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  1. Socialization Unit 3

  2. Learning Goals: • Understand the primary agents of socialization and why they are influential. • Understand what happens when infants receive very little human contact. • Understand the social construction of the self. • Be aware of several theories about the socialization process. • Understand that socialization is largely invisible to the "naked eye," involves both active and passive learning, and continues through the life course. • Understand how sociologists analyze the contents, contexts, and processes of socialization. • Understand the concepts of resocialization and desocialization.

  3. What is Socialization? •

  4. Socialization Socialization is learning to become a member of the groups and society in which one lives, and is one way that societies continue through time. Socialization = process through which people learn the expectations of a society. It is the basis for identity or how one defines themselves. Agents of socialization=those who pass on social expectations

  5. Twenty Statements Test “Who am I?”

  6. Agents of Socialization • Family • Media • Peers • Religion • Clubs /Social Groups / Sports • School Directions: In your notebook, write down how you think each agent has influenced your own socialization or understanding of social expectations.

  7. In life one person can take on many roles. Within those roles are expected behaviors. When you came into school today, you took on the role of a student. What expectations are involved with being a student? If you are able to identify expectations, how did you come to know what those expected behaviors are?

  8. In your notebook write down the answers to these questions: 1. Is the socialization experience the same for everyone? 2. What can make it different?

  9. What do you think would happen if a child wasn’t socialized?

  10. Secret of the Wild Child • Film Analysis sheet

  11. Family Media Peers

  12. Agents of Socialization Agents of socialization are the persons, groups, or institutions that teach us what we need to know in order to participate in society. We are exposed to many agents of socialization throughout our lifetime: in turn, we have an influence on those socializing agents and organizations. The most pervasive agents are those in childhood – the family, the school. Peer groups, and the mass media.

  13. Primary Groups A primary group is a social group whose members share an identity, have face-to-face contact, and feel strong emotions for each other. These emotions are not always based on love; they can be based on insecurity and need. Whatever the case, the ties are emotional. Primary groups are “fundamental in forming the social nature and ideals of the individual” (Cooley 1909, p. 23).

  14. Family


  16. Family The family is an important agent of socialization because it gives individuals their deepest and earliest experiences with relationships and their first exposure to the rules of life. In addition, the family teaches its members about the world in which they live and ways to respond to it. During difficult times the family can buffer its members against the ill effects; alternatively, it can increase stress.

  17. Work Sheet - Media • No notes for this section

  18. Media Another source of socialization is mass media, forms of communication designed to reach large audiences without direct face-to-face contact between those creating/conveying and receiving messages. Examples of mass media include magazines, newspapers, commercials, books, sitcoms, reality shows, websites, radio broadcasts, video games, movies, and music CDs. The tools of mass media—such as television, radio, the internet, and iPods—expose audiences to a variety of real and imaginary people, including sports figures, animated characters, politicians, actors, disc jockeys, and musicians.

  19. We can argue that any exposure to a television show, a song, and other media represents an act of socialization if only because it introduces viewers to possible ways to act, appear, and think. Because media is so pervasive it is difficult to make any definitive statements about its effects, except perhaps to say that a very significant but unknown portion of what we know about the world is acquired through the media.

  20. The Merchants of Cool •

  21. Television Arguably, the most influential medium of mass communication in the United States is television; 98 percent of U.S households have at least one television, and 82 percent have a cable connection or satellite dish antenna (U.S. Census Bureau 2006). Each day, the average American watches about 4 hours of TV. That translates into 28 hours per week, or 2 months of nonstop TV watching per year (A. C. Nielsen Co., 2006). While television is still the major way national and international news is delivered, for those under age 30, the internet and television are equally important sources.

  22. Children’s exposure to television, including recorded shows and movies, is the subject of extensive research, as the childhood years are considered the most formative. Research shows that television plays a big role in the daily lives of children.

  23. Each day the average child watches 4 hours of television. • Almost 70 percent of 8- to 18-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom. • In two-thirds of households the TV is usually on during meals. • In half of all households the TV is turned on most of the time. • If children were not watching television, it is likely they would replace it with play, socializing with friends, some physical activity, reading, or homework. • There is a clear connection between viewing television violence and “aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed” (University of Michigan Health System 2008).

  24. Content analysis of violent scenes from television programs reveals that more often than not violence goes unpunished, is accompanied by humor, and fails to show human suffering and loss as a consequence. This is true even of G-rated programming. Violence is presented as the method even the heroes use to address problems (University of Michigan Health System 2008).

  25. 15 funny Commercials • Record your observations of what this collection of ads teaches viewers about being a member of society (jot notes).

  26. What does TV teach us? Watch a series of short clips and complete the following chart:

  27. Clip 1 – Max and Ruby • Think about things like: body image / language / communication skills / manners / inappropriate behaviours / how boys should act / how girls should act / colours for each gender – etc.

  28. Clip 2 - Commercials • •

  29. Clip 3 – Pretty Little Liars •

  30. Clip 4 – Family Guy •

  31. Gender Roles *What are women supposed to be like? How are they supposed to act, look, dress, etc? What type jobs are they supposed to have? *What are men supposed to be like? How are they supposed to act, look, dress, etc? What type of jobs are they supposed to have?

  32. What can Disney Teach us about Gender? • •

  33. Social Media Social media includes the Internet and other digital technologies that allow people to interact or share information, personal creations, stories, and experiences with friends, family, acquaintances, even strangers. The information shared may take the form of words, pictures, videos, and/or voice, and it may involve creating a profile on a social networking site, uploading photographs and videos for others to see, and creating webpages or blogs.

  34. Video Games • • What do they teach us?

  35. While use of social media is widespread across age groups, teenagers’ use of this media is perhaps the most scrutinized. The latest research shows that 93 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 in the United States use the Internet in their homes, public library, schools, or at a friend’s house. One indicator of the overall popularity of the various social media can be found in the list of the 10 most visited websites, not including search engines (Alexa 2009)

  36. Growing Up Online •

  37. Social Norms • Social Norms are unwritten rules about how to behave.  They provide us with an expected idea of how to behave in a particular social group or culture.  For example we expect students to arrive to class on time and complete their work. • The idea of norms provides a key to understanding social influence in general and conformity in particular. Social norms are the accepted standards of behavior of social groups.  These groups range from friendship and work groups to nation states.  Behavior which fulfills these norms is called conformity, and most of the time roles and norms are powerful ways of understanding and predicting what people will do.

  38. Social Norms • There are norms defining appropriate behavior for every social group. For example, students, neighbors and patients in a hospital are all aware of the norms governing behavior. And as the individual moves from one group to another, their behavior changes accordingly. • Norms provide order in society. It is difficult to see how human society could operate without social norms. Human beings need norms to guide and direct their behavior, to provide order and predictability in social relationships and to make sense of and understanding of each other’s actions. These are some of the reasons why most people, most of the time, conform to social norms.

  39. Group Activity Discuss and list social norms in the following situations: • Classroom • Fancy Restaurant • Funeral Home • Other – you pick

  40. Breaking Social Norms - Homework

  41. Peers • A peer group, whose members have interests, social positions, and age in common, have an influence on the socialization of group members.

  42. Peers – as agents of socialization Key Points: • This is where children can escape supervision and learn to form relationships on their own. • The influence of the peer group typically peaks during adolescence. • However, peer groups generally only affect short term interests unlike the family, which has long term influence. • Peer groups can also serve as a venue for teaching members gender roles. • Adolescent peer groups provide support for children and teens as they assimilate into the adult society decreasing dependence on parents, increasing feeling of self-sufficiency, and connecting with a much larger social networking. • The term “peer pressure” is often used to describe instances where an individual feels indirectly pressured into changing their behavior to match that of their peers.

  43. Not Homework •

  44. Peers • A peer group consists of people who are approximately the same age, participate in the same day-to-day activities, and share a similar overall social status in society. That status may be middle school student, adolescent, teenager, or retired. Sociologists are especially interested in the process known as peer pressure, those instances in which people feel directly or indirectly pressured to engage in behavior that meets the approval and expectations of peers and/or to fit in with what peers are doing. That pressure may be to smoke (or not smoke) cigarettes, to drink (or not drink) alcohol, and to engage (or not engage) in sexual activities.

  45. It is through peer groups that children and others learn what it means to be male or female or to be classified into a racial/ethnic category. In the process children are influenced by overall societal conceptions of race and gender but also create and integrate their own meanings. Sociologist AmiraProweller (1998) found that white middle-class students tended to perceive black counterparts as being more exotic and sensual in their styles, whereas blacks tended to perceive white middle-class styles as more accepted in school settings. Both blacks and whites adopted each other’s styles but criticized each other when acting “out of race,” labeling those blacks who did so as “acting “white” and those whites who did so as “acting black.”

  46. Peer groups are important agents of socialization regarding gender as well. Among other things, peer groups negotiate what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate physical expression toward same- and other-sex persons. Close same-sex friendships are often labeled as gay, and the fear of being labeled as such can restrict expression and interpretations of feelings toward same-sex friends. Peers discuss and comment on physical changes accompanying puberty that revolve around girls wearing bras, menstruation, boys growing facial hair, girls removing (or failing to remove) body and facial hair, sexual development, sexual activity, rumors regarding romantic connections, and breakups. Praise, insults, teasing, rumors, and storytelling inform them about the meaning of being male, female, or something in between (Proweller 1998).

  47. Peer – Socialization Agent - handout • Article – “No greater Love”

  48. Hazing Closer to Home • The issue of sports hazing came to light in New Brunswick when a St. Thomas University volleyball player died last fall after being at an on-campus hazing party. •