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Socialization

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Kirstin Morris

on 21 January 2015

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Transcript of Socialization

Socialization
Topics
Why is Socialization Important?

Agents of Socialization

Sociological Theories of Human Development

Social Psychological Theories of Human Development

Gender Socialization

Socialization Through the Life Course

Resocialization
Why is Socialization Important?
Socialization:
the lifelong process of social interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental, and social skills needed for basic survival in society.
enables each of us to develop our human potential and learn the ways of thinking, talking, and acting that are essential for social living
essential for individual's survival and for human development
essential for the survival and stability of society
Children whose needs are met in settings characterized by warmth, affection, and closeness see the world as a safe and comfortable place and other people as trustworthy and helpful.
Children who receive less-than-adequate care or who are emotionally rejected or abused often view the world as hostile and have pervasive feelings of suspicion and fear
Being human includes being conscious of ourselves as individuals with unique identities, personalities, and relationships with others
Biology and Society
Are we born with these human characteristics or do we develop them through our interactions with others?
Every human is a product of biology, society, and personal experiences
nature and nurture
Social environment probably has a greater effect than heredity on the way we develop and the way we act.
Heredity provides the basic material from which other people help to mould an individual's human characteristics.
Social Isolation and Maltreatment
Child Maltreatment
Humans and nonhuman primates need social contact with others of their species to develop properly
Harry and Margaret Harlow (1962, 1977)
infant rhesus monkeys
wire mother and cloth mother
Children raised in isolation:
Anna (1932 - 1942)
no speech, unable to walk or feed herself
learned to walk, talk in phrases, and care for herself
Genie (1957 - ?)
could not stand, salivated, no toilet training, could not chew food
limited success in developing her language abilities
Child abuse and maltreatment: the violence, mistreatment, or neglect that a child may experience while in the care of someone he or she trusts or depends on
Child abuse is a complex problem that involves individual, familial, and social factors
Child abuse is linked to inequalities in our society and the power imbalance that exists between adults and children
A child's vulnerability to being abused may be increased by other factors, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, and social isolation
http://wherearethechildren.ca/en
Canadian Residential Schools:
Agents of Socialization
the persons, groups, or institutions that teach us what we need to know to participate in society
The Family
The most important agent of socialization in all societies
The School
an increase in specialized technical and scientific knowledge = an increase in time spent in formal education
Peer Groups
a group of people who are linked by common interests, equal social position, and (usually) similar age
Mass Media
profound impact on children and adults
The love and nurturance we receive from our families are essential to normal cognitive, emotional, and physical development
Transmit cultural and social values to us
Families in Canada vary in size and structure
Families serve important functions in society because they are the primary focus for the procreation and socialization of children
We learn about the dominant culture and the primary subcultures to which our parents and other relatives belong
socialization reproduces the class structure in the next generation
socialization contributes to a false consciousness - a lack of awareness and a distorted perception of the reality of class
socialization reaffirms and reproduces the class structure in the next generation instead of challenging the current conditions
daycare and preschool programs may have a positive effect on the overall socialization of children
children from all social classes and family backgrounds may benefit from learning experiences in early childhood education programs outside their homes
Schools have a profound effect on children's self-image, beliefs, and values
schools are responsible for:
1. socialization
2. transmission of culture
3. social control and personal development
4. the selection, training, and placement of individuals on different rungs in the society
the education system solidifies class inequalities in society and allows the elite to control the masses
schools teach a hidden curriculum - children learn to value competition, materialism, work vs. play, obedience to authority, and attentiveness
school socialize children for their later roles in the workforce
contribute to our sense of belonging and our feelings of self-worth
provide a degree of freedom from parents and other authority figures
teach and reinforce cultural norms and provide important information about acceptable behaviour
a product and transmitter of culture
peer pressure: individuals must earn their acceptance with their peers by conforming to a given group's own norms, attitudes, speech patterns, and dress codes.
conform = rewarded
do not conform = ridicule or expelled
large-scale organizations that use print or electronic means to communicate with large numbers of people
inform us about events
introduce us to a wide variety of people
produce an array of viewpoints on current issues
make us aware of products and services that will supposedly help us be accepted by others
entertain us by providing the opportunity to live vicariously
we frequently underestimate the enormous influence this agent of socialization may have on children's attitudes and behaviour
cultural studies and postmodernism
media culture has dramatically changed the socialization process for very young children
Sociological Theories of Human Development
we cannot form a sense of self or personal identity without intense social contact with others
self = the sum total of perceptions and feelings that an individual has of being a distinct, unique person
self-concept
- the totality of our beliefs and feelings about ourselves. It is the foundation for communication with others.
It continues to develop and change throughout our lives.
4 components:
1. the physical self
2. the active self
3. the social self
4. the psychological self
self-identity - our perception about what kind of person we are
symbolic interactionism
we do not know who we are until we see ourselves as we believe others see us
Cooley, Mead, and Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives
social constructionism - theories that emphasize the socially created nature of social life
Cooley and the Looking-glass Self
Charles Horton Cooley (1864 - 1929)
the looking-glass self - the way in which a person's sense of self is derived from the perceptions of others
our looking-glass self is not who we actually are or what people actually think about us
we use our interactions with others as a mirror for our own thoughts and actions
our sense of self is not permanently fixed - it always develops as we interact with others
Mead and Role-Taking
George Herbert Mead (1863 - 1931)
linked Cooley's idea of self-concept to role taking
role-taking
- the process by which a person mentally assumes the role of another person to understand the world from that person's point of view
born with no understanding that we are separate from the significant others around us
we gradually distinguish ourselves from our caregivers and begin to perceive ourselves in contrast to them
when we can represent ourselves in our own minds as objects distinct from everything else, our self has formed
I versus Me
the subjective element of the self that represents he spontaneous and unique traits of each person
the objective element of the self, which comprises the internalized attitudes and demands of other members of society and the individual's awareness of those demands
both needed to form the social self
unity of the 2 = the full development of the individual
develops first
forms during the 3 stages of self development
1. Preparatory Stage
0 - 3 years old
3. Game Stage
early school years
2. Play Stage
~ 3 - 5 years old
interactions lack meaning
children imitate the people around them
preparing for role taking
children learn to use language and other symbols
children begin to see themselves in relation to others
do not see role-taking as something they have to do
children understand not only their social position but also the positions of others around them
games are structured by rules, often are competitive, and involve other players
the generalized other:
children become concerned about the expectations and demands of others and of the larger society
our perception of how we
think
others see us is not always correct
The self is a social creation
"Selves can only exist in definite relations to other selves. No hard-and-fast line can be drawn between our own selves and the selves of others."
- Mead (1934)
Sociologist Anne Kaspar (1986) suggests that Mead's ideas about the social self may be more applicable to men than women, because women are more likely to experience inherent conflicts between the meanings they derive from their personal experiences and those they take from culture
ex. balancing family life and paid employment
Social Psychological Theories of Human Development
Freud and the Psychoanalytic Perspective
Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)
In Freud's Victorian era, biological explanations of human behaviour dominated
Lived and worked in an era of extreme sexual repression and male dominance compared to modern North American society
3 stages of human development reflecting the 3 different levels of the personality - the id, ego, and superego
Id
Superego
Ego
The Ego:
the rational, reality oriented component of personality that imposes restrictions on the innate pleasure-seeking drives of the id
The Superego
(the conscious): consists of the moral and ethical aspects of personality
recognition of parental control
matures as child learns that parental control is a reflection of the values and moral demands of the larger society
in a well adjusted person, manages the opposing forces of the id and superego
The Id
: the component of personality that includes all the individual's basic biological drives and needs that demand immediate attention
newborn child = all id
Piaget and Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980)
a pioneer in the field of cognitive development
cognitive theorists are interested in how people obtain, process, and use information
In each stage of development, children's activities are governed by their perception of the world around them
4 stages of cognitive development
all children must go through each stage in sequence before moving on to the next one
children move through the stages in differing speeds
Kohlberg and the Stages of Moral Development
1.
Sensorimotor Stage

(birth to age 2)
: children understand the world only through sensory contact and immediate action because they cannot engage in symbolic thought or use language
2.
Preoperational Stage

(age 2 - 7)
: children begin to use words as mental symbols and to form mental images. They are still limited in their ability to use logic to solve problems or to realize that physical objects may change in shape or appearance while still retaining their physical properties.
3.
Concrete Operational Stage

(age 7 - 11)
: during this stage, children think in terms of tangible objects and actual events. They can draw conclusions about the likely physical consequences of an action without always having to try it out.
4.
Formal Operational Stage
(
age 12 through adolescence
): by this stage, adolescents are able to engage in highly abstract thought and understand places, things, and events they have never seen. They can think about the future and evaluate different options or courses of action.
Piaget provided useful insights into the emergence of logical thinking through maturation and socialization.
Critics have noted that his approach to cognitive development fails to acknowledge individual differences among children and to provide for cultural differences.
Lawrence Kohlberg (1927 - 1987)
Elaborated on Piaget's theories of cognitive reasoning
conducted a series of studies in which respondents were presented with a moral dilemma
Based on the responses, Kohlberg (1969, 1981) classified moral reasoning into 3 sequential levels
1. Preconventional
2. Conventional
3. Postconventional
1.
Preconventional Level
(
age 7 - 10
): children's perceptions are based on punishment and obedience. Evil behaviour is that which is likely to be punished; good conduct is based on avoidance of unwanted consequences
2.
Conventional level
(
age 10 through adulthood
): at this level, individuals are most concerned with how they are perceived by their peers and with how one conforms to rules.
3.
Postconventional Level
(
few adults reach this stage
): people view morality in terms of individual rights; "moral conduct" is judged by principles based on human rights that transcend government and laws.
Critics have challenged the universality of Kohlberg's stages of moral development. They have also suggested that the elaborate "moral dilemmas" he used are too abstract for children.
When the questions are made simpler, or when children and adolescents are observed in natural settings, they often demonstrate sophisticated levels of moral reasoning.
Gilligan's Views on Gender and Moral Development
Psychologist Carol Gilligan (b. 1936)
A major critic of Kohlberg's theory of moral development

According to Gilligan (1982)
Kohlberg's model was developed with solely male respondents
Women and men often have divergent views on morality based on differences in socialization and life experiences
Men are more concerned with law and order
Women tend to analyze social relationships and the social consequences of behaviour
Gilligan examined morality in women by interviewing 28 pregnant women who were contemplating having an abortion
She identified 3 stages in female moral development:
1. the woman is motivated primarily by selfish concerns
2. she increasingly recognizes her responsibility to others
3. she makes her decision based on her desire to do the greatest good for both herself and others
Gilligan argues that:
men are socialized to make moral decisions based on abstract principles of judgement
women are socialized to make such decisions from a responsibility and care perspective
Not all of Gilligan's assertions are supported by the research
Tavris ( 1993) found that women are not more compassionate than men
Gilligan's argument that people make moral decisions according to both abstract principles of justice and principles of compassion and care is an important contribution to our knowledge about moral reasoning
Gender Socialization
the aspect of socialization that contains specific messages and practices concerning the nature of being female or male in a specific group or society
important in determining what we think the preferred sex of a child should be and in influencing our beliefs about acceptable behaviours for males and females
parents may respond differently toward male and female infants:
play more roughly with boys
talk more lovingly with girls
boys and girls are often assigned different types of household chores and given different privileges
schools, peer groups, and the media also contribute to gender socialization
teachers and peers reward gender-appropriate attitudes and behaviours
sports reinforce traditional gender roles through a division of events into male and female categories
the media (books, TV, movies, music, etc...) provide subtle and not-so-subtle messages about "masculine" and "feminine"
Socialization Through the Life Course
Throughout our lives we continue to learn
Each time we experience a change in status, we learn a new set of rules, roles, and relationships
Anticipatory socialization
- the process by which knowledge and skills are learned for future roles
In Canada, and other industrialized societies, the most common categories of age are:
infancy
childhood
adolescence
adulthood (young, middle, and older)
See pages 70-71 for details
Resocialization
the process of learning a set of attitudes, values, and behaviours that is new and different from those in one's previous background and experience
these changes are more rapid and pervasive than the gradual adaptation of socialization
Voluntary
Involuntary
we choose to assume a new status
can sometimes involve medical or psychological treatment or religious conversion
person's existing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours must undergo strenuous modification to a new regime and way of life
Examples:
extensive therapy for adult survivors of emotional/physical abuse
Alcoholics Anonymous and other programs for dealing with addictive behaviour
occurs against a person's wishes and general takes place within a total institution
total institution
- a place where people are isolated from the rest of society for a set period of time and come under the control of the officials who run the institution
military boot camps
jails and prisons
concentration camps
some hospitals for people with mental illnesses
In total institutions people are depersonalized - stripped of their former selves - through a degradation ceremony
The institution then attempts to build a more compliant person
The ability of total institutions to modify offenders' behaviour in a meaningful way has been widely questioned
little relationship between the norms in/of a total institution and the laws of society
According to Functionalist Perspectives:
According to Conflict Perspectives:
According to the Functionalist Perspective:
According to the Conflict Perspectives:
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