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HTA206 Australian History in a Global Context For Mass Media

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1. What is gender socialisation and how might it contribute to health inequalities in Australia?

2. What do biological metaphors of society assume and how might they explain the legacy of the White Australia Policy?

3. Describe what sociologists mean by ‘norms’ and ‘values’ and briefly discuss an example of each that relates to social media use. 


Gender Socialization and its Contribution to health inequalities

The term Gender Socialization indicates to the procedure of learning the expectations also attitudes of a society in context of a person’s sex (McCright and Xiao, 2014). The explanation given by sociologist uses gender socialization as a tool for assessing the different ways in which the females and males behave. Gender Socialization is influenced by various factors. Some of the influencing factors are as follows:

  • The attitude of the parents in the Childs upbringing
  • The kind of interaction the peers are involved with another
  • The influence of mass media

Occasionally, inequality in a system is attributed to gender roles. The gender socialization has adversely contributed to health inequalities in Australia (Plummer, 2016). Moreover, the gender socialization has led to stratification among the genders and this has led to oppressions and violence. The following statistics can provide the gender inequalities prevailing in Australia due to gender socialization:

  • The female population of Australia is 50.2% of the entire population
  • The different surveys conducted in 2005 indicated that among the blue collar workers, 74% were women and 78% were men which indicated massive gender inequality in the work spaces. In addition it can be said that men dominate the employers category at a alarming rate of 62% and 73% of the conservative middle classes (Anon, 2017).
  • Forty Nine percent of Australian women did experience discrimination at their workplace during pregnancy period, parental leave and on returning to work. 18 percent of the pregnant women stated that they were dismissed, redundant and restructured or their contracts were denied of renewal because of pregnancy period leaves
  • Australia was ranked 24th in a global index that was based on gender inequality, in 2013. It obtained a highest rank of 15, in 2006
  • The Australian fathers (3 hours and 55 minutes) do spend half the time the mothers (8 hours and 33 minutes) has to spend for managing their children
  • The Australian female population has been reporting of gender biasness in the health service-providing field. The discrimination has adversely affected the mindset of the Australian female population. There has been reports molestation, physical abuse and sexual harassments at times. The biasness can lead to adverse consequences in the future days to come.

Norms and Values as described by sociologists 

The term values and norms are considered the evaluated beliefs that assist in synthesizing the affective and cognitive aspects that orients with the world they are living. Sociology can be defined to be test of human behavior. Their possessed evaluative aspects help making them dissimilar from existential beliefs that primarily focuses on the matters that discriminates between truth and falsehood, also correctness and incorrectness.  The cognitive aspect influences the peoples unlike the motives that they derive from emotional or psychological processes (Nezlek, 2014).

The term values and norms do include the cognitive beliefs that engage approval or disapproval. The criteria of evaluation that is represented for the values and norms influences the behavior of the subjected units at numerous levels namely individuals, organizations and societies. As per the sociologists, people are fully influenced by the society or the virtual society prevalent in the social media. Social customs prevalent over the social media guide all of our actions or preferences. The social norms and values of people change over the time as per the shift of the functioning of social groups or people across the social media. This also includes the judgmental approach with in context of others behavior, which in turn can also influence personal behavior (Grabher and König,  2016). Values and norms may also affect the assessment of the policies of the governing bodies and society practices and therefore it does have an impact on the diplomatic relationships. It also influences the governmental policies of one society towards the other societies.

A value is referred to as the belief that defines the desirability of the mode, means, or the end in an action. It refers to the degree the goodness or badness of a subject. The value intends towards being general rather than being specific based on the types of actions and situations (Lips, 2017).

Norm is similar to value and is an evaluative belief. Norm precisely refers to the belief, which suggests the acceptance of behavior. A norm suggests the degree in which a behavior can be assessed to be right or wrong and allowable or unallowable. The basic nature of norm is intended in affecting its strength, and the importance that is attached to it (Nations and national identity: too much or not enough, 2017). 

Structure-agency continuum and issues of Unemployment 


As job loss can be considered to be a determining factor for one’s mental health but there is least knowledge on how the structural factors impacts the ways in which individuals responds to their job losses. The global economic crisis that occurred in 2007 posed to be much lethal for all people of Australia. The unemployment rate in the whole world raised from 5.7% to 6% and the unemployed population of Australia increased to a number of 10.8 million (as per the statistics of October, 2009). The study contributes in the understanding of the scenario by examination of the impacts on mental health after job loss and the multiple ways by which the workers respond to their job losses or unemployment (Varelas et al. 2015).


Generally, the term Agency indicates to the human action and behavior that is purposive in nature. It also includes the strategies for decision-making and the evaluation of choices for persuading with personal goals. It is focused on raising the issues involving motivation and personal resources and cultural resources that influence the capability to act. Agency is divided by the social and economic structures also the skills, motivations and the available material resources, both internally and externally. All these are highly influenced by the opportunities offered for education and their attainment, supports from family, financial resources, status of employment. The personal subjective in this aspect includes gender, sexuality, race, ability, disability and race (Australian society in a global context, 2017).

It is identified that the constraints within an agency are also attributed to the unique approach of the people and the reflexivity of their levels of fluctuation. It also considers the fact that sometimes individuals have lacking insights into the matters they act as a response to variety of emotional events like Job loss. It also considers the potential impacts that that these actions have on themselves and on others concerned. It indicates that reflexive agency, is definitely mediated by a number of triggers, which are disadvantage of material, experiences in the past obtained from diverse relationships in society, also by dealing with a expanded range of structures that enables and constraints (Block, 2014).

The workers were enquired about their psychological conditions after job loss and a very small indicated to the positive changes. Some of them indicated that they have been relived from the uncertainty state, some indicated to the ability of leaving the bad working conditions, some of them suggested that they immediately did find new jobs, some reflected with the flexibility. The conclusive results supported a view that shows job loss can have positive implications on one’s life by facilitating the change in career or direction of life and leaving the unsatisfying  employment, revaluating their respective career objectives and priorities.  On the contrary, many workers responded with negative feelings and psychological barriers that includes depression and suicidal intentions (Chapple, 2014).

The concept of Job insecurity can be linked to the involuntary job loss probability attributing to retrenchment. In a recently concluded study, it was indicated that the non-permanent segment contributes to be around 40 percent of the total nation’s workforce, and various arguments have been put forward with the view of evaluating its impact index. The companies in Australia due to the great financial crisis got shut down and repossession of property increased to a great rate. This could be said to be an alarming factor in the context of the Australian economy. Unemployment mainly is caused due to the operation of the economy in itself. The alarming figure of 40 percent non-permanent jobholders raises a query on the future of this employee population. This can be further being attributed to the nature of the job availability in the country (Singleton, 2016). The non-permanent workforce does not ensure any future security or the prospects for the workforce. It only raises a cloud of uncertainty of the workforce. This segment of the employee workforce is so large that a termination of this 40 percent can lead Australian unemployment rate will be increased to double. The non-permanent segments of the employee is not aware of their employment rights and are denied of access at times. This can lead to the downfall of an entire economy, which is not desired by any developing nation. Insecurity anticipation and major changes in an organization leads to an increase in self-morbidity, which can begin as the workers realize that their jobs are in jeopardy. The redundancy threat is equal in potential to the actual event if not greater. A recently concluded study on Australian job insecurity depicted that the job status certainty, even redundancy certainty can be less psychologically harmful as compared to prolonged insecurity (Webb et al. 2016).

The effect of job loss also influences the individual behaviors during interaction with one another, emotions also cognitions, and socio-materialistic aspects of life. In the present scebnarrio, many students think about their inefficiencyy to do a job after they complete their studiers. This fact can be related to the wrong way and perception building done by various social media sites. The thinking patterns and perceptions of people are much guided by the posts programmes shown in these social media tools (Economies, Work and consumption, 2017). The impacts of job losses on health are far more difficult for assessment in the context of the labor market. The labor market, where employees of the termed permanent jobs segment are also subjected to insecurity and lives under the potential threat of termination or downsizing (Harris and Dobson, 2015). Numerous workers those who have suffered job losses are now finding limited opportunities of re-employment. Some are also exposed to poorer job condition as compared to the earlier job scenario. The poor job conditions can be assessed based upon lower salary structures, health hazardous job conditions, worse working environment, and denial of employee rights. The employment continuum features includes the areas of unemployment, employment which are economically inadequate, and the employments which might me economically adequate but are not optimal in the economic or psychological terms (Marx, 2016).  


A research on the emotional stages of the employees who are dealing with the affect of downsizing or closure has been related to grieving stages that includes denial, exploration, anger, acceptance, depression and bargaining. Job loss in generally followed up by a sequences of stressful stages that includes anticipation in to the real layoff, searching for jobs, trainings and re-employment, with reference to the economic change. The workers of the manufacturing industry generally face long unemployment periods as compared to those working in primary industries. The nature of the workers in manufacturing industries tends to be an average, lower skilled with longer job tenures. This all factors contribute to the difficulty in the re-employment of such fractions. The researcher does conclude that structure- agency continuum has contributed in developing issues of unemployment. This alarming area should be dealt with implementation of proper measures so that it can be stopped in the future days to come. 

Reference list

Anon, (2017). In: 1st ed.

Australian society in a global context. (2017).

Block, D., 2014. Structure, Agency, Individualization and the Critical Realist Challenge. Theorizing and Analyzing Agency in Second Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Approaches, 84, p.17.

Chapple, S., 2014. Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in Australia: structure, agency and unintended consequences.

Economies, Work and consumption. (2017). In: 1st ed.

Grabher, G. and König, J., 2017. Performing network theory? Reflexive relationship management on social network sites. In Networked Governance (pp. 121-140). Springer International Publishing.

Harris, A. and Dobson, A.S., 2015. Theorizing agency in post-girlpower times. Continuum, 29(2), pp.145-156.

Lips, H.M., 2017. Sex and gender: An introduction. Waveland Press.

Marx, G.T., 2016. Windows into the soul: Surveillance and society in an age of high technology. University of Chicago Press.

McCright, A.M. and Xiao, C., 2014. Gender and environmental concern: Insights from recent work and for future research. Society & Natural Resources, 27(10), pp.1109-1113.

Nations and national identity: too much or not enough?. (2017). In: 1st ed.

Nezlek, J.B., 2014. The importance of norms and values: Comments on Jerzy M. Brzezinski’s article on the state of Polish psychology. Roczniki Psychologiczne, 17(3), pp.599-602.

Plummer, K., 2016. Sociology: the basics. Routledge.

Singleton, A., 2016. Generations of Change: Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary Australia. LiNQ (Literature in North Queensland), 38(1).

Varelas, M., Settlage, J. and Mensah, F.M., 2015. Explorations of the structure–agency dialectic as a tool for framing equity in science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 52(4), pp.439-447.

Webb, S., Bathmaker, A.M., Gale, T., Hodge, S., Parker, S. and Rawolle, S., 2017. Higher vocational education and social mobility: educational participation in Australia and England. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 69(1), pp.147-167.

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