Unit 3: Individuals within Society
By Timothy Bradley
Unit 3 Overview
How does society shape the individual?
• Apply self-knowledge to explain what constitutes personality,
and interpret both concepts of nature and nurture with regard to
the development of personality.
• Compare and contrast Locke, Cooley, and Mead’s theories of
• Use self-knowledge to discuss dating patterns from traditional
times to modern day contemporary times.
• Explain why adolescence is not universal.
• Explain Levinson’s Developmental Stages of Adulthood and
how adult behavior changes from early adulthood through later
• Explain how the labor force has changed in the United States
since World War II.
• Use self-knowledge to apply challenges facing the aging adult.
• Explain deviance using the three perspectives of sociology;
interactionist, conflict, and functionalist perspectives.
You will need to be able to “Do” the following:
• The dichotomy of nature versus nurture applies to personality
• Locke’s Tabula Rasa, Cooley’s Looking Glass Theory, and Mead’s Role-
Taking, Erving Goffman’s Impression Management are four major theories
that explain the social self.
• The most important agents of socialization are family, peers, school, and
the mass media.
• Adolescence is not universal.
• Dating for romance is a novel idea, and why courtship is no longer
• The functions that dating fulfills.
• There are a myriad of social problems facing contemporary teenagers.
• There are many stages to Levinson’s Developmental Stages of Adulthood.
• The nature of work in the United States has changed due to
composition, labor force, unemployment, and occupations.
• The characteristics of life during late adulthood.
• How deviance affects society.
You will need to be able to “Understand” the
Unit 2 Outline
• Personality & the Social Self – Lesson 1 2 3
• Agents of Socialization – Lesson 4
• Adolescence & Dating – Lesson 5
• Social Control & Deviance – Lesson 6
• Work – Lesson 7
• Adult Society – Lesson 8 9
• Exam – 11
Unit EQ: How are culture and society related to human
Personality and the Social Self
• Tabula Rasa
• Looking-glass self
1)How is the development of an individual affected by
nature and nurture?
2) How do the theories of Locke, Cooley, and Mead
explain the sense of self?
• Impression management
Locke: Tabula Rasa
• What do you remember about John Locke?
• Each newborn is a tabula rasa (clean slate)
• Anything could be written. Human could be molded
• We acquire our personalities from social experiences.
• Psychologist John Watson would later make similar
Cooley: The Looking Glass Self
• Cooley co-founded the interactionist
perspective and developed the idea of
• This theory puts a great deal of
responsibility on primary group interaction
beginning in childhood.
• 3 Step Process to our sense of self
1. We imagine how we appear to others
2. Based on others reaction to us, we
determine whether others view us as
we view ourselves
3. We use our perceptions of how others
see us to develop feelings about
• Cofounder of interactionist perspective
• Looking-Glass is only the beginning (internalizing
• We need to not just see ourselves as others see us, but
eventually take on (or pretend to) roles.
• Significant others: people closest to us (important early on)
• Generalized other: expectations of society (important later in
• Through this role-taking they develop sense of self
• I – unsocialized, spontaneous, self-interested component
• Me – socialized self, aware of expectations
• Through life I becomes weaker and Me becomes stronger
• Social interaction is like a drama
• People (acting as the audience) judge each others
performances to determine a person’s character.
• Most people make an effort to play the role well and
manage impressions – impression management
Agents of Socialization
EQ: 1. How do the agents of socialization affect society?
• Agents of socialization
• Peer group
• Mass media
Primary Agents of Socialization
Peer Group Mass Media
• Most important agent in most
• Principal socializer of young children
• Differs from family to family
• Subgroups (race, class, religion)
Overt teaching and
instruction in terms of
Ex. Father teaches child the
importance of telling the
Children learn through
observation. (often has a
Ex. Child observes his
father’s lack of politeness
The Peer Group
• It is a primary group composed of individuals of roughly
similar age and social characteristics.
• Particularly influential during pre-teen and teenage years
• To win acceptance people willingly adopt values and norms
• Values focus on subculture
• Large amount of time spent there in childhood
• Contains deliberate and unintended messages
• Teaches academic content and skills
• Teaches socialization through extracurricular activities
• Unintentional messages through observation of adults
and influence of peer groups
The Mass Media
• Definition: Instruments of communication that reach large
audiences with no personal contact between those sending the
information and those receiving it. (Ex. books, film, TV, radio etc.)
• 98 % U.S. homes have a TV
• On average, American children spend 900 hrs. a year in school
and 1,100 watching TV.
• By 18 most have witnessed 200,000 fictional acts of violence
including 16,000 murders on TV.
• Historically lacked diversity
• Definition: Breaking with past experiences and learning new
values and norms.
• This often occurs through radically changing a person's personality
by carefully controlling the environment.
• Total institutions: a setting in which people are isolated from the
rest of the society for a period of time and under tight control
• Step 1: Erode individuality and independence
• Step 2: Systemic attempt to build a new personality or self
Adolescence and Dating
1) How has the concept of adolescence developed as
a distinct stage of the life cycle?
2)What are some of the social functions of dating?
• Anticipatory socialization
• Social Integration
• Definition: A defined period
between the normal onset of
puberty and the beginning of
• Biological Growth/Development
• Undefined Status
• Increased Decision Making
• Increased Pressure
• The Search for Self
Rites of Passage
Definition: Rituals marking the
transitional phase between
childhood and full inclusion into a
tribe or social group.
Ex. Bar Mitzvah, Vanuatu Land Diving,
Graduation, Quinceañera, and
Young people are under pressure to strike a balance
between parental wishes and peer pressures
Search for Self
rights, obligations, and
expectations of a role to
prepare for assuming that role
in the future.
Can come in the form of
• Part-time work
• Club membership
• Meeting people as a romantic
• Did not emerge until after WWI
• Found in societies where people
choose their own partners
• Main purpose is entertainment or
• May lead to marriage
• Prior to the rise of dating this
was the primary form of
• Was not casual and roles were
• Rarely left alone
• Conducted under supervision
• Express purpose is marriage
Emergence of Dating
• Originally a primarily agricultural society required men to acquire
property prior to marriage. (This often involved land transfer from
• Family property resulted in parents exercising considerable control
over partner choice.
• Industrial revolution changed this system and created more
• Coed public education resulted in large portions of time spent
• Cars and telephones (post WWI) gave added freedom
• Women entered workforce created more cross gender interaction
• Dating became a form of entertainment and status
• Partners were selected on good looks, nice clothes, and popularity
Dating Pattern: Traditional
• The man arranges the date
• Both sexes knew the expectations
• A weekly timetable existed for arraigning a
• Ask Wednesday for Saturday (Date Night)
• Accepting after this time equated to admitting
you weren’t the first choice.
• No date on Saturday may result in shame
• Dates revolved around formal or set activities
• Casual dating for a period may result in “going
• Indicated through tokens. (jackets, class
Dating Pattern: Contemporary
• No set stages of dating
• Both sexes initiate
• Either sex pays
• Relationships are now
based on friendship or
• More opportunity to
Functions of Dating
• Psychological needs
• Status attainment
• Spouse selection
Social Control and Deviance
1) How to social norms become internalized?
2) How does sociology explain deviance?
• Social control
• Positive sanction
• Negative sanction
• Formal sanction
• Informal sanction
• Strain theory
• Control theory
• Cultural transmission
• Labeling theory
• Societies develop cultural values
that reflect norms. These norms are
enforced in two ways.
• Internalization: Norm becomes part
of an individual’s personality
• Ex. “Properly” sitting in a chair.
• Sanctions: Rewards/Punishments
that enforce conformity to norms
• Positive Sanctions - Rewards
• Negative Sanctions - Punishments
A reward or punishment
given by a formal
A spontaneous expression
of approval or disapproval
given by an individual or
The Nature of Deviance
•Individuals must be caught
committing a deviant act and be
stigmatized by society.
•A stigma is a mark of social
disgrace that sets the deviant
apart from the rest of society.
•Sociologists usually refer to the
negative social reactions.
The Label of Deviance
•Some norms deal with fairly
•Because there are so many
norms, occasional violations are
•Behaviors deemed deviant differ
across times, cultures, and
Behavior that violates significant social norms is called
Answer: Some behaviors are considered deviant in
some situations and not others, or in one society
and not another, or from time period to time
How does behavior that is considered deviant
change based on context?
Deviance has some uses in society
– Helps to clarify norms, unify the group, diffuse
tension, and promote social change
– Serves to define the boundaries of acceptable
– Punishment of deviance can prevent others from
– Draws lines of society and “outsiders”
– Displays of minor deviance diffuse tensions
– Provides legitimate jobs such as lawyers and police
Social Functions of Deviance
Answer: It helps to clarify norms, unify the
group, diffuse tension, and promote social
change. It also creates jobs, defines the
boundaries of acceptable behavior, and
draws the line between conforming and
nonconforming members of society.
How can deviance benefit society?
• A 1973 article explored the different views
that townspeople held of two teenage
gangs, one called the Saints and one called
• Article claimed that even though both gangs
were violent, delinquent, and
disruptive, townspeople agreed that the
gang from the higher social class was not as
much trouble as the gang from the lower
• While objective observation concluded that
both gangs were equally destructive, the
differing views revealed much about the
social preconceptions that were at work in
Case Study: The Saints and the
Functionalist Perspective: Deviance
• Strain theory: deviance is the natural outgrowth of the
values, norms, and structure of society
• Pressure on individuals to meet standards that they can’t meet
• Anomie: the norms of society are unclear or no longer apply
• Results in confusion over rules for behavior
Why would a teenage boy
lock himself in his room and
hide from society?
Conflict Perspective: Deviance
• Sees social life as a struggle between the ruling classes and
• Says people commit deviant acts to gain or maintain power
• Ruling class deems any behavior that threatens its power as
Interactionist Theories: Deviance
• Control theory: states that deviance is normal and studies
why people conform; states that people conform when they
have strong ties to the community
• Cultural transmission theory: states that deviance is a learned
behavior; deviants are socialized into deviant behavior instead
of acceptable behavior; individuals will adopt the behavior
and goals of whomever they are in contact with
• Labeling theory: focuses on how people come to be labeled
“deviant;” suggests there are two types of deviance
• Primary deviance: occasional violation of norms; neither self nor
society labels person “deviant”
• Secondary deviance: deviance as a lifestyle; both self and society
label person “deviant”
• EQ 1: How has nature of work and the labor force
• EQ 2: What factors contribute to job satisfaction?
• Labor force
The World of Work
• The world of work is a major component of adult life. In the
last 100 years, major changes have transformed the
organization of work and the composition of the labor force.
• Work involves performing all of the tasks necessary to
produce goods and provide services that meet human
• The basis for the economy
• American workers often spend nearly 50 years in the
labor force, making the world of work one of the most
important components of adult life.
• All individuals age 16 and
older who are employed in
paid positions or who are
seeking paid employment.
• People who are not paid for
their labor are part of the
• In 2007, 66 percent of U.S.
population over age 16 was
in the labor force.
• Recent decades have seen
increase in number of
working women and
of Work • In 1900:
– 35 percent worked in agriculture
– 45 percent worked in
– 20 percent worked in
professions, management, office
work, and sales
• In 1950:
– Manufacturing dominated
– 13 percent work in agriculture
– 76 percent work in
professions, management, office
work, and sales
• Unemployment occurs when a person does not have a job but is
actively seeking employment
• Unemployment rate is the percentage of the civilian labor force
that is unemployed but actively seeking employment
• Underemployment - part-time workers who want full-time work
and overqualified workers
Normal National Avg. 5%
For more data visit
Impact of Globalization
New technology has changed the economy.
Many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced, or
sent to countries where labor is less expensive.
Factors for dissatisfaction
• On-the-job stress
• Retirement and insurance
• Chances for promotion
Factors for satisfaction
• Interesting nature of their
• Working hours
• Workplace safety
• Relations with co-workers
Job and career changes
•Changing jobs and/or careers is a well-established pattern in the
•Average worker changes companies nine times, careers five to
EQ: According to Levinson, what is the general
pattern of adult development?
• Life structure
• Early adulthood
• Middle adulthood
• Late adulthood
Adult Male Development
• Ages 17 through 22
• Going to college or getting a
• Transition into the adult
• Expected to explore
opportunities as well as make
The Age 30 Transition
• Ages 28 through 32
• Crucial because lives often
change direction here
• Ends the novice
phase, when men prepare
to enter full adulthood
• Ages 33 through 39
• Major task is achieving success
• Try to establish themselves in
society, usually through
• Commit to things that are
important to them
• Separation from mentors in
order to define own identity
The Midlife Transition
• Ages 40 through 44
• A bridge between early and
• Major goal is to escape the
pressure of unattainable
dreams from youth
• Becoming a mentor can lessen
the stress associated with this
• The degree of difficulty that an
individual experiences in a
period depends on his success
in mastering the previous
Three Phases Specific to
Adult Female Development
1. Leaving the Family
2. Entering the Adult World
• Most become mothers in their 20s
• Dual roles of motherhood and
career cause added strain
• A break in employment for
childbearing can limit career
3. Re-entering the World of Work
• Occurs when children reach school
• Commitment to career at same
time husband is doubting his