SOCPresentationSession2copy by wuyunyi



   Analyse impacts of sociological
factors on clients in community work
             and services
What we will do this week

1. Review last week
2. Presentations on your topic of
3. Culture
4. Inequality
5. Project work
6. Assessment & discussion of
issues of concern
• Review last week

  – Sociological perspective
  – History
  – Key theories
  – Socialisation
     • The family
     • Key influences
 Culture – “is the shared products
      of human society” (Robertson, 1989, 55)
• The UN definition of culture is the “set of
  distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual
  and emotional features of a society or a
  social group ...and that it encompasses addition to art and literature,
  lifestyles, ways of living together, value
  systems, traditions and beliefs”
                   ACTIVITY 1

       On a piece of paper make a list of:

•Family celebrations as a child
•Memories of food
•Your favourite foods now
•The social activities you participated in as a
•Your own family “rituals” & where they came
•Discuss with your partner
• Culture is transmitted from the past to
   each new generation (trans-
   generational) – the main way is through
   the socialisation (the primary influence
   is the family)
 - think about the first activity – what has
   been transmitted through to your own
   family from your grandparents time?
- Culture is transmitted to each
   generations through norms and values

What is Australian culture?

In small groups define Australian culture

Does Australia have it’s own culture? How is it different to the
  USA, China, Dubai, Aboriginal culture

How does it influence
• Life aspirations
• Roles of women/men
• Marriage
• Work
             Norms and values
• Norms and values are the building blocks of
• Norms are the shared rules or guidelines that
  prescribe the behaviour appropriate in a given
  situation – eg. Eating with a knife & fork,
  marrying one person at a time (Robertson, 1989, 62)
• Values are socially shared ideas about what is
  good, right & desirable – eg public, free
  education (Robertson, 1989, 64)
               Norms & values
• Norms are specific guidelines for different situations

• Values are abstract, general concepts such as
  freedom, fairness, democracy etc
• For example, if a country values education then it’s
  norms would support all students being able to go to
  a school (attendance 5 days a week, wouldn’t
  exclude particular social or economic groups from
  going to school etc)
             Norms & values

In pairs write down the following:
• What are some Australian values?
• What are the norms that support those?
Why is it important in Community Services Work
 to understand the causes and impacts of
 inequality in society?
Because we need to understand how are the personal experiences of
   individuals is explained by the social influences surrounding them

All societies treat their members differently
  depending on certain characteristics – eg. Age,
  religion, education, gender etc
• Is “the unequal sharing of such social rewards such as
  wealth, power and prestige” (Robertson, 1989, 253)
• Conflict view – inequality occurs because capitalist
  society is designed for profit by the few (system based)
• Functionalist view – is based on the ability &
  contribution & that it is normal & necessary (system
• Interactionist view – inequality is created by social
  labelling (people try & minimise anxiety by
  stereotyping) (Kellehear, 1991, 60-62)
       Key terms relating to inequality

•   Social inequality
•   Social stratification
•   Class
•   Power
•   Status
•   Social mobility
•   Poverty
  Key terms relating to inequality
Social inequality
• is the differing access to power and resources
  of a particular group – they are often labelled
  as disadvantaged

What are some groups that are commonly
 understood in Australia to be disadvantaged?
             Social stratification
Social stratification
• Is “the structured inequality of entire categories
  of people who have different access to social
  rewards as a result of their status in a social
  hierarchy” (Robertson, 1989, 254)
• 2 forms of stratification systems
   – Closed (Caste, an ascribed status determined by birth
     & you can’t change your status)
   – Open system (Class, an achieved status - more flexible
     & you can move up or down depending often on your
Modern Western countries have 3 main classes
• A small wealthy upper class
• Fairly large middle class – professionals or white collar workers
• Large working class – less skilled blue collar workers

Agricultural societies have 2 main classes
• A small & wealthy class of landowners
• A large and poor class of peasants

• What are some examples of each ?
• In pairs – Is Australia an classless society
Weber (German sociologist, 1946) separates
  class into 3 elements
• Economic status or wealth
• Political status or power
• Social status or prestige

Power is the ability to control the behaviour of
  others even without their consent

What are some situations where a Community
 Services Worker may have power over the
 people they are working with (with and
 without their consent?)
A position in society
– Ascribed status is one you have no control over – age, race,
– Prescribed status is one you have some control over –
  become a spouse, a member of a different religion or
  political party
Most societies have inequality among different statuses
eg the difference between the status of a supreme court
  judge & a fruit picker is huge! (Robertson, 1989, 91)

Make a list of the a range of occupations ranging from
 highest to lowest status

Would these rank similarly in India, East Timor,China or
 the USA?
                        Social mobility
Is the movement from one social status to another
- Exchange mobility – someone in a high status job
   gets downgraded to a lower status job
- Structural mobility – economic recession causes
   people to lose their jobs or vice versa
- Intergenerational mobility – where a fruit picker’s
   son becomes a high court judge
(Robertson, 1989,258)

- Can you think of some examples?
• Relative deprivation - The inability to maintain
  the living standards of society
• Absolute deprivation - The inability to afford
  minimum standards of shelter, health care,
  food etc (Robertson, 1989, 276,277)
• What is the poverty line in Australia?
• Who are the poor in Australia?
• Usually minority groups (CALD, indigenous,
  mental health issues, A&OD, criminals etc)
• Female headed households
• Children & young people

Are there other emerging groups in Australia
  experiencing poverty?
What about older people, self funded retirees, students?

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