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Chapter 4

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Neda Maghbouleh

 socialization is the process by which people learn their culture and do so by 1. entering and disengaging from a succession of roles 2. becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others  A role is the behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in society. study conducted by René Spitz (1945, 1962). Spitz compared babies raised in an orphanage with babies who were being raised in a prison nursing home Summing Up  Biology sets the broad limits of human potential.  Socialization determines the extent to which human potential is realized. Theories of Childhood Socialization  self —a set of ideas and attitudes about who they are as independent beings. Freud  Sigmund Freud proposed the first social-scientific interpretation of the process by which the self emerges  He noted that infants demand immediate gratification but begin to form a self-image when their demands are denied  Freud argued that only social interaction allows the self to emerge. Cooley's Symbolic Interactionism  Charles Horton Cooley introduced the idea of the “looking-glass self,”  he is a founder of the symbolic interactionist tradition and an early contributor to the sociological study of socialization.  we see our social selves reflected in people's gestures and reactions to us Mead  George Herbert Mead (1934) developed the idea of the looking-glass self  subjective and impulsive aspect of the self is present from birth. Mead called it simply the I Mead's Four Stages of Development: Role Taking Mead saw the self as developing in four stages of role taking: 1. At first, children learn to use language and other symbols by imitating important people in their lives, such as their mother and father. Mead called such people significant others . 2. Next, children pretend to be other people. That is, they use their imaginations to roleplay in games such as “house,” “school,” and “doctor.” 3. Then, about the time they reach the age of seven, children learn to play complex games that require them to simultaneously take the role of several other people. (example: baseball) 4. Once a child can think in this complex way, she can begin the fourth stage in the development of the self, which involves taking the role of what Mead called the generalized other- A person's image of these cultural standards and how they are applied to her is what Mead meant by the generalized other. Summing Up  Through socialization, the self develops.  Cooley's “looking glass self” is composed of our reactions to how we imagine others view us.  For Mead, the self develops through a broadening ability to emphasize with significant and generalized others.  Socialization often produces important gender and cultural differences. How Socialization Works  Humans are continuously surrounded and influenced by real or imagined others, who constitute a person's social environment . To satisfy individual needs and interests, every person needs to adapt to his or her environment. Adaptation involves arranging one's actions to maximize the degree to which an environment satisfies one's needs and interests. socialization is fundamentally an evolutionary process 1. In any environment, a person acts on the basis of his or her existing personal characteristics and interests 2. The environment responds to the person's actions cooperatively or not 3. The environmental response shapes the individual's conduct by either reinforcing existing patterns (cooperation) or encouraging change (resistance) Summing Up  Socialization is an evolutionary process through which groups shape the character and conduct of individuals. Theories and Agents of Socialization  Functionalists emphasize how socialization helps to maintain orderly social relations. They also play down the freedom of choice individuals enjoy in the socialization process.  Conflict and feminist theorists typically stress the discord based on class, gender, and other divisions that is inherent in socialization and that sometimes causes social change.  Symbolic interactionists highlight the creativity of individuals in attaching meaning to their social surroundings. They focus on the many ways in which we often step outside of, and modify, the values
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