SOC 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Blue-Collar Worker, Human Nature, Sigmund Freud
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Chapter 3: Socialization!
Society Makes Us Human!
This chapter focuses on human nature. How much of a person’s personality comes from
“nature” versus “nurture” (the social environment, contact with others)?!
One way of attempting to answer this question is by examining identical twins that were
raised in different environments. The other way is to study children who have had very
little human contact.!
Feral children are children that have lived with no human contact. There have been very
few examples of these children throughout history. Sociologists have instead studied
isolated children. !
•Children that have grown up in isolation are unable to speak.!
•After years of education, these children have been taught to speak and have
progressed to a level of intelligence usual for their age.!
Humans possess a biological heritage, but without language or culture people will not
have speciﬁc behaviours, attitudes, or values.!
The Skeels/Dye experiment took infants with below average intelligence and placed
them in an environment where they received a lot of social stimulation. They then kept
infants of average intelligence in an orphanage where they did not receive the same
stimulation. Over two and half years, the below average infants gained 28 IQ points,
while the average infants lost 30 IQ points.!
This showed that “high intelligence” depends on early, close relations with other people.
This conclusion was then duplicated in an orphanage in India.!
In the Harlow experiments, monkeys that were raised in isolation were not able to adjust
to life with other monkeys. They could not take part in normal “monkey interaction”. The
longer the monkeys spent in isolation, the less capable they were of interacting with
other monkeys. !
It is through human contact and interaction that people learn to be members of the
human community. This is termed socialization. !
Socialization into the Self and Mind!
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) stated that producing a self is an essential part of
how society makes us human.!
He claimed “our sense of self develops from interaction with others.” Cooley developed
the looking-glass self theory, which contains three elements:!
(1) We imagine how we appear to those around us.!
(2) We interpret others’ reactions!
(3) We develop a self-concept!
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The evaluations of the self do not have to be accurate, they still become a part of our
self-concept. The deﬁnition of the self is ongoing, lifelong process. !
George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) realized that another important facet of developing a
self is play, because we learn to take the role of the other. !
•In early development we can only take the role of signiﬁcant others (ex. parents
and siblings), we later learn to extrapolate that to more and more people. !
•Mead used the phrase generalized other to describe our perception of how people
in general think of us!
•There are 3 stages to learning to take the role of the other:!
!(1) Imitation: Under age 3, we can only mimic others. We do not yet have a !
!sense of self separate from others!
!(2) Play: From age 3 to 6, we pretend to take the role of speciﬁc people (ex. !
!parents, a ﬁreﬁghter, wonder woman, etc.)!
!(3) Team Games: The importance of team games is that we must learn to take !
!multiple roles. !
•Mead believed that there are two parts to the self:!
•the “I”, or the self as subject, which is the active, spontaneous, creative part of
•and the “me”, or the self as object, which is the attitudes that we internalize from
our interactions with others.!
Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) studied how humans learn to reason.!
•Piaget noticed that when writing tests, children often gave similar wrong answers,
which indicates that their reasoning develops in a similar way!
•Piaget concluded that there are 4 stages to learning how to reason:!
!(1) The Sensorimotor Stage (Birth - Age 2)!
!!Understanding is limited to direct contact. We do not know that our bodies !
!!are separate from our environment.!
!(2) The Pre-operational Stage (Age 2 to Age 7)!
!!The ability to use symbols is developed. We do not yet understand size, !
!!speed, or causation.!
!(3) The Concrete Operational Stage (Age 7 to Age 12)!
!!Reasoning abilities are more developed, but still limited to concrete !!
!!examples. For example, we can explain why Jane’s answer was a lie, but !
!!not what the concept of truth is.!
!(4) The Formal Operational Stage (Age 12 onwards)!
!!Now capable of abstract thinking. Can now understand concepts, and can !
!!come to conclusions based on general principles.!
•These stages have been found to not be as concrete as Piaget suggests. For
example, some people seem to get stuck at Stage 3.!
Learning Personality, Morality, and Emotions!
Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) founded the technique of psychoanalysis, the purpose of
which is to treat emotional problems through exploration of the subconscious mind.!
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