Culture and Socialisation

What is culture?
A way of life
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Expected behaviour. Relative.
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Beliefs or principles. Relative. Underpin norms.
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Traditional and regular norms. Associated with specific events and anniversaries.
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Person’s position in society. Relative. Ascribed vs. achieved.
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Behaviour related to status. A set of norms is imposed on the status.
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High Culture
Leavis. Elite. Ascribed status position. Social closure. Economic capital. Social capital.
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Popular Culture
Shallow activities for the masses. Strinati – media creates it & consumption plays key role. Materialism. Borrows ideas from high culture & makes it available to masses.
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Distinct norms & values. Minority part of majority culture. Sub section of society. Youth subcultures. Opposition to authority.
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Cultural Diversity
Behaviour varies from culture to culture. Parakh – 3 types of diversity.
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Ethnically diverse areas.
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Cultural Hybridity
Merging of 2 or more cultures to create a new one. Brasians.
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Consumer Culture
Cultural and economic factors. Lury – 5 features of consumer culture. Western society.
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Global Culture
The world is more connected. Economically, socially and politically. Nations are no longer isolated countries. Global culture. Migration and international travel. Global village. Mcdonalisation.
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The process of learning norms and values
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Agents of Socialisation
An institution that teaches norms and values (family, media, education, religion, work, sport, peers)
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Social Control
The process of regulating behaviour in society.
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Formal Control
schools, university, workplaces, religion, all use formal mechanisms of social control such as written codes of conduct that people must follow otherwise expect sanctions.
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Formal (Hidden) Control
The family, peers, media all exercise control without written codes of conduct.
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Family - Primary Socialisation
teaches norms and values in first few years of life. Children imitate their parents. Process of trial and error. Rewards and punishments. .e.g. gender roles (Ann Oakley’s 4 processes).
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Education - Secondary Socialisation
formal curric; subjects you are taught. E.g. national curriculum described as ethnocentric (Gillborn). Informal curric; background assumptions and expectations that run through the school system. E.g. punctuality, hierarchy, competition, team work.
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Peer Group - Secondary Socialisation
peer pressure, need to fit in, group membership can be a powerful force, shared norms & values, subcultures.
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Mass Media - Secondary Socialisation
give us a sense of values shared by society, e.g. magazines teach gender roles (Gauntlet).
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Religion - secondary Socialisation
provide moral values and norms.
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Work Place - Secondary Socialisation
skills, norms & values attached to each group. Occupational socialisation. Workplace discipline. Codes of conduct.
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Types of Socialisation
1. Primary socialisation – this is where you learn the basics – language and simple norms and values. This happens in the family
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Types of Socialisation
2. Secondary socialisation – this is where you are taught norms and values from other institutions such as the media, education and peer group.
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Evaluation of Socialisation
Sociologists disagree about which agents exercise the most influence. Some sociologists argue humans have agency – the ability to make and shape their own choices and identity.
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The perspective that believes that we are the way we are due to our biology or genetics.
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The perspective that believes we are the way we are based on our environment and upbringing.
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Cultural Diversity
Differences that exist within and between cultures.
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Feral Children
Children who are unsocialised.
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Genie Wiley
Unsocialised – kept in a darkened room attached to a potty chair. When found she couldn’t talk and didn’t understand norms and values.
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Oxana Malaya
Brought up by a pack of wolves. When found her behaviour was that of a wolf in the way she ate, moved and communicated.
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Eating Behaviour
In China leaving a plate empty is a sign that you have not eaten enough and you’ll be given more food (an insult to generosity). In the Inuit’s (Canada) they break wind after a meal to say thank you. This suggests behaviour is a social construct.
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Shirbit Culture
Shrine in each home dedicated to the human body. They keep charms and magical potions for the face and body, obtained from medicine men.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Expected behaviour. Relative.



Card 3


Beliefs or principles. Relative. Underpin norms.


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Card 4


Traditional and regular norms. Associated with specific events and anniversaries.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Person’s position in society. Relative. Ascribed vs. achieved.


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