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Chapter 6

SOC101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Hidden Curriculum, Erving Goffman, Midlife Crisis


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101
Professor
Barry Mc Clinchey
Chapter
6

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CHAPTER 6 Socialization and Social Integration
- humans are only organisms that can think about thinking; how we think about ourselves and the world is
an important/dynamic area of research for social scientists
- personality individual’s relatively stable pattern of behaviours and feelings
- 2 basic approaches to understand how we develop personality
biological approach
environmental approach
- nature vs. nurture debate
nature actions/feelings stems from biological roots
nurture we are product of socialization; sense of world/ourselves is result of social interaction
socialization lifelong process by which we learn our culture, develop our personalities,
and become functioning members of society
social interaction ways in which ppl interact in social settings, recognizing each
person’s subjective experiences/intentions
Nature Argument Being Born You
- most of behaviour is determined by genetic makeup
- sociologists assume nurture side is more important in determining the person you become, but they
appreciate that bio plays a role in explaining some key aspects of behaviour (athletics, intellectual
capacity)
- evolutionary forces have led to women and men having very diff brain structures that influence how
each sex responds to world
women better at expressing emotions and remembering details of emotional events
men have 2.5x the brain space devoted to sexual drive; large brain centres for
action/aggression
- sociobiology uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological roots of social
behaviour
began in early 1960s; associated w/ animal behavioural studies of Lorenz and research into social
behaviour of ants by Wilson (Sociobiology: The New Synthesis)
core assertion is that social behaviour among humans (as w/ all organisms) has evolved over
time to secure survival
most important achievement for organism is to leave as many offspring as possible
attributes that help individual to produce offspring are selected for; attributes that diminish
ability to produce offspring are selected against
behavioural differences b/w men and women are result of millions of years of natural selection
- evolutionary psychology Darwinian inheritance can explain contemporary human behaviour;
relabelled form of sociobiology
- not much support in social sciences as empirical behaviour is contentious
nature theory disregards ability to think before they act
some advocates for evolutionary perspective suggest that structure of brain, and the emotions and
behaviours it inspires, does not prohibit the mind from transcending bio
Nurture Argument Learning to Be You
- most compelling argument is what happens when young children are isolated from human contact (feral
children)
- this isolation prevents individual from developing more than a fraction of intellectual potential
demonstrates importance of human interaction
- some believe nature vs. nurture is a false dichotomy genetic makeup gives capacity to be social
beings, but process of social interaction enables us to develop that capacity
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Development of Self Sociological Insights
- self one’s identity, comprising a set of learned values and attitudes that develops through social
interaction and defines one’s self-image; composite for thoughts and feelings from which we derive
concept of who/what we are
- self-image introspective composition of various features/attributes that ppl see themselves as having
- in healthy ppl, personality and self join to give individual sense that he/she is unique and special
C.H. Cooley Imagining How Others See Us
- looking-glass self what we think of ourselves is influenced by how we imagine other ppl see us
- consciousness cannot develop w/o social interaction (isolated/feral children)
- to be aware of oneself, must be aware of society
- self-consciousness and social consciousness are inseparable ppl cannot conceive themselves w/o
reference to others
- self is result of social interaction
- sociologists must “imagine imaginations” cannot understand social world until they project
themselves into the minds of others and see the world as those ppl did (essence of sociological
imagination/perspective)
G.H. Mead Understand Ourselves and Others
- self is composed of 2 complementary elements
“I” – spontaneous, creative, impulsive, unpredictable
“Me” – socialized; thinks about how to behave; controls impulses of “I”
- understanding of ourselves/social environment is also influenced by those around us
- significant others ppl we want to impress/gain approval from
- generalized other compilation of attributes associated w/ avg of member of society; represents
individual’s appreciation that other members of society behave w/in certain socially accepted guidelines
and rules; provides reference point for proper/expected behaviour
- role-taking assuming position of another to better understand that person’s perspective; allows for
empathy/compassion, but also enables better anticipation of actions
- how children are socialized 3 distinct stages
- Preparatory Stage (Birth to 3)
Imitate what they see others doing
Do not understand actions, but want to please significant others
Children begin to develop the “I”, but “me” is forming in background
- Play Stages (3 to 5)
Learn a lot through play
Children assume imagined roles they are playing (move beyond simple imitation)
“me” continues to grow b/c children want to receive positive reinforcement from significant
others
better communication b/c language skills develop in this stage must be mastered to emerge
stable sense of self
- Game Stage (Elementary School Years)
Become increasingly proficient at taking on multiple roles at once, begin to identify w/
generalized other
Playing a specific role in a game teaches them to understand individual position as well as the
needs of the entire group; readily transferred to real-life situations
Primary socialization occurs when ppl learn attitudes, values, appropriate behaviours for
individual in culture
Refine language skills; children begin to gain first sense of self as unique individual
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