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Socialization & Society, Social Structure, and Interaction SOC101.docx

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Christian O.Caron

Socialization What is socialization?  Self: sense of individual identity that allows us to understand who we are in relation to others and to differentiate ourselves from them. Allows us to react to what we learn so once we know what is expected of us, we can choose whether or not to behave in ways consistent with said expectations o Constrained by societal norms/values, free to decide how to behave  Socialization: process of social interaction. vital link b/w individuals and society. o Makes social interaction, organization and order possible  Content differs b/w societies, helps explain similarities/differences among people in particular society  Primary Socialization: crucial learning process that occurs in childhood and initiates our entry into society eg. What you learn from parents  Secondary Socialization: learning that occurs after people have undergone primary socialization eg. What you learn in school  Nether can exist w/o the other. No sense of selves as distinct beings w/o interaction with others. Would not be able to function w/o tools that society provides to solve problems of survival. Tools must be acquired, internalized by socialization. Society not possible without individuals to interact and transmit stock of knowledge Nature and Nurture  Some human behaviour is outcome of biological factors, we seem to have certain predispositions the moment we are born  Whatever inclinations we're born with are developed in social settings + influenced greatly by our social experiences  Nature and nurture are inseparable  Humans have basic biological need for social interaction, communication, and intimate relations with others - we need each other. Without human contact, socialization is impaired, the individual is but a shell of human being and irreversible damage may be done to person's sense of self The Self and Socialization  Socialization begins w/ development of self Sigmund Freud  Proposed 1 of first social scientific interpretations of process by which self emerges  Infants demand immediate gratification but begin to form self-image when demands are denied  Infants sense needs differ from parents, it has existence independent of others, must balance needs with realities of life  b/c of lessons in self-control, child develops sense of what constitutes appropriate behaviour + moral sense of right/wrong  Personal conscience crystallizes - storehouse of cultural standards, mechanism that balances pleasure-seeking / restraining components of sef  **only social interaction allows self to emerge Charles Horton Cooley  Introduced looking-glass self: suggesting gestures and reactions of others are a mirror or looking glass in which we see ourselves  We look to others to see a reflection of our social life - without social mirror, there is no sense of self  Self-image emerges as product of involvement in groups/communications with others o First images received from significant others: those closest to children during early stages of life o Later, other images complement/supplant first images, especially as network expands o Primary group is important George Herbert Mead  Foundation of symbolic interactionism  Society is essential to human development - thinking is possible only if we communicate symbolically/learn to do so by interacting  Key to socialization: ability to take the role of another  Taking the role of the other involves anticipating others' reactions/how they see you - essential to develop, must be acquired Three Stages in Taking the Role of the Other  Imitative Stage: mimicking others b/x they have no real conception of themselves as separate social beings, insufficient to communicate  Play Stage: adopting roles of others, from imitative to imaginative.  Game Stage: developing generalized impression of behaviour people expect / awareness of own importance to group/vice versa o Responding to generalized other - conception of how people in general will respond The "I" and the "Me"  "I": subjective part of self - acts  "Me": objective part of self - reflects actions through lens of social norms, values, expectations  Self is spontaneous (I), conformist (Me), active (I), reflective (me), experiencing (I), experienced (Me). I + Me engage in internal conversation, continuing to develop sense of self throughout life Paul Willis  Emphasized degree to which identity formation continues in teens/young adults  They learn norms values through surroundings + experimentation  Stresses links among creativity, identity + social context, young people take advantage of every opportunity to make world around them meaningful  Character of socialization depends on groups/institutions to which you belong + statuses within those Gender Socialization  Process through which individuals learn to become feminine and masculine according to expectations current in their society o Gender identity is learned - believed gender role differences are normal + necessary o Preferences reinforced over years in gender specific items Socialization Through the Life Course Adolescence and Youth  Dramatic transformations of identity, status, social relationships occur in adolescence  Socialization during this time requires we find balance between autonomy and conformity, freedom and constraint  Adolescence is also period of anticipatory socialization: process by which aspirants to a particular social role begin to discern what it will be like to function in that position. - individual rehearses for future positions/relationships/occupations Adult Socialization  Process by which adults take on new statuses and acquire new and different social identities o To participate effectively in society, adults must continuously undergo socialization o More voluntary than youth Socialization Among Older Adults  Many practises in society reinforce ageism: discriminatory practises based on age - often leads to diminished sense of self Agents of Socialization Agents of socialization: individuals, groups, institutions that impart the range of information we require to interact effectively and participate in society (eg. Family, school, institutions) Families  Ideal socializing agent - can monitor children's progress, make adjustments, parents are well motivated.  Not always good - some parents are bad role models, neglect, abuse, abandon Families and Social Class  Different statuses bring up different children  Middle-class - think independently, become high achievers, curious, initiators, importance of economic success  Working class - need for obedience/authority, many ambitions are unrealistic in light of fam's situation o Different classes influence aspirations, educational attainments, occupational directories Families and Ethnicity  Chinese - academics is everything, reflects good parenting, very important  Americans - learning is fun, stressful at times Diverse Family Forms  Form is not important compared to adequate resources  Homosexual, adoption, marriage, etc. Schools  Deliberately organized to socialize - training ground  Hidden Curriculum: informal teaching that helps ensure students' integration into society Peer Groups  Children disengage from family as cast of significant others shift to those of similar age/interests  Peer Group: comprises individuals who are usually of the same age and enjoy approx. equal status (eg. Class members, not friend circle)  Largest influence Mass Media and New Communications Technology  Good and bad - teaching tolerance of other cultures or depicting sex/violence  New opportunities to interact, more to live in isolation  Offers more say on what influences you Other Socialization Agents  Religious institutions, athletic teams, youth groups  Conflict among agencies are inevitable Identity and Social Change  Social circumstances powerfully influence identity  Premodern - formed relatively cohesive groups in which people could find solidarity/meaning in family/clan/community. Strong sense of identity/purpose, limited range of personal experience  Modern - expanded rage of choice and permitted greater diversity of beliefs, emancipated people from tyranny of tradition, left w/o comfort/security of heritage/roots. More autonomy, less sense of purpose/fewer enduring social ties o Result: people shuttling from one identity to another, searching for elusive "true self". Difficulty in developing stable/coherent identity is rooted in individual's social surroundings o Who am i? reflects personal crisis + complexity/instability of modern/postmodern societies Resocialization  Resocialization: involves deliberately trying to instill particular values/behaviours in people who are members of tightly knot groups (eg. Fraternities/sports teams/total institution)  Total institutions: people are isolated from rest of society for a set period (eg. Military, prison, boarding schools, psychiatric hospitals) ; all aspects of life are strictly regulated; attempts to achieve resocialization by controlling/manipulating environment. "forcing houses for changing persons" o May join willingly but then subjected to resocialization against will (eg. Religious cults) o 2 part process: 1. Staff attempts to strip
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