AS sociology

  • Created by: bex
  • Created on: 04-01-13 17:45

Culture and Identity


  • the individual is the product of society
  • believe that the structures of society are set up to allow society to run as smoothly as possible
  • norms and values become a part of who you are (personality & identity) this creates a consensus which means everyone shares the same norms and values
  • Durkheim called the shared norms and values that hold society together the collective consciousness of society


  • the individual is the product of economic forces
  • Marxists believe that the most important force in society is class conflict
  • people are socialised into a culture based on their social class


  • individual actions are the most important
  • culture is determined by the behaviour and interaction of individuals
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Labelling Theory

Self-fulfilling prophecy

- this is when you pursue what you are being labelled e.g. if you are labelled as a bad student you will become a bad student and fail

Master status

- they are very strong labels which replace an individual's other labels, e.g. if someone was called a criminal that is all they will be seen as, nothing else

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Types of culture

Folk Culture

  • is the pre-industrial society and it is things like folk dances, folk tale, folk medicine etc
  • Redfield- folk societies were from strong extended families, local culture and supportive communities things that were not around in urban cultures.

High culture/Low culture

  • the elite have a distinct culture from the masses, things like opera and sophisticated restaurants are associated with them 
  • low culture is then associated with soap operas and reality TV

Global Culture

  • Globalisation means that now everything can be transported around the world nothing stays local e.g. British and American pop music everywhere
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Gender indentities

Ann Campbell- increase in female deviant behaviour  

Mac an Ghail- changes have led to a crisis of masculinity where no men no longer know their role

McRobbie- argued that female magazines reinforce conventional notions of femininity

Skelton- argues schools both create gender stereotypes and maintain those learnt at home

Verbal appellation- parents use language and names to define what's appropriate

Cannalisation- parents push their children's interests in a particular way

Manipulation- parents encourage normal behaviour and interests for the child's sex and discourage what is seen as deviant

Ann Oakley - research led her to identify four ways in which family usually teaches children norms & values associated with masculinity and femininity

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National Identity

Durkheim- national identity makes individuals feel that they belong to a larger group

Schudson- individuals are socialised into a national culture and identity by agents such as education and mass media

Anderson- nationalism has replaced religion

Hall- national identity is about learning and sharing the collection of stories about a country

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Age and Identity

Age is a social construct- can change over time and vary between different societies and cultures

Lambert- found that older men are often portrayed in positions of power

Phillipson- argues that elderly are a burden on society

Bradley- argues that age is less important to identity than other things like class, gender and ethnicity

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Disability and identity

Shakespeare- disability is a label society uses to categorises people , being in that category can be more of a problem than the disability itself

Scott- concluded that blind people have learnt helplessness because they were labelled as dependent

Marsh and Keating- argue that everyone is dependent on other people in some way

 Cumberbatch and Negrine- disabled rolls on TV were based on pity or comedy

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Leisure and Identity

Blumler and Katz- people use the media to meet their needs

Willis- work is less satisfying because it requires little skill

Rojek- culture rather than social class is the way to understand patterns in leisure

Cohen- a community can be any group of people who are connected to each other, he suggests that communities are now symbolic communities

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Daniel Willis


Thank you!

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