Chapter 4 Notes SYG1000
Chapter 4 Notes SYG1000 SYG 1000
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Lopez on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SYG 1000 at Florida State University taught by Gloria Lessan in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 113 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 02/11/16
Chapter 4: Socialization and the Life Cycle • Socialization: the social process through which children develop an awareness of social norms and values and achieve a distinct sense of self o Socialization contributes to social reproduction • Social reproduction: the process of perpetuating values, norms, and social practices through socialization, which leads to structural continuity over time § All societies have characteristics that endure over time • During socialization, children learn the ways of their elders, thereby perpetuating their values, norms, and, social practices o All societies have characteristics that endure over time even though their members change as individuals are born and die • Socialization connects different generations to one another o The birth of a child alters the lives of those who are responsible for his upbringing, who themselves undergo new learning experiences Basic Concepts Agents of Socialization • Sociologists often speak of socialization as occurring in two broad phases, involving numerous agents of socialization o Agents of socialization: groups or social contexts within which processes of socialization takes place • Primary socialization, which occurs in infancy and childhood, is the most intense period of cultural learning o During this time, children learn language and basic behavioral patterns that form the foundation for later learning o The family is the main agent of socialization during this phase • Secondary socialization occurs later in childhood maturity o In this phase, other agents of socialization, such as schools. Peer groups, organizations, the media, and the workplace, become socializing forces o Social interactions in these contexts help people learn the values, norms and beliefs of their culture The Family • Because family systems vary widely, the infants’ range of family contact is not standard across cultures • In modern societies, most early socialization occurs within a small-scale family context o Within American society, there are variations in some family contexts § Ex. Single-parent household, two mothers or two fathers, divorced parents etc. • In modern societies, social position is not inherited at birth, yet the region and social class of the family have a distinct effect on patterns of socialization o Children pick up ways of behavior characteristics of their parents or others in their neighborhood or community • Few children unquestioningly adopt their parents’ outlook Schools • Schooling is a formal process: students pursue different curriculum of subjects o Schools are agents of socialization in more subtle respects • Peer groups are often formed in school, and the system of age-based classes reinforce their influence Peer Relationships • Peer group: a friendship group composed of individuals of similar age and social status • Age-grades: the system found in small traditional cultures by which people belonging to a similar age-group are categorized together and hold similar rights and obligations o Those within a particular age-grades generally maintain close connections throughout their lives • Barrie Thorne examines how children actively create and re-create the meaning of gender in their interactions with one another o The social activities that schoolchildren do together can be as important as other agents for their socialization • Thorne also found that peer groups greatly influence gender socialization, particularly as children talk about their changing bodies o Children are social actors who help create their social world and influence their own socialization The Mass Media • Mass media: forms of communication such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television, designed to reach mass audiences o The spread of mass media soon included electronic communication, radio, television, audio recordings, and videos o American children now spend the equivalent of almost a hundred school days per year watching television § The most commonly researched topic about television, is how it affects propensities on crime and violence • As home and video games became widespread, social codes developed based on the games and their characters • The mass media are an important influence on socialization in all forms of society, few societies remain untouched by the media o Electronic communication as accessible even to those who cannot read or write, and in the most impoverished parts of the world, it is common to find people owning radios and television sets Work • Work is, in all cultures, an important agent of socialization, although only in industrial societies do large numbers of people go to places of work separate from home Social Roles • Social roles: socially defined expectations of an individual in a given status or social position o Some sociologists regard social roles as unchanging parts of a society’s culture, they are social facts Identity • The cultural setting in which we grow up influences our behavior, but that does not mean that humans lack individuality of free will • Identity: the distinctive characteristics of a person’s or group’s characters that relate to who he is and what is meaningful to him. o Some of the main sources of identity include gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, and social class • Social identity: the characteristics that are attributed to an individual by others o These characteristics place that individual in relation to others who share the same attributes o All individuals have more than one social identity, thereby reflecting the many dimensions of their lives • Self-identity: the ongoing process of self-development and definition of our personal identity through which we formulate a unique sense of ourselves and our relationship to the world among us o The notion of self-identity draws heavily on the work of symbolic interactionists • We are our own best resources in defining who we are, where we are from and where we are going Theories of Socialization • One of the most distinctive features of human beings is that they are self-aware • Cognition: human thought processes involving perception, reasoning and remembering G.H Mead and the Development of Self • Mead’s ideas underlie a general traditional of theoretical thinking, symbolic interactionism, they have a broad impact in sociology • According to Mead, infants and young children develop as social beings by imitating the actions of those around them o Children’s play evolves from simple imitation to more complicated games in which a child of four of five years old will act out an adult role § Mead called this “taking the role of the other” § It is at this stage that children acquire a developed sense of self • According to Mead, we achieve self-awareness when we learn to distinguish the me from the I • Social self: the basis of self-consciousness in human individuals according to Mead o The social self is the identity conferred upon an individual by the reactions of others • Self-consciousness: awareness of one’s distinct social identity as a person separates from others o Human beings are not born with self-consciousness but acquire an awareness of self as a result of early socialization • Generalized others: a concept in theory of Mead, according to which the individual takes over the general values of a given group or society during the socialization process Jean Piaget and the Stages of Cognitive Development • Piaget emphasized the child’s active capability to make sense of the world • Sensorimotor stage: according to Piaget, a stage of human cognitive development in which the child’s awareness of its environment is dominated by perception and touch o The main accomplishment of this stage is children’s understanding that their environment has distinct and stable properties • Preoperational stage: a stage of cognitive development in which the child has advanced sufficiently to master basic modes of logical thoughts o Children at this stage are not able to hold connected conversations with others o Egocentrism: involves understanding objects and events in the environment solely in terms of one’s own position • Concrete operational stage: a stage of cognitive development in which the child’s thinking Is based primarily on physical perception of the world o In this phase, the child is not yet capable of dealing with abstract concepts or hypothetical situations • Formal operational stage: a stage of cognitive development at which the growing child becomes capable of handling abstract concepts and hypothetical situations • The first three stages of development are universal, but not all adults reach the formal operational stage o Adults of limited education, tend to continue thinking in more concrete terms and retain large traces of egocentrism Freud’s Theory • Perhaps the most influential, and controversial, theory of emergence of gender • His theory revolves around sexual activates and ideas Chodrow’s Theory • She argues that learning to feel male or female derives from the infant’s attachment to parent’s from an early age o She emphasizes more on the importance of the mother rather than the father • According to Chodrow, the breaking process occurs in different ways for boys and girls o Girls remain closer to the mother while boys gain a sense of self via more radical rejection of their original closeness to the mother, forging their understanding of masculinity from what is not feminine
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