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Chapter 3

SOC101 New Society Chapter 3-Socialization.docx

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Robert Brym

Chapter 3: Socialization What is Socialization?  Negativism can be difficult stage to live through for both the parents and the child but childhood experts insist it is an essential stage in developing a sense of self and becoming an autonomous (independent) human being  Negativism is a way that child learns what really can or cannot be done; form of rebellion in which the child sets limits for the parents;  The social process whereby they undergo such development through interacting with the people around them is known as SOCIALIZATION  To be socialized means to learn how to act and interact appropriately with other, to become a competent and effective member of society  yet, sociologists assert that to be socialized is also to develop a self, a sense of individual identity that allows us to understand ourselves and differentiate ourselves from others  Each of these processes depends on and implies the other: To have a self, we must interact with others, to interact competently, we must reflect on and understand ourselves in relation to others  Socialization is an active and interactive process o Active process since those being socialized participate and to which they contribute o Interactive process since those who are socializing, like the parents, are themselves undergoing a learning process  Socialization is a lifelong process of social interaction during which the individual obtains a self-identity and skills needed for living in society  The crucial learning that transforms us into cultural beings, proceeds through interaction with others who are important to us and usually to whom we are important  Primary Socialization: crucial learning process that happens in childhood and makes us members of society o Important to becoming who and what we are  Secondary Socialization: learning that happens after people have undergone primary socialization o Happens following the first few years of life when the individual is able to communicate symbolically, has developed a sense of self, and can well imagine themselves in someone else‟s position o Ongoing feature of our liveslive in world of constant and dramatic change  Socialization makes social interaction, social organization, and social order possible  Norms regulate behaviour (ex. Sidewalk behaviour); social norms make social life orderly and allow use to deal with and interact with hundreds of anonymous strangers daily  Norms constrain us, they channel and guide our behaviour in everyday life  Content of socialization differs greatly from one society to another  People in a certain society learn the norms, values, and lifestyles specific to their social environment  Within every society individuals differ in significant ways from one another, to some extent is the product of socialization  Each person is influenced by distinctive or overlapping subcultures of family and friends  Subcultures is a group within the larger culture that has distinctive values, norms, and practices Nature and Nurture  we can‟t deny that some human behaviour is the result of biological factors  we are not born human we become human through the process of social interaction  Socialization is essential both to the physical well-being and to the social competence of an infant  even when, as in the case of Anna, infants survive lack of interaction and caring in early childhood, they are incapable of becoming fully competent, active members of society  The children have not had the chance to develop a self, they have no sense of social identity in in terms in which they understand themselves and others around them  Self is a point of reference for planning and orientation, for sorting and assessing life‟s situations in terms of importance The Self and Socialization  Importance of the body for constructing self and identity  Non-normative bodies can profoundly influence a person‟s self and identity  Self is not fixed: a study of weight-loss surgery they were “new” people in terms of body and self, they thought the surgery removed the layers of fat to reveal the „real‟ body and its corresponding „real‟ self  Socialization , involves not only learning about others but also developing a sense of self  Process of self-growth: theories of scholars: Charles Horton Cooley & George Herbert Mead and modified by Paul Willis Charles Horton Cooley  Introduced the idea of looking-glass self: 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 our imagination, or interpretation, of those responses  Without the social mirror, there can be no sense of self  Self-image emerges as a product of involvement in groups & communication with others  The first images of the self are received from significant others, those people, such as parents, who are of central importance to the individual in the development of the self  Other images both complement and supplant those first images, especially as the child‟s interaction network expands  Role played by the primary group, the small group, (especially the family) that is characterized by intimate, face-to-face association and cooperation  Through the repeated processes of imagination and identification, the self-concept is built and organized  In this way, the structure and content of the self are derived from society, which is represented by the group‟s and significant others surrounding the individual George Herbert Mead  Concentrated the analysis on the importance of the interplay between society and the individual  Major contribution was theory of the relationship among mind, self, and society that become the foundation symbolic interactionism and influenced many sociologists who use a wide variety of other perspectives  Against Cooley, since he didn‟t believe that socialization consists largely of learning to conform to the rest of society  Instead, he saw socialization as an active process in which individuals play a crucial role in their own development  Key to that process is the ability to communicate  Symbols are gestures, objects, or sounds that stand for something else and whose meaning depends on shared meanings  ex. Dove is a bird, but it represents or is a symbol of peace  Human beings first communicate with non-verbal gestures; this process leads to development of language, replaces gestures with ideas  Symbols allows child to think of itself in relation to others and is at the core of all stages of the socialization process  You will “take the role of the other”  that is attempt to determine or appreciate someone else‟s perspective in a particular situation  Taking the role of the other, is an essential skill children develop to the effective members of society  As Mead showed, children, through their interaction with others, develop an ability to take the role of the other  this ability is central to children‟s understanding of others and to the internalization of values, attitudes, and beliefs of the society in which they live  Mead also suggested that it is through taking the role of the other that children also develop a sense of self  Conformity and individuality are interconnected; mind, self, and society are the product of interaction 3 Stages in Taking the Role of the Other  First: imitative stage o Children 2 years old and younger do not interact effectively with others b/c they cannot take the role of the other; lack verbal skills and other skills needed to communicate effectively o Much of behaviour is imitative make-believe o At this stage of development, children have no real conception of themselves as separate social beings or understand of what it is like to be a mother, father, or doctor; just imitating them  Second Developmental Stage: Play Stage o Children begin to adopt the roles of significant others, ex. Parent, superhero, celebrity, etc. , and their play shifts from imitative to imaginative o Through play they learn to imagine how people will respond without actually having to act out the situation o Through language , children can now manipulate the various roles without physical action o they do not see role-playing as a social necessity, they just play at the social roles of life  Third Stage: Game Stage o Children have developed a generalized impression of the behaviour people expect as well as awareness of their own importance to the group and vice-versa o Mead held, children are responding to what he called the generalized other, a conception of how people in general, no someone specific in particular, will respond in a situation o This generalized other is internalized it includes the values, attitudes, and beliefs that the individual understands to be a part of the society and in terms of which the individual assumes the other will react o Taking the role of the generalized other means that we respond to our idea of the organized group or community of which we are a part  internalization means that the attitudes, values, beliefs, that were at one time imposed on you by others, such as parents, come to be a part of you; you are the one who reacts with shame when you do something embarrassing  ex. Tripping or falling  socialization in this sense is an active process because it proceeds through interaction with others  our ability to communicate allows us not only to interact with others but also to communicate with ourselves  as we observe the conduct and reactions of other people, learning their expectations and point of view, we anticipate how we should react in a certain situation and then plan, rehearse, modify, ad perfect our own behaviour we engage in what Mead called an internal conversation and it is through such internal conversations that we come to develop an integrated sense of self The “Me” and the “I”  since we imagine ourselves from the perspective of other people, Mead suggested that we are first aware of ourselves as social objects called the objective element of the self the me  Accompanying the men is the subject or active part of the self, which Mead called the I  It is this subjective component of the self that allows us to react to and assess ourselves, to engage in what Mead described as an “internal conservation”  Asking yourself “Why did I do that?”social experience involves an interaction of the I and the me, with the I initiating action and the me reflectively taking the role of the other  Mead believed that our decisions and choices about actin affect others humans shape their own circumstances and lives, and those of the people around them  The self is both spontaneous (the I) and conformist (the me), both active (the I) and reflective (the me), both experiencing (the I) and experienced (the me)  Generalized other is our particular set of ideas about how others will respond (or should respond) to what we do Willis’s Application and Extension of Mead’s Theory  British sociologist Paul Willis: recognition that socialization implies both conformity and creativity and that the individual must both deal with constraints and take advantage of opportunities  Disagreed that socialization occur in childhood and that after children start school, most socialization consists of little more than learning institutional roles  instead he argued that teens and young adults are still engaged in a process of developing their identity and sense of self  Importance of social location, that is class, race, ethnicity, gender, membership, commercialization to youths  Understanding socialization, Willis asserts, requires that we recognize “the materiality of context as well as the symbolism of self”  As Willis explains, “Memberships of race, class, gender, age and region are not only learned, they are live and experimented with. This is so even if only by pushing up against the oppressive limits of established order and power”  Willis‟s argument is that we are all creative individuals trying to transform the world in way that allow us to express and control our selves ex. The usernames that young people have they express something they consider important about themselves & saying “This is who I am”  Internet as communicating creatively, indicating to others by symbolic means what matters to them and who they really are  All young people aren‟t artists, but they take advantage of every opportunity to make the everyday world around them meaningful  Socialization is not a unitary process Gender Socialization  It is the “process through which individuals learn to become feminine or masculine according to the expectations of current in their society”  The meaning of becoming a woman is tied to various aspects of consumer culture  Parents are usually the first source of children‟s gender learning  Mass media present idealized images and stereotypes of appropriate masculine and feminine characteristics  Oversimplified gender-role stereotypes affected children‟s self-concept and interaction with peers and & adults  Stereotyping contributes to the streaming of males and females into traditional “male” and “female” jobs  Girls develop a self-image consistent with others‟ perceptions of them  Study of gender shows us that children and adults are socialized to respond to their social world by developing certain potentials and inhibiting others  It is less their innate differences than it is differences in the socialization of males and females that affect the assumption of “masculine” and “feminine” characteristics  Author concludes that men‟s presence in wedding showers does not reflect gender convergence or alterations in traditional marriage roles  bridal and co-ed showers perpetuate traditional gender roles in marriage Socialization Through The Life Course Adolescence & Youth  As Willis noted, during adolescence and youth, dramatic transformations of identity, status, and social relationships tend to happen  Status: culturally and socially defined position a person occupies in an interaction  Adolescence, the period between childhood and adulthood, is a crucial period of life in which people undergo new experiences, deal with new demands, and responsibilities, and strive to develop an identity that is distinctively their own  Socialization during adolescence requires that we find a balance between autonomy and conformity, between freedom and constraint  difficult time of life, not only for adolescents but for parents, friends, and teachers  Distinct period of life is a product of industrialization and the extension of education that it introduced  Burgess and Richardson  traced the distinctiveness of adolescence to th
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