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Chapter 4

chapter 4

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Sociology 1021E
Daphne Heywood

CHAPTER 4-SOCIALIZATION - human genetics much of our nature - Darwin’s concept of adaptation and his theory of biological evolution into higher species - gene pool rules out poor human behavior such as crime - eugenics movement promoted genetic engineering- the control of breeding within and between the races - involved the goal of race improvement through selective breeding - weak should be left to die or shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce - affect immigration policy and example the nazi movement - racism in eugenics drew attention of social scientists - unlikely that humans have genetic predispositions strong enough to determine fully their complex behavior patterns especially throughout their lives - cultures can produce patterns of human behavior that cannot be reduced to our genetic make up (cultural variation example) Defining Socialization socialization: process by which someone is taught to live among other humans. - intended to ensure both physical survival of person and group or culture - when someone is socialized he or she has the motivation, skills, and knowledge necessary to live with others in group relationships - three important factors, prosocial motivation, social skills, cultural knowledge - any of these skills are missing a person can experience isolation - members need to conform to norms in order for cultures to perpetuate themselves - socialization is most effective, the enticements for conformity involve the learning of values, norms, roles, skills, and other attributes associated with adaptation to social environment - conformity sometimes involves pressure or coercing(persuading using threats & violence) - social scientists use socialization to refer to how people are conditioned so that inborn temperaments, potentials, and capacities are moulded to produce the desired traits that complement - people are viewed as a number of preset stages through which they pass during their life course - socialization contexts and processes differ at each stage of life and the final outcome of socialization for a particular person is dependent on how well socialization contexts match the characteristics of that person unfolding at each stage - some view these stages as cultural in origin while others view them as constitutional epigenetic makeup epigenetic makeup: which a person is likened to a flower with genetically preset stages of growth, the outcome of which depends on how well or poorly the environment nurtures it during each stage Issues in Study of Socialization - specific contexts of socialization are seen as benign or coercive (benign: gentle, kind, favorable) - functionalists tend towards benign approach while conflict theorists go towards coercive - from conflict perspective, much socialization simply involves getting people to want to do what they otherwise must do without using excessive force - functionalists are mistakenly assuming that socialization is benign then functionalists may simply be contributing to the oppression of human beings by studying how to perfect coercive socialization processes - being bad in school can be an example of running the risk of blaming the victim if we focus only on individuals reactions because the deviant behavior may simply be a result of socialization in a culture one may not understand - second issue is the extent in which people can resist attempts to socialize them - regardless if coercive or benign disagreements regarding how much free will people are capable of exercising in their dealings with the social structures that lie behind socialization efforts (structure -agency debate) - social structures are responsible for socialization and can be imperceptible - a high degree of conformity can results as in the case of conventions of personal appearance and self-presentation - conformity in how we dress may be people not having enough will power to resist social pressures - or people being unable to create their own truly unique behavior patterns (over- socialized conception of humanity) over socialized conception: people were viewed as not having the agency to resist or deviate from social pressures The following questions use the concepts, self-socialization, self-development, and self- efficacy - if people are capable of deciding for themselves where does this agency come from - is this an inherent mental capability - do we only use it when the opportunity arises Perspectives on Socialization four conceptions of socialization:functionalism, conflict approaches, feminist approaches, and symbolic interactionism Functionalism - functionalists view socialization as a necessary and benign process inherent in all groups and societies - socialization performs several vital functions that maintain the structure of groups and societies particularly
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