Sociology * Lesson #1

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Understanding the terms
Values, Norms, Rules, Roles and
Status
Definition: The unspoken and unwritten rules of
behaviour in everyday life.

We learn them during socialisation and they tell us
what we should and shouldn’t do in particular
situations (parents or others / observation / trial and
error / seeing other people’s reactions)





Examples:
The woman with the bathing suit in Ledras
Guy wearing lipstick and coloured nails
Guys kissing, holding hands etc.
Failure to follow the norms will lead to punishment
or exclusion from the group - The formation of many
little societies in a Society

Definition: The belief that something is good or
valuable.

Values define what is important, worthwhile, and
worth striving for. They are the beliefs that lie behind
the social norms.

Examples:
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Bus sits (the almost empty bus)
Bread (a gift from God)
Patriotism (defend to death)
Examples:
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Child labouring (crime or a matter of life / death)
Individualism of the Western societies Vs
Cheyenne of North America (possessions were
considered worthless except for the prestige that
could be acquired by giving them away)
The role of Religion in the formation of values.
Definition: Roles are a set of normative expectations
Roles are linked to the norms and values of a
society. Social order is possible because we
understand and play our roles.

Examples:

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Teacher – relationships with students
Father – son
Role conflict – Mother and employee / Lawyer and
MP

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Role Distance – Teenage mother
Role defined differently from other’s expectation –
Mr. D. Christofias “I’m sorry”

Definition: The position someone has in the society.
There is ascribed status and achieved status.
Ascribed: Gender, ethnicity, being a
mother/father/sister/brother


Achieved: Career
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