SOCY 500 Lecture Notes - Virtual Community, Hidden Curriculum, Erving Goffman

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Agents of Socialization
-the family is the most important agent of primary socializationthe process of mastering the basic skills required
to function in society during childhood
-the family is a small group w/ frequent face to face interaction, who loves their children and are highly motivated
to care for them
-this is ideal for teaching children everything from language to their place in this world
-also exert an enduring influence over the course of our entire lives
-however, the influence of family as a socialization agent has declined over the yrs
-growth of public schools is increasingly responsible for secondary socializationsocialization outside the family
after childhood
Class, race, and conflict theory:
-a hidden curriculum teaches students what will be expected of them in the larger society once they graduate
-led to believe that they are evaluated solely on the basis of their performance on impersonal, standardized tests
-teaches students punctuality, respect for authority, importance of competition in leading to excellent
performance etc.
-this was first proposed by conflict theorists
The self-fulfilling prophecy:
-believing that school does not lead to economic success can act as a self fulfilling prophecyan expectation that
helps cause what it predicts
Thomas theorem: “situations we define as real become real in their consequences”
-teachers can also develop expectations that turn into self-fulfilling prophecies
-ex. If a teacher believes that poor children or children from minority groups are likely to do poorly in
school, chances are they will
Peer groups:
-consist of individuals who are not necessarily friends but who are about the same age and of similar status
-help children and adolescents separate from family and develop independent sources of identity
-often the dominating socializing agent from middle childhood through adolescence
-conflicts often erupt from b/w the values promoted by families and those by peer groups
-usually only temporary
-help integrate young people into their larger society
Alder and Alder: studied the system of cliques found in schools
-found that they were arranged in a strict hierarchy
-therefore, peer groups not only to help adolescents form an independent identity by separating them from their
families but also to teach them how to adapt to the ways of their larger society
The mass media:
-internet is the fastest growing mass medium
-TV viewing consumes more of the average Canadian’s free time than any other activity
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