Sociology (research methods, culture and identity)

  • Created by: sufle
  • Created on: 08-05-16 21:33
Covert role
When the researcher in a participant observation keeps his/her identity as a researcher concealed from the group being studied.
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Cultural capital
The knowledge, education, attitudes and values, and network of social contacts and lifestyle posessed by the upper and middle class which gives students who posess them an in-built advantage in a middle-class-controlled education system. (Bourdieu)
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Elaborated code
A form of language use involving careful explanation and detail. The language used by strangers and individuals in some formal context, eg. a job interview or textbook. (Bernstein)
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The shared culture of a social group which gives its members a common identity in some ways different from that of other groups
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A view of the world in which other cultures are seen through the eyes of one's own culture, with a devaluating of the others, eg. school subjects may concentrate on White British society/culture rather than that of other cultures.
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The view that examines the world from the point of women, couped with the belief that women are disadvantaged and their general interests ignored/devalued in society.
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Focus group
A form of group interview in which the group focuses on a particular topic to explore in depth and people are free to talk to one another as well as the interviewer.
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A sociological perspective which sees society as made up of parts which work together to maintain society as an integrated whole. Society is seen as fundamentally harmonious and stable, because of agreement on values established through socialisation
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Group interview
An interview in which the researcher interviews several people at the same time, with the researcher controlling the direction of the interview, and responses directed to her/him.
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The cultural framework and set of ideas posessed by each social class, into which people are socialised and which influences their tastes in music, films etc. Bourdieu argued the dominant class has power to impose its own habitus in education.
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Hawthorne effect
When the presence of the researcher, or a group's knowledge that it has been specially selected for research, changes the behaviour of the group, raising problems with the validity of social research.
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An idea which a researcher guesses might be true, but whuch has not yet been tested against the evidence
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Ideological state apparatuses
Agencies which serve to spread the dominant idelogy and justify the power of the dominant social class.
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Imposition problem
When asking questions in interviews or self-completion questionnaires, the risk that the researcher might be imposing their own views or framework on the people being researched, rather than getting at what they really think.
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Informed consent
The ethical requirement that those taking part in a sociological research study have agreed to do so, and have given this consent based on a full appreciation and understanding of what the research will entail and will be used for.
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A perspective that suggests that, to understand society, it is necessary to understand the meanings people give to their behaviour, and how these are influenced by the behaviour and interpretations of others.
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Interviewer bias
The answers given in an interview being influenced or distorted in some way by the presence or behaviour of the interviewer.
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Low/mass/popular culture
Commercially produced culture, involving cultural products produced for sale to the mass of ordinary people. Mass-produced and short-lived - require little thought or analysis.
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Macro approach
A focus on a large number of people and the large-scale structure of society as a whole, rather than on individuals
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Male gaze
Where men look at women as sexual objects
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A structural theory of society that sees society divided by conflict between two main opposing social classes, due to the private ownership of the mean of production and the exploitation of the non-owners by the owners.
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A broad all-embracing 'big theory' or explanation for how societies operate.
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Methological pluralism
The use of a variety of methods in a single piece of research
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Micro approach
A focus on small groups or individuals, rather than on large numbers of people and the structure of society as a whole.
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Middle class
Those in non-manual work - jobs which don't involve heavy physical effort, are usually performed in offices and involve paperwork or computer work of various kinds.
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An economic approach that suggests resources are more effectively managed by private businesses and advocates shifting public services eg. education to privitisation. Reduction of control by state.
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New Right
A political philosophy and approach associated with Conservatives. Stresses individual freedom and self-help, reduction of power of state, competition between schools etc and importances of traditional values.
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Overt role
Where the researcher in a participant observation study reveals his/her identity as a researcher to the group being studied.
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Particularistic values
Rules and values that give a priority to personal relationships.
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Male dominance, with men holding power and authority.
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Peer group
A group of people of similar status, and commonly age, whom a person regularly has contact with and often mixes with socially eg. friendship networks, school subcultures or contacts at work.
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Personal documents
Documents, which are usually private for a person's own use, which record part of a person's life.
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Sociological perspective
A set of theories which influences what is looked at when studying society.
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An approach in sociology that believes society can be studied using similar scientific techniques to those used in the natural sciences.
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An approach that stresses society is changing so rapidly and constantly that it is marked by chaos, uncertainty and risk, and is fragmented into different groups, interests and lifestyles. Cannot be understood with metanarratives.
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Primary data
Infomation which sociologists have collected themselves.
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Primary socialisation
Socialisation during the early years of childhood carried out in the family and close community.
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Services that were once provided by the state are transferred to private companies.
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The social class of workers who have to work for wages as they do not own the means of production
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The class owners of the means of production
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Public documents
Documents which are produced for public knowledge.
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Qualitative data
Infomation concerned with the feelings and meanings people associate with, and the interpretations they give to, some issue or event.
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Quantitative data
Infomation that can be measured and expressed in statistical/numerical form
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Whether another researcher, if repeating or replicating research using the same method for the same research on the same or a similar group, would achieve roughly the same result.
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Representative sample
A smaller group drawn from the survey population, of which it contains a good cross-section. It should provide roughly the same results as if the whole survey population had been surveyed.
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Restricted code
A form of language use which takes for granted shared understandings between people. Colloquial, everyday language used between friends, with limited explanation and the use of vocabulary.
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Ruling class
The social class of owners of the means of production, whose control over the economy gives them the power to rule over all aspects of society.
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Ruling-class ideology
The set of ideas and beliefs of the ruling class.
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A smaller representative group drawn from the survey population for studying.
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Sampling frame
A list of names of all those in the survey population from which a representative sample is selected.
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Sampling methods
The techniques sociologists use to select representative individuals to study from the survey population.
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Secondary data
Data which already exists and which the researcher hasn't collected him/herself.
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Secondary socialisation
Socialisation which takes place beyond the family and close community, such as through the education system, media and the workplace.
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Social class
A broad group of people who share a similar economic situation eg. occupation, income and ownership of wealth.
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Social cohesion
The bonds that bring people together and integrate them into a united society.
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Social institutions
The organised social arrangements which are found in all societies, eg family and the education system.
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Sociological perspective
A set of theories which influences what is looked at when studying society.
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A perspective which is concerned with the overall structure of society, and sees individual behaviour moulded by social institutions eg. family and the education system.
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A means of collecting primary data from large numbers of people, usually un a standardised statistical form.
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Survey population
The section of the population which is of interest in a survey.
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The use of two or more research methods a single piece of research to check the reliabilityy and validity of research evidence.
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The failure of individuals or groups to fulfil their potential - they do not do as well in education as their abilities and talents suggest they should
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Universalistic values
Rules and values that apply equally to all members of society, regardless of who they are.
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The extent to which the findings of research actually provide a true, genuine or authentic picture of what is being studied.
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Verstehen ('fair-shtay-en')
The idea of understanding human behaviour by putting yourself in the position of those being studied, and trying to see things from their point of view.
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Achieved status
Status which is achieved through an individual's own efforts.
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Refers to a sense of normlessness often found in periods of rapid social change and other disruptions of the routines and traditions of everyday social life.
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Ascribed status
Status which is given to an individual at birth and usually can't be changed.
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The use of readily available ordinary objects to make something new eg. bin liners and toilet chains to create a new distinctive punk identity.
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The social class of owners of the means of production in industrial societies, whose primaary purpose is to make profits.
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Cereal packet family
The stereotype of the ideal family found in the media, which is similar to the nuclear family.
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Class conflict
The conflict that arises between different social classes. It is generally used to describe the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in Marxist views of society.
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Class conciousness
An awareness in members of a social class of their real interests.
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Cultural homogenisation
The process whereby the seperate characteristics of two or more cultures are lost or erased, and become blended into one uniform culture.
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The language, beliefs, values etc which combine to make up the way of life in any society.
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Culture clash
A difference and conflict between the cultural values of the home and those of educational institutions.
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Culture of hybridity
A culture that is a mix of two or more cultures, creating a new culture.
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Norms which have existed for a long time.
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Failure to conform to social norms.
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The dispersal of an ethnic population from its original homeland and its spreding out across the world, while retaining cultural and emotional ties to its area or nation of origin.
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A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
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Dominant culture
The main culture in a society which is shared or at least accepted without opposition by the majority of people.
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Dominant ideology
The set of ideas and belies of the most powerful groups in society, which influence the ideas of the rest of society.
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Small group of people holding great power and privilege in society.
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Leaving the usual country of residence for another country for a period of at least a year, so that the country of destination becomes the one of usual residence.
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Principles or ideas about what is morally right and wrong.
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The shared culture of a social group which gives its members a common identity in some ways different from that of other groups.
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Expressive role
The nuturing, caring and emotional role, often seen by functionalists as women's natural role in the family.
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Folk culture
The culture created by local communities that is rooted in the experiences, customs and beliefs of everyday life of ordinary people.
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Functional prerequisites
The basics needs that must be met if society is to survive.
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The culturally created differences between men and women which are learned through socialisation.
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Gender identity
How people see themselves, and how others see them, in terms of their gender roles and biological sex.
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Global culture
The similarities of cultures in different countries of the world, sharing increasingly similar consumer products and ways of life.
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The growing interconnectedness of societies across the world, with the spread of the same culture, consumer goods and economic interests across the globe.
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The influence of global features on local communities, cultures and identities, and the interaction between them.
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The processes leading to the permanent intertwining of the global with the local.
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Hegemonic identity
An identity that is so dominant that it makes it difficult for individuals to assert alternative identities.
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The acceptance of the dominant class idelogy by the rest of society, as a result of the power of the ruling class to persuade others to accept annd consent to its ideas.
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Hybrid identity
An identity formed from a mix of two or more other identities.
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How individuals see and define themselves and how other people see and define them.
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A set of ideas, values and beliefs that represent the outlook, and justify the interests, of a social group.
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Entering another country for a period of at least a year, so that country becomes the one of usual residence.
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Some loss, limitation or difference of functioning of the mind or body, on a long term or permanent basis, either one is born with or arises from injury.
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Impression management
The way individuals try to convince others of the identity they wish to assert by giving particular impressions of themselves to other people.
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Instrumental role
The breadwinner role in the family, often associated by functionalists with men's role in family life.
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Official legal rules, formally enforced by police etc, involving legal punishment if broken.
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Life chances
The chances of obtaining those things defined as desirable and of avoiding those things defined as undesirable in a society.
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Life course
The various significant events indivuals experience as they make their way through life, and the choices they make and the meanings they give to events eg. marriage and divorce.
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Master status
The dominant status of an individual which overrides all other characteristics of that person.
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Minority ethnic group
A social group which shares a cultural identity which is different in some respects from that of the majority population of a society.
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A sense of pride and commitment to a nation, and a very strong sense of national identity.
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Groups with very loose, fluid boundaries and an ever-changing floating membership, that only exist when they come together for particular lifestyle rituals eg clubbing.
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Social rules which define correct and approved behaviour in a society or group.
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Nuclear family
A family with two generations of parents and children, living together in one household.
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Pilot survey
A small-scale practise survey carried out before the final survey to check for any possible problems.
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Privatised nuclear family
A self-contained, self-reliant and home-centered family unit that is seperated and isolated from its extended kin and local community life.
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Reflexive self
The way an individual's identity is formed and develops through a process of reflecting on, or thinking about his/her identity in interaction with other individuals and the agencies of socialisation.
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The learning of appropriate new norms and values to enable people to operate in a changed social environment when they enter a new and different society or social situation, or when their life circumstances otherwise change.
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The patterns of behaviour which are expected from individuals in society.
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Social control
The process of persuading or forcing individuals to conform to values and norms.
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Social solidarity
The integration of people into society through shared values, a common culture and social ties that bind them together.
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Social structure
The network of social institutions and social relationships that form the 'building blocks' of society.
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The process of learning culture in any society.
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Amount of prestige someone has in the eyes of other members of a group or society.
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Status frustration
A sense of frustration arising in individuals or groups because they are denied status in society.
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A generalised, oversimplified view of the features of a social group, allowing for few individual differences between members of the group.
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Any undesirable physical or social characteristic that is seen as abnormal or unusual in some way and stops them from being fully accepted by society.
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Stigmatised identity
An identity that is in some way undesirable or demeaning, and excludes people from full acceptance in society.
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A smaller culture held by a group of people within the main culture of a society, in some ways different from the main culture, but with many aspects in common.
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Subculture of resistance
A subculture that not only has some differences from the dominant culture, but is also in active opposition to it.
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Tourist gaze
The viewing and experiencing of objects and locations with curiosity and interest, organised by professional tourism experts to provide pleasurable experiences for tourists that are different from everyday life.
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Value consensus
A general agreement around the main values of a society.
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Value freedom
The idea that beliefs and prejudices of the sociologist should not be allowed to influence the way research is carried out and evidence interpreted,
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General beliefs about what is right or wrong, and about the important standards which are worth maintaining and achieving in any society.
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White mask
Non-white minority ethnic group seeking to overcome prejudice and racism and gain acceptance in white society by playing down their own ethnicity and culture, adopting features of majority white culture.
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The process whereby some people are pushed by lack of education, disability and so forth and so are on the edges of society, and are unable to take part in the life enjoyed by the majority of citizens
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Card 2


Cultural capital


The knowledge, education, attitudes and values, and network of social contacts and lifestyle posessed by the upper and middle class which gives students who posess them an in-built advantage in a middle-class-controlled education system. (Bourdieu)

Card 3


Elaborated code


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Preview of the front of card 5
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