Identify and explain two reasons for changes to Masculinities in the contemporary UK 
One reason is the changing labour market. In the UK, over the past few decades, manufacturing and much of the manual labour sector have almost disappeared, the service sector has increased dramatically and there has been a huge rise in the amount of part-time and flexible work. This has enabled women to have a more equal presence in the labour market, meaning many women have become household breadwinners. For men (particularly working-class men) this has led to what Mac an Ghaill called a Crisis of Masculinity, meaning they feel that a lot of the traditional sources of masculine identity are no longer available to them. Connell linked this to the concept of a marginalised masculinity, meaning than men feel that their futures are no longer certain and so feel lost and pushed aside.
Another reason is the influence of the mass media. Some sociologists (such as Easthope and Storey) have argued that traditional masculinities continue to be reinforced by aspects of the mass media (e.g. Hollywood movies, rap music) but others have suggested that the mass media has created new masculinities. For example, Nixon claims that the New Man (a heterosexual male in touch with his gentler, more ‘feminine’ side) was entirely created by the media (and can be traced back to a 1980s Pepsi commercial). This form of masculinity has been adopted by many influential celebrities, such as David Beckham.
Identify and explain two ways in which young people are socialised into Ethnic Identities 
One way is through the family. The language used at home as well as the food and clothing parents give to children can shape ethnic identities. Arguably the most important role of the family here, however, is in the passing on of family values - and these can be influenced by ethnicity. For example, Francis & Archer studied how British-Chinese families placed particular value on the educational success of children and went to great lengths to ensure that success. Ghuman studied how first-generation Asian parents socialised their children into very traditional values (including religious ‘training’, obedience and parents choosing marriage partners). Ghuman did find that subsequent generations of Asians in the UK were increasingly less likely to pass on such values, however.
Another way is through the mass media. The use of stereotypes in the media can influence how people view themselves and others. Moore at al identified five common media stereotypes of black people: As criminals, as a threat, as abnormal, as unimportant or as dependents. For example, black criminals are often over-represented on crime dramas and documentaries, whilst African societies are often only depicted in the UK as countries where the people are starving, at war or dependant on Western help. In less diverse areas of the UK, these sorts of stereotypes can be the only way some people understand ethnic groups.
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