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Chapter 4. Socialization. Chapter Outline. The Socialization Process Theories of Socialization Agents of Socialization Growing up in a Diverse Society Socialization Across the Life Course Resocialization. The Socialization Process.

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4


Chapter outline
Chapter Outline

  • The Socialization Process

  • Theories of Socialization

  • Agents of Socialization

  • Growing up in a Diverse Society

  • Socialization Across the Life Course

  • Resocialization

The socialization process
The Socialization Process

  • Humans learn the expectations of society through the process of socialization.

  • Socialization is different based on race, gender and class.

  • Examining the socialization process helps us see how our lives are socially constructed.

Consequences of socialization
Consequences of Socialization

  • Establishes self-concepts.

  • Creates the capacity for role taking.

  • Creates the tendency for people to act in socially acceptable ways.

  • Makes people bearers of culture.

Psychoanalytic theory of socialization
Psychoanalytic Theory of Socialization

  • The unconscious mind shapes human behavior.

  • Depicts the human psyche in three parts:

    • Id - deep drives and impulses

    • Ego - reason and common sense

    • Superego - represents the standards of society

Object relations theory of socialization
Object Relations Theory of Socialization

  • Infants identify with they same sex parent.

  • The self emerges from separating oneself from the primary caretaker.

  • The division of labor in a family shapes the formation of identity.

Social learning theory of socialization
Social Learning Theory of Socialization

  • People respond to social stimuli in their environment.

  • Identity is created through the interaction of mental and social worlds.

  • Children learn though taking the role of significant others.

  • Identity emerges as the creative self interacts with the social expectations of others.

Piaget social learning theory
Piaget: Social Learning Theory

Children go through stages of cognitive development:

  • Sensorimotor

  • Preoperational

  • Concrete operational

  • Formal operational .

The looking glass self
The Looking-glass Self

Self concept comes though reflection about relationships to others.

  • How we think we appear to others.

  • How we think others judge us.

  • How these make us feel - proud, embarrassed or something else.

Mead taking the role of the other
Mead: Taking the Role of the Other

  • Imitation stage - children imitate the behavior of those around them.

  • Play stage - children take on the role of significant others.

  • Game stage - children internalize an abstract understanding of how society sees them.

Socialization across the life cycle
Socialization Across the Life Cycle

  • Childhood - establish one’s initial identity and values.

  • Adolescence - form a consistent identity.

  • Adulthood and Old Age - learn new roles and expectations in adult life.


  • Occurs when people enter hierarchical organizations that require them to respond to authority on principal, rather than loyalty.

  • Examples: military, prison, monastic orders, cults, fraternities and sororities