Customs and traditions of great britain essay
Most workers expect unemployment at some point in their careers, especially the unskilled and uneducated. In , only 5 percent of non-manual workers were unemployed. In contrast, skilled manual workers experienced 12 percent and semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers 23 percent unemployment, and manual workers combined accounted for 84 percent of the unemployed.
England is becoming a society of the included and the excluded. There has been a sharp rise in long-term unemployment. The nature of work in a fluid economy does not support long-term employment A busy street in Scarborough, York. English architecture is a unique blend of old and new. Homelessness has become a fact of English life, with , families in England accepted as homeless in alone. The richest class has increased its share of the national income and national assets.
In , the wealthiest 10 percent of the population owned half the assets controlled by households. In the income of the top 20 percent of households was four times that of the bottom 20 percent.
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Meanwhile, those earning less than half of the median doubled between and , reaching 10 percent. Ethnic minorities have not fared well in the new economic environment. For all minority men, unemployment was 17 percent in the period —, for example, compared with 10 percent for whites. Ten years on, in the period —, unemployment rates of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and blacks were more than three times those for whites.
Indians, on the other hand, have faired better, currently occupying a central position in the middle class as entrepreneurs and in the professions, enjoying chances of employment more comparable to whites. Symbols of Social Stratification. Many of the traditional symbols of social difference have undergone change. Clothing and other consumer goods historically were indicators of class, but are now more ambiguous. Most consumer goods are widely available, and the clothing and fashion industries recycle styles so quickly that rank and clothing do not always correspond. Education, which used to be a clear way to divide people into classes, has also lost some of its defining power.
Private primary and secondary schools increased their share of school age children through , and higher education has expanded the number of places available to those who want postsecondary training; by the mid s more than 30 percent of students age eighteen were attending a university. Oxford and Cambridge have been accepting students from an increasingly broad socioeconomic spectrum, and students now have many more universities to choose from. Accent also has become a less reliable class signifier.
Unlike Scotland and Wales, England does not have a separate parliament or departments to represent and manage it. Contact with the central government is increasingly achieved through nine Government Offices for the Regions. Day-to-day life in the community is governed by local authorities such as district and parish councils.
Leadership and Political Officials. Political parties and institutions favor those judged to be respectable and, in senior positions, those with political experience. It is still common for politicians and judges to have an elite education and a privileged background. Local politics is a mixed bag, with some local authorities and town and village councils politically polarized and others less so, although the larger the community the more likely it is to be dominated by the Labour Party.
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In general, those who participate in local politics and local organizations such as arts councils knew someone in government before becoming involved. England has no national parties that affiliate specifically with the national culture. Access to political leaders is achieved most effectively through voluntary sector interest groups.
These organizations work with local government authorities, local agencies such as the police, individual MPs, and central government ministries and may acquire an official role. Social Problems and Social Control. For purposes of policing and criminal justice, England and Wales are treated as one unit.
Policing is handled by forty-one locally organized police forces in addition to the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London police force. Most police officers carry a nightstick, with only designated officers carrying sidearms.
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Persons suspected of committing a crime may be stopped and searched. More extensive searching is possible with authorization from a senior officer. For most crimes the police require judicial authorization to make arrests, but for "arrestable" offences such as murder, authorization is unnecessary. The maximum period of detention without a charge being leveled is ninety-six hours.
The Police Complaints Authority handles cases of police brutality. The Home Secretary of the United Kingdom has overall responsibility for policing in England as well as for the prison service, the probation service, and the criminal law. Criminal law is a combination of statute law made by Parliament and common law case law. Founded in , the Crown Prosecution Service prosecutes criminals arrested by the police. The court system is adversarial, and the accused is defended by a lawyer a solicitor or barrister who attempts to disprove the case presented by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Cases that go to Crown Court involve a trial by a jury of the accused person's peers with guidance from the presiding judge. In all other cases not on appeal, the defendant is tried in magistrate court by a judge who decides the case with the assistance of a law clerk. The accused or the Crown may appeal a judgment to a higher court, with the highest court being the House of Lords. Except for treason and a few other offenses, the highest penalty is a custodial sentence. Since the s, ideas about the role of the criminal justice system have been changing, largely as a result of perceived and real increases in violent and property crimes.
Local communities with their informal mechanisms for social control are considered an important part of criminal justice. Neighborhood watch schemes have become popular, and victim-offender mediation and reparation, community mediation, and neighborhood mediation have emerged. Police cautioning, in which juvenile offenders and their parents or guardians are informed of the seriousness of their offenses, has become popular. Parole boards administer the punishment of offenders in the community, and the police and other official agencies have formed partnerships with local communities and voluntary organizations.
Some people are critical of the trend toward integrating informal social control into the official criminal justice apparatus. They argue that such social control may result in a culture divided into communities suspicious of outsiders. Others have noted that vigilantism, which plays a relatively small role in the culture exceptions are street gangs, less organized groupings of males termed "the lads," and soccer hooligans , may take root.
Military Activity. Military activity is administered through the armed forces of the United Kingdom, which are directed by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. Social welfare and change programs are directed toward people who cannot care for themselves the elderly, children and youth, and the disabled , those in poverty, and those experiencing discrimination. Local government social services authorities provide for children and youth, the elderly, and the disabled, and there are advisory and regulatory bodies such as the National Disability Council and the Mental Health Act Commission.
For the elderly, the disabled, and those with learning disabilities, major services include supervised residential and day care, help for those confined to the home, support services for family members caring for those individuals, and counseling. Increasingly, government policy has aimed services for the elderly, the disabled, and persons with learning disabilities at helping those people live at home and in the community. The mentally ill are treated locally, though since there are fewer places for the mentally ill in large hospitals, this has meant farming out patients to smaller hospitals and private and charity-supported facilities.
Local authorities have the responsibility for child welfare, and provide aid to families such as advice, guidance, counseling, and day care. They also protect abused children and care for children without parents. The major beneficiaries are the unemployed, families in need, those with short-term or long-term disability, widows, and elderly retirees. Since the early s, more conditions have been placed on the receipt of DSS benefits, with the exception of the elderly and those unable to work. The unemployed, A row of houses in Shaftesbury, Dorset.
Many small villages have made an effort to preserve classic English architecture. Social change programs for ethnic minorities and women are in their infancy. There is a Race Equality Unit in the central government, and the Race Relations Act set up the Commission for Racial Equality that oversees over one hundred racial equality councils.
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These changes have not diminished ethnic inequality and tensions, although Britain has a minister for women, a Women's Unit, and an Equal Opportunity Commission EOC as well as an umbrella group known as the Women's National Commission. The Charity Commission for England and Wales registered , charities in Across the United Kingdom, charities employed , people and supervised three million volunteers in With the move toward privatization in the s, charities became more important, but social and economic dislocation have made it difficult for them to maintain the social safety net.
Nongovernmental organizations work with children and youth; marginalized or disadvantaged groups such as the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and those suffering from inequality; environmental conservationists; the science and technology sector; the arts; and the humanities. Division of Labor by Gender.
Gender roles assign homemaking, other domestic activities, and most unpaid labor to women. A man's sense of self is defined chiefly in terms of the paid work he can obtain. The impact of these constructions of gender is now much different than before, but is still felt in English society. The Relative Status of Women and Men. Although there is no equal rights amendment, in recent decades there has been a more noticeable commitment to equality of opportunity for men and women through bodies such as the Equal Opportunity Commission and laws such as the Abortion Act of and the Divorce Act.
The rate of women's especially married women's participation in the workforce increased in the late twentieth century, as did the nature of that participation. In , only 57 percent of women of working age were economically active, but in that figure was 72 percent, whereas men's participation declined from 91 percent to 84 percent.