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SOCI 461 (17)
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Social Isolation and the Crystallization of Self-Identity .docx

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Department
Sociology (Arts)
Course
SOCI 461
Professor
Richard Koestner
Semester
Fall

Description
Social Isolation and the Crystallization of Self-Identity -socialization is the process by which people learn their culture -they do so by: 1. Entering and disengaging from a succession of roles 2. Becoming aware of themselves as they interact w/ others Rene Spitz: compared children who were being raised in an orphanage w/ children being raised in a prison nursing home -orphans had much less contact w/ people (social deprivation) -thus, they were more susceptible to infections and had a higher death rate -by the time they were 2 or 3 yrs old, children from the nursing home were walking and talking compared to the 8% of the orphans -might have impaired sexual life when mature -thus, w/o childhood socialization, most of our human potential remains undeveloped -the formation of a sense of self continues in adolescence (rapid self-development) Theories of Childhood Socialization Freud: -social interaction soon enables infants to being developing a sense of self which is a set of ideas and attitudes about who they are as independent beings -the part of the self that demands immediate gratification is the id -self-image begins to emerge once the id’s demands are denied -the child eventually develops a sense of what constitutes appropriate behaviour and moral sense of right and wrongsuperego -the child then develops a third sense of self called the ego which balances the conflicting needs of the id and superego -Freud views the emergence of the superego as a painful and frustrating process -thus in order to get on w/ our lives we need to repress memories of denying the id -repressed memories are stored in the unconscious 3 criticisms to Freud’s argument 1. The connections b/w early childhood development and adult personality are more complex than he assumed -wrote that when the ego fails to balance the needs of the id and the superego, individuals develop personality disorders 2. Many sociologists criticize Freud for gender bias in his analysis of male and female sexuality -argued that psychologically normal women are immature and dependent on men b/c they envy the male sexual organ -classified women who are independent and mature as abnormal 3. Sociologists often criticize Freud for neglecting socialization after childhood -he believed that the human personality was fixed at the age of five Cooley’s symbolic interactionism: -introduced idea of “looking-glass self” -observed that when we interact w/ oth
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