Chapter 3 Socialization
Chapter Outline • What is Socialization? • Learning to Be Human • Theoretical Perspectives on Socialization • Agents of Socialization • Socialization Through the Life Course • Resocialization • Where This Leaves Us
What is Socialization? • Socialization is the process of learning the rules, practices, and values necessary for participation in culture and society. • A central aspect of socialization is learning our social roles. • Roles are ways of behaving and thinking that are established and expected in specific roles. i.e., teacher, student, mother, father
Learning to Be Human ‘Monkeying’ with Isolation and Deprivation • Harry Harlow studied total isolation in infant monkeys. Nutritional needs were met; but no nurturing. • Harlow followed development into adulthood. • Bizarre behaviors, including inability to mate and care for young, were observed. • Intensive socialization after six months isolation had mixed results. Many did not respond.
Learning to Be Human The Necessity of Nurture for Humans • We cannot ethically isolate children from parents or nurturing to study the results. But profound isolation has happened in real life. • Studies of children raised in low-quality orphanages: ◦Social problems even after adoption into good homes ◦Greater tendency toward autistic / near-autistic behaviors
The True Story of ‘Genie’ The story of Genie illustrates the consequences of severe deprivation. • Until age 13, Genie’s father kept her locked in a small room, tied to a chair by a harness. • Her mother—blind, disabled, and cowed—could do nothing to help her. • When Genie’s mother ran away with her, Genie could not talk, walk, or even use a toilet. • After years of therapy, her abilities improved, but they remained far below the level needed for her to live on her own.
Theoretical Perspectives on Socialization • Structural-Functional Theory • Conflict Theory • Symbolic Interaction Theory
Theoretical Perspectives on Socialization Structural-Functional Theory • The premise of all structural-functionalist analyses is that in a properly functioning society, all elements of society work together for the good of all. • Through being properly socialized, young people learn how to become happy and productive members of society. • Socialization also teaches acceptance of existing inequalities in the world.
Socialization and Schools Structural functionalists point out that schools teach children not only to read and write, but also how to obey authority and conform to society’s rules.
Theoretical Perspectives on Socialization Conflict Theory • Conflict theory focuses on how socialization reinforces unequal power arrangements. • Conflict theory is useful for understanding how socialization can quash dissent and social change and reproduce inequalities. • It is less useful for explaining the sources and benefits of a stable social system.
Theoretical Perspectives on Socialization Symbolic Interaction Theory Looking-glass Self Self-conceptis our sense of who we are as individuals. Charles Horton Cooley – self-concept is developed through the looking glass self. ◦We imagine how we appear to others. ◦We imagine how others judge us based on those appearances. ◦We ponder, internalize, or reject these judgments.
Theoretical Perspectives on Socialization Symbolic Interaction Theory Role Taking • George Herbert Mead – the self has two components, called the I and the me. • Irefers to the spontaneous, creative part of the self; medescribes the part of the self that responds to others’ expectations. • We learn to function in society by balancing the desires of the I with the social awareness of the methrough role taking.
TheoreticalPerspectives on Socialization Symbolic Interaction Theory Role Taking • Involves imagining ourselves in the role of others in order to determine the criteria others will use to judge our behavior. • Significant othersare the role players with whom we have close personal relationships. • The generalized othercombines the expectations of all with whom we interact.
Agents of Socialization Agents of socialization are all individuals, groups, and media that teach social norms. • Family– most important socialization agent. • Peers – individuals who share a similar age and social status (members of apeer group). • School – transmits society’s central values. • Mass Media– forms of communication designed to teach broad audiences. • Religion – source of individual direction. • Community – people who share a common space or sense of common identity.
Agents of Socialization Family Families play crucial roles in socialization teaching practical skills, language, values, beliefs, and goals. A family’s race, class, and religion shape the child’s initial experiences in the neighborhood and at school.
Agents of Socialization Peer Socialization • Peer group refers to all individuals who share a similar age and social status. • A peer is a member of a peer group. • Kids who hang out together tend to dress and act similarly. • Peer pressure creates conformity to the peer group. • If peer values and lifestyle are: ○different from a persons family conflict with family ○ similar to person’s family stronger ties to family
Agents of Socialization School Socialization • Schools teach basic skills and technical knowledge. • Transmit central values of the dominant group or culture. • Teach obedience and self-discipline. • Some schools instill desire to compete and achieve. • Schools serve as the training ground for the workplace, the military, and other bureaucracies.
Agents of Socialization Mass Media • Communication forms designed to reach broad audiences: television, films, websites, podcasts, magazines, billboards… • Selective perception – we embrace content that supports our beliefs. • TV characters become role models whose opinions are important. TV’s growing socialization role: Young children spend increasing hours watching television.
Agents of Socialization Religion • An important source of individual direction. • Often the values and moral principles in religious doctrine are compatible with the ideals of other agents of socialization. • Other times the values and moral principles in religious doctrine create significant differences in socialization.
Agents of Socialization Community • Provide both links and buffers between families, peer groups, and larger society. • Each community provides its own set of groups, resources, institutions, and norms that function together as an agent of socialization (Berns 2007). • Communities with strong institutions and ‘sense of place’ tend to raise children who value community engagement (Sawyer 2004).
Socialization through the Life Course • Childhood–primary socialization– personality development and role learning. • Adolescence–anticipatory socialization – role learning that prepares us for future roles. • Adulthood–professional socialization– role learning that provides knowledge and cultural understanding of a profession. • Age 65 and beyond–role exit – new identity as retiree; adaptations to time, loss of spouse, declining health, financial shifts.
Anticipatory Socialization • Anticipatory socialization prepares us for the roles we will take in the future. • Anticipatory socialization occurs throughout the stages of life course, but especially in adolescence. Children play out their visions of role identities and behaviors.
Professional Socialization Through their professional socialization, police recruits learn both technical skills and the cultural values shared by police officers.
Resocialization • Occurs when we abandon our self-concept and way of life for a radically different one (often against our will). • It is the process of learning the beliefs and values associated with a new way of life. • Examples: ◦People who become permanently disabled. ◦ When an individual’s behavior leads to social problems—as is the case with habitual criminals, problem alcoholics, and mentally disturbed individuals.
Resocialization Total Institutions • Facilities in which all aspects of our life are strictly controlled for the purposes of radical resocialization. • Examples: ◦military boot camps ◦prisons ◦ mental hospitals ◦ monasteries
Where This Leaves Us… • Socialization – the process of learning rules and values of a given culture. • Each of us is a biological and a social creation. We need socialization to develop appropriate social behaviors. • Structural functionalists believe socialization smoothly integrates us into a stable social system. • Conflict theorists believe socialization reinforces a status hierarchy and unequal power. • Symbolic interactionists believe self-concept develops from interpretations of interactions. • Socialization occurs throughout the life course. • Types of socialization: primary, anticipatory, professional, and resocialization.
1. In Mead’s theory, the “I” is the: • self of which we are aware. • self as social object. • spontaneous, creative part of the self. • selfless, other-centered part of the self.
Answer: C In Mead’s theory, the “I” is the spontaneous, creative part of the self.
2. The self-concept is best defined as: • the way other people perceive us. • the spontaneous, creative part of the self. • the selfish, conceited part of the self. • an individual’s thoughts regarding her/his personality and social roles.
Answer: D The self-concept is best defined as an individual’s thoughts regarding her/his personality and social roles.
3. The concepts of the looking-glass self and role-taking are important in the _________ theoretical paradigm. • structural-functional • symbolic interaction • conflict • sociobiology
Answer: B The concepts of the looking-glass self and role-taking are important in the symbolic interaction theoretical paradigm.
4. People who abandon their self‑concept and way of life for one that is radically different experience: • resocialization. • environmental deprivation syndrome. • negative reinforcement. • the development of a situated self.
Answer: A People who abandon their self-concept and way of life for one that is radically different experience resocialization.