Topic 2: Socialization and Education Socialization and Education

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16 Oct 2011
Topic 2- Socialization and Education (Week 2 Lecture + NS chp 12 + SQ chp 4)
the process of learning culture and becoming aware of yourself as you interact with others;
a process of socialization whereby knowledge and cultural know-how is transmitted.
e.g.1 Oxana: the feral child in France
Question: -- What makes us human?
-- Are we products of our genes or spirit?
Sociobiology/ Biological Psychology:
The role of biology, or genes, not only count for physical capacities, also count for specific social
practices and behaviors. ( i.e., potential for crimes)
Logic of Sociobiology
-- Identify a supposed universal form of human behavior;
-- Make up a story about why this behavior increases survival chances;
-- Assert that behavior in question cannot be changed;
e.g.2 Sexual faithfulness
Sociobiologists assert that: Men are less sexually faithful to their partners than women because of
biological differences between sexes.
Rationale: According to Darwin’s evolutionary theory (Slides #2 pg5), in order to better survive and
compete with other species, one has to increase his/her reproduction, thus increasing the
survival chances. Because of the differences between males and females’ reproduction system,
males increases their reproduction and survival chances by spreading sperms during sexual
However, statistics do not prove the theory (Slides #2 pg7-8): men committed sexually unfaithful only
exceed women by a small portion; for married couple, men are as faithful as women.
How sociologists look at the case:
1. The reasons men are more sexually unfaithful than women include:
different ways of sexual educations
men and women received;
women have larger opportunity costs on sexual intercourse than men;
2. Impact of socialization institution (e.g. marriage) can be greater than biological impulse (e.g. lust).
Human behaviors are socially mediated:
Biological impulses (e.g. hunger, thirst, lust) are infant and original, and they can be socially mediated.
e.g.3 Hunger : Hunger Culture Eating
culture: norms: what do we eat/ what do we not eat/ how do we eat/ eating manners..etc
value: why do we eat/ should we eat..etc.
beauty ideals: which is healthier to eat/ nutrition/ gain or lose weight;
others: how do we describe hunger; how do we demonstrate hunger
Thus, eating is a social practice, not directly from hunger (instinct);
Agent of socialization (major 4):
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