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SOC100H5 Lecture Notes - George Herbert Mead, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget

Course Code
Suzanne Casimiro

of 3
September 23rd
Social Experience: The Key to Our Humanity
-socialization : the lifelong social experience by which individuals develop their human
potential and learn culture
ofoundation that builds our personality
-personality: a person’s fairly consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting
obuild personality by internalizing our surroundings
Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture
-The Biological Sciences: The Role of Nature: initially, Europeans linked cultural
differences to biology
-The Social Sciences: The Role of Nurture :
holds that behaviour is
not instinctive but learned
ofavoured by sociologists
oisolation can cause permanent developmental damage – social debate
Understanding Socialization
-six researchers have made lasting contributions to our understanding of human
oSigmund Freud
oJean Piaget
oLawrence Kohlberg
oCarol Gilligan
oGeorge Herbert Mead
oErik H. Erikson
-socialization is a complex, lifelong process
Agents of Socialization
-familiar settings have special importance in the socialization process
othe family
othe school
othe peer group
othe mass media
oother agents – religion (Western decline as a socialization process)
1. The Family
-parental attention is very important
-teaches us all the skills we need for the outside world
-values, beliefs, and norms
-help us deal with society and others outside
-most important agent
oa loving family produces a happy well-adjusted child
ogender socialization – roles are defined (pink/blue)
-parental attention is very important
obonding and encouragement
-household environment
ostimulated development
-social status
olike social class, ethnicity, economic/educational opportunities, marriage partners
oclass position of parents influence how they raise their children
oex. the 7up series – 1970s England – someone’s class position can be
predetermined before age 7 based on your family
followed children every 7 years – depending on their social class is
reflected in their social positions now (aged 49)
2. The School
-enlarges our view of society – start school at a young age
-introduces us to the outside world – adapt and use the values and norms taught in the
-learn skills and knowledge
-experience diversity
oracial and gender clustering
ointroduction to difference – different households (exterior sections of society)
-gender socialization continues
ofrom grade school through college, gender-linked activities are encountered
-hidden curriculum
oinformal, covert lessons – through stories
-first bureaucracy
orules and schedule
3. The Peer Group
-a social group whose members have interests, social position and age in common
-sense of self beyond family – escape from parental authority and supervision
-explore your independence and personality – peer pressure and influence
-the “generation gap”
-peers often govern short-term goals while parents influence long-term plans
4. The Mass Media
Impersonal communications aimed at a wide audience
-Canadian children watch television well before they learn to read
-the average Canadian watches 21 hours of television per week
-the number of hours of viewing tends to increase with age
oviewing changes due to weather changes as well
-researchers have found that television renders children less likely to use their
-may be the most important social agent outside of family (mostly Western)
otelevision, radio, internet, cell phones
-increases exposure to other cultures and world events
oinfluence in advertising and marketing – commercials
Television and Violence
-inequalities and stereotypes are emphasized
-a 1998 survey: 2/3 of TV programming contains violence; characters show no remorse
and are not punished – video games as well
-in 1997, the television industry adopted a rating system
Other Agents
-religion and religious groups
-employment and workplace
-social clubs
Socialization and the Life Course
Childhood (birth through 12)
-care-free time, recent concept
-learn, play
-prior to 1960s, children were seen as an economic output – workers (farming, factories)
ochanged in West, some countries still honour this way of life
Adolescence (the teenage, buffer years)
-turmoil attributed to cultural inconsistencies
-supposedly going through emotional distress and self-analysis
opeer influenced (generational gap)
-social contradictions
-early: ages 20-40, managing daily affairs
opursuing relationships (emotional and work)
-middle: ages 40-60, concerns over health, appearance, career, and family
oaccomplished your goals, have children
oslowly starting to settle down (mid-life crisis) – getting used to biological changes
Old Age (mid 60s and older)
-anti-elderly bias will diminish as proportion of elderly increases
-retirement age – death is around the corner – last stage of life cycle
-as getting closer to death, devote more time to religion and spiritual things
-average life span is 79 years
-stages of dying (Kubler-Ross): denial, anger, negotiation, resignation, acceptance
osocializing each stage before moving to the next
The Life Course: Patterns and Variations
-socialization makes a huge impact on the outcomes of who we become
-2 main conclusions:
oeach stage of life is linked to the biological process, but it is also socially
ostages present problems and transitions that involve learning
Re-Socialization: Total Institutions
Total Institutions: a setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society and
manipulated by an administrative staff
Three Characteristics according to Erving Goffman:
1. staff supervise all daily life activities
2. environment is standardized
3. formal rules and daily schedules
Re-Socialization: radically changing someone’s personality by carefully controlling the
Key Terms
-nurture vs. nature
-agents of socialization