Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.

Social Divisions

Social divisions


‘Social divisions’ refers to regular patterns of division in society that are associated with membership of particular social groupings, generally in terms of advantages and disadvantages, inequalities and differences. Systematic social divisions – such as generation, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and social class – are both shaped by, and shape, family experiences.


Social divisions are important for individual life experiences and life chances in the context where social characteristics provide the basis for differential treatment, unequal access to resources and judgemental evaluations. Social divisions are associated with inequalities and a hierarchical order between categories or groups of people, theorized through the concept of ‘stratification’. Such divisions emerge through both institutional processes and everyday routine social interactions (Anthias, 2005). The boundaries that are found between categories ...

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