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July 15, 2013 / C H Thompson

Sociology toolkit

 Socialisation – the process whereby young members of society learn the values, ideas, rules and beliefs of that society. Socialisation is split into two key categories, primary and secondary socialisation. Primary socialisation occurs when people learn the values, ideas, rules and beliefs from their parents or guardians. Secondary socialisation occurs when people learn these behaviours at school, through the media or even peer groups

Stratification – is tool sociologists use to see how different groups and individual are placed into hierarchical arrangements with some groups being at the top while others are located at the bottom. For example people are stratified by their social-class. The upper-classes are at the top of the hierarchy while the underclass are seated firmly at the bottom. Social groups can be stratified in other ways such as gender, age, sexuality, etc. The term stratification comes from the geological concept of strata.

Stereotype – a fixed commonly held assumption about an individual or group which exaggerates or highlights certain simple characteristics of that person or group. Stereotypes can be either positive (“black men are good at basketball”) or negative (“women are bad drivers”). But most stereotypes tend to make us feel superior in some way to the person or group being stereotyped. Stereotypes ignore the uniqueness of individuals by painting all members of a group with the same brush.

Study question for learning and understanding:

  •  now that your are equipped with three ‘tools’ in your toolkit, you need to see how proficient you are in using them
  • please read ‘Jail For Truancy Mum’ news article and then apply each of the three concepts in order to exam why the mother was jailed
  • you need to write no less than 300 but no more than 350 words.

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