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Robert Brym

SOC101 th Oct. 6 , 2010 **Oct. 20 link on website, based on what the website lists/old tests there too Socialization Victor, the wild boy of Averyon: seemed more animal than human; was raised in isolation from other human beings Unable to form relationships with other people; develop very basic language skills W/e their condition is may not only be a result of being raised in isolation What this example suggests is that the ability to learn culture and become human is only a potential – socialization MUST unleash potential Process of learning culture, becoming aware of oneself Renee Spitz: Compared children who were raised in an orphanage to children being raised to a nursery attached to a women’s prison Differences in ways in which the infants were treated: prison – the infants were cared for, orphanage not so much, less human interaction (sheets hung over cribs; depriving infants of stimuli, said to make infants less demanding) Differences in development (orphanage) Infants more susceptible to infection by age of 9-12 months (when one is relatively socially isolated one lacks a proper immune system to fight of infection) Impaired sexual function when they became adults W/o socialization, most of human potential remains concealed Human capacity to become human is biologically rooted Genes that carry traits account not just for physical characteristics, but for social practices as well Behaviour has deep, genetic roots According to socio biologists; genes determine whether we are law- abiding, or faithful to our partners; however, sociologists disagree with this Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory 1) The characteristics of members of each species vary widely. 2) Species members with more adaptive characteristics are more likely to survive until reproduction. 3) Therefore, the species characteristics that endure are those that increase the survival chances of the species. The Logic of Sociobiology 1) Identify a supposedly universal form of human behaviour. 2) Make up a story about why this behaviour increases survival chances. 3) Assert that the behaviour in question cannot be changed. Women and men develop different reproductive strategies; since women develop few eggs have better chance of reproducing genes if she has mate that can protect her while pregnant B/c a man’s sperm is numerous, improves chances of gene survival if he impregnates many women Women’s desire for a single partner & men’s desire for multiple; play out the game of survival of the fittest Problems: Many of the behaviours identified as universal are NOT necessarily universal/some not that common For ex. Statistics suggest that men’s promiscuity is not significantly higher than women More going on then biology, such as the institution of marriage Why do single men appear to be more promiscuous? More likely to have sexual relations with members of their own sex, thus more relations; contradicts the sociobiologist’s argument of men’s promiscuity linked to reproduction Men tend to exaggerate how many sexual partners they have; society puts a premium on men having multiple partners Culture variable in play; differences should be examined in societal context Criticisms of Sociobiology 1. Many behaviours discussed by sociobiologists are not universal and some are not even that common. 2. It has never been verified that specific behaviours and social arrangements are associated with specific genes. 3. Variations among people are not due just to their genes, but also to their environment and random variation. Wrong to conclude that variations in behaviour are due to ge
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