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Chapter 6

SOC101Y1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Role Conflict, Mechanical And Organic Solidarity, Emotional Labor


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Sheldon Ungar
Chapter
6

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In order to interact with others, we need a self, a sense of individual identity that allows us to
understand who we are in relation to others and to dierentiate ourselves from them. To learn a
way of life in our society and develop and identity, we undergo a process of social interaction
known as socialization. Socialization is the vital link between individuals and society. Neither can
exist without the other. Socialization thus makes social interaction, social organization, and social
order possible. "
"
Each person is influenced by distinctive subcultures of family, friends class, race, religion, and
gender. Primary socialization is the crucial learning process that occurs in childhood and initiates
our entry into society. Secondary socialization because it occurs after people have already
undergone primary socialization. Nature and nurture are inseparable. Freud 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 introduced the idea of
the looking-glass self, suggesting that the gestures and reactions of others are a mirror or
"looking glass" in which we see ourselves. Cooley's emphasis was less on the actual responses
of others than on our perception or interpretation of those responses. "
"
This means that without the social mirror, there can be no sense of self. For Cooley, self-image
emerges as a product of involvement in groups and communication with others. The first images
of the self are received from significant others, those closest to children during the early stages of
their lives, especially parents. Particularly important is the role played by an individual's primary
group, the small group around us in which interactions is characterized by intimate, face to face
association and cooperation. Mead's, following Cooley, ideas became the foundation of symbolic
interactionism. For Mead, society is essential to human development. That is because thinking is
possible only if we can communicate symbolically, and we learn to do so by interacting with
others. Symbols are gestures, objects and sounds that stand for something else and whose
meaning depends on shared understanding. Taking the role of the other involves anticipating how
others will see and react to you. "
"
The imitative stage comes first. When kids play, they often act out the behaviour associated with
certain roles, such as mother, father, dancer, firefighter. In the second stage, the play stage,
children begin to adopt the roles of significant others, a parent, a celebrity, a storybook hero, and
their play shifts from imitative to imaginative. Through language, children can now manipulative
various roles without physical action. The final stage in learning to take the role of the other is the
game stage, during which children develop a generalized impression of the behaviour people
expect and awareness of their own importance to the group and vice-versa. Mean believed that
children are responding to the generalized other,a c conception of how people in general, not
someone specific, will respond. This generalized other is internalized. It comprises the values,
attitudes and believes that the individual understands to be a part of society and in terms of
which the individual assumes others will react. In eect, taking the role of the generalized other
means we respond to our idea of the organized group or community of which we are a part. In
any given situation, we observe the conduct and reactions of other people, ascertain their points
of view, anticipate what is expected of us and then plan, rehearse and modify and perfect our
behaviour accordingly. "
"
Mead called the subjective part of the self the "I" and the objective part of the self the "me" The
"I" acts. The "me" reflects on our actions through the lens of social norms, values and
expectations. Paul Willis emphasized the degree to which identity formation continues among
teens and young adults. For, Willis, class, racial ethnic, gender and regional dierences are
associated with dierences in socialization patterns. In addition, the dierent institutions to which
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people belong provide them with relatively distinct symbolic resources that influence how they
can express themselves and how others see them. "
"
Gender socialization is "the process through which individuals learn to become feminine and
masculine according to expectations current in their society". To the extent that a culture defines
male and female roles as sharply dierent, parents raise boys and girls so that they will be
sharply dierent. Moreover, boys and girls grow up wanting to be dierent, believing that gender
role dierences are normal and necessary. One of the first things that a child learns is whether
they're a he or she, children are also marked for gender-specific preferences in toys and
activities. In this way, the meaning of becoming a woman is tied to various aspects of consumer
culture. Parents are usually the first source of gender learning and indications are that parents
hold and communicate dierent expectations for males and females. There is a clear division of
labor based on gender in households. Mass media present idealized images and stereotypes of
appropriate masculine and feminine characteristics. The meaning of becoming a woman is tied
to various aspects of consumer culture. The phenomenon becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
Girls develop a self image consistent with others' perception of them. It is certainly true that
biological dierences between the sexes have an impact on behaviour. Symbolic interactionists
in particular have shown that gender is acquired through interactions with parents, teachers and
peers as these unfold within the larger context of a society's cultural organization. "
"
Sociologists refer to childhood socialization as primary socialization because it lays the
foundation that influences our self concept and involvement in social life for as long as we live.
Adolescence in North America is characterized by a decline in adult supervision and guidance,
the increasing influence of mass media and peer groups, and the greater assumption of adult
responsibilities. Unlike children, however, most adolescents are aware of the demands being
placed on them by others and of the demands they place on themselves. Adolescence is
generally associated with emotional and social turmoil. Young people experience conflicts with
their parents and other adults as they attempt to develop their own identity, act on their own
preferences and form their own relations. Much turmoil is at this stage is attribute to
physiological changes like onset of puberty and raging hormones. Adolescents typically receive
messages of encouragement from the mass media and restraint from parents. Mass education
and compulsory school attendance alter the role of the family and helped give rise to
adolescents. Parents and teenagers often claim that the openness is the route to intimacy but in
practice young people experience rules imposed by parents who are often unwilling to
compromise. This situation causes resentment among adolescents who realize that parent
teacher relations often lack open communication. Although on average the family exerts more
influence than peer groups in terms of religion, politics and careers, sometimes occasions arise
when young people are less influenced by their parents or teachers than by their peers. "
"
Adolescence is a period of anticipatory socialization, the process by which aspirants to a
particular social begin to discern what it will be like to function in that position. In eects, the
individual rehearses for future positions, social relations and even occupations. Adult
socialization is the process by which adults take on new statuses and acquire new and dierent
social identities. Although medical advances have prolonged lives, there are relatively few
meaningful roles and valued statuses for seniors. The mass media tends to pass senior citizens
as as dependent if not helpless. Such portrayals reinforce ageism, or discriminatory practices
based on age. Treating seniors as if they are a group with declining abilities dangerously impacts
their self worth and self. "
"
Agents of socialization, individuals, groups and institutions that impart the range of information
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