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SOC101 Study Guide - Final Guide: Social Inequality, Kuznets Curve, Polytheism

Course Code
Barry Mc Clinchey
Study Guide

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Lecture 4: Socialization
- Personalities: an individual’s relatively stable pattern of behaviors and feelings.
- 2 basic approaches to understand personality:
o Biological Approach
o Environmental Approach
- Nature Vs. Nurture: The debate between whether biological forces or environment define the person we
- Nature says actions and feelings are biological
- Nurture says we are a product of socialization
- Socialization: the lifelong process by which we learn our culture, develop our personalities and become
functioning members of society.
- Social Interaction: the ways in which people interact in social settings.
The Nature Argument:
- Suggests that most of our behavior is determined by our genetic makeup
- Socio-biology: a science that uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological
roots of social behavior.
- Evolutionary psychology: a relabeled form of socio-biology that argues that Darwinian inheritance can
explain contemporary human behavior.
- Structure of the brain and emotions and behavior it inspires does not prohibit the mind from
transcending biology.
- Sociologists acknowledge that some genetic linkages exist and influence human behavior.
The Nurture Argument:
- Effects of social isolation: Anna, isolated from society and contact with human.
- Her isolation forms other people during virtually her entire early life prevented her from developing
more than a small fraction of her intellectual potential.
- Social reality constructed by people every time they interact with others.
- Genetic makeup (nature) gives us the capacity to be social beings but it is the process of social
interaction (nurture) that enables us to develop that capacity.
Development of Self
- Self: one’s identity comprising a set of learned values and attitudes that develops through social
interaction and defines one’s self-image.
- Self Image: an introspective composition of various features and attributes that people see themselves as
- Self is a key component of personality
- Imagining how Others See US: C.H. Cooley
o We think of ourselves is influenced by how we imagine other people see us
o Be aware of yourself, you must be aware of society
o Self consciousness and social consciousness are inseparable
o Imagine they are people to see the world the way they see it
- Understanding Ourselves and Others: G.H. Mead
o Mead says self is comprised of two components: I and Me
o I: Mead’s term for the element of the self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive and often
o Me: Mead’s term for the socialized element of the self
o We tend to behave differently than we do when we are with our families
o Significant others: people we want to impress or gain approval from (i.e. parents)
o Generalized others: a compilation of attributes associated with the average member of society;
represents an individual’s appreciation that other members of society behave within certain
socially accepted guidelines and rules
o Role taking: assuming the position of another to be better understands that person’s perspective.
Critical for empathizing with another person’s situation.

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- 3 stages of life:
o Preparatory Stage (Birth to age three):
Imitate what others do
Do not understand the meanings, but want to please others in their lives (usually
Through positive and negative reinforcement, begin to develop the I, but the me is also
forming in the background.
o Play Stage (ages three to five)
Learn about themselves and the society around them
Begin to assume roles of others and move beyond simple imitation and assume imagines
roles of the characters they are playing.
The me continues to grow, to receive positive reinforcement from significant others
Language skills develop, so can communicate better
o Game Stage (Elementary School Years)
Become increasingly proficient at taking on multiple roles at once
Begin to identify with the generalized other
Participate in complex games, playing particular roles. Teaches them to understand their
individual position.
Skills developed here are readily transferred to other real life situations.
Primary socialization occurs here. When people learn the attitudes, values and
appropriate behaviors for individuals in their culture
Secondary Socialization: follows primary socialization and occurs through participation
in more specific groups with defined roles an expectations. Develop skills needed to fit
in with various groups.
- Psychosexual Development: Freud
o People behave according to drives and experiences of which they are not always aware.
o 3 parts:
Id: individual’s biological drives and impulses that strive for instant gratification
Superego: all the norms, values, and morals that are learned through socialization
Ego: Intermediary between the id and the superego that provides socially acceptable
ways to achieve wants.
o Difference is that I and me worked together, while tension between id and superego exists.
- Psychosocial Development: Erickson
o Culture plays a critical role
o 8 stages of development that all people go through.
o Reflect both individual psychological processes and social challenges that everyone faces during
their lives.
- Cognitive Development: Piaget
o 4 stages:
o Sensorimotor Stage (birth-2)
Learn world through 5 senses
Attachments formed to parents
o Preoperational Stage (2-7)
Imagination while playing
Develop language skills
Assume everyone sees world as they do

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o Concrete operational stage (7-11)
See casual connections in people
o Formal operational stage (12)
Becoming more comfortable with abstract reasoning
Can offer several solutions to a problem
- Agents of Socialization
- Family:
o The first values and attitudes that a child embraces are generally simple reflections of his or her
family’s values and attitudes
o Symbolic interactionism: social learning theorist emphasize the importance of observing and
imitating the behaviors, attitudes, an emotional reactions of others
o Gender stereotyping: the assignment of beliefs to men and women, respectively, that are not
based on fact
o Families are responsible for setting socio-economic status
o Socio-economic status: social status as determined by family income parent’s education level,
parent’s occupations, and the family’s social standing within the community
o Cultural capital: social assets (values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies) that are gained by one’s
family and help one to succeed in life
o Ethnic and cultural affiliations are also defined by family.
- Peers
o Importance of one’s friends, or peers increases during adolescence
o Peer Groups: consist of people who are closely related in age an share similar interests
o Research confirms that teenagers who have friends who are disruptive in school are more likely
to become disruptive themselves
- Education
o School ideally evaluates children on what they do rather than who they are
o The socialization function of education emphasizes that children learn academic content, social
skills and important cultural values
o Hidden curriculum: the unconscious, informal, and unwritten norms and rules that reinforce and
maintain social conventions
o Example conscious purpose of English is to teach you literary texts and how to interrupt, the
unconscious purpose of reading all those books is to reinforce how to behave in society
- Mass media
o Mass media: forms of communication produced by a few people for consumption by the masses
o The majority of its content reinforces competition and desire for financial wealth
o When television images are reinforce by other mass media, the impact of socialization is
o Internet use from home is another socialization factor that is gaining in importance
- Socialization across the life course
o Life course: socialization hat occurs throughout one’s adult life.
o Birth Cohort: all of the people who are born during a given period of time and therefore
experience historical events at the same points in their lives.
o Early to middle adulthood:
Adults generally defined as those who have completed school
Later adulthood: careers, women experience nest syndrome (kids leaving home), men
go through mid-life crisis
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