Lecture 5: Families and Socialization
- 2 types of families
o Nuclear family
A pair of spouses living together, with or without children
o Extended family
A group living in the same dwelling that consists of multiple generations of
- How families have changed
o William Goode- examined changing patterns with industrialization
o Similar patterns of change around the world over the past 100 years
- Worldwide trends
o Families moving towards the nuclear family model
A self-sustaining unit of production and consumption
o Smaller family sizes
Because of increases in contraception use
o Change in family relations
Parents’ authority over children and husbands’ authority over wives declined
o Increased acceptance of divorce, contraception, cohabitation, abortion, premarital sex
- Why have these changes happened?
o Smaller, more flexible, more democratic family better fits industrial demands
o Women’s roles changed with more education and industrial growth
- Changes in family form may vary
o They are mediated by cultural influences that predate the industrial revolution
- Basic family processes
o Families, no matter what form of definition, share expected social processes
1. Dependency and intimacy
Families are depended on one another and attached
2. Regulated sexuality
Spouses expect to have a long-term, exclusive sexual relationship
3. Routine protection
Families guard their members against external and internal dangers
4. Unequal power
Some members are more powerful; is rarely egalitarian
- Family troubles are common
o Domestic violence is statistically common
Families under greatest stress (economic, social, etc.) are most likely to be in
o Some families are unable to admit and deal with their problems
- Cohesive and adaptable families do best
o Cohesive- members have strong identification with the family as a whole, and with one
another o Adaptable- members are able to plan and make changes
o Some traits of these families
Have open community patterns
Use fair procedures to resolve conflicts
Use fair, even democratic processes for setting goals
Family culture and ritual ties everyone together
- Four types of socialization
o Socialization- the lifelong social learning a person undergoes to become a capable
member of society
1. Primary socialization- takes place early in life; fundamental, diffuse and
I.e. feelings of trust, security, etc.
2. Secondary socialization- after childhood; specific and voluntary
3. Anticipatory socialization- prepare to play a new social role
4. Re-socialization- learn new roles and processes
- Through good socialization, people learn to
o Obey social rules
o Complete school
o Earn a living
o Sustain close relations
o Raise children themselves
- People make the distinction between “me” and “I”
o “Me” is what is learned in interaction with others and the environment
o “I” refers to internal processes
- Another early step is the learning of gender through socialization
o In the process of gender socialization, boys are typically given freedom, while girls are
protected from harm
o This produces gender differences throughout life
- Soon, children are learning impersonal obedience in schools
o As part of the school’s “hidden curriculum” children are supposed to learn punctuality,
conformity, and obedience
- This sets the stage for obedience in universities and workplaces
o The success of organizational socialization can be measured by role performance,
cohesion and stability
- Direct vs. indirect (reactive) socialization
o Direct socialization
The intended result of
Modeling and imitation Rewards for good behaviour
Punishments for bad behaviour
o Indirect or reactive socialization
The unintended result of
Abuse or neglect
o A role reversal between parent and child
Sacrifices a child’s personal needs for comfort,
attention, and guidance to accommodate the needs and
care of the parent(s)
o Emotional parentification forces the child to meet the
emotional needs of their parent and usually other siblings also
o Instrumental parentification forces the child to take care of
siblings, cook, pay bills, etc., opening the door to failure, guilt,
- Consequences of parentification
o Intense anger
Parentified children will have a love-hate relationship with their parent
o Difficulty with adult attachments
Trouble experiencing intimate relationships
- Parenting styles make a difference
o The best parenting is authoritative: loving but firm
Some parents reason with their children- this is best
Others use threats or violence
Threats and violence do not predictably achieve the desired results and
often achieve undesired results
- Bad and good parenting in a western individualistic culture like Canada
Ordering without explaining
Threatening and using guilt
The Tiger Mom (Jewish Mother) approach
Teaching by example
Teaching by reason
Looking for teaching moments
- Baumrind’s four parenting styles o Authoritative
- What do parents actually do?
o In socializing children, parents serve as interactive partners, direct instructors, and
providers of opportunities
o No other people perform as wide a variety of roles for the child
o Much of what parents do is indirect
- Common consequences of bad parenting
o Emotional difficulties
o Physical health difficulties
o School difficulties
o Juvenile delinquency
- New Chinese study supports North American findings
o The results show that children in poor or conflict ridden families tend to act out more
than other children
But they do so only if their parents are cold and/or punitive
o Warmth is good and punishment is bad
o Does not apply to internalizing problems
I.e. depression and anxiety
The reason is not given- need more research
- Why do some people commit antisocial or deviant acts?
o Faulty socialization
Theories of trauma and neglect (i.e. parentification)
o Theories of attachment
o Theories of weak social control
- One theory of faulty socialization: Authoritarian Personality (1950)
o Purpose was to discover the roots of prejudice and anti-Semitism
o Measured “authoritarianism” with a new F-scale (Fascism)
o Authors conclude that racism and anti-Semitism are associated with fascist tendencies
- Harsh parenting unintentionally produces authoritarian children
o Adult authoritarianism is a result of parenting that
Demanded unquestioned obedience
Provided limited affection and respect
This forced the child to
Displace their anger on to “safe” targets
- Another theory of faulty socialization: the role of trauma, stress, and poor coping
o Transmission of problem gambling from parent to child, through a combination of
1. Childhood social learning- direct socialization
2. Childhood distress or trauma- indirect socialization 3. Current stresses and poor coping and supports
o Gambling addiction results from the combination of
Poor adult coping
o This was found through interviewing 200 adults, 150 of them with a gambling problem
- The Dostoevsky case: direct socialization was not needed
o His father was a depressed alcoholic, was apparently NOT a gambler
o Him and his siblings were subject to rigid and cold treatment
o Spent 10 years with a gambling addiction
o He experienced
A nervous condition + epilepsy
Frail physical health
o He had poor coping skills
o After his first wife’s death, he developed depression and a gambling problem
Forced him to flee his creditors Lecture 6: Schools and Education
Four Sociological Perspectives on Education
-functionalism: social order and stability
-critical theory: social inequality
-feminism: gender inequality
-symbolic interactionism: social meaning and personality development
You lost marks because you didn’t follow the correct citation format. YOU COMPLAIN. Then you get the
If you don’t follow guidelines, you get fired.
2.Value of university degree
If students can’t even follow simple guidelines, what would that make our university? Do you think this
is a joke? Do you think the university is a joke? Do you think I’m a joke?
Small portion of your grade is based on your ability to follow instructions. If leaders don’t follow laws,
what would become of our country?
-Society is a complex system with different parts that work together to promote social stability.
-Behaviour is governed by stable patterns of relationsh
-Focus on social norms, values, customs, and traditions
-Main question: how can major institutions create consensus on core social values and, thus, promote
-Modern functionalist. American. From Harvard.
-Strong social values and norms act as the very concrete that holds our society together.
-The school system must train people to become functioning adults.
-Children enter a school system and cease to be an individual. They are a part of social groups.
1.Socialization: students learn social norms and values
2.Selection: individuals allocated different positions based on personal merit
Students must internalize norms and values.
Positive sanctions: encourage desirable behaviour
Negative sanctions: discourage undesirable behaviour
5% deduction = minor negative sanction.
Positive sanctions are usually more prevalent when children are younger. e.g. stickers/pizza parties/etc.
Most sanctions you come across in the university are negative sanctions. e.g. 5% deduction for not
It’s kinda difficult to acclimatize to this!
Most serious negative sanction: probation, failing, etc. A functionalist would argue that this is a good thing. A university is the last stop before society. We need
to prepare you for society! Tough love approach.
Socialization & Hypothetical Situation
Superficial lesson: follow instructions
Hidden fundamental value: respect authority
Authority -> socialization -> responsible employee/university degree/leadership skills.
For Parsons it’s paramount that people learn to respect authorities. Responsible employees respect
authorities. Reputation of university associated with its students’ ability to respect authorities.
Democratic leaders are accountable to the people, so no one is above the system. So even leaders need
to work within the system.
Merit: an earned and justifiable claim to:
a) Minor Positive Sanctions (e.g. respect or praise)
b) Major Positive Sanctions (e.g. high salary or university degree)
Ideally, judgement of merit should be neutral and everyone should be given an equal opportunity to
Meritocracy -> socialization -> responsible employee/university degree/leadership skills.
If a person can’t follow rules, he doesn’t have enough merit. If the university does not have a rigourous
selection process, then good degrees are not dealt on basis of merit. Students who don’t follow
instructions don’t have enough merit to become a leader.
BACK TO OUR EXAMPLE
Minor negative sanction: 5% deduction
Minor positive sanction: none
Major sanctions: job/degree value/possibility for leadership position
The only thing the professor told you is the minor negative sanction. He didn’t tell you about the major
sanctions! But they are implied.
“Lessons that are not normally considered part of the academic curriculum that schools unintentionally
or secondarily provide for students.” – Tepperman 2011: 336
IN OUR EXAMPLE
Values promoted: authority and meritocracy
Responsible employee -> obedient workforce
Value of university degree -> credentialism
Leadership skills -> social hierarchy Alternative rationale:
If you want to gain more control over your own life, you have to learn how to work within a larger group
of people. What would happen to a group if everyone followed their own rules? A groups will
disintegrate if its members are not reliable, trust worthy, or, in shot, socially responsible.
Educate — from its latin root — means to “lead out of…” Like Moses!
Education: the ideal — people expect “education” to:
-provide them with a wide range of skills to prepare them for an uncertain future
-in this way, help them surmount social obstacles and disadvantages
“In an unequal society like ours, many people in the society — especially the ones in the middle and at
the bottom — embrace education as a means to overcome social disadvantages.” – Teppy
-The process works by awarding credentials to deserving candidates
-The advantaged few gain valuable credentials: tickets of entry into top occupational groups
-These powerful groups limit entry (M.D.’s) and demand high payment for their services
The best credential is (ideally) handed out to the best people
Why the high demand for credentials?
“The beauty of credentials is that, not only are they a ticket, but they are also based on seemingly fair
basis of selection.” – Teppy
i.e. NOT inheritance.
“The beauty of going to medical school is that you get a lot of money without holding a gun to another
person’s head.” –Teppy
-Credentials have two sides. They get you what you want AND you look good.
-For the last 50 years, college grades have been creeping upward.
-Since 1960, grades in North American universities have tended to rise due to grade inflation.
-This has not been limited to any particular kind of colleges, public or private.
Are people getting smarter? No. This represents pressure on institutions to give people higher grades.
-Unequal access to the best credentials
-Students from better off families are more likely to attend university.
(Persisted for 35 years!)
-Therefore, class position continues to pass down from one generation to the next.
“For some reason, class tends to reproduce itself, not only in the inheritance of money, but also in the
inheritance of credentials.” -Teppy
“Let me put it this way. The top half at U of T are exactly as smart as the students in Princeton. There is
no difference in the quality of students or the quality in education. But there is a difference in the
outcome.” -Teppy Partly this social selection works by streaming poorer students AWAY FROM university.
-The effect of streaming is to reproduce inequality by giving less affluent students fewer credentials and
-Like high tuition fees, this perpetuates class position from one generation to the next.
“A Great Training Robbery”? (Ivar Berg)
-On the other hand, many graduates are underemployed, given their educational attainments
-or overeducated, given the kinds of jobs available
-how much education do people really need?
-are we giving the right number of people the right kinds of educations
Why take university grads? University grads spent 4 years for additional socialization.
But how much education does one REALLY need? What makes a university degree different than a
community college degree?
Women were particular beneficiaries of this expansion.
-In 2011, the post-secondary education attained by women aged 25-44 was twice as high as that of
women aged 65+
-contributed to gender equalization
-On the other hand, other groups continued to lag behind.
e.g. Inuit people.
Why educational expansion?
-A century ago, schools only provided basic skills and knowledge, discipline, and social training for work.
-Young people worked after high school.
-Today education leads to upward mobility.
More education = more secure employment
-since 1992, the unemployment rates of people with a college degree have remained lower than for
“The data are absolutely unambiguous.” –Teppy
-People on average make more money with more education. Men with a university degree have the
Other factors affecting educational expansion
-The baby boom: parents wanted more opportunities for their children
-The need for public expenditure on research and development: economy demanded more research
scientists, more patents and copyrights
-Expansion was particularly marked in the sciences and technology: Western government in a space race
with USSR demanded more mathematical and scientific literacy
One institutional response: the rise of research universities
-Top North American universities aim to train researchers and produce research findings
-Undergraduate teaching is a (minor) aspect of this process
-student satisfaction and student employment are minor concerns
-This is reflected in the way University of Toronto measures its success, in its own eyes
-will look at an annual report shortly The “Academic Revolution” by Jencks and Riesman
-Bureaucratization of American societies means:
-Graduate schools have rise to dominance with narrowly specialized curricula, heavy research agenda,
and all-PhD faculty
-Working like a funnel, the top graduate schools receive the best graduates of the best undergraduate
-The U of T is Canada’s leading research university
-Canada has seen a process of educational reform similar to that described by Jencks and Riesman
-Partly thanks to the role of John Porter in promoting higher education
Performance Indicators for Governance — Governing Council
-Number of Canada Research Chairs
In Canada – especially Ontario – provincial funding has fallen behind
-In the last 25 years, the funding of higher education has decreased
A second problem facing educators: the non-academic (youth) subculture
-In North America, the youth subculture is anti-academic and anti-intellectual
-To verify this, check out TV channels, movies, and websites aimed at young demographic
The adolescent society
-James S. Coleman: “plight of education”
-Looked at the STUPIDITY of American adolescents
1.Students jude and reward appearance and a few other qualities (e.g. athletic ability) according to a
widely shared student code
2.Nerds are ostracized because they uphold grading standards others are unable or unwilling to meet
The educational paradox:
-formal education is ever more important in shaping people’s life chances
-at the same time, teens are getting stupider!
Coleman’s sample was impeccable.
Teens hate school. Even students from better-off families. Why?
In a way, students behave like alienated workers. They develop a collective response to demands by
people in authority.
Crestwood Heights by Seeley
Undertaken in Forest Hill, an affluent community in Toronto. Very posh. The goal was to study “the
culture of child under pressure for conformity”. Seeley was concerned about children’s mental health:
They are under so much pressure to perform. What are the consequences for kids and parents?
Parents were upper class. Professional or managerial. Well off, very successful: typically a self-made
man. They viewed the kid as a problem to be solved. How do they make their kids a shining success?
Careers are the priority. They teach their kids to be “perfect”. Their kids need to be competitive and
successful. School is the central institution where you can train a perfect child.
Training for “bureaucratic crawl”:
Values shift from stress on individual achievement to stress on co-operation, other-direction, and a
submergence of the individual in the group. Tension for teachers, parents, and teachers.
-North American middle-class parents and immigrant parents continue to drum into their children
strong needs for achievement
-Develop anxiety about obtaining good grades, pleasing the teacher, and getting ahead
-How much anxiety is enough? How much anxiety is too much? Lecture 7: Religion And Secularization
Harlem: pretty religious society.
People say “Happy holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!”
Religion as a social phenomenon
Why do people “need” religion? What do they get from it?
-shared ideas, values, doctrines, beliefs/
-performing religious ceremonies/rituals
-membership in religious organizations
-Does God exist? Evil? Is there an afterlife?
-Sociologists don’t really care!
Substantive definition of religion
-defining religious through its content
-defining religion through what it does (creates shared identity, meaning, etc).
WEBER, MARX, AND DURKHEIM
-Rapid social changes in Western Europe in the 18th/19th century
-Religion is on the decline, secularization is on the rise
-”Secularization thesis” — nonreligious beliefs, values, etc will eventually replace religious ones
-”Disenchantment of the world”
-Religion once provided people with a sense of meaning, values, and purpose
-Max Weber: “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” (1905)
-A world of rationality and science undermines religious enchantment
Marx and Critical Theory
Religion is a product of human activity.
-”Man makes religion; religion does not make man.”
-A form of social control.
-Helps to explain and legitimize inequality and injustice
-”Religion… is the opium of the people.”
(causes delusion and numbs pain)
-”Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless
conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
Durkheim and Functionalism
-Religion comes from ‘religare’: to bind or hold together.
-Religion functions to maintain social solidarity
-”Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (1912): What is the most essential form that religion takes in social
(DNA of religion)
-Division between the *SACRED* and the *PROFANE*
-Those beings considered sacred become a *TOTEM* for a group -What the totem is is irrelevant. What matters is that there is a totem.
-Shared symbol that unites all members through their identification with the totem.
e.g. Canadian Flag
-Rituals and ceremonies enacted around the totem
-Robert Bellah *Civil Religion in America*
-Secularization? Maybe people are just religious in new and different ways?
-How might US nationalism function as a type of civil religion?
-Are we living in an era of secularization?
-Marx, Weber, and Durkheim?
-Marx: opium of the people?
-Weber: disenchantment and re-enchantment?
-Durkheim: totems and solidarity?
What problem does religious doctrine solve? Science as a replacement for religion, in 19th century there
is conflict between scientific and religious thoughts.
Why would someone want to have religion? The frighteningness of the universe.
Verifiable certainty: you are a tiny insignificant peck of dust, and you are gonna die.
“There’s a world of suffering out there that every human being, being made of flesh and blood, is heir
to.” – Teppy
Religion gives us a way of understanding suffering.
Humans have a need to understand the world as meaningful and unified: reality of suffering makes the
world seem cruel and random.
THEODICY: an attempt to explain and justify why supernatural forces allow suffering
(Easy to remember: sounds like idiocy.)
Most religions create and uphold a “community of believers”
-before mass communication and mass media, most social life was centred around religion
-thus, religion are sources of social organization — sources of comfort and support
The sociology of religion
-Sociologists do not assume the real existence of a god or gods
Sociologists are concerned with
-how humans enact their beliefs
-how religious and social institutions interact
Functional definitions of religion
-what religion does for people
-e.g. provide social cohesion, meaning
-elements to achieve this include rituals and communal activities “In this sense, nationalism is a form of religion too!” -Teppy
“It calls to attention the fact that you do not have to have a God to gain many of the functional payoffs
of religion.” –Teppy
-Ritual creates social cohesion
-Ritual is a behaviour – a set of behaviours, where people identify
Robert Bellah and civil religion
Robert Bellah called attention to *civil religion*
Religions Differ in the importance they attach to ritual
-Some religions have a lot of rituals, some don’t.
Rituals range from:
-simple to elaborate
-secret to conspicuous
-symbolic to literal
Rites of passage: rituals that strip away an “old identity”
-used to mark, commemorate, and accomplish transitions in life
.eg. birth–coming of age–graduattion–marriage–parenthood–DEATH
The *central* importance of belief
-To be religious in any society is to “believe”
Weber is really interested in religious beliefs (not just totems)
-Every religion has key non-negotiable beliefs
-e.g. belief in multiple gods vs. one god
-e.g. belief in supernatural entities such as angels, nymphs
The normative content of religion
-Most religions tell people how to lead a moral or ethical life
-Most/all religions include rules of behaviour
-e.g. The Ten Commandments; the Golden Rule
The Secular Attack on Religion:
The Age of Enlightenment sets the stage for modernity
-Advocated reason as the main source for legitimacy and authority in decision-making.
-Tradition and belief should be substituted by reason and evidence
A Mix of Progressive Ideas
-Enlightenment philosophies were contradictory or divergent; but they are all grounded in reason, logic,
“That’s where sociology comes from.” -Teppy
“Sociology is profoundly antitraditional; in fact it is (more or less) antireligious.” -Teppy
Religion vs. Science
The Debate of the Enlightenment
-e.g. American society.
Weber says we are progressing towards a *rational-legal* society. The exception to the “Enlightenment Rule”: The US
-Though technologically modern, Americans hold many pre-modern religious beliefs
-The three countries in which people are least likely to accept the theory of evolution are Cyprus,
Turkey, and the US.
“This is crazy! This is crazy!” -Teppy
-In all societies, as science becomes a stronger force, people would put aside pre-rational beliefs. But
even though US has high level of scientific prosperity, it is still a pretty conservative country in terms of
The Social Gospel Movement
-Religion isn’t always backward-looking
-Developed in the late 19th century
-The Social Gospel movement developed in the late 19th century
-an important progressive force in Canadian society between roughly 1880 and 1940
-Applied Christian doc