Sociology - Socialization

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Read the provided information and Answer the following question. Your answer should be at least three paragraphs (450-650 words) in length and should be presented in your own words. Any use of quoted material must be properly cited.

Parents of different social classes socialize children differently. For example, middle-class parents are more likely to stress independence and self-direction whereas working-class parents prioritize obedience to external authority. Using this example, how does socialization through families potentially reproduce social inequality?

Reference textbook: Chapter 4 - You May Ask Yourself An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist (Fifth Edition)

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SOC1001 Sociology 1 Week 2 Intensive Lecture 2 What Is Socialization? • Socialization is the process by which individuals internalize the values, beliefs, and norms of a given society and learn to function as a member of that society. • The lifelong social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture. Limits of Socialization • Socialization cannot explain everything about a person’s development and personality. – Biology is also a very important component. – It is the combination of biology and social interactions that makes us who we are. Social Interaction • The process by which people act and react in relation to others. 5 Social Structure • Guide to everyday living • Guides human behavior rather than rigidly determining it 6 Social Experience • Foundation for the Personality – A person’s fairly consistent patterns of thinking, feeling and acting • 19th Century Debate Regarding Nature vs Nurture – Nature – biology – Nurtute - socialization • Modern sociologists view nurture as much more important than nature in shaping human behavior 7 Social Isolation • Impact of social isolation on socialization has been demonstrated – Harry & Margaret Harlow (1962) • Rhesus monkeys – Isolated Children • Anna, Isabelle & Genie – Crucial importance of social experience in personality development 8 Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) • Personality shaped by two opposed forces – Eros – life instinct – Thanatos – death instinct • Personality includes 3 basic components – Id – Ego – Superego 9 3 Components of Personality • Id – Human being’s basic drives • Ego – Person’s conscious efforts to balance innate pleasure-seeking drives with the demands of society • Superego – The operation of culture within the individual 10 Freud (cont) • Id & Superego remain in conflict – In a well adjusted person, ego manages the 2 opposing forces • Socialization Process Remain Critical – Freud’s notion that we internalize norms and his idea that childhood experiences have a lasting importance 11 Agents of Socialization • Families, school, peers, the media, and total institutions are all important socializing agents or environments. • A total institution is an institution in which people are totally immersed and that controls all the basics of day-to-day life. Agents of Socialization • Family is crucial • Socialization within the family varies markedly by social class • Schooling introduces students to being evaluated according to universal standards – Schools join with families in socializing children in gender roles – Hidden curriculum passes on important cultural values, mostly implicitly 13 Agents of Socialization (cont) • Peer Groups also important – Members have interests, social position and age in common – Anticipatory Socialization • Process of social learning directed toward gaining a desired position, commonly occurs among peers • Mass Media – Impersonal communication directed at a vast audience, also shape socialization • Television has become especially important in this regard – Provokes plenty of criticism from both political conservatives and liberals – Large share of US adults is concerned about the extent of mass media violence 14 Resocialization • Resocialization is a change in values, beliefs, or norms through an intense social process. Image Courtesy of Pearson Education 16 Socialization & The Life Course • Childhood became increasingly separate phase of life with industrialization – Childhood is currently becoming shorter • Adolescence often a period of social & emotional turmoil reflecting cultural inconsistency – Time of social contradictions when people are no longer children but not yet adults – Varies with class position 17 Socialization & the Life Course (cont) • Are we grown up yet? – Defining adulthood – Our society does not provide a clear right of passage that marks the point of becoming an adult – Process differs significantly by class • Development of Self Among High School Students – Adolescence is a time when people are concerned about identity 18 Socialization & The Life Course (cont) • Adulthood divided into several stages – Early adulthood involves working toward goals set earlier in life – Middle adulthood is characterized by greater reflectiveness • Old age begins in the mid 60s – US is currently experiencing an increase in the elderly population (baby boomers – born post WWII) 19 Social Construction of Reality • The process by which individuals creatively shape reality through social interaction • “Street Smarts” really amounts to constructing reality • Thomas Theorem – The situations we define as real become real in their consequences – People in different cultures experience reality very differently 20 Status • Social position that an individual occupies • Status set consists of all the statuses a person holds at a given time • Ascribed Status – A social position that someone receives at birth or involuntarily assumes later in life • Achieved Status – A social position that someone assumes voluntarily and that reflects personal ability and effort • Master Status – A status that has special importance for social identity often shaping a person’s entire life 21 Role Sets • Role – Consists of behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status • Role Conflict – Refers to conflict among roles corresponding to two or more different statuses. • It can be reduced by “compartmentalizing” our lives • Role Strain – Refers to incompatibility among roles corresponding to a single status • Role Exit – The process by which people disengage from important social roles 22 Image Courtesy of Pearson Education 23 Charles Horton Cooley • Cooley theorized that the “self” emerges from our ability to assume the point of view of others and imagine how those others see us. George Herbert Mead • Mead developed a theory about how the social self develops over the course of childhood. • Infants know only the “I,” but through social interaction they learn about “me” and the “other.” • They develop a concept of the “generalized other,” which allows them to apply norms and behaviors learned in specific situations to new situations. George Herbert Mead • Mead stressed the importance of imitation, play, and games in helping children recognize one another, distinguish between self and other, and grasp the idea that other people can have multiple roles. Statuses and Roles • A status is a position in society that comes with a set of expectations. – An ascribed status is one we are born with that is unlikely to change. – An achieved status is one we have earned through individual effort or that is imposed by others. Statuses and Roles (cont) • A person’s master status is a status that seems to override all others and affects all other statuses that he or she possesses. • Roles are the behaviors expected from a particular status. Role Conflict & Strain • Role conflict occurs when the roles associated with one status clash with the roles associated with a different status. • Role strain occurs when roles associated with a single status clash. • Either role conflict or role strain may lead to role exit. The Social Construction of Reality • Social construction is an explanation of how people give meaning or value to ideas or objects through social interactions, and it is an ongoing process that is embedded in our everyday interactions. The Social Construction of Reality • Harold Garfinkel developed a method for studying social interactions, called breaching experiments, which involved having collaborators exhibit “abnormal” or “atypical” behaviors in social interactions in order to see how people would react. The Social Construction of Reality • Because our reality is socially constructed, an unexpected change in that reality can be upsetting, frustrating, or just plain incomprehensible. • We all have a stake in maintaining consensus on shared meanings so that our society can continue to function smoothly. Symbolic Interaction • Symbolic interactionism is a micro-level theory based on the idea that people act in accordance with shared meanings, orientations, and assumptions. • Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical theory views social life as a theatrical performance in which we are all actors on a metaphysical stage, with roles, scripts, costumes, and sets. Socialization & The Internet • The Internet has created new types of social interaction that don’t incorporate verbal and visual cues people are accustomed to relying on. It has also changed society by creating new types of crimes and new ways of communicating. Roommates with Benefits • Conley points out the decreasing randomness of roommate pairings in college dorms as students increasingly opt to be paired with other students that they know are similar to them. • He shows that sometimes social and political differences between roommates can be a good thing, resulting in roommates having positive effects on each other. ...
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School: Rice University

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Running Head: SOCIOLOGY


Social inequality
Student’s name
Institutional affiliation



Social inequality
Parents of different social classes have a unique way of bringing up their children. It is
because of the diverse value systems that they instil in kids. For this reason, the value system
developed by socialization shapes the lives of the children as they grow. Inequality arises in
various ways. For instance, it occurs when there is the imbalanced distribution of opportunities to
persons based on the racial, political and social affiliation. Therefore, parents from diverse
backgrounds raise their kids differently. This paper, thus, describes how social inequality plays
quite a significant rol...

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