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AS and A Level: Sociological Differentiation & Stratification
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UK trends - gender
- 1 Men tend to outperform women in terms of income, wealth, promotion at work; they are more likely to have full time and /or permanent contracts.
- 2 In the home men do less housework than women and are much less likely to suffer domestic violence than women. Men are more likely to have control of finances and power in decision making in the family.
- 3 Women have better life chances in terms of life expectancy, preferential treatment by courts when awarding custody of children, some evidence of greater leniency in sentencing, more time off paid work with their children, lower suicide rates and are doing better in schools.
Key UK trends - social class
- 1 At work, those in the working class are more likely to have a below average paid job, a temporary contract and work part time.
- 2 In terms of policing and the criminal justice system, the working class are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police and to be arrested.
- 3 In the family people from working class backgrounds are more likely to marry younger and to get divorced.
- 4 In terms of health the working class are more likely, more likely to smoke, to miscarry their baby, to die of an accident at work and to die before their first birthday.
- 5 In education the working class are more likely to be placed in lower streams or sets at school, to leave school with fewer educational qualifications, and much less likely than the middle class to go to university.
Key UK trends - ethnicity
- 1 African Caribbean Britons are at high risk of being stopped and searched, getting longer custodial sentences, being excluded from school, being unemployed, living in a single parent family and achieving the lowest average GCSE scores.
- 2 British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have the highest rates of poverty, living in cramped housing and female unemployment.
- 3 British Indians and British Chinese have higher than average educational success rates.
- 4 White Britons have better life chances than ethnic minorities in nearly all areas, with the exception of the British Indians and British Chinese.
- 5 There are significant differences WITHIN ethnic groups, so men and women, people from different social classes and ages have significantly different life chances.
Through the process of socialisation parents, teachers, peers, movies, television, music, books, and religion teach and reinforce gender roles throughout the lifespan, parents probably exert the greatest influence, especially on their very young offspring. Fathers teach boys how to fix and build things encourage them to play sport while mothers teach girls how to cook, sew, and keep house. Children then receive parental approval when they conform to gender expectations and adopt culturally accepted and conventional roles. Learning gender roles always occurs within a social context, the values of the parents and society being passed along to the children of successive generations.
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