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Socialization. Human Nature How much does a person’s characteristics come from “nature”- heredity and how much from “nurture”- social environment (contact.

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Presentation on theme: "Socialization. Human Nature How much does a person’s characteristics come from “nature”- heredity and how much from “nurture”- social environment (contact."— Presentation transcript:

1 Socialization

2 Human Nature How much does a person’s characteristics come from “nature”- heredity and how much from “nurture”- social environment (contact with others)??

3 Heredity Intelligence- capacity for mental or intellectual achievement s/a ability to think logically Aptitude- capacity for developing physical or social skills s/a athletic prowess Role of heredity in determining intelligence and aptitude is controversial The extent to which intelligence and aptitude are inherited is up for debate Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray assume that more than ½ of intelligence comes from genes Most social scientists consider intelligence to be learned from social environment

4 Significance of Heredity Although nature sets limits on what we can achieve, socialization plays a large role in determining what we do achieve Whatever potential is inherited can be enhanced or stunted through socialization Example: infants who grow up with abusive parents, tend to grow up to be more aggressive than if raised by affectionate parents

5 Significance of Socialization Humans are born helpless (tablua rasa- blank slate)- John Locke Depend on adults to survival Traits that seem basic and essential to human nature appear to depend on socialization Evidence can be found from case studies of children deprived of socialization or who have been socialized into geniuses

6 Impairing development Feral children- children supposedly raised by animals Cases where children run on all fours, had no speech, preferred uncooked food and couldn’t do simple things

7 Isabella & Genie Isabella born to an unwed mother in OH Grandfather kept her & her deaf-mute mother secluded in a dark room Discovered at age 6- showed great fear and hostility towards people Genie- found in CA in 1970 had been deprived of socialization for nearly 13 years Tied to her potty seat during the day and straitjacketed and caged to her crib at night. Her father would beat her if she made any noise, and barked and growled at her. When found she couldn’t stand straight, was unable to speak and had the intelligence and social maturity of a 1 year old

8 Creating Geniuses Specialized socialization can create geniuses Example: Edith- finished grammar school in 4 years, skipped high school, graduated college at age 15, got doctorate before 18. Father filled her days with reading, math, classical music, intellectual discussions and debates and literature Played chess for entertainment Born with potential for becoming a genius but through extraordinary socialization the potential was transformed into reality

9 Socialization into the self, mind and emotions

10 Cooley and the Looking-Glass Self Charles Horton Cooley, a symbolic interactionist concluded that the “self” is socially created Said our sense of self-develops from interaction with others Coined the term “looking-glass self” to describe the process by which our sense of self develops

11 Looking-Glass Self 3 elements We imagine how we appear to those around us Example: we think that others perceive us as witty or dull We interpret others’ reactions we come to conclusions about how others evaluate us- do they like us, do they not? We develop self concept How we interpret others’ reactions to us frames our feelings and ideas about ourselves A favorable reflection in the “social mirror” leads to a positive self-concept and visa versa The development of self doesn’t depend on accurate evaluations Self is always changing- as we monitor how others react to us, we continually modify the self

12 Mead and Role-Taking George Herbert Mead, another social interactionist added that play is crucial to the development of self Children gradually learn to take the role of others and put themselves in someone else’s shoes At 1 st they take only role of significant others- people who have a significant influence on their lives (parents, siblings, etc.) Eventually their ability to take the roles of others extends to being able to take the role of “the group as a whole” The term “Generalized others”- how people in general think of us

13 Role Taking We go through 3 stages as we learn to take the role of others Imitation- children under the age of 3 can only mimic others Play- from 3-6, children pretend to take the roles of specific people Firefighter, nurse, superheroes, parents Team games- to play these games the individual must be able to take multiple roles baseball

14 Piaget and the Development of Reasoning Children go through 4 stages as they learn how to reason Sensorimotor stage: birth-2. understanding is limited to direct contact w/environment- 5 senses Preoperational stage: 2-7. children develop the ability to use symbols but don’t yet understand common concepts s/a size, speed or causation Can count but don’t know what #s mean

15 Stages continued Concrete operational stage: reasoning ability is more developed but not concrete Understand numbers, causation, speed, and take on roles but cant talk about concepts s/a truth, honesty, etc. w/o examples Formal operational stage: 12+. Children are capable of abstract thinking Can talk about concepts, come to conclusions based on general principles and use rules to solve abstract problems

16 Sigmund Freud Believed that personality consists of 3 elements Id-inherited drives for self-gratification Ego-balances between the needs of the Id and the demands of society Superego- social conscience Sociologists object to Freud’s view that inborn and unconscious motivations are the primary reasons for human behavior

17 Conclusion Most socialization is meant to turn us into conforming members of society We do some things and not others as a result of socialization Our “social mirror”- the result of being socialized into self and emotions- sets up effective controls over our behavior


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