University of Toronto
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mariam Nagi on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC100 at University of Toronto taught by Nathan Innocente in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see in Sociology at University of Toronto.
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Date Created: 09/25/16
Socialization How much of who you are is the product of socialization—the process by which people learn culture? Western discourse believes that everything about human nature can be explained by breaking it down to the biological level. How we behave comes from what’s inside us, our genes, our DNA. But some things just can’t be explained by our DNA. And the question is, how much of our behavior is the product of society around us? And how much is biological? The main question to ask is: Why did I do that? Whenever you do something, you engage in behavior. Where that behavior comes from is a widely debated topic. Are we naturally predisposed to it, or did we unconsciously adapt it from the environment around us? Aspects of socialization: How we learn culture. It’s a way to channel and filter culture, to take norms and values and channeling them into the tools we use to get through life. For instance, we are socialized into the role of the student. We are taught to sit quietly, study, take responsibility from a very young age. It’s also how we learn our identities; how we were raised, what we were taught. It unleashes human potential. If someone is raised without being socialized, without being taught how to function in society, that person can never flourish. Gender. We’re taught to act, talk and dress a certain way right from the start. Socialization tells us what’s masculine and feminine and sets the standards for both sexes. Socialization teaches us our sense of self. Civilization. The society you’re in works as a system. And each system has its own set of politics, beliefs, norms, customs, procedures, etc. Take Ancient Greece and Ancient China. The latter was an individualistic society while the former favored a communist mindset. Where you’re raised has an impact on who you become, how you work, how you think. Agents of socialization: Primary socialization. In this stage, you master the basic requirements for functioning in society. Family is the main agent here. Secondary socialization. This is where you branch off from family and get exposure to the outside world, adapting certain things and rejecting others; you filter whatever you’re exposed to and shape it as you see fit. The agents here are friends, media, education, etc. Education. An increasingly important factor for socialization. The functions of education seem apparent enough—learn math, language, science, and whatnot—but there’s also a hidden curriculum. In a functionalist mindset, the hidden curriculum brings about the latent functions of education: deference to authority, merit, reward system, teamwork. The symbolic interactionism aspect of education is gender socialization—from a very young age, the teachers will address the boys one way and the girls another. They’ll treat the kids differently based on their gender. And they do this unconsciously; it’s part of what they do. Finally, there’s the self-fulfilling prophecy; if you believe something to be true, it will turn out that way. Our actions impact others’ belief about us, which dictates their actions toward us, which then reinforces our beliefs about ourselves. This has an implication on class; racial minorities are more likely to be suspended because of how their behavior is interpreted. Peer groups. Themes of rebellion and rejection of mainstream culture are social constructs. It isn’t real; the youth back in history wasn’t like what they are today. Nowadays, the people we interact with largely influence our behavior. Peer groups separate us from our families and lets us explore aspects of life we might not have discovered with our parents—drugs, smoking, late night parties, etc. All this shapes you into who you are. Mass media. Internet and television are huge socializing factors. But unlike the other agents, we can control what we take in from media, adapting it to suit our needs. Media enforces gender roles upon us from a young age and thereon, with movies and television series emphasizing the passivity of the woman and aggression of the man. Resocialization. Very condensed, rapid socializing that strips down one’s identity and thrusts upon them a new one. Total institutions (prisons, army, etc.) are associated with this kind of socialization. Contemporary socialization. In a nutshell, adults’ identities are more flexible than they’ve ever been before, what with the access to plastic surgery, fitness centers, online communities and whatnot. There are so many ways for people to change themselves, and it has an impact on their sense of self. Taking, picking, choosing what and who we want to be. It’s like globalization, where people are embracing other cultures and meshing them together, not just bound to where they were born.