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Sociology: The Basics

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  1. Sociology: The Basics Chapter 3 - Socialization

  2. Social Experience: the Key to Our Humanity • Socialization – the lifelong experience by which individuals develop their human potential. • Humans need social experience to learn their culture. • Personality – a person’s fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking, and feeling.

  3. Human Development: Nature and Nurture • Charles Darwin’s study of evolution led to the “nature” argument. • Traits that enhance survival emerge as a species “nature.” • John Watson developed a theory called behaviorism. • Behavior is not instinctive, but learned. • Social Scientists are cautious about describing behavior as instinctive.

  4. Social Isolation • Harry and Margaret Harlow discovered that infant monkeys left in isolation suffered emotional and behavioral damage. • Three children, Anna, Isabella, and Genie, were left in isolation and suffered emotional damage. • Social experience performs a crucial role in forming personality.

  5. Understanding Socialization – Sigmund Freud • Freud believed that biology plays a major role in human development. • Humans have two basic needs: > Eros(love instinct) > Thanatos (death instinct) • Freud’s model of personality has 3 basic parts: • The Id – basic human pleasure-seeking drives • The Ego – balances pleasure drives with demands of society • The Superego – internalized cultural values/norms • Culture, in the form of the superego, represses selfish demands

  6. Understanding Socialization – Jean Piaget • Jean Piaget studied human cognition, how people think. • Piaget identified four stages of cognitive development: • The Sensorimotor Stage – experience through senses (new born to 2 years) • The Preoperational Stage – symbols and language (approx. age 2) • The Concrete Operational Stage – finding causal connections in one’s surroundings (approx. 7-11) • The Formal Operational Stage – critical and abstract thinking (around age 12 and beyond)

  7. Understanding Socialization – Lawrence Kohlberg • Kohlberg studied moral reasoning, the ways individuals judge situations as right or wrong. • Young children experience the world in terms of pain and pleasure. • Teens lose their sense of selfishness as they align themselves with broader cultural norms. • Lastly, individuals begin to think about ethical principles beyond society’s norms.

  8. Understanding Socialization – Carol Gilligan • Gilligan compared the moral development of girls and boys. • The two sexes used different standards of rightness. • Boys have a justice perspective, relying on formal rules. • Girls have a care and responsibility perspective, relying on personal relationships.

  9. Understanding Socialization – George Herbert Mead • Mead believed social behaviorism explains how social experience creates personality. • Mead’s central concept is the self – the part of the individual’s personality composed of self-awareness and self-image. • The self only develops with social experience. • See figure 3-1 Building on Social Experience (page 70)

  10. Understanding Socialization – Charles Horton Cooley • Cooley used the term the looking glass self – a self-image based on how we think others see us. • Others represent a mirror in which we can see ourselves. • What we think of ourselves depends on what we think others think of us.

  11. Understanding Socialization – Erik Erikson • Erikson felt we face 8 challenges throughout the life course. 1. Infancy 2. Toddlerhood 3. Preschool 4. Preadolescence 5. Adolescence 6. Young adulthood 7.Middle adulthood 8. Old Age • Success in one stage prepares us for meeting the next. • He assumes all people meet these challenges at exactly the order presented.

  12. Agents of Socialization • The family has the greatest impact on socialization. • Schooling enlarges children’s social worlds to include people with different backgrounds. • Peer Groups – social groups whose members have interests, social positions, and ages in common. • Mass Media – impersonal communications aimed at a vast audience. • See figure 3-2 Trust Among U.S. Teens (pg. 71) and figure 3-3 T.V. (pg. 74)

  13. Socialization and the Life Course • Learning continues throughout our lives. • Childhood is currently becoming shorter. • Adolescence is often a period of social and emotional turmoil. • Adulthood is characterized by early goal setting and later reflection. • Old age begins in the mid-sixties in the United States.

  14. Resocialization: Total Institutions • Two million people experience being confined in prisons or mental hospitals. • Total Institution – a setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society and manipulated by an administrative staff. • Total Institutions impose regimentation for one purpose: • Resocialization – changing an inmate’s personality by carefully controlling the environment. The inmate’s identity is broken down, and a new self is re-built.