Define the concept of values 
A 4 mark question should include a definition of the concept, some extended explanation of the concept and some examples to support the definition/explanation. It should be a short paragraph; around 5 mins of writing.
A value is a principle or belief that determine how a person leads their life. Examples of values could be respect for elderly people, belief in the sanctity of human life or belief in equality for all people. Values can be held by individual people or shared by all people in a society. When everyone in society agrees on the same key values, Functionalists call this a value consensus. Values can change and develop over time, though most are solid and stable.
With reference to the Source, identify and briefly explain two examples of values 
A 6 mark question should consist of two short paragraphs (5-10 mins writing) and must make some reference to the source within it.
One example of a value mentioned in the Source is equal opportunities for both men and women. The Source demonstrates how society’s values in this area have changed over time, leading to women having more choices and no longer being restricted by traditional gender roles.
Another example of a value is the importance of education. The Source mentions how, in the 1950s, few women went to university or had a career. Individuals who value education will work hard in school in order to gain professional careers, like the woman in the second picture in the Source.
Using the source and your wider sociological knowledge, explain how Norms are relative 
An 8 mark question should also make use of the source, but must not rely only on the source. It should be one larger paragraph (or two shorter ones – about 10 mins writing). The example below picks out some of the themes of the source (gender roles), but adds in a wider range of concepts (femininity, the concept of cultural relativity) and an example from outwith the source.
The idea that norms are relative means that they value according to time and place. No two societies have exactly the same views on what behaviour is considered ‘normal’ and these views also change over time. For example, the Source demonstrates how the norms of femininity have changed. Historically in Western societies, it was the norm that women would fulfil traditional gender roles such as housewife, mother and home worker. Today however, it is the norm that women receive the same education and opportunities as men and can therefore make their own choices about their future roles. This shows that Norms are relative over time.
Some societies, however, still retain more traditional gender roles that restrict women. For example, in Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive cars. This shows that Norms are also relative to place. Norms come from values, so as the values of a society change over time, so does what is considered ‘normal’.
Outline and briefly evaluate the view that individuals learn society’s norms through the process of primary socialisation 
A 12 mark question is an extended piece of writing, like a mini essay. Around 4-5 paragraphs should suffice (15-20 mins writing). An introduction is not essential, but can be useful in showing understanding of the concepts used in the question. Studies and concepts need to be referred to and explained as appropriate. Where a 12 mark question requests evaluation, these studies/concepts can be evaluated and/or alternative viewpoints demonstrated.
For example, below, the introduction defines/explains socialisation and primary socialisation. The second paragraph describes (with some use of concepts) how primary socialisation works and why it is important. The third and fourth paragraphs offer two slightly opposing views (biological determinism and the value of secondary socialisation) and a quick conclusion tries to tie things together.
Socialisation is the process by which individuals learn the norms and values of their culture and society in order that they can function within it. Primary socialisation is an individual’s first experience of socialisation and mainly happens within the family. Some sociologists have argued that in Western societies today, the mass media is also an agent of primary socialisation (for example, TV channels like CBeebies that are aimed at pre-schoolers).
Primary socialisation is crucial in teaching basic social norms. For example, it is through primary socialisation that an individual learns to speak the language of their society, learns table manners and toilet habits and learns the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ behaviour. This is usually done by imitation of family members, by the use of positive and negative sanctions from parents/guardians and by identifying adult ‘role-models’. An individual who is not taught these basic behaviours would be considered ‘deviant’ and would struggle to function in society. The importance of this can be demonstrated by looking at individuals who have missed out on primary socialisation – for example, “feral children”. Feral children have usually not had appropriate interaction with adult humans and therefore lack understanding of basic human social behaviour.
Socialisation is a form of ‘nurture’. Some argue that ‘nature’ is just as important for individuals learning basic norms; for example, Wilson argued that ‘normal’ gender roles are innate (he said that men are ‘naturally’ promiscuous and women ‘naturally’ caring) while Lombroso argued that criminal behaviour is innate – some people are just ‘born bad’. This view is largely rejected in Sociology, although some Sociologists argue that nature and nurture need to work together – for example, Parsons agreed that gender roles are innate, but believed that primary socialisation was necessary to reinforce these.
Some Sociologists might argue that secondary socialisation is just as important in helping individuals learn society’s norms. For example, in Education, the ‘Hidden Curriculum’ teaches individuals key norms such as punctuality, meeting deadlines, socialising with peers and respecting authority which are vital for that individual’s success later on in life. The Mass Media and Peer Groups can also provide role models later in life that replace those originally offered through primary socialisation.
In conclusion, Primary Socialisation is clearly vital in teaching basic social norms to individuals, but socialisation is a lifelong process and so individuals continue to learn – and develop their understanding of - social norms throughout their lifetime and via a range of agents of socialisation.
Define and briefly explain the hypodermic syringe model 
Same format as a 4 mark question, really - requires a little more explanation.
The hypodermic syringe model was developed by Packard to describe the way that the mass media has a direct influence on its audience. It suggests that ‘messages’ from the media are ‘injected’ direct into the minds of the audience, leading to an immediate change in behaviour. Packard developed the concept with advertising in mind e.g. showing consumer products in the media creates an immediate desire in the audience to own them. Today, it is used more broadly – for example, some studies suggest that being exposed to violence in the media leads individuals to become violent themselves. This model is largely rejected in Sociology, as it doesn’t account for the individual and cultural differences of audience members.
Identify and briefly explain two ways in which ethnic groups are represented in the media 
Two paragraphs – a slightly extended version of the 6 mark question in part one, but with no need to refer to any sources.
Moore et al identified that ethnic minorities tend to be represented negatively in the media, as one of five stereotypes: Criminal, Threat, Dependent, Abnormal or Unimportant. Van Dijk elaborated on the ‘Criminal’ stereotype – he identified that ‘black’ is often used as a prefix for criminal; when a black person commits a crime, their ethnicity is always pointed out, whereas when a white person commits a crime it is not mentioned. Black ‘gangstas’, Latino gang-members and Middle-Eastern terrorists are all examples of common ethnic minority criminal stereotypes.
‘Unimportant’ describes the way that ethnic minorities can be under-represented in the media; for example, news reports about disasters in non-white societies rarely receive the same coverage as disasters in white Western societies. A terrorist attack in Baghdad receives very little press coverage whereas an attack in Paris dominates news headlines for weeks. Van Dijk further described how when British newspaper report on ethnic minority issues, the ‘experts’ they consult tend to be white people.
Explain how the media creates moral panics 
The same format as the previous 12 mark question – though note that 12 mark Media questions don’t usually request any evaluation.
‘Moral Panic’ describes a form a deviancy amplification, whereby the Media single out a supposed ‘threat’ to society, simplify the causes of the threat – usually by blaming a particular social group – and then exaggerate it through over-reporting on the issue. This creates panic and outrage among the public, which eventually causes the police or government to respond. Moral Panics can arise from all range of issues (e.g. public health scares, immigration) though are often centred around crime and deviance.
The most famous study on Moral Panics was by Cohen, who explored media coverage of the Mods and Rockers subcultures in the 1960s. Cohen described how tabloid newspapers singled out the behaviour of these two groups as being a threat to the social order. The exaggerated reporting of the behaviour of these groups made the problem worse, as young people were made to feel they had to side with one or the other and the public became increasingly panicked about them. Eventually, the police responded with heavy-handed tactics, leading to mods and rockers being handed out heavy sentences for relatively minor crimes. Cohen described the Mods & Rockers as ‘folk devils’ – groups who get (unfairly) blamed for the problems in their societies.
Since the 1960s, there have been numerous other situations that have followed a similar pattern. For example, Fawbert studied newspaper coverage of ‘hoodies’ and the way that the media created the impression that groups of young people were dangerous and threatening, leading to all young people being treated with suspicion and some institutions banning hooded tops. Another study by Jewkes looked at media coverage of prisoners, identifying that the media focused on stories that depicted prisoners as ‘pampered’ in order to feed existing public concerns.
Some sociologists have pointed out that the groups targeted by Moral Panics are often young, powerless people who lack the power to do anything about this form of labelling. Other Sociologists – such as McRobbie – have suggested that the concept of Moral Panics has become outdated, as society has become so diverse that it is difficult to unite the public against any single group, while the concept of Moral Panic has become so well known that Moral Panics get started intentionally by groups looking for attention (for example, Rockstar Games intentionally leaked a ‘panic’ to the tabloid newspapers about their forthcoming ‘Grand Theft Auto’ game in order to generate free publicity which would in turn lead to better sales of the game).
Evaluate the view that representations of age are no longer stereotypical 
This is a mini-essay – a slightly extended version of a 12 mark question, but for 20 marks, evaluation and a critical conclusion are essential.
A stereotype is a generalised representation of a particular group, usually based on the assumed characteristics of that group. Many sociologists argue that stereotyping can give distorted ideas about particular groups that can be damaging. Others – such as Pluralists - believe that stereotypes simply reflect views about groups that are commonly held by wider society.
Age groups have often been subjected to negative media stereotyping. For example, young people are represented as naïve, helpless or innocent children – or as rebellious, violent youths. Old people on the other hand have been represented as grumpy, sickly, dependent or mentally deficient. Such negative stereotyping can impact the way in which individuals or groups are regarded in wider society. Some sociologists believe that stereotyping is ideological; in other words, it is used by powerful groups to justify ill-treatment of less powerful groups. Negative stereotyping of young and old people may therefore be used as justification for marginalising them, as they are the groups least likely to be active in the labour market.
Some Sociologists believe however that representations of age are no longer stereotypical. For example, Postmodernists have argued that age is no longer an important feature of identity, that society is much more diverse and that the boundaries between social groups are blurring – for example, many old people now act and behave like young people and vice versa – which makes it difficult for the media to stereotype. This is supported by a study by Biggs, who found that representations of old people were much more varied; some negative stereotypes still existed, but there was also an increasing portrayal of old people as being active and taking more of a part in society. Carrigan & Szmigen linked increasingly positive and varied representations of old people to the concept of the ‘Grey Pound’, which describes the spending power of old people, meaning that advertisers are more likely to use positive representations and not rely on stereotypes in order to sell more products and services to old people.
Portrayals of younger people may also be changing. Young people are much more likely to use and engage with the mass media than older people and this is reflected in portrayals of children being skilled users of the media, rather than being helpless and innocent (although this in turn has resulted in moral panics around the influence of the media on children). However, it could be argued that the portrayal of youths has become more negative and stereotypical. Osgerby linked media representations of youth to wider cultural issues. He identified that in the 1950s, youth culture was represented positively, reflecting the post-war mood of hope in the UK. However, as concerns in UK society developed around the loss of traditional values and rapid social change from the 1970s onwards, depictions of youths became increasingly dark, violent and negative. Hebdige referred to this portrayal as ‘youth-as-trouble’ and this was reflected in the ‘Hoodies or Altar Boys’ study which found that there were more news stories linking teenagers to crime than all the other stories about teenagers put together. The study found that teenage boys felt that adults were more wary of them as a result of this negative coverage.
In conclusion, there is some evidence to support the view that stereotyping has become less stereotypical, particularly in relation to old people. However, this does not mean that media stereotyping of age groups has disappeared or is no longer an issue and stereotyping of youths in particular continues to be negative and to have a real impact on attitudes towards this age group in wider society.
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