SOCI 1010 Oct. 8 2013
English - individuals learning through interaction with others
Textbook - "acquisition of knowledge, skills, and motivation to
participate in social life" (80), acting as the “essential bridge between the
individual and society” (82)
Nature – Biologically determined
Nurture – Environmentally learned
Epigenetics – concept that the environment modifies the way genes are
This presents a new perspective to understand human
behaviour, essentially destroying the existing nature vs. nurture
Case study of Genie (1970)
Isolated individuals stress importance of socialization.
Genie was found in 1970 at 13 years of age tied to a potty chair
weighing 59 pounds and measuring 54 inches tall (4'6"). She was used to
living in a very confined room, and had been accustomed to being tied up
at night in a straitjacket. When found, she did not understand any
language except for phrases similar to "stop that!" or "quiet!”. In addition,
she was observed to walk with what researchers called a bunny like gait.
Genie is important for a variety of reasons when considering the ethics
of research, but in regards to socialization, Genie is an example of how,
isolated from the normal process of socialization, one can become.
Learning/Behaviourist Classical links response to known stimuli (Pavlov's dog)
Instrumental response not related to any known stimulus, rather
response made based on outcome (Kid acting a certain way to achieve
Limited applicability to generalize animal behaviour to socialized
humans, because, as the text states humans “have the capacity to share
symbolic meanings and symbols in ways that animals cannot” (83).
- Id, Ego, Superego together form consciousness
- Early stages of development
- Children motivated by sexual forces
- Little/No conclusive empirical support
Child Development (Erik Erikson & Jean Piaget)
- Lifelong stages of development
- Social structure and reasoning
Symbolic Internationalist (Greatest influence on socialization)
At the apex of SI theory are the internalized definitions, meanings, and
interpretations of our interactions with others.
Basic Assumptions: (Not really important)
a) studied on a human level
b) individual behaviour must be set in societal context
c) born with potential to become social being
d) social actors 'act' and 'react'
George Herbert Mead – ‘I’ (compulsions) vs. ‘Me’ (generalized other)
Charles Horton Cooley – ‘looking glass self’ We act according to
how we think others see us.
Role and importance of socialization in society
- reproduce itself through its individuals to maintain solidarity
Supported ideologies of dominant class used to sustain status quo and
build a false consciousness within individuals.
Example: Taught to work hard and achieve great supports capitalist
economy that focuses on each individual pursuing own interests.
- Gender roles both sexes are subjected to within the socialization
process, creating social expectations related to one's sex
Barbie - subordinate, compared to the action figure that is portrayed to
be athletic or powerful, underscoring the society that created these dolls
as inherently patriarchal and hegemonic.
Primary/Secondary Socialization Agents
Primary – Family acts as the primary socialization for individuals, as
they are the initial humans one becomes familiar with. Family provides
individual with fundamental values and beliefs, as well as emotional
support. (Most of the time! )
Secondary –Secondary groups consist of one’s peer group, school,
media, or church.
Peer group - particularly strong in adolescence, this agent is constructed
by variables such as gender and social class in which it serves to be an
alternative to the family to gain new preferences, norms, and attitudes not
presented within family.
Macro level – political socialization
Micro – specialized knowledge not able to be taught at home (Really?)
Conflict Link ’Hidden Curriculum’ - emphasize dominant societal values
that underlie the economic structure such as competition and social
Good - Informative, entertaining, safety, social support
Bad - Unethical values, obesity, celebrity obsession
Re-Socialization & Aging
Anticipatory Socialization – when individuals acquire certain values and
orientations that they will probably need in their future.
Example: Household chores Workforce Re-socialization – old behaviours unlearned and new behaboirs acquired,
causing tension between both ways.
Example: Incarceration of individual for 25 years free individual – the
individual who has served their sentence must relearn how to live, and
merge with current society, which may have changed since they last were
Questions - STUDENT RESOURCES
1) Your clas