Socialisation, Culture and Identity
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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: a clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties learners may have, approaches to teaching that can help learners understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: a range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected that best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
This section introduces key concepts that will enable learners to develop a sociological understanding of their social world. Learners are exposed to the core themes of culture, socialisation and identity and will benefit from opportunities to reflect on their interactions and practices, whilst also examining their complexities in relation to variations and how they overlap. There is an emphasis on differences in cultural practices over time, context and place.
A strong basis in cultural formation is essential to establish its role in the process of socialisation. Learners must be able to distinguish between the biological and social influences of socialisation in order to hold a balanced evaluation of the nature/ nurture debate. The role of the agencies of socialisation must be explored using correct concepts alongside the mechanisms of social control to determine similarities and differences.
The final key issue relates to the creation of identities with reference to socialisation and culture. Learners must be encouraged to use concepts and studies when explaining how each social identity is created, reinforced and in some cases fused. The importance of identity to individuals and societies must be emphasised. Teachers must take account of the additional concepts and expected learning outcomes to ensure effective delivery.
Section A: Introducing socialisation, culture and identity
|Key questions||Content||Learners should:|
|1. What is culture?||Culture, norms and values
Types of culture:
|be able to understand the relative nature of culture, norms and values. Cross-cultural material should be used here.|
|2. What is socialisation?||Primary and secondary socialisation
||be able to link definitions of primary socialisation and secondary socialisation to relevant agencies of socialisation, understanding that socialisation is a lifelong process.|
|Agencies of socialisation:
||understand the link between socialisation and the creation of identities.|
|Nature/nurture debate||consider the implications of the nature/nurture debate for an understanding of socialisation.|
|Formal agencies of social control:
||explore the overlap between formal and informal social control for work, education and religion.|
|3. What is identity?||The concept of identity
Aspects of identity and the associated cultural characteristics:
|understand how identities are created, including the influence of agencies of socialisation.
understand the different aspects of an individual’s identity, their relative importance to individuals and ways in which they may intersect.
consider changing identities.
Approaches to teaching the content
This section provides the basics of sociological thinking and must be approached holistically to draw the concepts of culture, socialisation and identity together. Using video clips to explore norms and values can be both informative and engaging. It will help learners get to grips with key concepts such as diversity and social construction, enabling the idea of culture as an evolving concept. Learners need to explore variations in norms and values within the different types of culture.
The second topic allows knowledge of culture to be applied to the process of socialisation. The language of teaching must emphasise the key concepts, encouraging learners to use and apply these with studies and contemporary knowledge. Teaching must show the continuous aspects of socialisation within the roles played by the primary and secondary agents.
Learners need to show a clear understanding of how the mechanisms of social control influence the creation of culture. They must be able to distinguish between the roles played by the formal and informal mechanisms, including possible overlaps. The nature and nurture debate will provide opportunities to develop skills in research and persuasive presentation.
The final topic allows learners to show how the processes of socialisation and social control can influence the creation and reinforcement of identities. Every opportunity must be given for discussions to enable the development of analytical and evaluative skills. Contemporary examples may be drawn from newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, YouTube clips and relevant websites.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have
Learners can start off confidently but may experience problems when required to apply the concepts and/or produce coherent sociological answers. The concept of culture is also sometimes confused with a commonly held view related to ethnicity and as a result learners may struggle to acknowledge and distinguish between the different types.
They may also struggle with the notion of social control as a contributor to socialisation, and therefore experience difficulty in explaining the agents of socialisation also as mechanisms of social control.
Planning and delivery must account for these possible hurdles by employing a range of strategies to overcome them.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course
When teaching this section, it is imperative to emphasise its purpose in underpinning subsequent topics and the importance of demonstrating the core skills of knowledge, interpretation, application and analysis within a sociological framework. Emerging concepts such as social construction and diversity need to be emphasised. Learners will need to build a glossary of concepts for reference. A critical examination of information and studies must always be encouraged. Once this skill has been embedded, learners will be able to access successive content with a critical mindset to enable an appreciation of theoretical debates later on.
The first part of this activity requires learners to watch a series of funny and engaging YouTube clips which provide a good introduction to norms and culture and will help draw out the concepts of diversity and social construction and patterns of behaviour. Learners can also be encouraged to search for other useful clips.
This would be a good time to introduce research skills by asking learners to interview family members of different generations and their peers at school about norms and values. The findings can be displayed around the classroom.
Watch 'Culture ads' video clip and discuss in groups.
This activity provides an extension to Activity 1: Introducing norms, values and culture, consolidating learning and drawing out other useful concepts. It revisits the YouTube clip and asks learners to analyse it in some detail. It will also enable research activities into other societies and periods which will address the concept of social construction.
Learners can watch clips to collect a range of shared practices. Their work can be set out as posters or fliers which can be displayed and used for reference. Learners can be given questions such as: How and why has the culture changed over time? How might the culture have developed? It may provide opportunities for historic evidence to be collected for classroom discussions.
The following links summarise the concept of culture and how it may vary in different times and places:
These video clips also introduce the concept of diversity and social construction.
Learners should discuss the clips in groups. Following this, they should complete the table in Learner resource 1 with information that can be referred to for revision. (See Teacher answers 1).
This activity focuses on using the correct concepts to explain the process of socialisation. It provides opportunity for learners to “brainstorm” language associated with socialisation. Learners may work independently or in pairs to complete the table by reading through texts. See Learner resource 3 and Teacher answers 2.
A useful follow-on activity is to produce flashcards for mix-and-match activities which can also double up as revision tools.
When completing the table, learners must be encouraged to include more than three keywords or phrases. In addition they must be encouraged to include studies including Ward and Winstanley (2005), Currie (1999) and Sewell (2000).
This activity focuses on using the correct concepts to explain the process of socialisation.
It gives an opportunity for learners to select a creative way to show their understanding of the process of socialisation. The activity can be repeated until all the agents are covered. Additional activities can be extended to the mechanisms of social control.
Learners can produce these as independent projects for private revision or posters to be displayed around the classroom. Correct terminology must be encouraged and the collage must include keywords. Ask learners to:
1) Create a word wall dialogue to show the how an individual can be socialised by any one of the agents of socialisation
2) Create a collage of images to tell the story of the process of socialisation for any one agent of socialisation. Associated keywords must be included.
This activity provides opportunities to differentiate between and discuss the various forms of identities.
Learners must create spider diagrams to show the associated key words and features of each of a selected number of identities including gender, social class, ethnic and age identities. There are four additional identities and learners must be directed to discuss these in addition to those stated. See Learner resource 4 and Teacher answers 3.
This activity provides opportunities to differentiate between and discuss the various forms of identities.
Ask learners to complete Learner resource 5. The answers they give to these questions can serve as a basis for discussion.
This activity serves as a recap activity to allow learners time to reflect on the topics covered. Show learners the 'Introductory terms' YouTube clip.
1) Ask learners to watch the clip and note down all the concepts. They should then create flashcards of the concepts to use for private revision and for game activities such as Taboo.
2) Hold a class discussion with the purpose of ascertaining learners’ levels of understanding and their ability to present views from a sociological angle.
The purpose of this activity is to enable the development of evaluative skills and enhance the art of persuasion. Opportunities have been included for learners to develop some research skills. Teachers must emphasise the correct use of concepts and studies.
A structured approach to holding a debate will enable learners to conduct research investigations, select appropriate evidence and plan evidenced based arguments for and against a hypothesis. This will additionally encourage and develop an ability to deliver a coherent case that will demonstrate knowledge, understanding and an ability to interpret and analyse information. Teachers are encouraged to create their own debate motions based on their groups.
Here are some possible debate topics. Learners can use Learner resource 6 to help them plan their argument.
- This house believes that norms and values remain constant over time.
- This house believes that the family is most influential in the process of socialisation.
- This house believes that socialisation is a lifelong process.
- This house believes that the formal mechanisms of social control are more effective than the informal mechanisms.
- This house believes that cultural hybridity is a direct result of global culture.
- This house believes that identities do not exist independently of each other.
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