SOCIALIZATION AND SOCIAL INTERACTION
module 4.1 BECOMING HUMAN
1. There are two basic approaches to understanding how we become human and how
we develop our personality. These are the biological approach and the environmental
approach, traditionally referred to as the nature versus nurture debate.
2. The nature argument suggests that much of our behaviour is determined by our
genetic makeup. This argument is made by sociobiologists and evolutionary
3. The nurture argument supports the position that we become who we are because of
environmental influences. It points to the cases of feral children and children raised in
isolation to show that these children cannot meet their potential without human
module 4.2 THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF
4. The self, or one’s identity, comprises a set of learned values and attitudes that
develops through social interaction and that defines one’s self-image.
5. Self-image is an introspective composition of various features and attributes that we
see as ourselves.
6. We can gain insight regarding the development of the self from both sociology and
7. Sociologist Charles Cooley introduced the concept of the looking-glass self—the idea
that what we think of ourselves is influenced by how we imagine other people see us.
8. George Herbert Mead built on Cooley’s work. He introduced the concepts of I and
me. The I is the element of the self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive, and
unpredictable. The me is the socialized element of the self.
9. Mead said that children pass through three distinct stages. Passing through these
stages the child develops the me.
1 0. According to Mead, the first stage is the preparatory stage. In this stage, children
imitate what they see around them, and the reactions of others contribute to the
development of the I.
11. The second stage is the play stage. Children begin to role play and move from
imitation to imagining the roles of the characters that they play. Language skills also develop, which allow a child to move to a higher u