SOCIALIZATION Introduction to Sociology - ?· SOCIALIZATION Introduction to Sociology 2 | Riess Socialization…

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  • SOCIALIZATION Introduction to Sociology

    1 | R i e s s


    Human Reproduction Biological imperatives seem to do a better than adequate job of making sure the species persists. Our biology is not enough to make certain that we continually replenish the species. Unlike any other organism our continued existence is largely dependent on social imperatives. Society makes us human.

    Anna & Isabelle

    Both born out of wedlock. Both in some form of isolation until 6 - 6 years of age. Neither could communicate. Anna only lived to age 10 and never progressed beyond the developmental age of approximately 2. Isabelle eventually caught up with children of her similar developmental age. Why the difference in outcome?

    Be critical first.

    o We dont know the whole story. o Sociologists would not generalize about populations, let alone an entire species, based on two

    sad little girls stories. There is a marked difference in either girls early life experience.

    o Anna was in total seclusion. o Isabelle experienced some, however minimal, early human interaction with her deaf-mute

    mother in particular.

    Big deal social interaction?!... with a deaf-mute?! Social Interaction:

    Nature, Nurture, Not Sure

    How much of who we are is the consequence of our biology? How much of who we are is the consequence of out biography?

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    Socialization and How it Works Socialization:

    o The lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential. o The process through which people learn the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate for

    members of a culture. o The dynamic process of give-and-take between people and others in their environment. o The process by which people acquire cultural competency and through which society

    perpetuates the fundamental nature of existing social structures. o o People dont receive their social selves passively.

    Whats a social self you ask? Social Self

    A relatively organized complex of attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors associated with an individual. A distinct identity that sets us apart from others.

    What? Everything that has gone into and continues to go into making you everything you are. This is all about me (you). Personality

    o A persons fairly consistent patterns of attitudes, needs, characteristics, and behavior. Baby Social Scientists

    Human infant is to learn answers that persons she will never see, persons long dead, have already worked out.

    How do they (babies) do this? o Socialization (Coming soon). o Babies are skeptical and observant (two key ingredients to being a good scientist). o Logic.

    The Looking-Glass Self

    Cooley is Cool (Charles H. Cooley) o The Social Self arises through interaction with others. o Dynamic of self-creation:

    As we see our face, figure, and dress in the mirror (of our mind) and are interested in them because they are ours... we like what we see or we dont we think about how others are perceiving our appearance, manners, aims, deeds, character, friends, the way we talk, etc. etc. etc. and we are affected by what we imagine they are thinking.

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    The Looking-Glass Self 1st 2nd 3rd

    We learn to use this looking-glass and we learn who we really are. This is all happening in our own minds. We learn to read what other people are thinking and to discover what happens when we adjust our

    behaviors according to what we think they are thinking (but really we can never be certain). o Some are better than others. o We all feel some level of ineptness at times. o We are all relatively successful enough to get by in our respective groups.

    The Me and I

    The me (self as object) is the part of the self that is based on how one sees others as seeing oneself. What you see when you put yourself in someone elses shoes and look back at yourself.

    The I (self as subject) is the part of you that is uniquely you. Your personal reactions to the situation.


    Preparatory Stage(Imitation): Simple imitative behaviors. No sense of self separate from others. As they play, children:

    o Begin to appreciate the perspectives of other people. o Build up a sense of themselves as something that other people look at and make judgments

    about . Role-Taking

    o To take on the role of another and see how things look from their point of view.

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    Games Formal Play

    o Games have rules. o Specific rules and behaviors associated with roles. o To participate one must:

    Know the rules and roles. Have the discipline to follow the rules.

    o Games enhance childrens ability to do role-taking. Generalized Other The attitude of the generalized other is the attitude of the whole community in the case of such a social

    group as a ball team, the team is the generalized other insofar as it enters as an organized process on social activity, into the experience of any one of the members.

    -George Herbert Mead

    The ability to take the role of many others. Recognition that others have roles to fulfill within society and that one is part of that same society with

    roles of their own to fulfill. Freud and Personality

    Basic Human Needs o Eros - life instinct; the need for bonding. o Thanatos - death instinct; The need

    to reconcile the reality of our own mortality.

    Id o Basic drives, impulses, pleasure seeking.

    Ego o The part of you thats you. Balances the pleasure seeking impulses (id) and the demands of

    society. Superego

    o Internalized norms, values, and restraints. o The culture within us.

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    Emotions No one is emotionally indifferent to his or her culture. Emotional loyalty continues in the face of reason because of the intimate conditioning of early life

    continues throughout our lives though the initial wiring that promotes future conditioning occurs in childhood.

    There may be physiological consistency across cultures in the expression of emotions however timing and appropriateness are socialized.

    Emotions are social constructs that function to maintain the sentimentality of culture. Agents of Socialization

    The social self is a constantly evolving thing. Not just something that happens to us as children.

    o Though at no other time does it happen so rapidly and so great of profundity and complexity.

    Agents of Socialization wherein the dynamic process takes place: The Family

    Crucial agent of socialization. o Gets first crack at the job o Thorough lessons regarding gender appropriate behaviors. o Children acquire an appreciable amount of cultural competency (non-material and material)

    Communication Right and wrong Beliefs about the natural world Tying shoelaces Buttoning shirts Using eating utensils Telephones Tissues

    o Reproduction of social arrangements o Source of ascribed status (and the meanings attached to ones ascribed status). o Socialization is caught not taught.

    Parents tend to pass on to their children the outlooks that are suited to their own experiences in the world.

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    School As opposed to the childs socialization experience at home the experience at school is quite different:

    o At home the child may be treated as a unique individual. o At school children learn that everyone can expect to be treated in a relatively similar and

    impersonal manner. o School often reinforces gender roles learned at home.

    Manifest Function of Education: The imparting and acquisition of skills necessary for success is in the adult world.

    Latent Function of Education: Maintenance of social stratum. o Other social values and norms learned in school: o Obedience to authority.

    Formal and informal. o Cooperation. o Responsibility and accountability. o Achievement. o Individualism within a group. o Competition.

    Mass Media

    Exposure to media influences peoples perceptions of reality. television viewing shapes a viewers conceptions of social realitythe more one is exposed to

    television, the more likely ones interpretation and perceptions of social reality will reflect the television world, as opposed to the real and observable world.

    Television (and other media for that matter) reflect elements of the real observable

    world? Media only produces what well consume.

    Peer Groups

    Manifest Function: To have fun. Latent Function: Socializing agent.

    o Socializes children and adolescents to become independent from adult authority. o Peer groups for children and adolescents can develop into elaborate subcultures with their own

    values, norms, language, and use of symbols. o While these subcultures are in some ways set apart from the prevailing culture they tend to also

    reinforce standard cultural conventions. i.e. gender-role behavior and expectations. Class distinctions

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    Workplace o Learning to behave appropriately within occupational setting is a fundamental aspect of human

    socialization o Anticipatory socialization, preparing for new roles.

    Total Institutions

    A place of residence and work where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable peri