Outline and assess the role of the family in socialising children into ethnic identities 
The family is the main agent of primary socialisation, meaning it is the most influential institution on young children from birth to when they start school. Its influence continues beyond this, but in combination with a wider range of agents (e.g. peer group, media).
A person’s ethnic identity relates to the groups and characteristics with which that person identifies. Modood describes ethnicity as being constructed from a range of factors, including ancestry, traditions, race, language and beliefs. The family has a crucial role in creating and reinforcing ethnic identities.
The family name can influence ethnic identities as it gives a person a clue to their ancestry. Family structure can also be an influence, as some ethnic groups are more likely to live in particular family structures than others (e.g. Black-Caribbean children are more likely to be raised in a lone-parent household). Simple things that happen within a household can also create and reinforce ethnic identities, for example the food eaten at mealtimes, the language spoken at home and the clothes and toys given to children. If a person lives in Britain yet does not speak English at home and wears clothes and eats food that are not traditionally British, this might create/reinforce an ethnic identity that is not wholly British.
The values passed on to children by parents can also be different within different ethnic groups. For example, a study by Francis & Archer found that British-Chinese families place a particular value on educational success and go to great lengths to ensure children achieve this. A study by Ghuman also showed how first-generation Asian parents in Britain socialised their children according to traditional Asian values rather than British ones (for example, parents choosing marriage partners and education and children taught to be bilingual, religious and obedient). Ghuman’s study showed that subsequent generations of Asians in Britain started to adopt more British values.
In a multicultural society like Britain, we do find that – outside of the family – children are exposed to an extremely wide range of influences from a wide range of cultures. This means that even when children are socialised into ethnic identities within the family, these identities can change as the person grows up, leading to hybrid identities (mixing of cultural influences). Johal & Baines identified that many young people have dual identities – using one ethnic identity when with their families and another when in other situations (e.g. with friends). Switching between these identities is referred to as code switching.
In conclusion, the family is extremely influential in shaping the ethnic identities of young people. However, in multicultural Britain, these identities are not necessarily fixed and the influence of other agents during secondary socialisation can result in ethnicities evolving, merging, switching or even being abandoned entirely in favour of another.
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.