Social influences are the way groups of people or individual people may affect a person’s behaviour, thoughts, actions, or feelings and are studied in social psychology and sociology and focus on ways behaviour is influenced.
Social influences state there is Primary influences and secondary influences.
Primary influences would be parents and siblings i.e. family.
Secondary influences could be friends/peers and media, for example, the media affecting someone’s self-image.
Family teaches norms, values, and roles in society such as traditions, culture, respect, manners, and morals also family is the first step in forming an identity as well as teaching roles within society and the family and knowing a person’s role based on age, sex, and class.
Friends/ peers can change original views formed by the family to new ones through meeting new people and experiencing new things and teach new roles within the group and society and gives a sense of belonging.
Media can change views on one’s self and others it can affect social norms, social attitudes, enforce stereotypes, lifestyle, and behaviour and make a person wonder or doubt their role in the world, community, group, and family.
Socialisation is a lifelong process of acquiring personal identity and increase knowledge in language and social skills which are needed to interact with others. The first form of socialization is primary socialization which is a family which is most influential from birth to five years old and second form of socialization is secondary socialization which is when a person start going out into the world and are socialized through education, friends/peers, and media among others. (Care in practice for Cfe higher 2015, Janet Miller)
Life chances are greatly important and are the effect of a person’s social economic influences which involves a person’s education, employment, health, and housing which affects a person’s life chances in those areas and their life expectancy. Some accept the influences and accept their future based on the chances they are given and some will challenge themselves and change them. (Care sociology for care, support material, 2007)
The individual chosen from the case study is Jane who fell pregnant at 17 and was referred by her social worker to an organization for vulnerable parents and has continued to use those care services as Jane now has two children and volunteers from the organization visit weekly and help Jane with her parenting skills.
Jane would like to get a job in the care industry however she is influenced by her family unit which is her husband peter to stay at home as Peter believes looking after the children is ‘woman’s work’, Using the feminist theory which highlights how women have been subordinated, exploited, and oppressed in society and is clear that Peter is dominating jane and using oppression and subordination through patriarchy therefor Jane is not receiving equal rights for woman.
Equal rights for women is argued to mean people should bring up their children to be socialised into a culture of equality and that equality should be permeated in to all of the society including the home, workplace and education and one significant way of ensuring equal rights is through legislation such as the sex discrimination act 1975 or equal pay act 1970.
Oppression and subordination through patriarchy refer to men holding the power and/or control in society or the household and some even argue there always has and always will be a sexual divide which reinforces the argument of a male dominate society and also reinforces ideas of a woman’s ‘natural’ role and behaviour.
It is known peter believes the genders have their individual place this is typically learned in childhood and is called gender roles which teaches ideas of masculinity in men and femininity in woman and in childhood males are encouraged to behave differently such as boys are told blue is for boys cars, action men and guns are for boys and it is acceptable to be aggressive, outgoing and demanding however this behaviour is no acceptable in girls as they are encouraged to be neat, tidy, gentle and obedient as well as they are told pink is for girls dolls, teddies and babies are for girls these are also known as sexual stereotypes and some say the difference between genders are inborn or naturally occurring but happening as gender conditioning. This can affect Jane’s life chances as such as Jane cannot reach her full potential in a professional way. . (Care sociology for care, support material, 2007)
Using functionalist theory it can be seen Jane’s world is in turmoil due to the death of her mother however Jane is influenced by the organization for vulnerable parents and social worker whom referred her to the organization. Functionalists believe everyone in society has agreed about how the world should work and has complex interconnected parts through shared norms, values and roles. Part of functionalist theory in integration and interdependence which is the view of society being composed of interrelated parts which function and operate together as a society just like the human body everyone is dependent on each other in order to function properly some parts being more vital than others however any fault in one part can affect the other parts that is why society is dependent on all parts working properly and together Jane receiving help from the social work and the organisation is a government influence which is helping Jane become an important role of the interconnected part of society and being able to be one of the interrelated part that make society function.
Another part of functionalist theory is stability and continuity which is the view of society being stable and largely unchanging and is a conservative view which in context means keeping things the same way or conserving, this involves passing on values and norms that are important to society on to the next generation this is seen as a positive contribution to society. This promotes the idea that every individual has a part to play and work together and to Jane the death of her mother is a part of the system falling apart and Jane’s life chances are affected as well as her children as Jane’s mother helped with the children however the influence of the social work and the organization improves janes life chances as it helps jane get back to normal and gives her focus to better herself and the life chances of herself and her children.( Care sociology for care, support material, 2007)
Tahir is 24 years old and has moved out of his family home a year ago due to a disagreement over his father’s new wife. Tahir has been sleeping on his friend’s couches and recently had to declare himself homeless at the local housing office he has no fixed address which has stopped him receiving training or work.
One action taken to address homelessness which will help Tahir from staying with friends is the £50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund by the Scottish government.
This is a short term action group that will identify the actions/changes needed to end homelessness and give Tahir a place of his own and change the use of temporary accommodation in Scotland.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the homelessness charity identifies:
• Reduce homelessness giving Tahir as well as other hope.
• Eradicate homelessness giving millions a house and more importantly a home.
• Temporary accommodation, which gives millions hope and a roof over their heads until they have a home of their own.
• End homelessness in Scotland.
Jon sparks stated “I firmly believe we can end homelessness for good, we know the scale of the problem and this Group will focus firmly on deliverable solutions which prevent, tackle and end homelessness for people. There’s some hard work to be done but I believe the expertise and knowledge of those on the Group means we will be up to the challenge and I look forward to quickly getting to work.” (19th Sep 2017)
The Scottish government is also reducing and addressing homelessness by:
• Councils improve homeless prevention, which will improve Tahir’s life chances
• homelessness and transform the use of temporary accommodation, which will give Tahir’s somewhere to temporarily stay rather than bouncing from friend to friend
• Working with health and social care services to understand the wider context that leads to homelessness, which allows Tahir situation to be understood rather than judged.
Another action taken is local charities such as Action Homeless effectively helping Tahir and many more.
Is a successful local charity and social initiative committed to improving lives that have been affected by homelessness? They are based in Leicester and have been there for over forty years.
They help families from across county. Last year they got emergency housing and support for over 400 people which could include Tahir and numerous more.
Their approach is to tackle homelessness helping Tahir with his current situation and that goes beyond providing just a roof. Everyone including Tahir that needs it has access to a wide range of services that aim to tackle the causes and costs of homelessness. Their team of staff work to ensure people leave Action Homeless with somewhere to call home and the skills and means to maintain independence which will improve Tahir’s life chances and future skills.
Prejudice is the opinion or feelings toward an individual or group based on their age, race, looks, gender, class or sexuality etc. without knowing the individual or group personally.
Stereotyping is a mental image or idea of an individual or group based on a perceived prejudice.
Discrimination is the treatment of an individual or group based on the prejudice and stereotyping of said individual or group (Cambridge English Dictionary)
Tahir may be receiving prejudice and stereotyping because of his homelessness such as being denied a job or training due to no secure address however it is evident he needs a job in order to get his own address. It is shown Tahir is being discriminated against due to his circumstances and not receiving a chance or help in employment because he does not have a home to call his own.
Tahir could however receive help from the Scottish government or charities such as Action Homeless allowing Tahir to secure an address and allowing Tahir to secure training or work