Key concepts and processes of cultural transmission
The unwritten rules of society that determine acceptable behaviour, for example, queuing in a supermarket
A belief that something is worthwhile, for example, in British culture we value education
An individual’s social standing
A status which is fixed at birth, for example, being born into the royal family
A status with is earned, for example, Lord Sugar worked hard to achieve his status
A status that overrides all other statuses you may have
A part you play that is associated with particular norms and expectations
Where an individual has a number of different roles to fulfil
Where the demands of one role clash with the demands of other roles played
The way of life of a society
The way of life of a small group within wider society. Subcultures’ norms and values will often differ to those of the mainstream culture
The process whereby we learn the norms and values of the society into which we are born
Socialisation that happens largely within the family, during a child’s early years (0-5)
Socialisation that happens within other institutions, such as the media, education and peer group, from the age of 5 upwards
Children who have not been socialised and therefore do not behave as expected of human beings, for example, Oxana Malaya
The methods used during the socialisation process in order to learn the difference between right and wrong within our society
Formal social control
Written rules and laws enforced by powerful agents such as the police and courts
Informal social control
Carried out informally by family members, peers, teachers, etc. through means such as positive and negative body language
Rewards for good behaviour, for example, a star on a chart or a smile of approval
Punishment for bad behaviour, for example, being put on the naughty step or getting a detention
Agents of socialisation
The places or social groups involved in the socialisation process
Peers, education, media, workplace
Others of the same age
How we see ourselves and how others see us
How we behave according to our gender
A generalised and simplistic view of a group of people which ignores individual differences. They are often negative, for example, ‘women are bad drivers’
Acting in a way that society deems is typically male behaviour
Acting in a way that society deems is typically female behaviour
Marriage partners are selected by someone who is trusted, such as a parent or a matchmaker.
A family that is vertically extended but not horizontally extended.
Adult children return to the family home for financial or relationship reasons
Marrying someone while already married to another person.
The number of live births per 1000 of the population in a given year
Earns the family money
The way in which parents channel the child’s interests in activities or toys according to gender.
Cereal packet family
Another term for nuclear family
The child’s needs and wishes are the most important thing
Gives same sex couples similar legal rights to married couples
The practice of living together as a couple without getting married
A group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities
The roles played by husband and wife
The existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.
Dark side of the family
Refers to abuse within the family, particularly, but not exclusively, towards women and children
The number of deaths per thousand of the population per year
Any measurable change in the characteristics of a population over time
The legal ending of a marriage
Violent or aggressive behaviour within the home
When a person is responsible for two jobs, which is usually applied to women who are in paid work but also responsible for domestic labour
Dual worker families
When both partners contribute to the family income by having paid employment.
A family that doesn’t function as it should
The children have grown up and left home to begin their own adult lives
The caring, nurturing, homemaker role in the family
A marriage in name only, where a couple continues to live under the same roof but as separate individuals
A family in which relatives such as grandparents, aunts or uncles live in the same home as parents and their children
The idea that there is a range of different family types, rather than a single dominant one such as the nuclear family
A sociological perspective and political movement that focuses on women’s oppression and the struggle to end it
The total fertility rate is the average number of children women will have during their fertile years which is defined as age 15 to 45
Refers to the culturally created differences between men and women which are learnt through socialisation
Looks after the family home while the women work
A group of people who live together and share things such as meals, bills, facilities, chores or one person living alone
The breadwinner or provider role in the family, functionalists see this as the man’s role
The development of industries in a country or region on a wide scale
Joint conjugal roles
Husband and wife share the same roles in the family
A communal settlement in Israel
Sense of duty and feelings towards family members
How long you can reasonably expect to live
A society in which women dominate in family decision making
Society based on the mother as the head of the family or household
Modern nuclear family
Married or cohabiting couples with or without children
A form of marriage in which one woman and one man are married only to each other
A male who behave in a way that is not traditionally masculine
A married couple and their unmarried children living together
A family with one parent
Is a system in which males dominate in every area of society
A form of polygamy in which a woman can have several husbands at the same time
A form of marriage in which an individual can have several husbands or wives simultaneously
A form of polygamy in which a husband can have several wives at the same time
A step family in which one or both partners has children from a previous relationship
People who care for their children (or grandchildren) and their parents at the same time
The process through which religions influence on other social institutions decreases
Segregated conjugal roles
Men and women are expected to do different things in the home
A form of marriage in which a person can have several spouses in his or her lifetime but only one spouse at a time
Refers to the biological differences between men and women as opposed to culturally created gender differences
A nuclear family with more equal and joint conjugal roles in which husbands participate in domestic labour as well as being breadwinners and wives going out to work as well as being homemakers
A harmful or unpleasant childhood
Women who have jobs, do the housework and the caring side of family life
An action based on a prejudice e.g. racial discrimination
An unfavourable simplistic image of a group based on the behaviour of a small number of individuals from within that group
The middle class who have an interest in preserving capitalism
A system of economic organisations in which businesses are owned by private individuals who profit from the labour of the workers they employ
Members of society who are engaged in some form of manual work
Important parts of the structure of society maintained by social norms
Beliefs that are commonly shared by a particular social group
Ruling class ideology
The ideas and beliefs of the ruling class
A label applied to another individual that influences both their behaviour and the way that others respond to them.
When an individual accepts a particular label that has been applied to them by members of the wider society, that label becomes a master status that influences both the behaviour of the individual and the reaction of others
When an individual accepts the label that has been given to them by others and acts accordingly
Marketisation of education
Systems designed to encourage competition between schools in an attempt to raise standards
Negative sanctions are any form of penalty for unacceptable actions of an individual or group, while positive sanctions are applied for good behaviour
A process of learning that takes place outside the family, e.g family, school, workplace, religion and mass media
Common interests that bind people together
To be hostile towards another individual or social group based on previously formed opinions, frequently refers to racial prejudice
A theoretical perspective that focuses on small scale every day social interactions
The theory that many working class and black children are inadequately socialised and therefore lack the right culture needed for educational success
The knowledge, habits, and tastes learned from parents and family that individuals can use to gain access to educational success
The hopes and aspirations of parents for their children’s futures
Seeking pleasure now rather than making sacrifices in order to get rewards in the future
Giving up things in the present for the sake of greater gains in the future
The networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society;
Becky Francis argued that working class parents do not have the knowledge of the school system to get the best results for their children.
Factors to do with money and other material resources which might affect performance in education.
A social group whose members have interests, social position, and age in common
Patterns by which racial inequality is structured through key organisations, policies, and systems
Is used to refer to groups of pupils who reject the norms and values of school and reverse them so it is seen as negative to do well academically.
The informal and unofficial aspects of culture that children are taught in school, like punctuality and listening to authority
Boys are more concerned with the approval of their peer groups than academic success
Fee paying schools
A type of school attended by all children regardless of ability or aptitude.
A system in which promotion is based on individual ability or achievement
A social position that a person holds
Subjects and skills that are deliberately taught in school
Bowles and Gintis – Schools are run to train pupils into the skills that are needed by society’s work force
Attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behaviour
Methods used by a researcher to collect their own data, for example, interviews, observation, questionnaires, etc.
Methods used by a researcher to collect data that already exists, for example, official statistics
What you are going to research
A prediction of what you think you will find out from your research
A small-scale study carried out before a piece of research to identify any possible problems
A list of pre-set questions which are often used to collect data from a large sample
An interview which uses a pre-set list of questions
A very flexible interview which has no set questions
Where the researcher gets involved with the group they are observing
Where the researcher does not get involved with the group they are observing
Where the researcher does not let the people being studied know that they are being observed, for example, Laud Humphries ‘Tea Room Trade’
Where the researcher makes those being studied aware of their purpose
A method used by researchers to study the content of the media
Any form of communication, either written or technological, that allows transmission to many people. For example, magazines, newspapers, television.
The method used to choose a sample for a study
The sample group is chosen completely at random
Sampling every 5th, 10th or 15th name, for example, from the group being studied
The research population is divided into relevant groups, such as by gender and age, and a random sample is taken from each of these groups to generate more representative data
A researcher makes contact with one relevant respondent and then asks them to put them into contact with further respondents
Fit for purpose
Where the method chosen is thought to be the most suitable for the subject being studied
Using more than one research method
A detailed and in-depth study of one particular group or situation
Longitudinal cohort study
A study which is carried out on the same group of people over a long period of time
Ideas about what is morally right and wrong
BSA – British Sociological Association
They set standards about how research should be carried out
Confidentiality – privacy
It is important to assure those being studied that what they say will be kept confidential
Ensuring that those being studied are aware of the nature of the research and offer their consent
The way someone behaves
Ability to carry out a task
Data that is collected by the researcher themselves
Data that is collected by someone else, and used by the researcher
Numerical data such as statistics
Written data, such as quotes from an interview
The truthfulness and accuracy of data; the more accurate something is, the more valid it is
If the research can be repeated by another researcher and achieve the same results, then the research is reliable
Where the findings from a study can be generalised to a wider group of people
Where the sample used for a study is representative of the target population
Social Differentiation and Stratification
The uneven distribution of resources and opportunities.
The opportunities for success and failure in a person’s lifetime.
Someone’s position in society (often linked to wealth, prestige, power and influence)
The thoughts, attitudes, and feelings someone holds about someone based on little information.
Acting on prejudice, treating someone differently due to a certain characteristic.
The resources an individual or household receives over a certain period of time. Income may be in the form of wages, benefits or pension.
Everything somebody owns of monetary value. Often passed down the generations through inheritance or it can be built over one person’s lifetime.
When individuals or groups are able to participate in everyday events and opportunities in society and feel fully integrated and part of society.
When individuals or groups are unable to participate in everyday events and opportunities in society.
The Equality Act (2010)
Made all discrimination illegal.
Authority gained through the power of the leader’s personality.
When people do not have the basic necessities of life (e.g. food, clean water, shelter, heating, clothing).
When someone is poor compared to others in their society. People may not own what others take for granted.
Whether people feel poor or not.
The quality of life in a particular social environment or area (eg. close to healthcare, level of pollution, rates of unemployment, rates of crime, quality of schools).
The Deprivation Index
A list of indicators of society’s general ‘standard of living’, things that are considered necessities. This identifies the level of relative poverty.
The Poverty Line
A household is in relative poverty if its income is below 60% of the median household income.
When people feel left out of society
The process of bringing parts of the world closer together.
A social group whose members share an identity based on their cultural traditions, nationality, language or religion.
Ethnic Minority group
A group of people who share a cultural identity different from the general population
Prejudice and discrimination based on ethnicity.
When an organisation treats people according to their ethnicity – can be intentional or unintentional.
The Medical model
Disability is a problem for the individual/a negative thing. The disabled face everyday problems and worse life chances. Medical professionals try to fix the problem or help them through surgery, medicine etc.
The Social model
Disability is another difference, it is part of an individual’s identity. The problem is not the individual’s disability but the barriers society puts up. Society needs to change to allow access to services and facilities.
Crime and Deviance
Agencies of social control
Institutions that influence the process of social control – e.g. families, schools or the police
Individuals who feel that they have become separated from the wider society are said to be alienated – e.g. they lack power & control over their lives
A situation of normlessness in which the norms that usually regulate people’s behaviour break down
Behaviour that causes harassment, distress or alarm to other people (you can be given an ASBO – an anti-social behaviour order – for this)
The subculture created by girls, which allows them to develop communication skills within their own homes (McRobbie)
Crime produces a reaction from society, uniting its members against the wrongdoer & reinforcing their commitment to the shared norms & values
The idea that a male dominated police force & criminal justice system treats women offenders more leniently because of their gender
The shared beliefs & values that bind communities together & regulate individual behaviour
A theory such as functionalism that sees society based on agreement
The idea that people do not commit deviant acts because various factors control their impulse to break social norms
Crime committed by businesses that have a serious physical or economic impact on employees, consumers or the general public. It is motivated by the desire to increase profits
Any form of behaviour that breaks the law
A measure of the level of criminal activity in society based on crimes recorded by the police
Crime Survey for England & Wales
The CSEW is a large-scale victim survey conducted by the government to measure the amount of crime in England & Wales by asking people about crimes they have experienced in the last year
Criminal Justice System
A series of government agencies & institutions whose goals are to identify & catch criminals to punish them – e.g. the police, lawyers, courts, probation prisons
Where crime & deviance vary from one culture to another due to different expectations, norms, values & laws
A punishment that involves a criminal being put in custody – either in prison or in some other closed institution (e.g. a psychiatric hospital)
Dark figure of crime
The unknown amount of criminal activity that is not reported to or recorded by the police
Relatively minor crimes, especially committed by young people
Any form of behaviour that does not conform to dominant norms, ranging from behaviours that are simply disapproved of to criminal actions
The exaggeration of a particular social issue as a consequence of media coverage – e.g. antisocial behaviour by groups of young people – which can result in more deviance
A process that develops over time as the individual progresses through various stages of deviant behaviour, accepting & adopting external social labels – e.g. a young person who is labelled as a ‘trouble maker’ & who then goes on in later life to exhibit gradually more serious forms of criminal behaviour
An action based on prejudice – e.g. racial discrimination
Behaviour at the edge of what is normally allowed or accepted; risky or radical behaviour – e.g. stealing & racing a car (known as joyriding)
A person or group of people who are portrayed (e.g. by the media) as outsiders & deviant, who are blamed for crimes or other sorts of social problems. Can also be referred to as a ‘scapegoat’
Formal social control
Where our behaviour is controlled through organisations that exist to enforce order – e.g. the police
An informal barrier said to exist that prevents women from achieving senior positions in their chosen career
Crime based on prejudice towards another because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender
Government department responsible for immigration, security & law and order (e.g. the police, fire & rescue services, counter-terrorism & M15)
An offence where the defendant has the right to trial by jury – e.g. murder
Organisational procedures & practices that either intentionally or unintentionally discriminate against ethnic minorities
A sociological theory that, in relation to crime, tries to explain why only some people & some acts are defined as deviant or criminal, while others, carrying out similar acts, are not
When a label becomes a person’s controlling identity & influences both the behaviour of the individual & the reaction of others – e.g. a person is no longer a sister, colleague or neighbour but a drug addict
Ministry of Justice
Government department which has responsibility for courts, prisons & probation services
Exaggerated public concern created by media coverage of an event
The importance given to a particular event by newspaper editors or television producers
Official crime statistics
Government statistics on crime based on official sources, e.g. police records
Taking away someone’s freedom is the ultimate punishment in British society; British prisons vary from open institutions for low-level offenders to high security institutions for offenders who are convicted of serious offences & pose a risk to other members of society
The suspension of a prison sentence; convicted prisoners are allowed to leave prison & enter the wider community under supervision, provided that they follow certain conditions set by the court
Crime that is reported to & recorded by the police
The action of restoring something that has been damaged – e.g. re-integration of a criminal back into society so that there is less chance of reoffending
When an individual lacks the resources to do the activities that are widely available to the majority of people in the society in which they live
Crime that is reported to the police – not all reported crime is recorded
An individual or group that is blamed unfairly for a negative event
A survey that asks respondents to identify crimes they have committed, but for which they may not have been caught
Serious Fraud Office
Prosecutes serious or complex fraud & corruption and investigates a small number of large, economic crime cases
A sense of belonging to the wider society
Patterns of behaviour based on the norms & expectations of a society – crime is said to be socially constructed because what counts as a crime changes over time, place & culture
The process by which the members of a society are persuaded to conform to the rules of that society, e.g. the actions of the police who enforce the law (formal) & the disapproval of the other members of society (informal)
A sense of frustration arising in individuals or groups because they are denied status in society
An unfavourable simplistic image of a group based on the behaviour of a small number of individuals from within that group
A theory by Robert Merton that stems from functionalism which suggests that crime & deviance are evidence of a strain between the socially accepted goals of society & the socially approved means of obtaining those goals
Suggest that the cause of crime & deviance is located in the structure of society – both functionalism & Marxism are structural theories
A group with a distinctive set of values & behaviours who set themselves apart from the wider society
A survey that asks respondents about their experience of crime, regardless of whether or not those crimes have been reported
An act that is illegal but has no direct victim – e.g. illegal drug use
These are recorded as ‘violence against the person’, which covers more than 30 offences including grievous bodily harm (GBH), assault, kidnap, child abduction, harassment & threats to kill
White collar crime
Criminal acts committed by members of the middle class & linked to their employment – e.g. fraud
Crimes committed by individuals who are too young to be sent to an adult prison; in Britain, children aged 10 & above can be held responsible for their actions