Norms, Values etc Essay

1) A value is a belief we have about what is important to us, be it right or wrong. Our values

Underpin society, and the way in which it develops. ‘You shall not kill another person’ is a good example of a value. Norms are specific directives which govern our behaviour in certain situations. An example is the exchanging of money for items, or using manners. They are ‘normal’ to us.

A status is our position or standing in society by order of importance. This can relate to our profession. An ascribed status is a status which is assigned by society, which it outside out personal control. It is the status that somebody possesses due to their age, gender or family background.

Achieved status is social importance within a culture which you gain with personal effort rather than inheriting it. For example working your way to become a barrister, you cannot inherit this status within society.

2) Socialisation is the process by which we learn behaviours through our society, be it through our family and friends, or the media. The difference between Primary and Secondary Socialisation is how and when our behaviours are learned. Primary socialisation is mainly learned within the family. They are behaviours learned through imitating their parents’ behaviours such as language and toileting behaviours. Secondary socialisation is the behaviours which are learned outside of the family. These behaviours can be learned from teachers and the media. Primary and secondary socialisation was once learned at different times in life. However in recent years the two are being learned roughly at the same time, with children going to nursery etc at younger ages.

3) Sociologists believe that human behaviour is culturally and not biologically determined due to socialisation. Primary socialisation occurs very early on in life, and we learn behaviours through our family, and in recent years, at nursery. During Primary socialisation we learn things such as toileting behaviours and how to use tools to eat. During Secondary Socialisation we learn through the media, learning behaviours regarding ‘perfect’ body image and the things people do to achieve this perfect image. An example of why sociologists believe culture is not biologically determined is through the case study of the ‘feral’ girls. The girls did not behave as humans, but as wolves. They behaved like this because they were living with the animals from a young age, and imitated these animals they lived with. If human behaviour was biologically determined, the young ‘feral’ girls would have behaved like humans, and not the animals they were living with.

4) Females make better students than males. This theory can be tested in various ways. I would test this theory by Indirect Overt Observation. I would take part in the classroom and watch the students’ behaviours and attitudes towards their subjects, as well as their participation levels. This will enable me to see whether either sex welcome education more than the other, and whether their attitudes are a factor in the theory of females being better student than males.

The second way I would test this theory would be by Secondary data. I would analyse past GCSE results from a variety of schools, and compare them with each other to see if either sex was the more dominant in achieving at school. The third I will research this is by a questionnaire given to teachers. This will include open questions, relating to the teaching approaches to education as well as how students react to different types of learning like Practical and Theoretical subjects.

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