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Chapter 3

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University of Toronto St. George
Robert Brym

New Society Chapter 3-Socialization  Social process whereby children undergo development through interacting with the people around them o Learn how to act and interact appropriately with others o Become competent and effective members of society o Develop self o Must look at people’s sense of belonging and their sense of autonomy o Active process (participate and contribute) o Interactive o Lifelong process  Acquires self identity  Skills needed to live in society  Primary socialization o Occurs in childhood o Crucial learning process o Makes us members of society  Secondary socialization o After primary, whole life o Following the first few years of life o Able to communicate, symbolize, self, empathy  Channel and guide behaviour of everyday life  Make things smooth and orderly, freeing us from the need to plan every step  Influenced by subcultures o Has distinctive values, norms and practices Nature and Nurture  Natural differences exist among people but explains little about social behaviour and organization  Sociologist emphasize importance of society and socialization o Suspicious of biological inheritance o Often shifts to racist and sexist views  Both are complementary and inseparable  Not born human, we become human o Through social interaction o Biological need for social interaction o “Anna” (pg. 51) Self and Socialization  Self image greatly depends on social interaction 1  Research demonstrates the importance of the body for constructing self and identity o Self is not fixed o Can modify self when necessary radically altering it in response to interactions with others Charles Horton Cooley  Early 1900s  Work in socialization groundbreaking  LOOKING GLASS SELF o See ourselves through the reactions of others o Less on responses more on personal imagination/interpretation o Outlook depends on expectations o Without social mirror there can be no self o Self-image emerges as product of involvement in groups and communication with others  First=significant others  Particularly important=primary group George Herbert Mead  Foundation of symbolic interactionism  Saw socialization as an active process in which individuals play a crucial role in their own development o Key ability to communicate  Especially symbolic communication  Children are not born with the ability to understand people o Develop ability to take role of the other o Central to understanding and internalization of values, attitudes and beliefs of society o Develop a sense of self through taking role  Conformity and individuality are interconnected Three Stages in Taking the Role of the Other  Imitative Stage o Less than 2 years old o No real conception of themselves o Make believe  Play Stage o Begin to adopt roles of significant others o Shifts from imitative to imaginative  Imagine how people will respond 2 o Difficulty coordinating actions with others  Game Stage o Developed generalized impression of the behaviour people expect and awareness of their own importance to the group and vice versa o Metaphor of complex behaviour at this stage o Responding to generalized other  How people in general will respond to a situation  Internalized  Compromises values, beliefs, attitudes that individual understands to be part of society o Internal conversation “Me” and “I” (Mead)  Aware of ourselves as social objects o Objective elements of self=me o Subjective element of self=I  This allows internal conversation  “I” initiates action  “Me” takes role of the other  Throughout life, sense of self continues to develop because it involves continual conversation between “I” and “Me” Willis’s Application and Extension of Mead’s theory  Paul Willis  Disagreed with sociologists who assumed socialization fundamental in children until school  Argued teens and young adults still engaged in developing sense of self  Young people concerned with own identity o Social location o Commercialization  Stresses the link among creativity, identity and social context o Take opportunity to make life meaningful  Socialization not unitary process o Different categories of people will act in different ways  Gender Gender Socialization  Process through which individuals learn to become feminine and masculine according to expectations in society  Gender identity is learned  Raise boys and girls so that they will be different 3  Grow up wanting to be different  From birth learn if you are a “he” or “she”  Parents first source of gender learning o Gender division of labour  Mass media idealized images and stereotypes o Traditional male and female jobs  Children and adults are socialized to respond to their social world by developing certain potentials and inhibit others  Gender “scripts” (showers) rituals that celebrate heterosexuality Adolescent and Youth  Dramatic transformations of identity status and social relationships occur o Status=culturally and socially defined position  Crucial period in life  Socialization (even more than childhood) demands we find a balance between autonomy and conformity  Aware of demands being placed on them  Emotional and social turmoil  Conflict with parents and others in attempt to develop identity  Turmoil due to inconsistencies in socialization o “Grow up” vs. being treated like a child o Media= sex vs. parents=restraint  Adolescents now live at home under authority o Premodern=married at 16/17  Product of industrialization and education o Mass and compulsory education  Parents trying to keep identity and power  Peer influence promotes youthful autonomy  Anticipatory socialization o Learn to incorporate the perspectives and expectations of the larger society and imagine what it would be like to enact the roles to which why aspire o Preparing oneself to acquire new norms and behaviour Adult Socialization  Process by which adults take on new statuses and acquire new and different social identities  Different from adolescent in general respects o Have control over the content and direction of their socialization o Engage in socializing activities voluntarily o Can better understand and articulate their motives  When we assume new statuses, we must learn expectations associated with them  Three types of students o Diligent planning “Aces” schedule adequate exam prep 4 o Procrastinating low achieving “Bombers” last minutes guilt and fright o “Moderates” ration time  Marriage one of the biggest changes o Now chart own course leads to strain on relationships  Trial and error  Becoming a parent o Acquire new skills and status o Roles and expectations must be learned o
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