Chapter 3 Socialization

Socialization: From Infancy to
Old Age
The lifelong process of social interaction
through which individuals acquire a self
identity and the physical, mental, and social
skills needed for survival in society.
The social experience by which people learn
Socialization is the essential link between the
individual and society.
Why Socialization Is Important
Teaches us ways to think, talk and act that
are necessary for social living.
Ensures that members of society are
socialized to support the existing social
Allows society to pass culture on to the next
Human Development
Each of us is a product of two forces:
1. Heredity- “nature”
• Determines our physical makeup.
2. Social environment -“nurture.”
• Determines how we develop and
The Biological Sciences: The
Role of Nature
Charles Darwin
 Human behavior was instinctive – our
 U.S. economic system reflects
“instinctive human competitiveness”
 People are “born criminals”
 Women are “naturally” emotional and
men are “naturally” more rational
The Social Sciences: The
Role of Nurture
John B. Watson (1878-1958)
 Behaviorism
 Held that behavior is not instinctive but
 People are equally human, just culturally
 Human behavior is rooted in nurture not
Social Isolation
Ethically, researchers cannot place humans
in total isolation to study what happens
 Harry & Margaret Harlow (1962)
 Studied rhesus monkeys
 Found that complete isolation for even six
months seriously disturbed development
 Unable to interact with others in a group
 Confirmed the importance of adults in
cradling infants
 Isolation caused irreversible emotional and
behavioral damage
Studies of Isolated Children
 Social isolation caused permanent
 At age 8, mental development was less
than a 2-year-old
 Began to use words at age 10
 Because mother was mentally retarded,
perhaps Anna was similarly challenged
California Case
 Childhood isolation resulting from parental
 At age 13, mental development of a 1-yearold
 Became physically healthy with intensive
 Language ability remained that of a young
Evidence points to the crucial role of social
experience in forming personality
 Humans can sometimes recover from abuse
and short-term isolation
 There is a point at which isolation in infancy
causes permanent developmental damage
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Human development occurs in three states
that reflect different levels of personality:
– Id: Present at birth; Pleasure principle
– Ego: Develops over the first few years;
Reality principle
– Superego: Develops in a preschool child;
Morality principle
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Personality Development
 To the id, the world is a jumble of physical
sensations that bring pleasure or pain
 As the superego develops, moral concepts
of right and wrong are learned
 Id and superego remain in conflict
 Managed by the ego in a well-adjusted
Freud’s Theory of Personality
Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget used five key concepts to explain
how cognitive development occurs:
– Schema
– Assimilation
– Accommodation
– Equilibrium
– Equilibration
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive
Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2) children understand the world through
sensory contact and immediate action.
Preoperational stage (age 2 to 7) - children
begin to use words as symbols and form
mental images.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive
Concrete operational stage (7 to 11) children think in terms of tangible objects
and events.
Formal operational stage (12 and up) adolescents begin to think about the future
and evaluate different courses of action.
Conservation and Reversibility
Conservation and Reversibility
Lawrence Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral
Preconventional level (7 to 10)
Children’s perceptions are based on
punishment and obedience.
Conventional level (10 to adult)
People are concerned with how they are
perceived by peers and how one conforms
to rules.
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning
Postconventional level (few adults reach this
People view morality in terms of individual
rights; “moral conduct” is judged by
principles based on human rights that
transcend government and laws.
Carol Gilligan’s Stages of Female
Moral Development
Stage 1: A woman is motivated primarily by
selfish concerns.
Stage 2: She recognizes her responsibility to
Stage 3: She makes a decision based on a
desire to do the greatest good for self and for
The Looking-Glass Self
We imagine how we look to others.
We imagine how other people judge the
appearance that we think we present.
If we think the evaluation
is favorable our self-concept is enhanced.
• If we think the evaluation is unfavorable,
our self-concept is diminished.
Mead and Role-taking
The self is divided into “I” and “Me”:
“I” represents the unique traits of each person.
“Me” is composed of the demands of others and the
awareness of those demands.
“I” develops first. “Me” is formed during first three
stages of self development.
Mead’s Three Stages of
Preparatory Stage (up to age 3)
Children prepare for role-taking by imitating
the people around them.
Play Stage (3 - 5)
Children begin to see themselves in relation
to others.
Mead’s Play Stage
Mead’s Three Stages of
Game Stage (early school years)
Children understand their social position and
the positions of those around them.
Children become concerned about the
demands and expectations of others.
Generalized Other (Later school years) The
concept of socially acceptable behavior is
Erik H. Erikson’s Eight Stages
of Development
Stage 1
 The challenge of trust versus mistrust
 Birth to about 18 months
 Gain a sense of trust that the world is
Stage 2
 Toddlerhood – The challenge of
autonomy (versus doubt and shame)
 Up to age 3
 Failure to gain self control leads to
doubt in abilities
 Stage 3
 Preschool – The challenge of initiative
(versus guilt)
 Four- and 5-year-olds
 Learn to engage their surroundings or
experience guilt at having failed to
meet expectations
Stage 4
 Preadolescence – The challenge of
industriousness (versus inferiority)
 Between ages 6 and 13
 Feel proud of accomplishments or fear
they do not measure up
 Stage 5
 Adolescence – The challenge of gaining
identity (versus confusion)
 Teen years
 Struggle to establish identity
 Almost all teens suffer confusion in
establishing identity
Stage 6
 Young adulthood – The challenge of intimacy
(versus isolation)
 Challenge of forming and keeping intimate
 Balancing the need to bond with the need to have
a separate identity
Stage 7
 Middle adulthood – The challenge of
making a difference (versus selfabsorption)
 Challenge of middle age is to contribute to the lives
of others
 Failing leads to self-centeredness or becoming
caught up in own limited concerns
Stage 8
 Old age – The challenge of integrity
(versus despair)
 Near the end of life, people hope to
look back on accomplishments with a
sense of integrity
 For the self-absorbed, old age brings a
sense of despair over missed
Agents of Socialization
Peer group
Mass Media
Functionalist Perspective:
Functions of Schools
Teach students to be productive members of
Transmit culture.
Social control and personal development.
Select, train, and place individuals on
different rungs in society.
Conflict Perspective: Schools
Experiences depend on social class, racial–
ethnic background, gender, and other factors.
Children learn to be neat, punctual, quiet,
wait their turn, and remain attentive to their
Schools socialize children for later roles in the
work force.
Media As Socializing Agents
Inform us about events.
Introduce us to a variety of people.
Provide an array of viewpoints on current
Make us aware of products that will
supposedly help us.
Entertain us.

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