Sociology

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Culture

It is made up of dress, food, Norms, Values and language. The whole way of life for a particular society. Culture is not fixed; it can be changed.

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Socialisation

The teaching and learning of Norms and Values.

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Primary socialisation

The teaching and learning of Norms and Values, taught by the family.

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Secondary Socialisation

The teaching and learning of Norms and Values outside the agency of family. 

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Gender Socialisation

The teaching and learning of norms and values considered appropriate for a given sex.

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Nature

What you are born with, e.g. skin colour, sex.

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Nurture

What you learn throughout your life, e.g. your beliefs.

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Achieved Status

Where a person has earned their position through personal achievement or action, e.g. Sir Alan Sugar.

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Ascribed Status

Being born or married into the position, e.g. Prince George.

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Role

Behaviour expected of a person in a certain situation, e.g. Aunt, friend

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Role Conflict

When a person finds it difficult to perform all their roles at once, e.g. A teacher who has to attend parent’s evening but her child is sick. Teacher or Parent?

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Formal Social Control

Laws and rules enforced by the government, police and the courts.

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Informal Social Control

Persuasion to conform through socialisation by family, schools, peer groups, work, mass media and religion

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Consensus Theory

The main group of sociologists who believe in this theory are known as Functionalists. They believe that society is held together because individuals share the same norms and values.

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Functionalist

Everyone in society is socialized into the same norms and values and this keeps society peaceful. 

Believes the family has 4 functions and that the nuclear family is best at fulfilling them: 

>Primary Socialisation 

>Reproduction 

>Emotional Support 

>Economic Support 

They refer to the family as a 'warm bath' because when you come home they expect you to be as relaxed as you would be in a warm bath

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Post modernists

They believe class is not important, it doesn’t matter what class, ethnicity or gender you are, and that everyone has an equal chance of achieving. 

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Conflict Theory

They believe that some people have more power than others and that they control society.

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Feminism

They believe that society is unequal because men have more power than women and that society is patriarchal (male dominance). This is due to the following ways: 

>Women complete most of the housework 

>Women are the primary carers of children 

>Men take more important decisions 

>25% women experience domestic violence 

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Marxists

They believe society is not fair, they believe society only benefits the upper cl*** who exploits the working cl***. They believe that the rich have all whilst the poor are taken advantage of. 

They believe the family reproduces cl*** inequalities, this is done by two main processes

>Inheritance-When the rich p*** on wealth so the rich children stay rich and the poor stay poor 

>Cultural Values- Middle Cl[*** parents can p*** on knowledge so their children do well and have the skills to succeed

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Masculinity

Traditionally expected characteristics of a man and how they should behave.

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Femininity

Traditionally expected characteristics of women and how they should behave.

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Stereotype

To make a statement that “ALL” people in that group are kind, horrible, thieves or any other description.

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Agencies

Parts of society such as the family, the media, religion.

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Ethnicity

A group of people that share an identity through language, religion, norms, values, food, music, ancestry and traditions.

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Ethnic minority

An ethnic group that is smaller than and usually in an inferior position to larger ethnic groups.

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Multiculturalism

People from lots of different ethnic backgrounds living in one area of a country.

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The class system

Measured on a person’s occupation

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Social deprivation

Living in an area which does not have the same facilities and opportunities as most other places, also known as environmental poverty.

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Welfare state

Term for what the government do to take care of the health and wellbeing of the British public.

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Age restriction

Laws that tell you at what age you can do certain activities or purchase certain items, e.g. buying alcohol – 18 years old.

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Poverty

Not having enough money to afford the basic necessities a person needs to survive. 

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Scapegoat

Look for groups in society to blame 

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Moral panic:

When the media scares people about people not having the right morals, e.g. Youth Knife Crime.

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Social issue

Problems in society, e.g. Bullying

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Amplification of Deviance:

Exaggerating a problem in the media, which can lead to moral panic.

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Segregated Conjugal Roles

Men and women have different responsibilities in the home. 

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Joint Conjugal Roles

Men and women share household responsibilities 

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New Man

A man who takes care of himself and treats the family equally.

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The Triple Shift

When women have to do 3 jobs; Her work job, the housework, and the emotional work 

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Burden of Dependency

When those who work pay tax and this is used to pay for the pensions and healthcare of the elderly.

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Meritocracy

When functionalists believe if we work hard we will succeed so therefore those who work hard will achieve and go on to get the best jobs

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Social Cohesion

The idea that norms and values taught in schools reflect the norms and values of society which give people an identity. 

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Social Mobility

When schools allow us to gain qualifications which allow us to move up the class system. 

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Formal Education

When individuals learn through the official curriculum, you may learn subjects like maths, science and IT. They are aware they are learning something 

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Informal Education

Also known as hidden curriculum, when pupils are learning outside of lessons as part of the wider school. Pupils will learn things such as rules and routines without realising. 

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1988 Education Reform Act:

This is when the government made it compulsory for all government funded schools to study the same subjects and topic areas in these subjects. This was so the government could control what pupils were learning at school. 

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League Tables

It was introduced in 1988 and it is a list of schools in a borough and they are ranked by their GCSE and A-Level Results, it was aimed to increase competition through schools

Advantages: Gives parents power (parentocracy) over which school they send their child too 

Disadvantage: Unfair to compare schools which are selective such as private with those that are not 

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Ofsted

This is a government group which monitors schools. They are there to check the standard of teaching and learning and the environment of the school. 

Advantage: Makes sure that schools are keeping pupils safe and the standard of teaching is high

Disadvantage: It is not a valid representation of how schools really are as inspections only last 1-2 days and cause stress for teachers and students 

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Vocationalism

This is when schools teach pupils skills that they can directly use in the world of work, e.g. Work Experience 

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Labelling

This is a category or name that is given to a person or group that makes generalisations about them. 

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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

A prophecy is a prediction. A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is when you live up to someone else’s expectations of you.

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Subculture

This is a group of people who develop a clear set of norms and values that are different to those around them (such as at school). 

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Material Deprivation

This is when children/parents cannot afford the costs of materials for school, e.g. School Uniform or sports kit 

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Cultural Deprivation

This is when their parents do not pass on knowledge which would help them in school. 

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Parental Expectations

Some ethnic groups receive more encouragement from their parents than others 

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Crime

Behaviour that breaks the formal written laws of a society 

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Deviance

Behaviour that breaks the norms and values of a society, e.g. swearing 

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Chivalry Thesis

The idea that the criminal system including the police and the courts are biased towards women. Courts are more lenient towards women with female offenders as they believe they are not a serious threat. 

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Status Frustration

This is when young people are often frustrated as they believe they are stuck between childhood and adulthood – they are expected to be mature but are not given the respect and responsibilities of an adult. 

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White Collar Crime

This term is used to describe crimes committed by the middle class. It is called white collar crime as the people who commit it are likely to be wearing shirts (and a suit) and are often in high up positions in companies. E.g. fraud or tax evasion, these crimes often do not have a “victim”. These are also known as corporate crimes. 

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Blue Collar Crime

This term is used to describe crimes committed by the working class. It is called blue collar crime as the people who commit it would often traditionally wear blue overalls as they would be doing manual work. E.g. mugging or theft. These crimes often against an individual therefore they do have victims. 

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Official Statistics

This is a way to measure crime. Official statistics are the statistics produced and published by the government and its agencies. They are useful as we can identify any trends occurring, moreover due to this being through the government it is a trust worthy source. However, not all crimes are recorded, detected and reported. 

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Victim Surveys

This is a survey, such as the British Crime Survey, that asks a sample of people which crimes have been committed against them over a fixed period of time and whether or not they have been reported to the police.

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Victim Surveys

This is a survey, such as the British Crime Survey, that asks a sample of people which crimes have been committed against them over a fixed period of time and whether or not they have been reported to the police.

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Self Report Surveys

These are surveys in which a selected group or cross-section of the population are asked what offences they have committed. 

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Crime and Disorder Act 1988

The act that came in against racism. Advantage: Institutional racism has decreased and racist actions are being taken more seriously. Disadvantage: Blacks are still 7X more likely to be stopped and searched. 

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ASBO

An order against anti-social behaviour in youths. Advantage: Decreases anti-social behaviour and warns youth to stop criminal behaviour. Disadvantage:  It may not be taken seriously

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Reprimand

A verbal or written warning for first time offenders. Advantage: May scare someone not to reoffend again. Disadvantage: May be biased e.g. Chivalry Thesis 

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CCTV

Records people in public places. Advantage: It helps catch criminals and increases the fear of getting caught. Disadvantage: It is a violation of privacy.

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Community Service

This is when criminals give back to the community. Advantage: It helps the community and allows them to reflect on their crimes. Disadvantage: It may not always teach your lesson.

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Operation Blunt

Introduced in 2008, this policy included putting metal detectors outside tube station, schools and shopping centres to detect knives.

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Joint Enterprise

This is the law that means that a group of people can be prosecuted for a crime e.g. murder just because they were involved, not necessarily the murderer.

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Mass Media

Communication that can reach a large amount of people these forms of media can be split into three main groups: The Press, Broadcasting and Electronic.

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The Press

This is newspapers and magazines; they are privately owned. Newspapers are generally split into two categories: Broadsheets, which are ‘quality’ newspapers meaning they are often associated with them middle class and deal with news around the world. Tabloids: These are ‘mass market’ newspapers and are often associated with the working class. 

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Broadcasting

This includes television and radios. Some broadcasts are publically funded and some are privately funded. 

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Electronic

This includes the internet and E-Mail. Anyone can put information on the internet, some are regulated to check that the information put on is correct, e.g. Wikipedia. The internet is also used for social networking such as Twitter. 

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The Gratification Approach

This approach focuses on how we as an audience use the media as opposed to how the media uses us. This approach particularly focuses on television and how we use it:

1)   Information: From the news or documentaries to help inform our beliefs on certain issues

2)   Personal Identity: Shows like Jerry Springer and Jeremy Kyle help us to understand more about people and ourselves.

3)   Personal Relationship: Soap Operas help with companionship, we feel like we know the characters and is a source of conversation

4)   Entertainment: Comedies etc. helps us to escape our real life worries 

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The Decoding Approach

This approach believes that the content of media can be interpreted in different ways. 

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The 'Hypodermic syringe' Approach

This is the idea that the media has a lot of power over its audiences. It has the power to control and persuade people to certain views. The ‘hyperdermic syringe’ argument says that audiences receive daily ‘injections’ of messages from the media and they work like a drug. As a result, they have a direct influence on audience’s attitudes and behaviour. 

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Globalisation

This is the idea that there is now little difference between what is local and international news and that across the world we all share the same news with some sociologists calling this a ‘global village’. 

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Semiology

This a method used by sociologists to analyse the meaning behind signs, texts and images in the media. The purpose of semiology is to uncover these hidden messages and the messages being sent to the audiences.

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Hyper reality

This is the belief that what we see in the media can be confused with reality – therefore we do not know what is real and what is make-believe. An example of this is body image and how they are altered in the media. 

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Substitute Hearth

This is the belief that in the past family would have been the main agency of socialisation, however, know television has replaced the fireplace as being the focal point in the home rather than families talking and spending their evenings together. 

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Who owns the media, the pluralist view

They believe that the media represents a range of views in society and all are treated equally. They believe that the media being owned by lots of different companies is good as it creates competition.  Pluralists believe in freedom of the press. They also argue that the owners rarely have anything to do with what is in the media

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Who owns the media, the Marxist view

They believe that only a few rich and powerful people own the media, they control what is published and will only include what is in their interests. They argue that there are now media conglomerates which is where one company owns different forms of media. For example, Rupert Murdoch who owns The Sun, The Times, Sky TV and hundreds more. 

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Agenda Setting

This is when the media focuses on particular news, which will define what the public believe is relevant. As the media influences what we think about, the media is sometimes known as ‘gatekeeper’ as they can ‘open the gate’ to specific issues. 

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OFCOM

This is a government run organisation which allows the public to complain about anything they find offensive or inappropriate on TV.

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ASA

This is a similar organisation to Ofcom but they specialise in adverts, so audiences can report any adverts they find offensive or inappropriate. 

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TV Debates (Politics)

This is where the public could see candidates for Prime Ministers discussing key issues in front of a live audience.

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Party Political Broadcasts (Politics)

These are like adverts about the candidate’s policies. They also often try to discredit other political parties. 

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Propaganda

Biased media or advertisements that aim to brainwash the public or set an agenda.

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Power is usually based on two things

1)   Coercion: Involves the use of force, individuals in society obey because they feel as though they have no other choice, they are forced into obeying. It can involve the use of threats or physical violence.

2)    Authority: This is when we willingly obey someone because we think it is the right thing to do. 

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There are three types of authority

1)   Traditional: This is when we accept authority because it has always been the case, for example, The Royal Family.

2)   Legal-Rational Authority: This is when we obey an individual or group because of the position they hold in society. An example of this is David Cameron, he was elected into his position thus meaning he has authority.

3)   Charismatic Authority: This is when we obey a person because we believe that they are an extraordinary individual who inspires us. For example, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. 

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Democracy

This means ‘government by the people’. In a democracy lots of people have power and this is based on consent rather than authority. 

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Dictatorship

This is the opposite of a democracy, this is a political system where one person or small group have the power and they have not been elected fairly.

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Pressure Groups

They are also known as an interest group; this is a group of people who share a concern or interest. The group will use its power to influence decisions made by local authorities or governments.

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Types of Pressure Groups

Protective and Promotional or Insider and Outsider. Protective: They defend their own interests. Promotional: They aim to spread awareness of a particular issue. Insider: They regularly consult with the government. Outsider: They aim to convince the government in their cause. 

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Ageing Population

This is the average age of the population increasing, it is due to the improvements of healthcare, much better standards of living and higher standard of living. 

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Pension

This is when tax payer’s money are given to the elderly on a weekly basis to support their welfare. Advantage: If the elderly does not have a saved pension then they will still receive support.  Disadvantage: It may be a strain on the taxpayer

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Pension

This is when tax payer’s money are given to the elderly on a weekly basis to support their welfare. Advantage: If the elderly does not have a saved pension then they will still receive support.  Disadvantage: It may be a strain on the taxpayer

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Sex Discrimination Act

 This makes it unlawful the employer to discriminate against an individual because of their sex. 

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Equal Pay Act

This prohibits any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment.

 

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Race Relations Act 1976

This is a protection from racial discrimination in the fields of employment, education, training or housing. 

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Age Discrimination Act

This means it is illegal for employers to discriminate against a person’s age. 

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Means-Tested Benefits

To try and reduce poverty to give financial support, ‘means tested’ means that only certain people whose income are below a certain level can receive the benefit.

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Child Support Agency 1993

This was introduced to reduce child poverty, when parents split the parent who the child no longer lives with has to pay money towards the child on a daily basis. 

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Power Relationships – Parents and Children

Children’s Act 1989, this makes it illegal to hit children 

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Power Relationships – Parents and Children

Children’s Act 1989, this makes it illegal to hit children 

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Power Relationships – Teachers and Children

Pupil Vote, this is when pupils are given opportunities to have an input in school life and influence decisions

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Power Relationships – Police and society:

Stop and Search is when a police officer can stop and search you based on suspicion of behaviour, facts or information. 

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Power Relationships – Employees and Employers

Trade Union, this is an organisation that represent workers and give individuals a way of communicating. 

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Validity

The data gives a true picture of what people are feeling and why they feel that way. Qualitative methods are usually valid. 

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Reliability

When the study can be repeated and the results can be compared. Quantitative methods are usually reliable

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Quantitative methods

Data produced in form of numbers and statistics. 

For example: Questionairre 

Advantages: Can be used to analyse figures nd compare results 

Disadvantage: Some sociologists argue that this data does not give data which gives a real insight into a person's feelings

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Qualitative Methods

Data in the forms of words

Example: Interview 

Advantage: Gives an insight into people's feelings 

Disadvantage: It is hard to compare and may not give the same results each time you carry out your research

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Sample

A group of people they choose to investigate as it is not possible for sociologists to study everyone in their investigation. 

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Sampling Frame

A list of all members of the population a sociologist wants to study. A sample is then chosen from this Sampling Frame. 

The SF must be complete and accurate otherwise, the sample may not be representative

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Representative

When your sample reflects the social characteristics of the population 

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Generalisable

This is when you can apply your findings to the rest of the population 

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Sampling - Stratified

When the proportions in the target population are reflected in the sample.

Advantage: Representative 

                     Generalisable 

Disadvantages: Time Consuming 

                              Low response rate makes % incorrect

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Sampling - Systematic

Picking every nth name from the sampling frame 

Advantages: Quick and easy 

                        Unbiased 

Disadvantages: May not be representative

                             Can't do without Sampling Frame

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Sampling - Random

When everyone on the sampling frame has an equal chance of being selected

Advantages: Quick and easy 

                       Unbiased 

                       Large Sample 

Disadvantage: May not be representative 

                           Cannot do without sampling frame 

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Sampling - Quota

When you separate sampling frames into categories

Advantages: Specific people

                      You can compare

                     Representative/generalisable 

Disadvantages: Biased in your selection 

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Sampling - Purposive

When you want a specific set of characteristics/qualities 

Advantages: Specific People 

                      Representative 

Disadvantages: Might not always be available 

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Sampling - Volunteer

Ask people to come forward if they want to be part of the study 

Advantages: Easy 

                       Useful when you don't have a sampling frame

Disadvantages: People might not volunteer 

                              Not Representative

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Sampling - Opportunity

Ask people available to you at the time 

Advantages: Easy 

                        Large Sample 

Disadvantages: Not representative 

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Sampling - ***********

Start with one contact and they introduce you to further participants

Advantages: Useful when you don't have a sampling frame

Disadvantages: Not representative

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Content Analysis

A method used to analyse the content of a media. It is a way of expressing or measuring the quantity of sounds, pictures or text. 

This is a quantitative method as it gives statistics results. 

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Content Analysis- Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

* Relatively high in reliability 

*Relatively cheap and easy to conduct 

*Can see patterns and trends over time 

*Extremely important in studying the mass media 

Disadvantages 

*Subjective 

*Some researchers might not analyse the media in context 

*Not considered a valid method as it doesn't provide meanings or reasons

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Ethical Issues

Before a sociologists begins a study they will consider the impact of ethical or moral issues (what is seen as right or wrong). 

For this they must follow the guidelines of the British Sociological Association (BSA) 

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Ethical Issues - Deception

Do not deceive people when studying them 

For example: Do not lie about what the study is for 

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Ethical Issues - Informed Consent

Tell the participants the full details of the study before they start 

For example: Through signing a consent form 

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Ethical Issues - Confidentiality

Keeping participants' personal details confidential and when writing about someone, keep them anonymous 

For example: Use a pseudo name 

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Ethical Issues - Protection from harm

Ensuring they do not offend/upset or cause physical or psychological harm with sensitive questions or dangerous experiments 

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Ethical Issues - Parental Consent

Asking for parental permission if they are under 16

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Ethical Issues - De-Brief

After the study, the researcher will discuss the process with the participant and answer ant questions to conclude

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Interviews

There are two types of interviews: Structured Interviews and Unstructured Interviews

Structured Interview: When the interviewer reads out a set life of questions to the interviewer 

Unstructured Interview: These interviews do not have a set of predetermined questions; instead the interviewer will just have an idea of the questions they would like to ask. It is like an informal conversation and will often make the respondent at ease.  

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Interviews - Structured Interviews

Advantages: Reliable 

Disadvantages: Interviewer Bias (when the interviewee may give answers to                                                            themselves look good 

                              Low in Validity 

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Interviews - Unstructured Interviews

Advantages: Rapport (Building up a relationship with the respondent) 

                       High in validity 

Disadvantages: Subjective 

                             Unreliable 

                             Costly

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Pilot Studies

A small scale test to help sociologists see if there are sny problems with the study befire they carry it out properly 

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Longitudinal Studies

A study which takes a long period of time and is used to examine changes. Sociologists can gain in-depth insight using the method

Advantage: In depth - Can observe trends      

                     Generalisable and Representative 

                     Reliable 

Disadvantage: Time Consuming 

                            Expensive

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Triangulation

Using more than one method

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Observations - Covert

Going Undercover 

Advantages: No Hawthorne Effect (when people change their behaviour after they know they're being watched) 

                     Validity 

Disadvantages: Unethical 

                              No informed consent

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Observations - Overt

Where observers come clean so the group is aware of his/her research activities

Advantages: Informed Consent 

                       Validity 

Disadvantages: Hawthorne Effect

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Observations - Participant

Get involved in the process 

Advantages: Verstehen (Understand more because you've joined in) 

                       Ecological validity 

Disadvantages: Time Consuming 

                              Need to be trained 

                             Subjectivity 

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Observations - Non-Participant

Watch from distance 

Advantages: More objective 

                       Validity 

                       Ecological 

Disadvantages: Difficult to observe 

                             No verstehen 

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Setting

Different sets for different subjects 

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Streaming

Same set in all the subjects 

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Ethnocentricism

The view that one's own culture is better than anyone else's culture. 

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National Curriculum

When all government funded schools study the same subjects and content 

Advantage: Feminists were positive as it ensured girls had the same opportunities 

Disadvantage: Not all schools have to follow this e.g. private and free schools. Girls still pick stereotypical subjecs

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EAZs

When extra funding in given to schools in deprived areas so they can afford extra equipment

Advantage: Reduced material deprivation for working class pupils 

Disadvantage: There is still a 35% difference working class and middle class achievement showing the scheme hasn't fully worked

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Questionnaires

A series of questions to be filled in by the respondent

Advantages: Quick and cheap 

                     Unbiased 

                     Reliable 

Disadvantage: Valid

                       Low response rate 

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Nuclear Family

A man and a women that are married and live with their children

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Cohabitation

Two adults who are in a relationship and living together, but who are not married, they may or may not have children

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Lone-Parent

One adult (usually female) and their dependent child/children

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Household

Group of people living together who are not related 

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Singlehood

A person living on their own

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Reconstituted

Adults separate from previous relationship and come together in a new relationship, bringing any children with them 

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Vertically extended

A long and thin extended family, usually a grandparent, child and grandchild 

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Horizontally extended

Those of the same generation living together e.g. parents, aunt/uncle and children  

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Beanpole

Three or more generations living together e.g. grandparents, parents and children 

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Same-sex

Two adults of the same gender who are in a relationship and who may have children

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Commune

Different families and groups of people sharing housing, childcare and resources 

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Trends in the family

Socially Acceptable 

Secular (less religious)

Women's influence 

Divorce increased

Marriage increased

Contraception

Ideal Family

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Symmetrical Family

When men and women have equal family roles 

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Patriarchy

When there is male dominance towards women

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Types of school - Academies

Definition - A school funded by the government but often they will get extra funding from a business or charity 

Advantages - They will have more control/ make more of their own decision 

                        Due to the extra funding, there will be a less chance of material deprivation 

Disadvantage - Not all staff are treated well

                             Too much freedom 

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Types of school - Free

Definition - A school set up by parents

Advantages - Useful for places where there aren't many schools 

Disadvantages -  The teachers woould be parents that don't have much experience 

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Types of school - Independent

Definition - School funded by parents paying a fee and not by the government

Advantages - Small Classes 

                        Money available for resources 

                        Own Curriculum (do not have to follow the national curriculum)

Disadvantages - Very expensive so encourages inequalities

                               Not many W/C pupils  

                               Selective 

                               

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Types of school - Comprehensive

Definition - School funded by the government  

Advantage - Free

                      Not selective - accept all pupils regardless of background or ability 

Disadvantage: Have to follow the National Curriculum 

                            Suffers from material deprivation from lack of funding

                            Bigger classes 

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Types of school - Faith

Definition - School funded by the government but focus on a particular religion 

Advantages - Learn about their faith

                        Living a life that fulfils the religious obligations 

Disadvantages - Can not fit into multi - cultural schools 

                              Not including all faiths 

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