house possessed economic, cultural and social capital. Very different from Savage's study on w/c.

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Social Class Identities (U/C CULTURE & IDENTITY)

Made up of two social sub groups: aristocracy and super rich.

Aristocracy - ascribed status, economic and social capital, cultural capital

Super rich - achieve status, economic and social capital

Traditional u/c: aristocracy ie. royal family. Value tradition, hierarchy and order.

Super rich: associated with glamour. Conspicuous consumers. Value material consumer goods.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Social Class Identitie


Cater & Coleman (2006) - "planned teenage pregnancy". Family of pregnant teen was a great influence on decision making process of teenage.

Reay (1998) - m/c mums able to influence their children's schooling more than w/c mums. w/c mums had to balance housework, child care and career. Lacked confidence and understanding of school system.


Power et al. (2003) - close relationship between children from m/c who had attended public schools and those who got places at elite universities.


Brundson (1997) - m/c homes went without TV because they saw it as tasteless and symbols of w/c

Medhurst (1999) - m/c students watching The Royle Family thought it was an accurate portrayal of w/c life in contemporary UK.

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Creation & Reinforcement of Social Class Identitie


Rastafarianism is likely to have a w/c base because it is normally found in inner city communities.


Brah (1999) - research of white skinheads found w/c identity was important and worked hard at constructing a culture of whiteness.

Mac & Ghaill (1994) - different types of masculinities (Real Englishmen, Macho Lads) for some people, their social class provides them with a direct sense of their identity.


Savage (1992) - study on m/c doctors showed a "practical flavour". Indicates a strong relationship between occupation and class identity.

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