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           Year 10 Sociology
            Studying Society
                                    Unit 1
                             Section a

         Homework revision

  Deadline date ______________________________
What is sociology?

Sociology is the systematic study of societies. It looks at how people live, behave and work together in groups. It asks
questions about the world that we live in and tries to explain why it is the way it is. It is concerned with the study of
social institutions. These are the organised social arrangements which are found in all societies.

Nature versus nurture
        This debate is very important to the study of sociology and socialisation. This is because sociologists are
         trying to explain social behaviour in humans.

        The debate focuses on whether our behaviour is determined by our genes or by the society and culture in
         which live.

        When sociologists talk about nature they are referring to what a person inherits through their genes.

        Each individual inherits 50% of their genes from her/his mother and 50% from his/her father.

        Genes determine such things as what sex we will be and the colour of our eyes.

        Biologists have also argued that genetic influence can explain social behaviour. For example, some have
         argued that aggression or male and female behaviour are inherited.

        If we use the term instinct we mean that behaviour is passed on through the genes from parents to children.


         When sociologists talk about nurture they are referring to all the social behaviours we learn through the
          socialisation process.
         This means the things we do are a result of what we have learned.
         This means that our experiences and our environment play a large part in shaping our behaviour.
         Our social behaviours come from the expectations and guidelines found within each society or culture.

Examples of the nature versus nurture debate
Given below are examples of different kinds of social behaviour. Each can be explained through nature or nurture.

Female and male behaviour
Most of us would agree that in many situations we expect male and female behaviour to differ. Consider the following
questions designed to test whether males and females behave differently:

         Write in your answers to the following questions.

   In your experience, is a man or a woman more likely to cry at a sad film? Why?

   Is a firefighter more likely to be a man or a woman? Why?

   Is a man or a woman more likely to wear make-up? Why?

   When a heterosexual couple are in a car together, is the man or the woman more likely to be driving? Why?

Student Activity:
       Which of the following statements describes nature and which nurture? Write the correct answer in the
   Behaviour which is learned.
   Behaviour which is the result of genes.



          Below are four statements. Two statements support the nature side of the debate and two statements
          support the nurture side of the debate. Choose the correct statements below and write them in the spaces

   Humans have basic drives that are determined by their genes.

   There are many differences in social behaviour between societies and cultures.

   Social behaviour comes from what a society sees as important and normal.

   Genes determines such things as eye colour and what sex a person will be. It can also influence social

Two statements that support the nature side of the debate are:


Two statements that support the nurture side of the debate are:


What is socialisation?

         Socialisation is the way in which we learn the social aspects of behaviour.
         It includes the way we think and behave.
         Socialisation is life long. It starts at birth and continues until death.

What do we learn in the socialisation process?

         We learn the culture of our society. This includes: beliefs, dress and language.
         Sociologists use technical words to describe the things we learn. Some words you might come across in
          your studies are: social norms, values and roles.
Different types of socialisation
There are also different types of socialisation. Again, sociologists have technical words to describe these different
types of socialisation.

Primary socialisation

      Socialisation begins as soon as you are born.
      The people who have the most influence in the first few years of your life are your immediate family
      The socialisation that goes on at this time is known as primary socialisation.

Secondary socialisation

      As the child starts to grow up they are influenced by people who are not their immediate carers.
      When a child is about five they go to school, they may make friends or join clubs.
      The socialisation that goes on outside the immediate family is known as secondary socialisation.

Formal socialisation

      Some of our learning take place in a particular way. For example, we learn the skills of reading, writing
       and counting in school.
      These types of skills are seen as necessary in our society because they help us communicate and get a
      This type of socialisation is known as formal socialisation.

Informal socialisation

      Many of the things we learn are picked up from copying others, listening to things we are told by our
       friends or through the media.
      This type of socialisation is going on all the time and is known as informal socialisation.

Importance of the socialisation process

      Sociologists think socialisation is important because it helps to keep social order.
      Some have argued that for society to exist and survive people have to find a way to live together without
       constant fighting. Also, large societies cannot rely on the forces of law and order to keep the peace and
       make sure people obey the rules.
      The socialisation process allows people to learn the rules of society and to see what happens if these
       rules are broken.
      All sociologists see socialisation as very important. They disagree on whether it benefits everyone in
       society or whether it gives some groups more advantages than others.
        Which of the statements below describes primary socialisation and which describes secondary
        socialisation? Write your answer in the box provided.
This type of socialisation tends to happen as the child grows up and
involves people other than the immediate family.

This type of socialisation takes place in the first few years of life and
involves immediate family and carers.

Write down two things you have learned through formal socialisation. E.g How to read and write.



Write down two things you have learned through informal socialisation. E.g How to share



Think of two examples of the way in which the way you have been socialised into UK society/culture. E.g I use a
knife and fork when eating.



Think of two ways in which men and women may be socialised differently.

      Males                                                     Females
E.g   Little boys are given active toys to play with            Little girls are given more passive toys to play with.



Feral children – case studies

One way of studying the process of socialisation is to look at a number of cases of ‘wild children’. These are children
who, for one reason or another, have been deprived of normal human contact. The following examples are taken from
different sociological and anthropological studies. They describe what the children were like when found and how
they developed after normal social contact.

Further details of other case studies can be found at for those of you who are really interested
in this.
Kamala and Amala

          The case of Amala and Kamala was recorded in the 1920s in India. They were found living ‘wild’ and were
           looked after by a minister and his wife who ran an orphanage.
          Amala was about two years old and Kamala was eight when they were found. Amala died soon after she
           was found. Kamala lived until she was about seventeen.
          The children were reported to have had an acute sense of smell, would howl at night and eat directly out of
           a bowl. Kamala was not toilet trained and hated clothes.
          Although they did play with one of the smaller children they ended up biting him so he became afraid.
          Kamala did form bonds of affection with the minister's wife and Kamala was obedient and listened to what
           she said, although not to others.
          Kamala also learned to speak, but only in a very limited way. She also learned to walk and use her hands
           when eating.


          This boy was found in a forest in India when he was five years old.
          When he was found he did not like people and preferred to play with the dogs. He did not like the sun and
           preferred the shadows. At night he was restless and they had to tie him up. He ate raw meat such as
          He did develop his own sign language such as flapping his hands to mean ‘chicken’.

The wild boy of Aveyron

          In 1800, a boy of about 12 years of age was found in a forest in the South of France. He did not appear to
           have any parents and was taken to an orphanage. He was then put into the care of a doctor who wanted
           to study his progress.
          When he was first found he could not speak. He did make strange noises and would howl in the dark. He
           hated wearing clothes, was not toilet trained and he appeared not to feel cold or heat. He was observed to
           go out and play in the snow with no clothes and apparently he did not suffer from this – in fact, he seemed
           to enjoy it.
          He lived until he was about forty years old. During this time he did learn some words. He also learned to
           use the toilet, wear clothes and dress himself. However, he never developed fully.


          Isabelle was born to a mother who could not speak or hear. She stayed with her mother for the first six
           years of her life in a dark room.
          When she was first found she was very fearful of strangers – in particular men. She could not speak
           although she did make a ‘croaking sound’.
          In time she did develop speech and other social behaviour.

       Genie was found in 1970 when she was 13 years old. Her father had died and her mother was almost
        totally blind. Social workers discovered she had spent most of her life tied to a chair in one room. She had
        very little contact with other members of the family. Genie was discouraged from making any sounds.
       She had not been fed properly and could not stand up straight.
       Genie could not talk. She did not understand language. She used the toilet where she liked and hit and
        scratched herself. She often used touch and smell to find out about objects. She could not walk properly
        when she was found but developed this through time.
       Although she did learn some words, she never learned to speak fully. She found grammar difficult
        although she had words for colours and shapes which surprised her carers. She did learn social habits
        and appeared to form affectionate bonds with her carers.
       She is still alive but her development is unknown.

       Read the above case studies on the wild children. Think about the types of things they did. Write a few
statements in the box below on the different types of behaviour that were reported.

Behaviour that might be considered natural or animal:

Social norms, values and roles

Definition of social norms
       Sociologists use this term to describe forms of behaviour that are commonly found in a society or culture.
       It can be actual behaviour or expected behaviour.

Examples of social norms in UK society include:

       eating with a knife or fork
       calling our parents mother and father
       going out to work to earn money.
Breaking social norms

       Most societies disapprove of people who break social norms. Behaviour which goes against the norms of
        society is known as deviant behaviour.
       In some cases deviant behaviour may be punished in a formal way, such as being fined or put in prison.
       In other cases people who break social norms are rejected by those around them, such as people refusing
        to speak to them.
       Sometimes people just think some social behaviour is odd, but they do not try to stop a person behaving in
        a particular way. For example, at one time people who were vegetarians seemed odd because most
        people ate meat. Nowadays, more and more people are vegetarian and it no longer seems odd.

Social norms and socialisation
       The socialisation process is the way we learn the social norms of our society.
       Social norms are passed on to us by our parents, grandparents, other family, carers, teachers, club
        leaders, friends, religious leaders, etc.
       Other ways include what we read and see in newspapers, on television and in films.

Different social norms
       In large-scale societies some social norms may be different for different groups.
       In a large-scale multi-cultural society different groups might have different beliefs and practices. The social
        norms for one group may not be the same as another. This could include the way we dress, what we eat
        and who we can marry.

Definition of values
       Values are the general guidelines that underpin the social norms.
       Values are the things that people value and think are important in a society.

Examples of values
Values include things such as:

    justice ,co-operation ,competition, getting to the top, democracy, loyalty, being wealthy, kindness.

Does everyone have the same values?
       Some sociologists(functionalists) think that shared values are the cement of society and keep it together.
       However, do all people in a society share the same values? For example, do rich people and poor people
        have the same values? Do people in the north of Britain have the same values as those in the south? Do
        men and women share the same values? What about young people and older people – do they share the
        same values?

Values and social order
       Some would say that passing on values to each new generation is the most important aspect of keeping a
        society together. (functionalists)
       Others say that values are one way of making sure the most powerful groups in society keep control of that
        society. In this view not everyone shares the same values. (Marxists)
Social roles


       A social role is a position a person holds in society. Each role has expectations and behaviours associated
        with it.
       For example, if you have the role of ‘friend’, you are expected to give support, go on social outings and listen
        to the things your ‘friends’ have to tell you.

Aspects of social roles

All social roles involve: what we do, the way we act, the way we interact, obligations, rights, duties and
responsibilities, the way we see ourselves, the way others see us.

Changes in social roles

Social roles change and increase as we go through life. For example:
    From the moment you are born you are a child, but also a brother/sister, son/daughter, a grandchild, a
    As you grow up you take on other roles. For example, you become a school pupil or a friend. You may
         become a Cub Scout or a Brownie, or you may become a team member
    As you get older your roles continue to change and develop. For example, as you become an adolescent or
         teenager you may become a boyfriend or girlfriend.
    When you leave school, your roles change again. You may become a worker or a college or university
         student. If you meet someone you want to live with in a romantic relationship, you may become a partner,
         wife or husband.
    As you move on through life more changes may occur. You may become an aunt/uncle, mother/father and
         then grandfather/grandmother.

Social roles and socialisation
       We learn roles through the socialisation process. This can be through playing, observing and practicing. For
        example, when we are children we play at being a nurse or fireman.
       We also observe adults so we learn how mothers, fathers and teachers behave.
       When we go to school, we learn how to respect authority and work when we are told. This is a way of
        practicing for our role as worker in later life.

Social roles and social order

       Social roles are also important for social order in society. If we behave as others expect then interactions
        with others becomes predictable.
       Think about the roles of doctor and patient. If you go to the doctor you expect him/her to listen to what is
        wrong with you and give you treatment. You would not expect your doctor to lie down on the couch and
        start telling you his/her troubles. In the same way, the doctor expects you to listen and follow the treatment
        he/she recommends.

Definition of culture

When sociologists use the term, ‘culture’, they mean all the social aspects of a society. This includes:

                        language                dress                   traditions              beliefs
                        customs                 history                 norms                   values
What is UK culture?

       It is sometimes easier to identify these social aspects of culture in small-scale societies rather than in large-
        scale societies.
       For example, think about the United Kingdom. How would you describe UK culture?
       Does everyone dress the same? Different ages and different ethnic groups may dress differently.
       What about language? Each area of the United Kingdom may have its own dialect. There are also several
        languages spoken in the United Kingdom, eg. Gaelic is spoken by a small number of people in Scotland,
        and about a quarter of the population of Wales speak Welsh as a first language. People from minority ethnic
        backgrounds may continue to speak the first language of their family, as well as English
       What about beliefs? Not everyone believes the same thing. Church attendance has fallen among Christian
        religions and many people have beliefs in other religions or ways of life.

Culture and socialisation
       Our culture is passed on through the socialisation process. We are not born with culture but into one,
        where we learn about all its aspects as we grow up.
       In this way, the culture of a society is passed on from one generation to the next.

Culture and social order
       Having a shared culture can help keep society together because the members of society have common
        beliefs, traditions, language and so on.

        Fit the following statements into the correct boxes on the grid below:

   type of behaviour expected in a society                          examples would include language, dress, customs,
                                                                      history, beliefs and values

   can be formal or informal
                                                                     positions in society that have expectations and
                                                                      ways of behaving
   examples are justice, equality, co-operation,
                                                                     it is passed on from one generation to the next

   addressing your parents as mother or father
                                                                     eating with a knife and fork

   it will influence interactions, responsibilities, rights
                                                                     all the social aspects found in a society

   examples would include mother, brother, doctor,
    teacher, student, daughter, friend                               these are the general guidelines that influence the
                                                                      social norms of a society.

            Description                                          Example




Read the following article from The Guardian and complete the table that follows.

                                       For copyright reasons, this image is unavailable
         Describe the comparative experience in the UK to each example of Masai culture.

                       Masai culture                                                   UK culture

Girls can marry at age 10

It is believed that girls should marry soon after the onset
of puberty.

Masai fathers arrange their daughter’s marriage.

Girls are exchanged for 1 cow, a crate of beer and 40
litres of home-brewed alcohol

Masai men may have as many wives as possible.

A woman’s education should come from her mother, not            In the UK, it is compulsory that both boys and girls
from school                                                     attend school up to the age of 16.

Write down some of the things you have learned in school or education.

Write down a list of things you have learned outside school or education.

Which of the above two lists do you feel has had the most influence on you and why?

Social Stratification:

What is Social Stratification?

Social stratification is a way of organising society, like rungs on a ladder or layers of rock.

Social stratification can be organised in terms of:

           Class         Gender        Race and Ethnicity         Age     Disability

Social stratification creates a hierarchy – the group who are better off at the top and the least well off group at the

Social Stratification and Inequality

Social Stratification creates inequalities – for example due to a person’s social class. The higher the social class the
better off they are likely to be in terms of money, housing, material goods, education and health.

Social Stratification:

Life chances

Depending on your position in the class system you will have different levels of:

        health                        income and wealth           education                    life expectancy
        infant mortality              housing                     goods ownership              access to leisure.

Social Stratification and Life Chances
The higher a person or group is within the category of stratification, the better their life chances are.

Life chances are how we get on: our opportunities in income, wealth, health, education and status.

Social Stratification:

Closed systems

Using the websites linked below, write a brief explanation or draw a picture/diagram of the stratification system in
each society


caste system


Social Class:

                            Using the link below, watch this classic comedy sketch to make you think about social
                            class in our society


Thinking point:

How can we measure social class? How do we know which social class a person is in?
Social Class

Can be based on:

                   a person’s        income              a person’s job                       a person’s position in
                    and wealth                                                                   society.

The Government measure our social class based on:

                   occupation                            income                               status.

There are also other, more informal indicators of social class.

These might include:

                   accent/grammar – the way people                          education – the type of school, eg.
                    speak                                                     private or state, university, etc.
                   shopping – where people shop, goods                      entertainment/leisure – what people
                    they buy, etc.                                            do for fun?
                   holidays – where people go on                            district/area people live in
                    holiday, length of holiday, etc.
                   type of house –
                    detached/terrace/semi; bought or

How can we measure social class?

The Government uses the system below: National Statistics Socio- Economic Classification (NS SEC)

1. Higher managerial and professional occupations.

1.1. Employers and managers in larger organisations (eg. company directors, senior company managers, senior civil servants,
senior officers in police and armed forces).

1.2. Higher professionals (eg. doctors, lawyers, clergy, teachers and social workers).

2. Lower Managerial and professional occupations (eg. nurses and midwives, journalists, actors, musicians, prison officers, lower
ranks of police and armed forces).

3. Intermediate occupations (eg. clerks, secretaries, driving instructors, telephone fitters).

4. Small Employers and ‘own-account’ workers (eg. publicans, farmers, taxi drivers, window cleaners, painters and decorators).

5. Lower supervisory, craft and related occupations (eg. printers, plumbers, television engineers, train drivers, butchers).

6. Semi-routine occupations (eg. shop assistants, hairdressers, bus drivers, cooks).

7. Routine occupations (eg. couriers, labourers, waiters and refuse collectors).

8. Plus an eighth category to cover those who have never had paid work, and the long-term unemployed.
Complete the following activity by making a note of the effect social class has on the following areas:

                                                 Low social class                     High social class

 Food and clothing


 Consumer Goods



Social Mobility

Britain is an open social system – this means that people can move up and down social classes.

If people increase their income, wealth and status they can move up the ladder of social class.

For example, a person could begin their working life as a hairdresser (the government classifies this as social class
6) but they then attend evening classes to gain more qualifications and in time become a lecturer in Hairdressing at a
further education college (the government classifies this as social class 1). He or she has moved up the social class

This is called Upward Social Mobility.

However, if people lose wealth, income or status they can move down the hierarchy.

For example, if a person who owns their own small business in plumbing (the government classify them as social
class 4) loses this business and goes back to work as a plumber employed by another business they will have moved
down the social class scale (the government classify them as social class 5).

This is called Downward Social Mobility.

      1. Make a list of all the changes in a person’s life that could result in them moving up the
         hierarchy of social class.
      2. Make a list of all the changes in a person’s life that could result in them moving down
         the hierarchy of social class.

            Things resulting in upward mobility                          Things resulting in downward mobility

Types of social mobility

Intragenerational mobility
This is when mobility happens within a generation.

This is measured by comparing the occupation of a person at two or more points in their life. For instance if a person
starts off their working life as a cleaner and within ten years is employed as a teacher, they have achieved social
mobility – intragenerational mobility.

Intergenerational mobility
This is where mobility happens between generations.

We can measure this by comparing the occupation of children with their parents.

For example if the son of a building labourer becomes a doctor, he has achieved social mobility – intergenerational

Sociologists disagree about the amount of social mobility that exists in the UK. These disagreements are related to
two issues:

1. Theories about class and class conflict.
2. Problems concerning the measurement of social mobility.

Theories about the formation of class and class conflict

As you have already studied (or will study), sociologists have differing theories about the formation of class and class

Marxists for example view class in relation to ownership of the means of production; this means ownership of
industry, factories, banks, etc. Simply put – you are either in the class that owns and controls the country’s wealth, or
you are not.

Marxists use the term ‘exploitation’ to describe the relationship between the class who own the means of production
– the bourgeoisie – and the people who work for a living –the proletariat. They claim that the bourgeoisie try to keep
the wages of the proletariat as low as possible so that they can make as much profit as possible.

So, for Marxists the interests of these classes are opposite to each other. The
bourgeoisie want to increase profits and the proletariat want to increase their wages
–Marxists argue you can’t really do both.
Functionalists, however, take a very different view of class.

Functionalists see class as necessary – we need class to make society run effectively. They claim that in our society,
to get the best people to do the best jobs we have to pay some people more money than others. Functionalists claim
that this is fair because we live in a meritocracy – this means that we all have the opportunities to do well in education,
to get a well-paid job and to become wealthy. All we have to do is take these chances and work hard.


This is a term that means ‘becoming bourgeois’ or ‘becoming middle class’.

The term has been used as the basis of a theory that suggests that the manual working class are becoming more like
the middle class. The argument is that all industrial societies have seen an increase in equality and affluence since the
end of the Second World War. For example, increased salaries, greater job security, and higher disposable income.
These changes have eroded the distinctive values and lifestyle of the working class.

As the incomes of the working class have increased, so have their capacity to buy consumer goods such as mobile
phones, PCs, iPods, cars and their own homes. Those who put forward the theory of embourgeoisement argue that
working class people are also adopting middle-class values and lifestyles to match their incomes.

Old class structure                                                  Class structure –

                                     Changed to

Which statements are true and which are false? Tick (or put an x) the correct box.

Statement                                                                            True    False
Social classin Britain is an open system.

Social class means that everyone in the UK is treated fairly.

Social class is only based on your parents’ job and income.

People from lower class backgrounds live longer than middle class people.

It is easy to measure social class

Social Mobility means moving up and down the ladder of social class.

There is no social mobility in the UK.
Social class is based on a person’s income, job and status.

There is a huge amount of social mobility in the UK.

People from middle class backgrounds tend to gain more qualifications at
school than people from lower class backgrounds.

Sex and Gender:

People often talk about gender and sex as if they are the same thing but sociologists do not.

    Sex                                                 Gender
    Physical features – sexual organs and genetic       What is considered to be masculine and what
    make-up.                                            is feminine.

    A person’s sex is determined during                 The way men and women are expected to
    conception.                                         behave. This can vary over time and between
    Men and women have different sexual organs
    and reproductive systems.

Stratification is often based on what a society thinks is acceptable or unacceptable. This can include things such as
our behaviour, emotions, work and roles.

Sociologists challenge the view that this is entirely due to sex and say differences are not biological but social.

We learn how to be ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.

Socialisation is the term used to describe the ways we learn our behaviour.

Sociologists claim that we learn our gender-roles through socialisation – firstly from our families and then at school,
from our peers, from the media and at work.

Gender-roles are the specific ways that men and women are expected to behave. Gender-roles affect the way we
speak and dress, the feelings we feel we can express, the work we are expected to do in and outside the home.

There is lots of evidence to back this up. For instance it has been shown that boys and girls are brought up differently
from the moment they are born. In the UK, for example, baby boys are commonly dressed in blue and girls in pink.


    Complete the table below by making a list of characteristics we commonly identify as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’

     Masculine                                         Feminine
Gender Inequalities


At the moment in the UK women are doing better in education than men are.

Girls in school are achieving better qualifications at Standard Grade and Higher Still levels. There are also more
women than men going on to higher education.


Many women are still doing subjects that are ‘stereotyped’ as ‘girls’ work’ or ‘women’s work’, such as childcare
courses and social subjects.

Success in education is still not leading to promotion and jobs at higher managerial levels. Many women are still
employed in work which brings in less money and requires less skill, for instance lower grade clerical jobs and work in
the retail and service sector. A recent study by the Equal Opportunities Commission estimated that it will take another
100 years for women’s wages to be equal to that of men doing similar or the same job.

In 2001 a study of women’s occupations found that women’s employment is concentrated in a narrow range of jobs.
44% of women work part-time, mainly to accommodate family responsibilities – few high paid jobs allow for part-time

    Answer the following questions:

    1. Which subjects in school, colleges and universities do you feel are stereotyped as ‘masculine’
       or ‘feminine’ subjects or courses?

    2. Why despite their success in education do many women end up in lower grade/lower paid


There are laws in the UK that are designed to help women to achieve equality at work:

The Sex Discrimination Act

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their gender and covers most areas of life
as well as work. It is illegal to refuse a person a job because they are male or female.

The Equal Pay Act

This law makes it illegal to pay people of different genders different pay if they are doing the same job.

However, despite the law there are still inequalities in women’s pay and in the type of work they do.

For instance in schools, the majority of teachers are women but the majority of promoted staff (Deputy Head Teachers
and Head Teachers) are men.

In the UK Parliament less than 30% of MPs are women

78% of top managerial positions are held by men, compared to 20% held by women.

Due to childcare responsibilities, women often take part-time jobs or make job-share arrangements. Many
professional/high earning jobs do not allow for this and so they can be forced into work that is not at the level they are
qualified and trained for.

Career breaks to have a family can also affect women’s chances of promotion.
Family Life

In the UK many women work, either full-time or part-time.

However, although many men now help out with household chores, the bulk of the work and responsibility for it is still
carried out by women.

Women also have the largest responsibility for childcare.

    Answer the following questions:

    1. From your experience, do you feel that men and women equally share household tasks?

    2. From your experience, do you feel men and women equally share childcare responsibilities?

There are several different versions of Feminism – Liberal Feminism, Marxist Feminism, Radical Feminism and Black
Most share some common features:

   Many feminists see society as being patriarchal, that is, dominated by men. Many feminists argue that men have
    the most power in families and tend to have better jobs in terms of pay and status.
   Most feminists feel that until recently sociology has neglected women – that until the 1970s there was very little
    written about women and the issues that concern women (eg. housework and women’s health). A number of
    feminists criticise what they call ‘malestream’ sociology – male dominated sociology.

    Complete the table below by writing one statement that describes the effects of gender stratification on women for each
    social life given:

     Area of social life                                       Effect of stratification on women




Race and Ethnicity: UK Today

    Ethnicity is a form of stratification.
    Ethnicity can affect life chances.

In the UK the population is made up of many different ethnic groups.

The 2001 census showed the UK population.

                                                   % of UK Population
Ethnic Identity
White                                              92.8

Black – Caribbean                                  0.9

Black – African                                    0.7

Black – other                                      0.5

Indian                                             1.8

Pakistani                                          1.2

Bangladeshi                                        0.5

Chinese                                            0.2

Other                                              1.4

Population of UK – 2001 Census

Ethnic minority groups now make up around 7% of the UK population.

    Convert the data from the table above into a pie chart and paste it into your work below

In the past, immigration played a great part in shaping the UK’s ethnic composition. However, nowadays immigration
is responsible for fewer and fewer of the minority ethnic population living in the UK. Most members of ethnic minority
groups were born in the UK.

Ethnic minority groups now make up around 7% of the          In the UK today 62% of those from Caribbean origin had
UK population                                                been born in UK.
Similarly 47% of those from Indian backgrounds were          44% of those from Bangladeshi backgrounds and 52% of
born in the UK.                                              African Asians were born in the UK.
Race and Ethnicity:

To pre-judge people before you know the facts. Prejudice refers to opinions and attitudes held by members of one
group towards another. These views are often based on opinion rather than evidence.

To treat people differently, usually badly, because they are different in some way – for example a different skin colour
or from a different ethnic group.

Discrimination often leads to people from minority groups experiencing poor life chances.

This often means they experience inequality in housing, income, employment, education and health.

Ethnicity can be used as an excuse to exclude particular groups from sharing in wealth, status and power.

Race and Ethnicity: In


Black and Asian student gain fewer qualifications from school and college than White students.

In school Black and Asian pupils often suffer from name-calling. They may also suffer from using books and
teaching materials that are bias and contain stereotypes.

Stereotype – is when a group of people are said to have a set of characteristics – for instance all Scots are mean.
Often these characteristics are negative, exaggerated and not based on fact – for instance all French people eat too
much garlic!


A higher number of Pakistani and Bangladeshi people live in poor housing compared to Indian people, White people
and Afro-Caribbean groups.

In 1998 35% of Bangladeshi people lived in local authority housing compared to 7% of those from Indian backgrounds.

There is more overcrowding in ethnic minority households; for instance in 2004 2% of White households were deemed
to be overcrowded compared to 6% of Caribbean, 13% of Indian, 33% of Pakistani and 43% of Bangladeshi

A 1997 survey also showed that families from ethnic minority backgrounds tended to live in more disadvantaged
neighbourhoods. All minority groups were more likely to live in areas of high unemployment compared to Whites, were
more likely to complain about infestation from vermin and be concerned about graffiti or vandalism.


There are higher rates of unemployment amongst Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black groups than for Indian and White

There is also a difference in the types of jobs done: in 1994 51% of Whites were employed in non-manual jobs
compared to 32% of those from Pakistanis and 29% of those from Bangladeshi backgrounds.

Not surprisingly, Whites usually earn more than those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

People from ethnic minority backgrounds tend to be underrepresented in top civil servants posts, the police, banking
and in parliament.


Complete a spider diagram of things that are associated with being young

Now do the same with things that are associated with being old

                                                        Old age

Age can bring advantages and disadvantages.

Sometimes older people are thought to be of less value than younger people.

Most people experience a drop in their income as they get older. This is because pensions are lower than wages.

For some elderly people this means they don’t have enough money to buy all the basic things they need – for example
to heat their house properly.

Health and Health Care
Older age can also mean an increase in ill health. As people get older they are more likely to suffer from ill health –
even basic needs like glasses/contact lenses become more likely.

Sometimes elderly people feel they are discriminated against as doctors and other health professionals do not give
them equal treatment because of their age.

If older people don’t have a good income they may have a poor diet. They may not be able to buy healthy food and
might have to shop at expensive local shops.

Even though younger people are more at risk, many elderly people feel very threatened by crime.

Not all older people face hardship. Many older people now live very active and happy lives.

However, this is often dependent on income. Older people who have saved during their working lives and/or have a
good pension can enjoy a happy and healthy retirement. This is related to the type of job and the level of income they
had during their working life – for instance if a person has worked all their life, without experiencing illness or
unemployment and has worked in a profession such as teaching they will probably have a reasonable amount of
savings and a good pension when they retire.

However, if people are not valued by society this can lead to negative effects.

For instance:

   Name-calling to older people
   discrimination in work. Some people in their late 40s/early 50s may find it difficult to find work
   it can be more difficult to get loans as you get older.

Young People and Age Stratification

Some people argue that it is not only older people who experience discrimination because of age. Some people claim
that young people suffer discrimination because of their age. For instance, in the UK young people cannot claim
Income Support until they are 18 years old and there is a different minimum wage (less) for under-21s.

Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages people in the UK might face when they are old and then when they
are young.

                              Young                                                       Old

                           Advantages                                               Disadvantages
Look at the help the aged website ( ) and from the information you find out about and make
notes on the following:

      The law and age discrimination in the UK.             Examples of age discrimination.

And now for the final bit........

Make a labelled diagram of yourself (a photo if you’re happy to use one, but if not just use a male or female
image) and label it with your social characteristics (age, gender, social class, etc) Make sure you include an
explanation of why you belong to that group and what it means to you.


  Upper class – family has                                                        Education – Private education
  a great deal of wealth                                                          at top public school, Eton, and
                                                                                  then University of St Andrew’s

I could go on, but it would get silly and hopefully you get the idea.