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Chapter 4

SOCA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Thomas Theorem, Lev Vygotsky, Symbolic Interactionism


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Mc Kinon
Chapter
4

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Chapter 4- Socialization
Social Isolation and the Crystallization of Self-Identity
-socialization is the process by which people learn their culture
-they do so by:
1. Entering and disengaging from a succession of roles
2. Becoming aware of themselves as they interact w/ others
Rene Spitz: compared children who were being raised in an orphanage w/ children being raised in a prison nursing
home
-orphans had much less contact w/ people (social deprivation)
-thus, they were more susceptible to infections and had a higher death rate
-by the time they were 2 or 3 yrs old, children from the nursing home were walking and talking compared
to the 8% of the orphans
-might have impaired sexual life when mature
-thus, w/o childhood socialization, most of our human potential remains undeveloped
-the formation of a sense of self continues in adolescence (rapid self-development)
Theories of Childhood Socialization
Freud:
-social interaction soon enables infants to being developing a sense of self which is a set of ideas and attitudes
about who they are as independent beings
-the part of the self that demands immediate gratification is the id
-self-image begins to emerge once the id’s demands are denied
-the child eventually develops a sense of what constitutes appropriate behaviour and moral sense of right and
wrongsuperego
-the child then develops a third sense of self called the ego which balances the conflicting needs of the id and
superego
-Freud views the emergence of the superego as a painful and frustrating process
-thus in order to get on w/ our lives we need to repress memories of denying the id
-repressed memories are stored in the unconscious
3 criticisms to Freud’s argument
1. The connections b/w early childhood development and adult personality are more complex than he
assumed
-wrote that when the ego fails to balance the needs of the id and the superego, individuals develop
personality disorders
2. Many sociologists criticize Freud for gender bias in his analysis of male and female sexuality
-argued that psychologically normal women are immature and dependent on men b/c they envy the
male sexual organ
-classified women who are independent and mature as abnormal
3. Sociologists often criticize Freud for neglecting socialization after childhood
-he believed that the human personality was fixed at the age of five
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Cooley’s symbolic interactionism:
-introduced idea of “looking-glass self”
-observed that when we interact w/ others, they gesture and react to us
-allow us to imagine how we appear to them and judge how others evaluate us
-thus, we develop a self-concept of who we are
Mead:
-noted that a subjective and impulsive aspect of the self is present from birthI
-argued that a repository of culturally approved standards emerges as part of the selfme
-drew attention to the unique human capacity to “take the role of the other” as the source of the me
-the “me” is not present at birth but emerges only gradually during social interaction
-saw the self as developing in 4 stages:
1. Children learn to use language and other symbols by imitating important people in their livessignificant others
2. Children pretend to be other people (ex. Role playing)
3. By age 7, they learn to play complex games requiring that they simultaneously take the role of several people
4. Taking the role of the generalized othera person’s image of the cultural standards and how they apply to him
or her
Piaget:
-divided the development of thinking skills during childhood into 4 stages:
1. In first 2 yrs of life, children only explore the world through their 5 senses”sensorimotor” stage of cognitive
development
-cannot think using symbols
2. Children begin to think symbolically b/w ages 2 and 7preoperational stage
-develop language and imagination but not yet able to think abstractly
3. B/w age 7 and 11, children are able to see connections b/w causes and effects in their environmentconcrete
operational stage
4. By about age 12, they develop the ability to think more abstractly and criticallyformal operational stage
Kohlberg:
-showed how children’s moral reasoning also passes through developmental stages
1. Preconventional stagewhat is “right” is simply what satisfies the young child
2. Conventional stageteenagers begin to think about right and wrong in terms of whether specific actions please
their parents or teachers and are consistent w/ cultural norms
2. Postconventional stagedevelop the capacity to think abstractly and critically about moral principles (freedom.
Justice, equality)
Vygotsky:
-ways of thinking are determined not so much by innate factors as they are by the nature of social institutions in
which individuals grow
Ex. Ancient china and Greece
-processes and events viewed as whole systems in China, but discrete categories in Greece
Gilligan and gender differences:
-demonstrated that sociological factors help explain differences in the sense of self that boys and girls usually
develop
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