Ms. Ace O. Samaniego
The Importance of Socialization
Humans, like other mammals, are helpless at birth. The newborn infant is dependent
upon others for mere physical survival. If left alone, the infant would soon die of thirst,
hunger, heat, or cold. To put it simply, the human infant lacks those instincts, or
unlearned form of behavior, that in other species serve to enable the survival of the
young. Human young, born with incomplete nervous system and having long
maturation period, will not survive unless adults feed them, protect them and provide
Human contact is necessary not only for infant’s physical well being, but for healthy
social and psychological development as well. As infants grow, their inborn
predisposition and social experiences combine to influence the development of their
Without social experiences, the individual personality development is impaired to the
extent that functioning within human society is not possible. Because of this humans
remain more object than people.
Socialization is a lifelong process of social experience by which individuals develop
their human potential and learn patterns of their culture.
It is the way by which culture becomes a part of the individual.
Common and unique social experiences blend together to form personality, a person’s
fairly consistent pattern of thinking, feeling and acting.
Nature vs Nurture
Human personality and self are products of both nature and nurture. Nature is the
inherited traits, brain chemistry, and genes. Nurture is the social experiences,
interaction, and environment.
Neither nurture nor heredity alone determines human development.
GENDER AND SEX ROLE SOCIALIZATION
Gender refers to the differences that sex makes in a culture, and influences how we
think of ourselves, how we interact with people, and how we fit into our society. It
refers to human traits that are linked by culture to each sex.
Sex refers to the division of human beings into biological categories of female and
In the Philippines, females are socialized to be feminine and males are socialized to be
The ascription and division of statuses according to sex appears in all cultures. All
societies define certain behaviors and attitudes as appropriate to each sex; men and
women are expected to think and act differently.
Sex roles socialization begins at birth, when the infant is first dressed in blue or pink
clothing. The socialization is very effective; the majority of children in our culture
eventually grows and develops according to social expectations. Through parents,
schools, friends, and the mass media, boys and girls are socialized into the
“appropriate” sex role values, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior patterns.
By and large, parents base their child rearing on the idea that girls are naturally timid
and dependent and boys are naturally brave, resourceful, and independent. Boys are
therefore given their independence at an earlier age. The boy’s emancipation from the
family is speeded up; the girl’s is slowed down.
The Development of Self and Personality through Socialization
Many notable thinkers have explored the complex process of socialization.
“The Looking Glass Self”
Charles Horton Cooley believed that individuals and their personalities are the
products of social interaction and social forces. According to Cooley, our attitudes,
behaviors, and self-concepts develop from our interaction with others; we develop a
feeling about ourselves by imagining what others think about the way we look and act.
Cooley used the phrase looking glass self to capture his idea that a person’s self
conception is based on the responses of others. The basic social experiences of
imaginatively “putting ourselves in their shoes”, in short, is the foundation of self-
Three major elements compose Cooley’s concept of the looking glass self:
1. our imagination of how other see us
2. our imagination of how other judge our appearance
3. the feeling of self that results from our imagination of the thoughts of others have
George Herbert Mead: The Social Self
Another important contributor to the concept of self was George H. Mead. He
developed a detailed analysis of the self as it emerges through the process of
socialization. He like Cooley believed that self is not present at birth, but is a social
product that develops through social experience and interaction with others. For Mead,
the self gradually develops as the individual comes into contact with others.
For Mead the development of language and self must be preceded by social interaction.
Non verbal communication (gestures) between individuals also must precede and is a
prerequisite to communication through language. For example children cannot
understand the meaning of the word “angry” until they understand an angry gesture;
the word has no meaning to them until they have interacted with an individual or
group who communicates through gestures the meaning of angry. When a child learns
what a word means, the child then has the idea of the word. As the children mature,
they learn the names of objects in the environment.
According to Mead there are three stages in the development of the self:
The preparatory stage, the play stage and the game stage.
Infants with limited social experience respond to others only in terms of imitation.
That is, they mimic behavior without understanding underlying intentions. Mead
concluded that there is yet no self.
Play involves assuming the roles modeled on significant others- people who gives care
and love to children. Playing mommy or daddy for instance help children imagines the
world and themselves from one of their parents’ point of view. Further social
experience teaches children to take the role of several others simultaneously.
Children assume several roles simultaneously and finally are able to take the role or
attitude of what Mead called “generalized other”, the attitude of the entire community
or organized social group. In the game stage the child begins to understand his or her
position in terms of the organized community or society as a whole. The “generalized
others”, in addition to providing guideline for behavior in a variety of social settings,
provides the individual with a frame of reference for developing his or her self concept.
George Mead: SELF DEVELOPMENT STAGES
Sigmund Freud: The ID, EGO, AND SUPER EGO
Another important contributor to the theories of the development of self and
personality was Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis.
Freud, like Cooley and Mead, believed that the self is largely the product of social
experience. However unlike Cooley and Mead, he portrayed the self as frustrated and
repressive rather than creative and somewhat harmonious. He divided the self into
three parts: id, ego, and superego and emphasized their conflict.
Freud believed that at birth, we are dominated by the id. The id has no sense of time,
order, or morality. It constantly seeks pleasure and consists of impulses and primitive
drives. Throughout life; the id remains unconscious and highly charged with energy.
The ego is that segment of the self that is conscious and rational. It develops as the
child begins to realize that he or she is separate from other individuals and objects in
the environment. The ego acts as a mediator between the unconscious impulses of the
id and the restrictions and morality of superego.
The superego or conscience is the part of the self to emerge. As the children interact
with others, they are subject to external parental authority. While growing, they begin
to identify with the parental image (the son with the father, the daughter with the
mother) and thus incorporate it into their own personalities. Freud believed that the
major work of society is carried on by the superego in that it molds the individuals’
personality according to society’s dictates.
FREUD: Psychosexual Stage
Freud viewed personality development as a progression in the satisfaction of basic
human needs. He stressed the significance of basic biological drives, child-parent
relationship, and the unconscious thoughts and drives. His theory involves five stages.
Freud called these stages psychosexual stages because he believed that they were
sexual in nature and that they progressed from impulses of the id to a successively
more mature self, or ego.
1. The Oral stage - During the first year of life, the infant seeks satisfaction
through stimulation to the mouth, by sucking, biting and chewing. If the need
for oral gratification is not met, the individual, by adulthood would have
developed an oral fixation, characterized by smoking habit, talkativeness,
dependence, and a general need for oral gratification.
2. The Anal Stage- Between ages 1 and 3, the period of toilet training, the infant
achieves satisfaction from the withholding or expelling of feces. Much of the
child’s activity is anal centered during this period. Satisfaction of basic
impulses from the id is achieved by the child when he or she has learned top
control bowel movements with pride. Freud believed that if anal satisfaction is
unfulfilled at this stage, the individual may develop anal fixation, characterized
by excessive neatness, excessive punctuality, and possessiveness.
3. The Phallic Stage- By age 4 or 5, the child seeks satisfaction through
exploration of the genitals. According to Freud, a male child is attracted to, and
seeks satisfaction from his mother. A female child seeks affection from her
father. In the case of the male, this is termed the “Oedipal” stage; in the case of
the female, it is termed the” Electra” stage. The male child resolves his Oedipus
complex by sublimating his sexual desire for his mother and identifying with his
father; the female child identifies with her mother. By identifying with parental
figures, children internalize the standards of their culture, and their superego
emerges. Failure to resolve the Oedipus or Electra complex may lead to later
personality problems, such as inability to function in an adult sexual role.
4. The Latency stage - Between age 5 and the beginning of adolescence, the
attention of the individual is focused on the surrounding world, when the
person is dominated by his or her intellectual as well as social development.
Sexual urgings become dormant, and no dynamic conflicts or basic personality
5. The Genital Stage- Occurring at puberty, this stage marks the beginning of
adult sexual desires and behavior. The genital stage is dominated by the
emotional patterns that have been developed in infancy and childhood. From
this point on, the individual must integrate the variety of demands within him or
herself. True maturity requires the taming of aggressive and sexual urges,
allowing their release in only a socially acceptable manner. The self must be
adequately mature before it can surrender itself to another and achieve true
Agents of Socialization
3. Peer Groups
4. Mass Media
Lectured by: Mrs Ace Ordonez Samaniego
Filename: Socialization lecture