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Ch. 4 Socialization Socialization is the lifelong process of interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental, and.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch. 4 Socialization Socialization is the lifelong process of interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch. 4 Socialization Socialization is the lifelong process of interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental, and social skills needed for survival in society. Nature vs. Nurture Every human being is a product of biology (genetics or nature), society (environment or nurture), and personal experiences. Sociology focuses on how humans design their own culture and transmit it from generation to generation through socialization. Sociobiology is the systemic study of how biology affects social behaviour. Except for simple reflexes, most human actions are influenced socially.

2 Biological and emotional needs are related – children who have their needs met see the world as safe, and others as trustworthy; children who receive less than adequate care, are neglected or abused, view the world as hostile and have feelings of suspicion and fear. Social Isolation and Maltreatment People need social interaction to develop properly. Harlows’ experiments with young rhesus monkeys. Isolated monkeys never learned to relate to others. Children who experience extreme isolation may lack basic skills. Ex. Anna and Genie. They were not exposed to “humanness”. Child abuse or child maltreatment refers to violence, mistreatment, or neglect a child may experience. Neglect is the most frequent.

3 Agents of Socialization Agents of socialization – the persons, groups, or institutions that teach us what we need to know in order to participate in society. Family Family is the most important agent of socialization in all societies. Family is where we acquire our specific social position in society, where ethnic, class, economic, religious, subcultural and gender factors all impact the individual for the first time. Melvin Kohn’s studies suggest ethnicity and class strongly influence what and how parents teach their children. Working class parents focus on conformity and obedience from children. They may be taught ambitions cannot be met. Upper class children are given more freedom and flexibility, and instilled with ideas of monetary and social success

4 Symbolic Interactionist theory focuses on the mutual dynamics of relationships within the family. Schools Schools teach specific knowledge and skills; they also have a profound effect on a child’s self-image, beliefs, and values. Schools are responsible for: 1) socialization, or teaching students to be productive members of society, 2) transmission of culture, 3)social control and development, 4) the selection, training, and placement of individuals on different rungs in society. Success may depend on how students conform to a hidden curriculum competitiveness, materialism, attentiveness, obedience, and work over play.

5 Peers Peer group is a group of people who are linked by common interests, equal social position, and (usually) similar age. Contribute to feeling of belonging and feelings of self-worth. More important for children and adolescents. Individuals must earn acceptance with their peers by meeting the group’s demands (peer pressure) Mass Media Mass media (TV, internet, radio) acts as a socializing agent by informing us about events, people, products, viewpoints on current issues, and entertaining us.

6 Sociological Theories of Human Development Without social contact, we cannot form a self-concept – the totality of our beliefs and feelings about ourselves. Four components comprise our self- concept: the physical self, the active self, the social self, and the psychological self. Self-identity is our perception about what kind of person we are. Cooley’s looking-glass self, self-concept is derived from a 3 step process: 1.We imagine how our personality and appearance will look to others. 2.We imagine how other people judge the appearance and personality 3.We develop a self-concept. If the evaluation is positive, our self-concept is enhanced. If the evaluation is negative, our self-concept is diminished.

7 Mead linked the idea of self-concept to role-taking – the process by which a person mentally assumes the role of another person in order to understand the world. I is the subjective and represents personal traits. Me is objective and is composed of the internalized attitudes and demands of society. Significant other are those people whose care, affection, and approval are most important in the development of the self. i)Prepatory stage – up to 3 yrs old, children imitate people around them ii)Play stage – (3-5) children learn to use language and other symbols, making it possible to pretend to take the roles of specific people. iii)Game stage - children understand their social position but also the positions around them. Develop generalized self – an awareness of the demands and expectations of the society as a whole or of child’s subculture.

8 Symbolic Interactionist theorists emphasize that children are active and creative agents of socialization. Corsaro’s orb web model illustrates that children’s cultural knowledge reflects the adult world but also their own peer culture. He believes the peer group is the most significant for children. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological perspective emphasizes the impact of culture on human development. The 4 systems are: a)Microsystem: face-to-face interaction between child and family. b)Mesosystem: child’s interactions with family are influenced by other family interactions. c)Exosytem: family members may be influenced by other settings. d)Macrosystem: interaction with child affected by all components in larger society.

9 Social Psychological Theories of Human Development Freud and the Psychoanalytic Perspective Personality made up of id, ego, and superego. Id is the component the includes a person’s basic biological drives and needs. Ego is the rational, reality-oriented component that imposes restrictions. Superego, or conscience, consists of moral and ethical aspects of personality. Focus on early childhood because that is when we develop our values and morals.

10 Erikson identified 8 psychosocial stages of development, each has a potential crises that involves transitions in social relationships. 1.Trust vs Mistrust (birth to age 1). 2.Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt (1-3 yrs). 3.Initiative vs Guilt (3-5 yrs). 4.Industry vs. Inferiority (6-11 yrs). 5.Identifty vs. Role Confusion (12-18 yrs). 6.Intimacy vs Isolation (18-35 yrs). 7.Generativity vs Self Absorption (35-55 yrs). 8.Integrity vs Despair (maturity and old age). Focuses on development through entire lifecycle. Shows the conflict that arises from social factors and how positive resolution results in positive development.

11 Piaget believed that cognitive development (how we think) passes through 4 stages, each organized around specific tasks, which form the basis for the next level. Children must move through each stage, but some move through at a faster speed. a)Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2) – children understand the world through their senses. b)Preoperational stage (2-7) – children begin to use words and develop mental images. c)Concrete Operational stage (7-11) – children think in term of tangible objects and actual events; they draw conclusions without acting it out. d)Formal Operational stage (age 12 through adolescence) – can think about abstract items, think about the future and evaluate different options.

12 Kohlberg and the Stages of Moral Development Using moral dilemmas, Lawrence Kohlberg elaborated on Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, to classify moral reasoning: a)Preconventional (7-10) – Children’s perceptions are based on punishment and obedience. Evil and good behaviour. b)Conventional (10 – adulthood) – Concerned about how they are perceived by their peers, and with conforming to rules. c)Postconventional (few adults reach this stage) – People view morality in terms of individual rights.

13 Carol Gilligan’s Views on Gender and Moral Development Gilligan believed that men were more concerned with law and order, women with social relationships and social consequences of behaviour. Kohlberg’s model developed with only male respondents. From her research she identified 3 stages in female moral development: 1)Motivated by selfish reasons. 2)Recognizes responsibility to others. 3)Makes decision based on greatest good for both herself and others.

14 Gender and Racial-Ethnic Socialization Gender Socialization is the aspect of socialization that contains specific messages and practices concerning the nature of being female or male in a specific group or society. Gender socialization may point out a preferred sex for a child and acceptable behaviours for males and females. May start before birth or with toys as children. Appropriate gender behaviour is rewarded throughout one’s life. Sports reinforces gender roles through division of events. The media illustrates what is considered feminine and masculine behaviour. Scholars are hesitant to point out differences among ethnic and social class groupings.

15 Socialization Through the Life Course Socialization is a lifelong process: each time we experience a change in status, we learn a new set of rules, roles, and relationships. Anticipatory socialization – the process by which we learn knowledge and skills for future roles. Infancy and Childhood 1.Family provided guidance and support is crucial to developing self-concept. Warm and secure homes produce healthy children. 2.Children who don’t have this support grow up with fear, danger, and risks. 3.Abused children often experience low self-esteem, inability to trust, and feelings of powerlessness. 4.The intergenerational hypothesis – that abused children will become abusers has been supported by some studies, but not others.

16 Adolescence 1.Buffer between childhood and adulthood. 2.Without specific rites of passages teens have to create their own steps to adulthood. 3.Conflict with authority figures which causes emotional and social turmoil. 4.Experiences vary according to class, gender, and ethnicity. 5.Adolescence may be extended for upper-middle-class and upper-class teens. Adulthood 1.More freedom of choice. 2.Working towards goals related to relationships and work. 3.Workplace socialization one of the most important. Wilbert Moore divides it into 4 phases: career choice; anticipatory socialization; conditioning and commitment; continuous commitment. 4.Between 40 to 60, people reflect on their goal achievements. 5.Social devaluation occurs in later life when people are not as physically capable.

17 Resocialization Resocialization is the process of learning a new and different set of attitudes, values, and behaviours from those in one’s previous background and experience. Voluntary Resocialization – enter of our own free will. Involuntary resocialization occurs against one’s wishes and takes place within a total institution – a place where people are isolated from the rest of society for a period of time and come under control of officials. Strips individuals of former identity to build a new one. Questionable effectiveness.


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