Studying Society 2

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Social Policy/Stratification Systems Explanations

  • Social Policy is the study of social services and welfare states
  • Societies built up in different parts and organised in a way
  • Societies social structure is made up of social institutions
  • Social institutions are organised social arrangements which are found in all societies
  • Most societies have a social stratification system as basic element of structure
  • Social Class a powerful form of stratification but age, ethnicity and gender are also important   
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Different Stratification Systems

  • word comes from strata meaning layers
  • refers to division in society into patterns of layers of unequal social groups
  • those at top will have more power than those at bottom
  • three major types: caste system, feudal system and social class system
  • Caste system: most rigid and associated with India, levels are called castes and its fixed, no social mobility is possible
  • 5 castes: Brahmins, religious people and priests
  • Kshatriya: rulers and administrators 
  • Vaisya: merchants and farmers
  • Sudras: manual workers
  • Untouchables: a groups without caste, social outcasts   
  • Position is ascribed 
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Feudal and Apartheid System

  • Feudal:levels called estates, based on ownership of land, no legal equality between states
  • Apartheid: used in South Africa, based on race, position ascribed, system closed, social mobility not possible, every aspect of society was segregated to whether a person was black or white
  • Social Class: found in modern societies such as Britain, defined as people who share a similar economic situation like income, occupation and wealth  
  • levels aren't clearly separated
  • not backed up by legal difference
  • no restrictions on marriage between people of different social classes
  • open societies
  • is generally meritocratic 
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Deviance and Crime

  • Deviance is a norm-breaking behaviour that may not be illegal
  • Crime is a deviant behaviour which is against the law
  • Criminal Law is the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishments
  • Deviance can attract moral disapproval from members of society 
  • This type of behaviour is controlled by informal sanctions via family, friends and peers
  • Sometimes deviant behaviour can be a crime 
  • Crime is controlled by public sanctions which is enforced by police
  • Sociologists argue that defining crime is interpreted by society
  • Definitions of crime can reflect historical period, culture and particular situations   
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Values, Norms, Mores, Rules, Regulations and Laws

  • Values: provide general guidelines for conduct
  • Norms: unspoken, unwritten rules of behaviour in everyday life
  • Mores: stronger forms of Norms, but it refers to to ways of behaving to which people believe it is to maintain decency 
  • Rules, Regulations and Laws: written down, those who break them will know what punishment they have
  • Social Control: methods in which its used to persuade or force individuals into conforming, preventing deviance
  • All learnt through process of socialisation, make up a culture of a society, vary a lot between societies over time
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Natural and Biological Difference, Cultural or Soc

  • Natural or Biological Differences: difference in physique, strength, hair colour and skin colour
  • Social or Cultural Differences: differences in the work place or level of income, status and power
  • Social Differentiation: refers to social characteristics that make an individual or a group distinct from another. type of occupations, income, gender or ethnic background. Within each layer of stratification system individuals may still be differentiated by gender 
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Ethnicity and Race

  • race is an attempt to divide people according to physical characteristics into different racial groups
  • ethnicity refers to common culture of social groups such as language, beliefs, religion, style of dress, food shared history and experiences
  • ethnic group is people who share common culture
  • minority ethnic group is people who share a cultural identity that is different to majority population of society.  
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Gender and Sex

  • Gender: whether someone is masculine or feminine refers to cultural, socially constructed differences between two sexes
  • teaches both sexes to behave in different ways through socialisation
  • Gender Role: is pattern of behaviour and activity which society expects from individuals of either sex
  • Gender Identity: refers to how people see themselves and others see them in terms of gender roles and biological sex
  • Sex: refers to biological difference between man and woman, sex is either male or female
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  • Chronological Age: refers to how long they have been alive
  • Biological Age: age related to physical changes over the years, linked to chronological age
  • Age in Social Terms: age is socially constructed as they will be treated differently and with certain expectations
  • Culture: whole way of life of a group of people, refers to what is shared in society, makes possible for us to understand each other, includes behaviour and social diversity, includes language
  • Having culture makes us human, groups we live in and are with are social groups.
  • Socialisation is the process of learning a culture. Primary Socialisation is process of learning culture in early childhood, Secondary Socialisation is process of learning culture in schools, peer groups, religion and mass media 
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  • Identity: who we are in sight of others, define ourselves and personalities, how others define us
  • Some aspects of our identities will be formed by socialisation
  • Other Aspects we will from ourselves
  • Identity refers to Sex and Gender, Ethnic Identity, Age, Class, Occupation, Nationality, Role within Family, Belonging to church or religious organisation   
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Issues on Gender

  • Sexism: people are treated differently and less favourably based on gender
  • Feminists: argue that we live in a patriarchal society
  • Men have lots of power within families, politics and workplaces. They receive bigger rewards such as wealth and status
  • Government have issued Equal Pay Act (1970)
  • Equality Act (2010) 
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Issues on Ethnicity

  • Unemployment Rates in England and Wales are higher among people of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean heritage than among White British or White Irish
  • Racism: people are treated differently and less favourably based on their ethnicity
  • Men and Women of Pakistani and Bangladeshi have much worse chances of getting professional jobs than their white peers of same educational and age level.
  • Government: equal opportunities policies to support equality and diversity
  • Race Relations Act: (1976) outlawed discrimination based on ethnicity
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission has powers to enforce the equality laws and shape the public policy on equality issues
  • Equality Act (2010)
  • Within organisations, awareness of institutional racism has been raised
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Issues on Age

  • People nearly retirement age find it more difficult to find a job even though they have more experience than younger adults
  • Older people do not get the same training opportunities
  • Ageism: a situation in which someone is treated differently and less favourably based on their age
  • Government: Regulations against age discrimination
  • The Equality Act (2010) brought together existing regulations that already gave protection against ageism and other forms of discrimination and extended them. Since October 2010 this has been the main law relating to age discrimination, protecting you against ageism in employment  education and training
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Sociology and Science

  • sociology in 1 of group of subject - includes: economics, psychology and politics} known as social sciences
  • cause problem, science refers to study of natural world, subjects like} physics, chemistry and biology
  • sociology can adopt scientific approach} value of freedom, objectivity, use of systematic research methods and capacity of being checked 
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Sociological approaches

  • consensus theories: its an agreement, society held together because people share values and norms that are passed down from one generation to another through socialisation.
  • functionalists 
  • conflict theories: its a disagreement, some people have control and the power to decide what others should do.
  • Marxism: they see social class as the main cause of conflict (they have developed because wealth and power aren't shared out.
  • Feminists: their main concern is gender conflict, conflict between men and women. problem is male power, as dominance society
  • Marxist Feminists: if women work, seen as less important than work of man. 
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