unit 2

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  • Created by: lauren
  • Created on: 20-06-11 14:53

crime and deviance

a crime is an illegal act that is punished by law

deviance refers to behavior that does not conform to societys norms or rules- eg talking loud in a library

legal deviance is behavior that is seen as abnormal- but does not break the law

illegal deviance involves criminal behavior that is punishable by the state

cross-cultural evidence suggests that what is seen as deviant can cary between cultures. eg how a women dresses

formal social control is based on formal written rules that are set out in laws or in codes of conduct such as school rules

informal social control is based on unwritten rules and is enforced through social pressure from families and friends

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hidden figure- unreported crimes

white collar crimes- crimes hat arent witnessed, so cant be reported

crimes like **** may not be reported because the victim may feel the police would handle it insensitively

self report studies ask people to reveal offences they have commited

british crime surveys- statistical information on the victims crime, such as age, gender and ethnicity

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age and crime- younger people are more likely to commit crime- particually men because of peer group pressure

gender and crime- more men than women commit crimes, but number of women offenders in the UK is increasing due to women having similar oppurtunities to men

ethnicity and crime- black people are more likely to be in prison than white people

social class and crime- working class are more likely to be involved in crimes than middle class becasue they have fewer opportunities 

localality and crime- crime rates are higher in urban areas in rural

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mass media

mass media refers to all forms of communication that reach large audiences- traditional media, eg newspapers and books, new media, eg internet

the hypodermic syringe approach- according to this approach the audience recieves a daily injection of messages from television and newspapers. these messages work like a drug, and are seen as having a direct and powerful effect on people behavior and beleifs

the uses and gratifications approach- this approach focuses on how members of the audience use the media, the media provides people with information, and it might provide them with a source of conversation at work

the decoding approach- audience members interpret messages from the tv, so one section of the audience may interpret it in a very different way to another section of the audience. the way a person decodes a programme will depend on factors such as their social and cultural background

a moral panic is when the media exaggerates the extent of a social problem, a particular group is cast as a folk devil and becomes defined as a threat to societies values

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the pluralist approach to press ownership- no single group dominates, it suggest the newspapers give people what they want to read, companies that fail to do this are unlikely to succeed in a competative market and may go bankrupt

the conflict approach to press ownership- press owners are in a strong position to put their own views accross

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media representations of gender- in the 1950's media representations of women were sterotypical. the media images of women did not reflect the range of roles that they actually played in society. since the 1970s there has been some changes in the representations of gender, for example there are more strong female characters in television dramas. some feminist approaches argue that men and women are portrayed in very different ways in magazines, films and television shows.

media representations of minority ethnic groups- black people were either absent of under-represented in the 1950s in drama, when they were represented, the media often used negative stereotypes of black people, or they had minor roles like dancers. in 1990s they were changes, for example there are now more black actors

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mass media and identity- sociologists argue that the mass media are important in spreading ideas about many modern lifestyles, for example, young people might first learn about dance, music and clubbing via them sort of magazines. in this way the media play a key role in the development of peoples identities

the press and voting behavior- in a democracy he media are seen as having a key role during elections, sociologists argue that a person who regually reads one particular newspaper is encouraged to vote for one political party rather than another. one veiw is that the press have too much influence over how people vote. elections are supposed to be fait, and there not if the press are influencing

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coercion- power is used unfairly

authority- power is used fairly becasue people have a say in it

power relationships in everyday situations-

children and parents- parents have power over their children becasue they influence and control their childrens behavior

teachers and their pupils- teachers have authority over pupils based on their position within the school

members of the public and the police- police officers have power over members of the public based on their postion they hold within the police force, for example they have power to be able to do stop searches

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social factors influencing voting behavior- up untill the 1970s, social class was seen as the most important influence on voting in britain, working class people tended to vote labour and middle class voted conservative

one veiw is that social class is a particually strong influence of voting behavior becasue in 2005 the general election results indicated that middle class voters were still voting for conservative

age, gender, ethnicity and voting behavior- traditionally young people were more likely to vote labour and older people were more likely to vote conservative. traditionally, women were more likely then men to vote conservative. traditionally, british, asian and black communities were much more likely to vote labour

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the welfare state in britain today- the welfare state provides services related to health, education, housing and benefits

political positions in debates about the welfare state- welfare policies and issues are controversial becasue- they involve important questions about how society tackles poverty and inequality. welfare provision is funded by the state using income from taxation

views on the welfare state- one view is that the state has a responsibility for the welfare and it should take responsibility for citizens health, welfare and socail needs. another view is that citizens should take more responsibilty for their own well-being and their families. another veiw is that charity organizations such as banardos should be more involved in supplying welfare

political parties agree that the welfare state has an important part to play in society, but they differ their views about how great a part this should be. Labour party favours the welfare state, for example, help should be given to people who need it becasue they have lost their jobs- labour party beleives that these people should accept help from the state but they should also get ready to find a job

conservatice party beleives the welfare state has helped tackle some serious and economic problems. but theirs problems becasue is doesnt encourage people who can work to find work becasue the welfare enables people to choose to live on benefits

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social issues and social problems- social issues such as discrimination, the ageing population, unemployment and poverty are all seen as social problems becasuse they are veiwed as damaging to society

tackling discrimination- discrimination occurs when people are treated differently and less favourably becasue of their gender, ethnicity or age. governments have tried to tackle discrimination by introducing new equlity and anti-discrimination policies. as a result it is now unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of gender race age religion beleif and disabilty.

tackling unemployment and poverty- unemployment is seen as a social problem for: the employed people becasuse it is linked to poverty and ill health. -their children becasue, in general they are less likely to do well in school. - communities with high levels of unemployment because they are often more effected by crime

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social inequality

social inequality is the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities 

defining social stratification- the term social straification describes the way society is structured into a hierarchy. a social hieracrchy is shaped like a pyramid and each layer is more powerful than the one below it. stratification involves inequalities between groups in the distribution of economic and social resources such as wealth, income, status and power

life chances refer to peoples chances of having a positive or negative outcomes over their lifetime in relation to their education, health, income, employment and housing. life chances are distributed unequally between individuals and groups becasue they are effected by social factors such as class position, gender and ethnicity. for example people in higher social classes have more chance then those in other classes of accessing good quality healthcare and decent housing 

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approaches to social class

karl marx identified 2 main classes in society- the bourgeoisie and the proletrait. the wealthy bourgeoisie owned the property, big businesses, land and factories. in contrast, the poletariat owned no property and were forced to sell their labour to the bourgeoisie to survive. they both had very different interests, the bourgeoisie wanted higher profits and the poletariat wanted higher wages- this led to conflict between them

max weber identified four main classes: property owners, proffesionals, petty bourgeoisie and the working class. these classes had different life chance beacuase max weber saw class as based on economic factors like wealth

funtionalist approach sees modern society as a system which needs unequal rewards. this will motivate the most talented people to train for the best occupations that are essential for societies to continue. these top positions must provide rewards such as high pay to attract the msot able people

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measuring social class- occupation is often used to measure socail class becasuse it is linked to factors such as levels of pay and social status

the registrar generals scale- this scale allocated people to a class based on their occupation. manual occupations require some physical effort, these jobs were seen for the woking class in the scale. non manual occupations do not require physical effort, these were seen as middle class jobs in the scale

problems with the registrar scale- the scale was based on occupation so it was hard to place people without jobs. the class postion of jobless married women was assessed on the basis of her husband. wealthy upper class people were difficault to place on a scale as it was based on lower, and middle class. also 2 people may have the sam job, yet there may be huge differences in their wealth

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inequality based on gender- today women are likely to acheive high level educational qualifications. but some feminists approaches see society as patriarchal, this is when men have a lot of power within families and they generally receive a bigger share of rewards such as wealth

inequality based on age- the status of older people can vary between cultures, getting old is seen as something to be avoided, in other cultures older age is seen as something to look foward to- older people have high status in society

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wealth and imncom- wealth and income is distributed unequally in the UK

wealth and income influence life chances, for example many people on high income have the choice between NHS and private health care, however people on low incomes cannot make these choices

poverty- poeple experiance absoloute poverty when their income is so low that they cannot obtain the minimum to survive. people experiance relative poverty when there income is well below average so they are poor comapred with others in society

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