Objectives unit 5 To focus on micro-sociology and the ways in which sociologists study everyday life and human nature To introduce the concept of socialization and present some theories of socialization (Freud, Mead, Cooley and Goffman) To introduce the concept of the ‘self’: how we become social and develop biographies To present everyday life as social, constructed and negotiated
Micro sociology Everyday realities are social constructions The study of everyday life in social interactions Symbolic interactionism is based on above tenets
Humans What makes us humans? How do we become humans? What is human nature?
The case of “Genie” Watch short video on Feral Children
The case of feral children illuminates the importance of the socialization process Feral children are all evidence to the crucial role of social experience in personal development. human beings are resilient creatures, sometimes able to recover from even the crushing experience of abuse and isolation. but there is a point -unclear when due to the limited cases for the study of this- at which social isolation in infancy results in irreparable developmental damage
Nature vs. Nurture debate Nature Socio-biologists, psychologists and others in the natural sciences argue that behavior traits can be explained by genetics Nurture Sociologists, anthropologists and others in the social sciences argue that human behavior is learned and shaped trough interaction
What is Human Nature? The naturevs. nurture debate refers to the ongoing discussion of the respective roles of genetics and socializationin determining individual behaviors and traits. Ultimately both sides do play a role in making us the people that we are we should not think of nature as opposing nurture, since we express our human nature as we build culture. Nature and nurture are inseparable
The process of socialization is the process of learning and internalizing the values, beliefs, and norms of our social group and by which we become functioning members of society. The socialization process begins in infancy and is especially productive once a child begins to understand and use language but it also is a lifelong process that continues into adulthood.
The process of socialization Is a twofold process: The process by which a society, culture, or group teaches individuals to become functioning members The process by which we internalize the values and norms of the group Works both on the individual as on the social level: we learn our society’s way of life and make it our own
2 main goals of socialization It teaches members the skills necessary to satisfy basic human needs and to defend themselves against danger, in order to ensure that society itself will continue to exist It teaches individuals the norms, values and believesassociates with their culture and provides ways to ensure that members adhere to their shared way of life
Main questions Socialization theory asks broadly 5 question: Who is being socialized? human nature nature-nurture debate By whom? agents of socialization How? theories of socialization Where? When?
Becoming biographies? Theories of socialization
What is ‘the self’? The self is our experience of a distinct, real, personal identity that is separate and different from all other people Sociologists look at both the individual and society to gain a sense of where the self comes from. Most believe the self is created and modified through interaction over the course of a lifetime.
The unconscious goes deep “the cornerstone of my work is the workings of the repressed unconscious: people’s lives are partly shaped by emotional experiences, traumas and ‘family romances’ which then become too difficult to confront and so become hidden from the surface workings of life, while still motivating our actions” Sigmund Freud
Id, superego and ego Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic approach divides the mind into three interrelated systems: The id consists of basic inborn drives that are the source of instinctive psychic energy. The superego is composed of the conscience, which serves to keep us from engaging in socially undesirable behavior, and the ego-ideal, which upholds our vision of who we believe we should ideally be. The superego represents the internalized demands of society. The ego is the realistic aspect of the mind that balances the forces of the id and superego.
Freud’s importance to sociology Freud’s notion that we internalize social norms and that childhood experiences have a lasting impact on socialization just as human beings develop through instinctual repression, so civilisation as a whole advances through controls. Civilisation, then, depends upon repression but in the process it generates many problems
The social self Mead believed that the self was created through social interaction and that this process started in childhood, with children beginning to develop a sense of self at about the same time that they began to learn language. Mead argued that one of the key developments was the ability to think of ourselves as separate and distinct and to see ourselves in relationship to others. When children can take the perspective of the generalized other, rather than specific individuals, they have passed through the final stage of development.
“the self is born of society. The self is inseparable from society and bound up with communication. It builds on social experience. This is largely a matter of taking the role of other with increasing sophistications, broadening out from significant others to greater complexity” George Mead
The self builds on social experience The self is the human capacity to be reflective and take the role of others. It is a connection explained in the following steps: The self emerges from social experience. It is not part of the body and it does not exists at birth, but it is distinctly what makes us humans. Social experience involves communication and the exchange of symbols. People create meaning To understand intention you must imagine the situation from another person’s point of view. By taking the role of the other: the self is reflective and reflexive
Mead’s development stages of the self The self is able simultaneously to take the role of……. (see stages below) When… Recognizing the generalized other Engaging in games Engaging in play Engaging in imitation
The looking-glass self One's sense of self depends on seeing one's self reflected in interactions with others Charles Coo ley
The looking-glass self Charles Cooley was George Mead’s colleagues The looking-glass self refers to the notion that the self develops through our perception of others' evaluations and appraisals of us. The image people have of themselves is based on how they believe others perceive them.
We all act like mirrors to each other “ Each to each a looking-glass, reflects the other that doth pass” We imagine how we look to others We imagine other people’s judgments of us We experience some kind of feeling about ourselves based on our perception of other people We respond to judgments that we believe Others make about of us, without really knowing For sure what they think. And we are not always right
Gender as a social construction Watch short video: Mad Men, Don Draper’s pitch for creative concept: “mark your man”
How many looking glasses are being portrayed here ? women through the looking glass of the men, through the looking glass of advertising what advertizing thinks how women want to see them selves through their own eyes. whose eyes are these?
The presentation of the self in everyday life People routinely behave like actors on a stage. Everyday social life become theatrical. There are roles, scripts and actions. Daily life as a series of stagecraft rules. Erving Goffman
Presentation of the self in everyday life believed that meaning is constructed through interaction ‘Interaction order’: what we do in the immediate presence of others His approach, dramaturgy, focuses on how individuals take on roles and act them out to present a favorable impression to their "audience" Goffman argues that people are concerned with controlling how others view them, a process he called impression management
Almost 400 years ago, W. Shakespeare captured Goffman’s idea: “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts” As you like it, II William Shakespeare
The self is a social construction Each definition of a situation lends itself to a different approach, and the consequences are real. Goffman identifies the following components in his theory of impression management: Region Backstage Front stage The self is a Social construction dependent of the situation
Self-analysis: impression management Please reflect on yourself and how you manage your impression in social context: How do you portray yourself to your family members, your friends, your co-workers, strangers you meet for the first time, in class, on Facebook? Make a distinction between your different selves in all these areas, put this information in a table What peculiarities and returning patterns do you see in your analysis?
Agents of socialization Agents of socialization are the social groups, institutions, and individuals that provide structured situations in which socialization takes place. Name 4 different agents of socialization? The four predominant agents of socialization are: the family Schools peers the mass media.
Family, schools, peers and the mass media The family is the single most significant agent of socialization in and teaches us the basic values and norms that shape our identity. Schools provide education and socialize us through a direct as well as a hidden curriculum (a set of behavioral traits such as punctuality, neatness, discipline, hard work, competition, and obedience) that teaches many of the behaviors that will be important later in life. Peers provide very different social skills and can become more immediately significant than the family, especially as children move through adolescence. The media has become an important agent of socialization, often overriding the family and other institutions in instilling values and norms.
Influence of status and roles A status is a position in society that comes with a set of expectations. An ascribed status is one we are born with that is unlikely to change. An achieved status is one we have earned through individual effort or that is imposed by others. One's master status is a status that seems to override all others and affects all other statuses that one possesses. Roles are the behaviors expected from a particular status. Role conflict occurs when the roles associated with one status clash with the roles associated with a different status. Role strain occurs when roles associated with a single status clash. Either of these may lead to role exit.
Emotions and personality: they have a social aspect! Though we tend to believe that our emotions are highly personal and individual, there are social patterns in our emotional responses. Role-taking emotions are emotions like sympathy, embarrassment, or shame, which require that we assume the perspective of another person and respond from that person's point of view. Feeling rules are socially constructed norms regarding the expression and display of emotions and include expectations about the acceptable or desirable feelings in a given situation. Emotion work refers to the process of evoking, suppressing, or otherwise managing feelings to create a publicly observable display of emotion.
Virtual world is real Though most sociological perspectives on interaction focus on interactions that occur in co- presence (when individuals are in one another's physical presence) Modern technology enables us to interact with people very far away. Postmodern theorists claim that the role of technology in interaction is one of the primary features of postmodern life.