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Chapter 6

Sociology Chapter 6.docx

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

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Chapter 6: Socialization and Social Interaction 10/18/2012 5:38:00 PM 1. Becoming “Human”  we are the only organisms that can think about thinking o how we think about ourselves and the world is important and dynamic area of research for social scientists Personalities: An individual‟s relatively stable pattern of behaviours and feelings  Two basic approaches to how we develop our personalities o Broadly defined as a individuals relatively stable pattern of behaviours/feelings o Become members of a larger society Nature vs. Nurture  The debate between whether biological forces or environment define the person we become o Nature side holds our actions and feeling stem from our biological roots o Nurture side argue that we are the product of our socialization: process of learning culture, development, becoming functioning members of society  lifelong Sense of world and ourselves is held to be the result of Social Interaction  Encompasses all the ways that people interact in social settings while recognizing each person‟s subjective experiences and/or intentions The Nature Arguement: Being Born you  suggests that most of our behaviour is determined by our genetic make-up  sociologists assume that the nurture side is more important in determining the person you become o appreciate the biology role in explaining key aspects in behaviour; athletic ability and intellectual capacity Men and Women having very different brain structures  Women have 11% more neurons than men  Women‟s principal hub of both emotion and memory formation is larger in the female brain  Men have two and a half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive, as well as action and aggression Sociobiology: A science that uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological roots of social behaviour  Began early 1960‟s, associated with the animal behaviours studies of Konrad Lorenz and Edward O. Wilson  Core assertion of sociobiology is that social behaviour among humans, has evolved over time to secure the survival of the species Evolutionary Psychology: argues that Darwinian inheritance can be/explain contemporary human behaviour  “the brain is nothing if not a talented learning machine. Biology powerfully affects but does not lock in our reality” (Brizendine) Sociologist generally acknowledge that same genetic linkages exist and influence human behaviour; but still see that factors influencing the people we become are defined not by nature but by nurture The Nurture Argument: Learning to Be You  Best argument by sociologists: that we become the people we are through social interaction Effects of Social Isolation  5 year old Anna (1938) was discovered tied to a chair and was severely undernourished o kept in attic by grandfather, she could not walk/talk or anything demonstrating basic intellect  5 year old Jeffrey Baldwin (2002) o was confined to his room for years Sociologist argue that social reality is constructed by people every time they interact with others 2.Development of Self: Sociological Insights  Every person is unique Self: one‟s identity, comprising a set of learned values and attitude‟s that develops through social interaction and defines one‟s self-image Self Image: is an introspective composition of various features and attributes that people see themselves as having Imaging how others see us: C.H. Cooley  Concept of the looking-glass self; we think of ourselves is influenced by how we imagine other people see us  consciousness cannot develop o Cooley “to be aware of oneself, one must be aware of society”  Self-consciousness and social consciousness are separable o Cannot conceive of themselves without reference to others One of Cooley‟s most famous statements:  Sociologists must “imagine imaginations” Understanding ourselves and others: G.H Mead  Self composed of two complementary elements First element: I: the part of self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive and often predictable  The „I‟ is the part of consciousness and responds to things emotionally o Winning lottery, jumping up and down Second Element: Me  Mead‟s term for the socialized element of the self Me: the part of consciousness that thinks about how to behave  The „Me‟ in other words, helps us to control the spontaneous impulses of the „I‟  Significant others: People we want to impress or gain approval from Children: Parents are most important Age 12 (around): become aware of broader social world, those who influence our behaviours Generalized other: a compilation of attributes that we associate with the average member of society  Understanding it and how it would feel or behave in certain situations gives the individual a reference point for proper and expected behaviour Role-taking: assuming the position of another to better understand the person‟s perspective Feral Children  Feral: meaning “wild” are those who have been isolated from human contact from a very young age  Have little or no experience with love or human interaction o Often confined by negligent human caregiver or raised by animals Traian Caldarar(2002) – naked living in a cardboard box, thought to be raised by stray dogs; he was estimated to be 7 years old, size of a 3 year old  At hospital preferred to sleep under bed, he became violent and excitable to others “Genie”  13 year old discovered in LA in 1970  thought to have been locked in her room, alone, for more than 10 years  strapped to a potty chair, and when she was going to bed, was tied into a sleeping Learning about ourselves Preparatory Stage (birth to 3)  first experiences when interacting with others are to imitate what they see  not understanding but want to please the significant others  begin to develop „I‟ but „me‟ is also forming in the background Play Stage (3 to 5)  Learn a great deal about themselves and the society around them through play  “me” continues to grow because children want to receive positive reinforcement  language skills developing; can more accurately communicate their thoughts and feelings Game Stage (Elementary-School Years)  Become increasingly proficient to taking on multiple roles at once (student, son, daughter)  Participating on complex games that require them to play a particular role  Mead states: game stage marks the period during which primary socialization occurs; this is when people learn the attitudes, values, and appropriate behaviours for individuals in their culture  Secondary socialization : occurs through participation in more specific groups with defined roles and expectations o Part time jobs, city-wide sports teams are examples Double Consciousness (Pg 156)  DuBois‟ term for a sense of self that is defined, in part, through the eyes of others  Similar to Mill‟s Sociological imagination in that it requires the person to transcend 3. Agents of Socialization(pg157)  are the individuals ,groups and social institutions that together help people to become functioning members of society o defined most significantly by the society around us Four Principal agents of Socialization:  Families o Most important because they are the center of children‟s lives o Families provide nourishment, love, protection, and guide o First values and attributes are reflection of the family‟s  Are responsible for establishing acceptable gender roles, social classes, and ethnic identities for children o Gender Stereotyping: the assignment of beliefs to men and women, respectively, that are not based on fact o Are responsible for socio-economic status: determined by family income, parent‟s education level, occupations, and standing within community o Cultural Capital: social assets (values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies) that are gained from one‟s family and help one succeed in life  Helps children prepare for success  Peers o Peer groups: consist of people who are closely related in age and share similar interests  Children have to make own friends, find out not everyone likes them; puts pressure on them to find people who like them  As children mature, their friends become increasingly important to them  Establishing a sense of community and being part of social group is vital  Education o In Canadian culture, education emphasizes that children learn academic content, social skills and important cultural values o Role of the hidden curriculum: the unconscious, informal, and unwritten norms and rules that reinforce and maintain social conventions  Ex. While the conscious purpose of your English courses is to teach you how to interpret literary texts, the unconscious purpose of reading all of those books and writing all of those papers s to reinforce how to behave in society  Also plays important role in gender role socialization (pg. 160)  Mass Media o Are forms of communication produced by a few people for consumption by the masses o Socialization function of mass media is more subtle, with much of it occurring unconsciously o Television by far the most influential of mass media (99% had television,2005) o People over 60 are heaviest watchers, 31.1 hours week for men, 35.6 for women , poor children watch more than affluent homes o Television reinforces standards of behaviour, provides role models, and communicates expectations about all aspects of social life o Dominance of television is being replaced by internet use 4. Socialization across the Life Course  socialization that occurs during childhood is primary socialization, and in throughout adult life it is called the Life course (socialization that occurs throughout one‟s adult life)  one way to track how events may influence people‟s lives is by analyzing a birth cohort (all of the people who are born during a given period of time and therefore experience historical events at the same point in their lives Early to Middle Adulthood  Identify people around age of 20 as young adults o Exception is when young adults continue their education beyond high school; therefore the classification does not apply until they are completed school o Young adults are generally defined as those who have completed school Later Adulthood  Generally classified between the ages of 40 and 60 o Is a time of increased focus on career achievement  Children leaving home  Birth of grandchildren  Preparation for retirement  Increased recognition of one‟s declining health as the first signs of physical aging occurs o Loss of hair, need for reading glasses, increasing aches and pains  Women are said to become depressed as the last child leaves home, often referred to as the empty nest syndrome o However it may be a myth, as research as shown women experience an increase in life satisfaction and psychological well-being when children leave the home  Retiring from work is a more difficult transition than having children leave home  „mid-life crisis‟ men may experience both physical and emotional symptoms o physical may include:  muscle stiffness and sore joints  night sweats  hair loss  weight gain o emotional may include:  irritability  loss of libido  erectile dysfunction  fatigue  depression Old Age  Functional definition: declining health or mental faculties as  Old age pension plan : 70 years +  Old age assistance program : 65-59 years o Were both means-tested programs (social programs based on need) o Universal Plan: social programs provided to everyone  Age 65 is universal retirement age  Majority of provinces and territories don‟t have mandatory retirement  Pg 165, figure 1 shows the longevity of Canadians o There are 6 workers for every retired person Preceding stages marked by acquiring new responsibilities and taking on new challenges, whereas retirement and old age can entail a loss of identity and satisfaction. Socialization into dying and death  Final stage of life; realization of approaching death o The study of old age is called gerontology  For the elderly, death becomes a fact of their everyday lives Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Death Course (pg. 166) 1. Denial: people who are told that they have a terminal illness experience shock and disbelief 2. Anger: individuals express hostility and resentment, often toward others who will live on, “Why me?” 3. Bargaining: bargains are made, usually with God: “I will be a better person if only I can live, so please spare me” 4. Depression : with the realization that they cannot negotiate their way out of the situation, depression occurs. Sorrow, guilt, and shame are linked 5. Acceptance: by discussing their feelings openly, people move into a final stage in which death is accepted. Only with acceptance can inner peace be reached Kubler-Ross established idea of dying trajectories, the courses that dying takes in both social and psychological senses. Some concerns on the Death course  No independent evidence exists to support people move from 1 – 5  May feel different emotions and reactions from different stags  Tremendous diversity of resources, pressures, and characteristics of the dying individual are not taken into account Euthanasia: the deliberate ending of the life of a person who has an incurable or painful disease Assisted Suicide: Intentionally killing oneself with help from others 5. Resocialization: The Total Institution  Resocialization is the profound change or complete transformation of a persons personality as a result of being placed in a situation or an environment dedicated to changing his or her previous identity  Total Institutions is a setting in which people are isolated from society and supervised by an administrative staff Erving Goffman (pg 168)  studying resocialization that occurs in total institutions  Five types of Total Institutions o Institutions that help people who are incapable of taking care of themselves and can be considered harmless o Institutions that take care of people who are incapable of looking after themselves ad pose a threat to the community o Institutions that protect the community from those who would do it harm o Institutions that perform instrumental tasks that require unique work arrangements o Institutions that act as retreats from the rest of the world and serve as locations for religious training Mortifications of the self: the first stage of the resocilization process in which a persons existing identity is stripped away Chapter 7: Social Inequality 10/18/2012 5:38:00 PM 1.What is Social Stratification?  Social Stratification: is a society‟s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes  Social Class: a group of individuals sharing a position in a social hierarchy, based on both birth and achievement o Based on both birth and achievements in life  Social Status: an individuals position within the class structure Social stratification based on few principles:  1stAll societies redistribute materials and social rewards to individuals o Meritocracy: a system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated abilities  Reinforces the ideological assumption that people achieve what they deserve  2ndsince social stratification transcends any single generation, the system is relatively stable over time o Social mobility: movement between social classes  Very few people move out of their class o Intergenerational mobility: the comparison of adult children‟s social class to that of their parents o Intragenerational mobility: status movement throughout one‟s lifetime  3rdalthough it is present in all known human societies, it varies in how it expresses itself  4thwhile societies recognize differences in wealth and prestige, what they are granted are considered fair and just by the majority of the population-even those of lower class What is Social Inequality?  Social Inequality: exists when certain attributes affect a persons access to social valued resources o Results from collective decisions about what is important in evaluating a person or group (pg.176) Classism  Is the belief that people‟s relative worth is at least partly determined by their social and economic status  grounded in the idea that everyone in society starts out with the same chances of success o belief constitutes wealthy deserve what they have, poor responsible for their failure  This belief explains 2 perspectives of why people are poor: o One that blames the victim and one that blames the system Blaming the Victim  Perspective assumes that the p
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