Sociology; The role of society in culture.

This is for the 'culture and identity' syllabus.

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  • Created by: Sam Hill
  • Created on: 15-04-09 15:45

The role of society in culture; Different perspect

The functions of cultural beleifs is to respond to needs in society

Functionalist; Mechanical solidarity (Relegious values, pre-industrial societies) and organic solidarity (Education and mass media, complex industrial societies, more people today) govern the social system.

Marxist; Superstructure (schools, politics, e.t.c.) and infrastructure determine culture, and this benefits the ruling class so they can maintain power.

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The role of society in culture; Agencies of social

Family is primary socialisation, and role models help set important values.

Norms and values can be learnt through basic norms e.g. manners, and also working class use simpler sentences, middle class use more complicated, thus impacting on acheivement at school.

Family establishes gender role socialisation through norms, e.g. boys dress differently to girls, and observe the behaviour of parents.

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The role of society in culture; Agencies of social

ScSchools transmits skills to interact with others in modern society

Formal curriculum - Things learnt at school e.g. maths

Hidden curriculum - Things incidentally learnt e.g. rules and roles.

Positive of schools; taught universalistic norms, and that success is based on ability.

Negative of schools; Success based on compotence rather than ability, middle class teachers socialise children through biased social class, working class accept inferior position (Marxists).

Relegion still important in schools, many faiths although there is secularisation (relegion lose its social significance)

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The role of society in culture; Agencies of social

Is important as we experience impersonal events that we learn norms from.

There are claims that we live in a media-saturated society, and as a result, violence and crime may be imitated, particularly by children.

Feminists argue that women get a bad press, girls learnt to be less important.

Symbolic annihilation; Women are under-represented in the media and are seen negatively, e.g. anorexia.

Ethnic minorities portrayed negativley.

Moral panic - Exaggerated reports on certain groups through media, and are seen as a threat.

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The role of society in culture; Agencies of social

Social control - how we stick to rules in society.

New Right have concerns over female-headed families, and that a lack of males will lead to less authority, and more crime.

Mass media, relegion and our peers contribute to informal social control. We learn rewards and punishments through them.

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The role of society in culture; Agencies of social

Schools are both formal and informal; informal being sticking to the rules, and formal being detentions, suspensions, e.t.c.

The polices role in formal control is to enforce the law, make sure everyone conforms to it and then act on crime deterrent.

Some argue that the police apply different standards to different ethnic groups, e.g. young black men.

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