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SOCIALIZATION

chapter 5
Socialization
- Basic to human development
- Lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential and learn
culture
Personality
- shaped by social experience; we have no personality if we dont socialize
- a persons fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking, and feeling
- built by internalizing our surrounding, our culture
Human Devt: Nature or Nurture?
Nature
o Darwins study on evolution led people to think that personality was shaped by
natural instincts
o Examples: economic system displayed instinctive human competitiveness;
women are born emotional; men are born rational
o Cultural diversity was linked to biology instead, leading people to believe that
those of technologically simpler societies were less evolved, less human.
Result? Colonialism
Nurture
o Behaviorism John B. Watson
Behavior is learned
People are equally human, differing only in culture
Nurture matters more in shaping human behavior. We are born with a brain but if we
dont get to us it, it will not develop. Nurture is our nature.
Social Isolation
Experiments with rhesus monkeys Harry & Margaret Harlow
o Intimacy is important for infants
Anna, Isabelle, Genie
o All show permanent damage from lack of socialization from a young age,
physical abuse, and neglect.
o Mentally slow, possible retardation or early death if neglected/abused for too
long, malnourishment, etc
Understanding Socialization
a) Sigmund Freud
- Lived at the time behavior was thought to be biologically fixed
Humans have two instinctive drives: eros (life instinct) and thanatos (death instinct),
which operate at an unconscious level and create a deep inner tension
Personality composes of id, ego, superego.
o Id: the human beings basic drives
o Ego: persons conscious efforts to balance innate pleasure-seeking drives with
the demands of society
o Superego: cultural values of norms internalized by an individual; morality;
conscience
Order of development
Id Superego Ego
Naturally, the ego manages the conflict between the id and superego, but if this
doesnt occur during childhood, the person may experience personality disorders later
on.
Sublimation
o Brought about by the competing demands of self and society
o Redirects selfish drives into socially acceptable behavior
o Examples: marriage to satisfy sexual urges, competitive sports as an outlet for
aggression

b) Jean Piaget
- studied human cognition (how people think and understand)
Four Stages of Cognitive Development
1. Sensorimotor Stage
o Experiencing the world through the five senses
o Ages 0 - 2
2. Preoperational Stage
o First use of language and other symbols, imagination
o Ages 2 - 7
3. Concrete Operational Stage
o First see causal connections in surroundings, how and why things happen,
attachment of more than one symbol to an object or event
o Ages 7 - 11
4. Formal Operational Stage
o Abstract and critical thinking, understanding metaphors
o Ages 12 and above

c) Lawrence Kohlberg
- Studied moral reasoning
Stages of Moral Development
1. Preconventional
o What feels right or good
2. Conventional
o Conforming to societys norms
o Seeing the intent before making moral judgments
3. Postconventional
o Go beyond societal norms to consider abstract ethical principles
o What is legal is not necessarily right

d) Carol Gilligan
- Studied the moral development of boys and girls, how gender guides social behavior
- Highlighted the importance of gender in research through her discovery
The two sexes have different standards of rightness.
o Boys have a justice perspective, relying on rules to define right and wrong.
o Girls have a care and responsibility perspective, judging a situation with
consideration of personal relationships and loyalties.
Kohlberg thinks that the male perspective is better than the female one, but Gilligan
notes that the perspectives are relevant to their respective sexes. If that is the case,
why is the male standard the norm by which we judge everyone?
Nancy Chodorow children grow up in homes where typically it is the mothers who are
caring and nurturing, in contrast with fathers who are away from home, formal and
detached. Girls identify with mothers and boys identify with fathers. The disparity
between the respective moral reasoning of men and women might get decrease if more
women populated the workplace.

e) George Herbert
- Developed the theory of social behaviorism
o How social experience develops personality

Self
o the part of an individuals personality composed of self-awareness and self-image
o Not there at birth, it develops --- not part of the body or guided by biological
drives, biological maturation
o It develops only with social experience, through interaction with others
o Social experience is the exchange of symbols, humans find meaning in every
action
o Seeking meaning leads people to imagine the intentions of others, draw
conclusions from peoples actions and try to find underlying intent
o Understanding intent leads people to put their selves in the other persons
shoes, seeing from the other persons perspective, anticipate how others will
react before we even act
o All social interactions involve taking the role of the other.
o looking-glass self Charles Horton Cooley
seeing yourself how others see you
self-image based on how we think others see us
o By taking the role of the other, we become self-aware.
Self: I and Me
I: subjective side
Me: objective side
Social experience involves initiating action (I-phase) and continuing action
based on how others respond (me-phase)

Significant other: people who have special importance for socialization


Generalized other: widespread cultural norms and values we use as
references in evaluating ourselves
o No matter how the world shapes us, we remain creative beings, able to react to
the world around us. We play a key role in our own socialization.

f) Erik Erikson
- Believes that everyone faces challenges throughout the life course
Eight Stages of Development
1. Infancy trust vs mistrust
o Infants must be able to establish a sense of trust that their world is a safe place.
o Family is important in this regard.
2. Toddlerhood autonomy vs doubt & shame
o Toddlers must learn skills to cope with the world confidently.
o Failure will lead to children doubting their own abilities.
3. Preschool initiative vs guilt
o Children must learn to interact with people and their surroundings.
o Failure will lead to the child experiencing guilt for not meeting expectations.
4. Preadolescence industry vs inferiority
o Children engage in many activities at this stage, they must learn to step up and
feel proud of their own achievements.
o Failure will lead to children feeling like they are not as good as the other children.
5. Adolescence identify vs role confusion
o Teenagers strive to establish their own identity. They want to fit in but also be
unique.
6. Young adulthood intimacy vs isolation
o Young adults need to form and maintain intimate relationships without
abandoning their own identity.
7. Middle adulthood generativity vs self-absorption
o Middle-aged adults should contribute to society in some way, to the lives of
others, or else they become self-centered and caring only about their own
concerns.
8. Old age integrity vs despair
o The elderly should feel that they have lived a life with no regrets, or else they
fear death and regret their missed opportunities.
Agents of Socialization
1. Family
Probably the most important socialization agent
First source of socialization
Provides social identity, racial identity, social class
o Realizing your familys social standing affects how others see you, thus affecting
how you see yourself
o Social class plays a part in parents expectations, and how long growing up
takes.
Parents act in ways that encourage their children to follow in their
footsteps.
Maybe because thats the only way they know how?
Culture capital activities that enrich a childs learning and helps build a
sense of confidence that they will succeed later in life
2. School
Enlarges childrens social world to include those with different backgrounds
o Important so children will know the importance of race and social position
o Likely to cluster in groups of the same gender, class, or race
Gender - school and family join together in assigning gender roles
Not the same for children of different social classes
o Richer children have a better experience
Hidden curriculum more than just the formal lesson plans
o Examples: spelling bee competition not only teaches how to spell words but also
divides students into winners and losers; team sports encourage cooperation and
competition
Students first experience with bureaucracy: impersonal rules and strict time schedule
3. Peer Group
A social group whose members have interests, social position, and age in common
Lets children escape adult supervision, allows children to discuss things that adults may
not permit or relate to
Great influence on children, reaches its peak in adolescence, where teens break away
from parents and think of themselves as adults
o Peer groups have short-term influences: music, films, etc
o Parents still have long-term influence: college
Individuals tend to see their own peer group positively and put down other peer groups
Anticipatory socialization
o people are influenced by the peer group they wish to join
o learning that helps a person achieve a desired position
4. Mass Media
Means for delivering impersonal communication to a vast audience
Television itself is not harmful but children tend to watch it more than doing other
activities (interacting with family or friends) that are more beneficial to mental and
social development
Enriches our lives with entertaining and educational programs, increases our exposure
to diverse cultures, provokes discussion of current issues
Socialization and the Life Course
Childhood
o A fairly new concept that embodies the first 12 years of life
o Technologically advanced countries allow for a longer period of childhood
This results in some children hurrying to become adults
hurried child syndrome
Affected by higher divorce rates, absence of parents, adult programming
on TV, internet, and films
Explains why todays children have higher levels of stress and anxiety
Adolescence
o A buffer between childhood and adulthood
o Teenage years: filled with emotional and social turmoil as teens struggle to find
their identity
o Teenage rebelliousness as a product of cultural inconsistency
Schools handing out condoms vs parents restrict sex
Eighteen-year-old having to go to war but cant drink beer
o Filled with social contradictions
o Not a child anymore but not yet an adult
Adulthood
o Where most of lifes accomplishments take place
Pursuing a career, starting a family
o Personality is fully formed but may be greatly influenced by environment
(divorce, unemployment, serious illness)
o Early Adulthood
Adults try to juggle many priorities
o Middle Adulthood
Life circumstances seem pretty well set
More aware of physical, emotional health
Price of career success is neglect of health and family
o Old Age
Leaving roles that provided satisfaction and social identity
Many meanings as attached by different societies
Traditional: elderly take control of most of the wealth, are seen as
wise so they are very respected
Industrial: what is old is unimportant and irrelevant, obsolete, the
elderly as out of touch, elderly knowledge and experience have little
value
Retirement: could mean a period of restful activity, or losing valued
routines or even boredom
Death and Dying
o Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: death involves 5 stages
Denial, anger, negotiation (bargaining), resignation (depression),
acceptance
Not everyone goes through each stage or goes through them in order
o Recently, death is talked about more openly and is preferable to prolonged
suffering
o Couples are able to plan for it through insurances, those who lost a loved one are
able to cope better with the pain
The life course is no more than a social construct. People experience their own life
courses differently. In any society, life course present certain problems and transitions
that involve learning something new, and in many cases, unlearning familiar routines.
Cohort
o category of people with something in common, usually age
o Peoples life experiences differ depending on when they were born
o Affected by economic and cultural trends
Resocialization
Total institution
o A setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society and manipulated
by an administrative staff
o THREE CHARACTERISTICS
1. Staff members supervise all aspects of daily life (sleep, meals, recreation).
2. Life in an institution is controlled and standardized (same food, clothes,
activities).
3. Formal rules dictate when, where, and how inmate perform their daily
routines.
Resocialization
o Radically changing an inmates personality by carefully controlling the
environment
o Prisons, mental hospitals
o TWO-PART PROCESS
1. The existing personality/identity is broken down.
Personal possessions are taken
Mortifications of self head-shaving, medical exams, fingerprinting,
assignment of serial number
Privacy is surrendered as guards routinely inspect their living quarters.
2. A new identity is built through a system of rewards and punishments.
o Differs for people: some may be rehabilitated, while others become hostile and
bitter, or even institutionalized, incapable of independent living