Chapter 6 lecture


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Chapter 6 lecture

  1. 1.  Socialization refers to the ways in which individuals attempt to align their own thoughts, feelings, and behavior to fit into society or groups Socialization is the process in which individuals incorporate society into their senses of self Socialization also occurs in group contexts
  2. 2.  From an interactionist perspective, the self is a symbolic exchange of language and meaning Although children pick up symbolic acts within the first few months of life, children need to learn language skills before they can fully develop their senses of self
  3. 3.  There are three stages of self development:  Preparatory stage  Play stage  Game stage
  4. 4.  Other people are essential to the development of our senses of self Charles Horton Cooley argued that our senses of self are partly a reflection of the sentiments of other people, a concept called the looking-glass self We also have the ability to understand how the larger society may view us Each of us have a generalized other, our perceptions of the attitudes of the whole community
  5. 5.  Recent research in sociology has started to view childhood as a state in life in which competent actors negotiate their social realities in a similar fashion as adults Childhood is not just a place in which children learn to be adults but an active place of culture development and change From this perspective, children have agency, much like adults
  6. 6.  Norman Denzin (1971, 1977) studied the subtle ways that children interact with one another He found that even very young children, 8 to 24 months, can participate in a “conversation of gestures,” nonverbal and preverbal ways of indicating meaning to other people Hence, even at very young ages children begin the same interactional and negotiation processes as their parents
  7. 7.  Corsaro (2005) defined children’s cultural routines as stable sets of activities, objects, and values that children produce and share in interaction with each other Children must also engage in an interpretive reproduction of adult culture, creatively taking on elements of adult culture to meet the needs of their peer group
  8. 8.  Children mold specific roles to meet the needs of the peer groups in three ways:  Children take information from the adult world to create stable routines  Children use language to manipulate adult models to address specific needs of their peer culture  Children improvise “sociodramatic” play to acquire the dispositions necessary to manage their daily lives
  9. 9.  The subtle nature of children’s play can help us understand the roots of the replication of racist attitudes and behaviors Van Ausdale and Feagin’s (2002) research shows that racist thoughts and beliefs can be brought into children’s interaction at a very young age Children integrate prejudice into their interactions to meet the needs of those interactions
  10. 10.  Society continues to impact our development throughout our lives Scholars from the social structure and personality perspective examine the continued impacts of society through life events and agents of socialization
  11. 11.  SSP scholars emphasize the life course in the study of the effects of life events and agents of socialization in our lives The life course is the process of personal change from infancy to late adulthood resulting from personal and societal events There are four major themes in life-course sociology:  Historical context  Timing  Linked lives  Agency
  12. 12.  The first theme in life-course sociology examines how historical conditions may effect our socialization Historical context refers to how historic events affect development for people in different birth cohorts, a group of people born within the same time period People from different cohorts experience different life events at crucial moments of their lives
  13. 13.  The second theme in life-course sociology focuses on the timing of events in our lives Social timing refers to the incidence, duration, and sequence of roles, and relevant expectations and beliefs based on age According to the life-course perspective, life events most affect us when timing is interrupted, turning an event into a turning point in our lives
  14. 14.  Life stages refer to patterns of change from infancy to adulthood Life stages typically include:  Childhood  Adolescence  Adulthood  Late life Life stages vary by society and provide a guide to what we should be doing at any given age
  15. 15.  The third theme in life-course sociology emphasizes the importance of other people in our lives Linked lives refers to our relationships with other people Linked lives have implications for access to varying amounts of resources with which to cope with life events, changing the way we react to them
  16. 16.  The last theme in life course sociology is agency, our ability to make decisions and control our destinies This concept is important to life-course sociology because individuals are able to act within the constraints imposed by social and historical conditions, leading to myriad possible outcomes Our life course is not “set in stone” by social conditions
  17. 17.  Sociologists generally view agents of socialization as mediators of the larger society Families may affect child development directly through their parenting techniques, for instance, but those techniques often reflect larger cultural patterns Three primary agents of socialization include families, schools, and peers
  18. 18.  Families are considered the first or primary agent of socialization because most children are raised from infancy to adulthood with parents and siblings Family structures have changed in the U.S. over the last 30 years with more single-parent households
  19. 19.  Socialization processes and outcomes are different among social classes:  Middle-class families stress autonomy and individual development over conformity  Middle-class families are less likely to use punitive child-rearing practices than their counterparts in the working class  Middle-class children are more likely to value independence later in life than working-class children
  20. 20.  Schools are a second major agent of socialization, representing the institution of education Although technically designed to impart knowledge about many subjects, the classroom is also a place to learn norms of behavior Compared to families, schools increase role of peers in socialization process
  21. 21.  In a classic study by Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968), researchers randomly selected a small percentage of the students and told teachers that these were the students who should be expected to “bloom” intellectually over the coming year They found that those students who were randomly deemed to be “bloomers” at the beginning of the year showed a greater improvement in their IQ scores than those who had not been labeled, a process called the Pygmalion effect
  22. 22.  Recent research and theory has started to examine how children actively participate in the socialization process Adler and Adler (1998) conducted an extensive study of elementary-school children to understand children’s hierarchies, showing that children form into friendship cliques where they spend most of their time:  Popular clique  Wannabes  Middle friendship groups  Social isolates
  23. 23.  Gecas argued that peer-group socialization includes three areas of child development:  The development and validation of the self  The development of competence in the presentation of self  The acquisition of knowledge not provided by parents or schools
  24. 24.  Other sources of socialization can include television and other electronic media The content of television (and other media) do show some long-term effects on people’s behavior Media can also be used to produce pro-social behavior as well
  25. 25.  Group processes research emphasizes the ways that social statuses impact interactions in groups Status characteristics theory incorporates socialization processes through referential beliefs, beliefs held in common by people about the relationships between status characteristics and reward levels Referential beliefs are taught to us in society
  26. 26.  Group processes experiments focus on the consequences of socialization Michael Lovaglia and his colleagues (1998), for instance, found that subjects deemed as “high-status” in a group experiment scored significantly higher on an IQ test than did participants defined as “low-status” Hence, the socialization of prejudice may create conditions under which lower expectations yield lower performance