Sociology Lecture 3
Socialization; Theoretical approaches (continued)
› Both macro – and microsociology
› Patriarchy determines people’s opportunities in life.
› Power structures and values, not biology, determine social position of males and females.
› Patterns are gender inequality should be changed, barriers addressed, opportunities equalized.
› Disagreement about relative importance of patriarchy and other forms of inequality (class, ethnicity,
∙ Maternal feminism: women are superior to men
∙ Radical feminism: women should be separate from men
∙ Marxist feminism: gender inequality is class-based
∙ Liberal feminism: importance of legal equality
› Modernism (Thomson: Enlightenment) has not fulfilled its promise of rational, free and equal society.
Therefore, all assumptions (rationally, universality, belief in progress) and results of modern thought
should either be deconstructed or rejected.
› Stresses the validity of subjective meaning: there is no truth about society (cf. positivism) and all
perceptions/interpretations of it are equally valid.
› Extreme post-modernism: society does not exist – only people’s perceptions and interpretations of it
› Socialisation is a lifelong, interactive process whereby human beings become members of society.
› Outcomes of socialisation:
1. Developing a sense of self: an individual identity i.e. awareness of ideas and attitudes about one’s
personal and social identity and
2. Internationalisation of social expectations, i.e. learning of:
Social interaction (cognitive and emotional skills, expectations about behaviour in different
situations), statuses, roles, norms.
› Social isolation/deprivation isolated (feral) children.
Nature and nurture debate
› Relative importance of heredity and social processes in development of human characteristics
(individual and collective)
› View of heredity as potential that may be developed or neglected in social processes. › A self-fulfilling prophecy is an expectation that leads to behaviour that causes the expectation to
become a reality.
› Example: IQ (deprived background; low teacher expectations; culturally-biased IQ tests.)
› Epigenetics: study of ways in which environment modifies actualisation of genetic potential. “nature
vs. nurture” is a false duality.