Component 1- Core


Component 1- Core definitions


•Way of life

•Shared meanings, values, norms and practices – that are taught to us

•Differs around the world by religion, language, music, food etc.

•Provides us with our identity through socialisation 

E.g. In France they eat snails, In England they eat fish and chips

Cultural Diversity-

Is a society where many different cultures exist

•Norms and Values can differ within many different cultures

1 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions


Ideas that we have about what is acceptable behaviour

Social norms provide social control and make social life predictable – e.g. norms governing the way we dress, the way we eat etc.

•Guide our social behaviour – e.g. queueing


• Ideas that people regard as important, defining what is worth having and worth striving for   

•Values influence norms, about what is correct or unacceptable behaviour, and are often shared therefore leading to social order – e.g. human life is valued and therefore the norm is its wrong to kill     

2 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions


•The social position given to you by your culture

Can be ASCRIBEDfixed at birth and you have no say (e.g. the monarchy, son or daughter)

Or it can be ACHIEVED where you have gained the status through ability or hard work (e.g. lawyer)

Identity Made up of two things

1) the way we see ourselves

2) how others see us

•It involves SOME CHOICE ON OUR PART– what we actively choose do in our culture in regards to activities.But its also partly IMPOSED BY OUR CULTURE– we are born into particular cultural positions or statuses  

3 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions


•This is a group within a larger culture that shares aspects of that culture but also has some of its own values, norms, customs and so on – e.g. a criminal gang may value gaining money illegally

Social Structures-

•Society is made up of social institutions or social structures, such as family, religion, education and work

•These social structures or institutions exist externally to the individual and influence as well as shape their behaviour – we learn to conform to its norms and values  

4 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions

Social Construction-

This is an idea that is given meaning by people 

E.g. motherhood = a lot more than the ability to give birth – there are a set of ’rules’ made by people for being a good mother 

•These constructions influence our behaviour and entire groups may be viewed in a particular way

Social Construction – ideas of beauty around the world

5 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions


•General agreement – about what the shared norms and values are 

Socialisation ensures that most of us follow societies consensual norms and values 

Consensus theory is associated with the Functionalist perspective – which sees society as a system of general agreement over norms and values creating social order and control


 Conflict is the OPPOSITE of consensus

•This happens when there are groups or individuals with oppositional interests who compete to exert their power and gain a beneficial outcome


6 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions

Social control-

The social processes by which the behaviour of individuals or groups is regulated 

•Sanctions for breaking norms 

•Social control is maintained in two ways –

•1) Formal social control (force)

•2) Informal social control (controlling through ideas)  

7 of 8

Chapter 1- Core definitions


•Process of learning to behave in a way that’s acceptable in society

•Agencies of socialisationare the social institutions that help transmit norms and values to us as individuals. For example the family teach us manners and respect

•There a 6 agencies of socialisation –

1 PRIMARY agent (The Family) and 5 SECONDARY agencies (including education)

8 of 8


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Culture and Socialisation resources »