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Chapter 5: Socialization and the Life Cycle

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1 Chapter 5: Socialization and the Life Cycle

2 Socialization Socialization: The process by which individuals are incorporated into society, internalizing its codes, narratives, values, and symbols. This process begins at birth and usually takes place first in the family. Self: Our sense of who we are in relation to ourselves, others, and society.

3 The Paradox of Socialization
Socialization brings us into society and allows us to internalize the codes, narratives, values, and symbols that already exists, thereby ensuring the continuity of our societies over time. Yet…learning to be “like us” means, at the same time, learning how to be unique.

4 Figure 5.1 Nature or Nurture

5 Toward the Modern Self “ I think, therefore I am.” - Decartes “To be or not to be, that is the question.” - Shakespeare, Hamlet The anti-authoritarian, consent-based system of democracy rests upon the deeply rooted belief that the self is autonomous and internally integrated. Only the presumption of such autonomy allows us to think of the human as possessing “inalienable rights” that can be protected by a democratic form of government.

6 Toward the Postmodern Self
People are now more exposed to variation in their environments and experience steep increases in individual sensitivity and responsiveness due to: the development of advanced communication technologies the rapidity of migration the displacement of assimilation the promotion of difference and multiculturalism

7 Figure 5.2 Historical Stages of the Self

8 Creating the Self Selfways: The characteristic cultural ideas and values associated with particular social and cultural groups in the world. These emerge from living one’s life in particular sociocultural contexts. Agents of socialization: The influences from the social environment that transform a child from an unaware infant into a competent social person. Agents of socialization might include the family, parents, school, or peer groups.

9 Figure 5.3 Cross-Cultural Studies of the Self

10 Figure 5.3 Cross-Cultural Studies of the Self

11 Figure 5.4 A Circumplex Model of Parental Support, Control, and Child Outcomes

12 Primary Socialization
Parents Siblings and Birth Order Gender Gender: A term that refers to cultural ideas, norms, and values the construct images and expectations of females and males, particularly in terms of behavior and appearance. Unlike sex, which is limited to biological distinctions between males and females, gender is socially and culturally constructed and understood.

13 Secondary Socialization
Secondary social experiences: While institutions, such as the family, are crucial in early socialization, secondary socialization experiences often foster individuation and challenge primary socialization. Schools Peer Groups The Media

14 Peer Groups Peer Groups: Voluntary organizations and associations of children, such as school groups or play groups. These groups are instrumental in early socialization in that they provide an arena in which children not only learn from one another how to interact with others but also engage in cultural exploration.

15 Figure 5.5 Percentage of 8th, 10th, & 12th Graders Who Watch TV Four Hours or More on Weekdays

16 Life Course Life course: A term that, instead of describing life as a linear biological path from birth to death, refers to the role of historical, social, and cultural contexts in shaping an individual or group’s life trajectory.

17 Figure 5.6 High School Students who Thought Seriously about Committing Suicide

18 Figure 5.7 Percentage of High School Students who Thought Seriously About or Attempted Suicide, by Race/Ethnicity

19 Life Stages Life stages: Various points of transition and experience throughout the life course. For example, adolescence and retirement are two life stages. They entail not only biological stages of development, such as adolescence, but also key social stages, such as marriage or retirement.

20 Figure 5.8 Percentage of High School Students who Thought Seriously About or Attempted Suicide, by Gender

21 Figure 5.9 When Are You Really Grown Up?

22 Figures 5.10 and 5.11

23 Figure 5.12 Proportion of Young Adults Receiving Financial Assistance

24 Emotion Work in Postmodern Life
The postmodern self has the capacity to manage complex emotions, to refer to multiple and simultaneous cultural frameworks, and to project a convincing relation to the ambiguities of social structure—the socialized inner self develops a “working” self to handle the complexities of interaction, or a series of working selves.

25 Emotion Work in Postmodern Life (cont.)
Feeling rules: As theorized by Arlie Hochschild, cultural scripts that direct how we want to feel and how was want others to interpret our feelings. “Feeling rules” are significant in that they mark how, in the uncertainty of postmodern life, we must work to manage our emotions, as well as to be interpreted and understood by another.

26 Study Questions What is socialization, and in what sense is it paradoxical? How did classical and modern sociology conceive of socialization, and in what ways did this conception reflect modern social life? How does postmodern society challenge this conception? What is Julian Jaynes’s provocative argument about selfhood in ancient Greek society?

27 Study Questions Why did the concept of the autonomous self disappear in the Middle Ages? What role did the “civilizing process” play in the modernization of European society? Why do some social observers believe that the postmodern self is an improvement on its modern counterpart while others believe it is a degradation of its predecessor?

28 Study Questions When children are socialized, how are most cultural lessons learned? What is the content of these cultural lessons? What is the “social” dimension of culture imparted to children in socialization? According to Gary Peterson and Boyd Rollins, what is the best style of parenting? What qualities does it combine, and why are these effective? What is coercive control, and what are the consequences of a parenting style that overuses it?

29 Study Questions When does gender socialization begin in a child’s life? How do parents contribute to the “gendering” of a child?

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