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THE ROLE OF SOCIALIZATION Environment and Heredity.

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1 THE ROLE OF SOCIALIZATION Environment and Heredity

2 Socialization  Socialization: continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviour, and social skills appropriate to his/her social position.

3 What is the Role of Socialization?  What makes us who we are?  Is it determined by genetics?  Or is it our environment?

4 Divide into groups of 3 or 4  Create a list of 5 reasons to justify each position NURTURE NATURE

5 Nature vs. Nurture Debate  Traditional clash over the relative importance of biological inheritance and environmental factors in human development  Heredity vs. environment  Most social scientists have moved beyond this debate  Acknowledge interaction of these variables in shaping human development

6 Nature: Influence of Heredity  Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia  maternal grandmother  strict Catholic upbringing  Member of Hitler Youth  Learned to hate Jews  Trinidad  Jewish father  Joined Israeli kibbutz (collective settlement) at 17  Served in Israeli army OskarJack

7 Brothers reunited in middle age  wearing wire-rimmed glasses and moustaches  wore pocket shirts with epaulets  like spicy foods and sweet liqueurs  are absent-minded  have a habit of falling asleep in front of the TV  Think it’s funny to sneeze in a crowd of strangers  Flush the toilet before using it  Store rubber bands on their wrists  Read magazines from back to front  Dip buttered toast in their coffee (Holden 1980)  Jack = workaholic  Oskar = enjoyed leisure time  Jack = traditional liberal who was much more accepting of feminism  Oskar = traditionalist who was domineering toward women  Jack = extremely proud to be Jewish  Oskar = never mentioned his Jewish heritage SimilaritiesDifferences

8 Heredity and Environment  Separated twins studies  Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research  Similarities  Characteristics (temperament, voice patterns, and nervous habits) = linked to heredity  Tendency toward leadership and dominance  Difference  Attitudes, values and types of mate chosen, drinking habits = linked to environment  Need for intimacy, comfort, and assistance

9 Sociobiology  Systematic study of the biological bases of social behaviour  Apply Charles Darwin’s principles of natural selection to study social behaviour  Assume that particular forms of behaviour become genetically linked to a species if they contribute to its fitness to survive  In its extreme form, sociobiology suggests that all behaviour is the result of genetic or biological factors and that social interactions play no role in shaping people’s conduct.

10 Sociobiology continued…  Focus on how human nature is affected by the genetic composition of a group of people who share certain characteristics  Many sociologists are highly critical of sociobiologists’ tendency to explain, or seemingly justify, human behaviour on the basis of nature and ignore its cultural and social basis.

11 Nurture: Environment and the Impact of Isolation  The Case of Isabelle  Lived in almost total seclusion until age 6  Darkened room  Only contact with deaf, mute mother, and grandparents who kept her hidden  Discovered by Ohio authorities when her mother escaped the grandparents

12 Isabelle Communication Could not speak Croaking sounds Simple gestures to communicate with mother Socialization Deprived of interaction and socialization experiences Saw few people Reactions Initially showed strong fear of strangers Reacted like a wild animal As grew accustomed became apathetic

13 Training Isabelle  At first believed she was deaf, but soon became to react to sounds  Specialists develop a systematic training program to help her adapt to human relationships and socialization  Quickly passed over six years of missed development

14 Isabella’s progress Few days Speaking first words 2 months Speaking in complete sentences 9 months Identifying words and sentences 9 years Ready to attend school with others children 14 years 6 th grade and well adjusted

15 Cases of neglect  Romania (former communist Eastern Europe)  Romanian orphanages  Babies in cribs 18 or 20 hours  Feeding bottles, little adult care for 1st 5 years  Many orphans fearful of human contact  Prone to unpredictable antisocial behaviour  Huge adjustment problems for 20% of orphans adopted to NA families

16 Importance of Early Socialization  Not enough to care for an infant’s physical needs  Parents must also concern themselves with children’s social development

17 Primate Studies  Harlow’s experimentation – rhesus monkeys  Raised away from their mothers and away from contact with other monkeys  Fearful and frightened, did not mate  artificially inseminated female became abusive mother

18 Harlow’s “Artificial Mothers”  Two substitute mothers  Cloth-covered replica  Wire-covered that had the ability to offer milk  Went to wire one for milk but spent more time clinging to cloth “mother”  Monkeys valued the artificial mother that provided a comforting physical sensation more than the one that provided food.  Appears that the infant monkeys developed greater social attachments from their need for warmth, comfort, and intimacy.


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