Chapter 5: Socialization and Social Interaction Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5: Socialization and Social Interaction Deck (37):


Process of learning how to interact in society by learning the rules and expectations of society. In this process, the individual acquires a sense of culture and understands oneself


Nature-Nurture Debate

The controversy over the extent to which behavior results from predetermined biological characteristics or from socialization.
What drives a person's development? Genes (nature) or social interaction (nurture).


Which is more valued in sociology: nature or nurture?

Nurture because it's based on social interaction.



The study of biological and genetic determinants of social behavior. Sociobiologists believe that altruistic and warlike behaviors are biologically based. However, sociologists criticize sociobiologists because different cultures behave differently.


Sociobiologists believe that social behavior is determined by:

inborn genetic traits



Biological drives that are patterns / reflexes occurring in animals. Very powerful!


Sociologists that have an interest in and value biology / the sociobiological approach

Arcaro, Kilgariff, and Sanderson (See more on page 110)


George Herbert Mead - major concepts

self and/or self consciousness, role-taking, stages (preparatory, play, game), organized others



The sense of one's own identity as a person. "The self is something which has a development; it is not initially there, at birth, but arises in the process of social experience and activity..." - Mead (111)


What is key to the development of self?

LANGUAGE... words in a language have meaning, we use language symbols when we think/talk to ourselves and others


Symbolic interaction

Social process that occurs among individuals after they have internalized the meanings and use of language in their culture. Stresses the interaction between people. Emphasis on LANGUAGE AND INTERNALIZED MEANINGS!



Mead's concept: process of figuring out how others will act by trying to act as another person's role (extremely important skill for children). The children assume the roles of others and see the world from that person's shoes.


Functions of socialization

o Functioning of society or groups
o Social control
o Transmission of cultural/social heritage
o Development of personality and identity



The image we have of ourselves. There is social identity and personal identity.



Children pretend scenarios and therefore practice role-taking of significant others - mother, father, etc (basically anyone important to them).

1. Preparatory stage: Children are only capable of imitation. Not yet aware of self.
2. Play stage: Children begin to take roles of significant others.
3. Game stage: The child is older and capable of understanding the roles of various individuals and is able to take the role of the generalized others.


Generalized Others

o Imitating the behavior of others
o Assume and play roles of others
o Learn meanings associated with those roles
o Assume several roles simultaneously

Once a child understands the generalized others, they can develop their own personality.



Mead's concept. The acting, not-selfconscious person. ex) If you're going to practice, you say "I have practice later." It's the I that concentrates on going, not the self.



Mead's concept. The part of self that sees self as an object. Concerned and self conscious of what society expects. Me evaluates self and spends a good time talking to 'I'.



The process of using a language and thinking. Ability to think based on the expectations of the generalized other.



Max Weber's concept referring to a deep imagining of how others might feel about things. Stepping into other people's shoes.


Looking-glass self

Cooley's theory on the idea of self development. 1. How we think out behavior appears to others. 2. How think others make judgements based on those behaviors 3. How we feel about the judgements. We never truly know exactly what other people think of us. It's based on "perception and effect" because we never truly can tell what others think of us, only develop a perception that we believe others have. Then these perceptions shape our self-images.

When we refer to ourselves, we are referring to our looking glass self and not our actual physical being.


Self-fulfilling prophecy

Developed by Merton - prediction that comes true because people believe it and act as though it were true. Also plays a role in gender differentiation in the class room and family life.


Presentation of self

Goffman - the way we present ourself to others and how that presentation influences them. Gives cues about what type of interaction / relationship we expect


Dramaturgical Approach

"Prepare ourselves backstage" before presenting to the public. This is an approach to the study of interaction which is compared to a drama on stage...Goffman describes "Preedy" the character to explain this approach. Preedy does everything in such a calculated way



An aspect of maintaining our presentation of self in which we deny behavior that contradicts how we wish to be viewed. "I'm not racist, but _____". Sometimes we don't live up to the disclaimers we say. All talk no action. When the group as a whole can no longer support the disclaimers/claims made by an individual, the entire group gets pissed off or embarrassed (Goffman)


Major agents of socialization

Family, schools, peer groups, religion, mass media


Primary agency of socialization



Peer Group

informal group of people / friends your own age who have equal or similar status & age


Mass Media

forms of communications intended for a large audience


instrumental roles

Masculine role: -Accomplishment of tasks that lead to goals. Earning money for providing food and shelters.


Expressive role

Feminine role: emphasizes warmth, understanding, empathy, and interpersonal relationships


True or false: traditional gender roles are the outcome of childhood socialization

False: It is also dependent on role modeling by the parents, opportunities and expectations they offer, etc.


True or false: Children mainly play in same sex groups

true, and this contributes to their socialization. Also this tendency is stronger when adults do not intervene. It's probably because they don't want to be teased for liking or loving another sex. Girl groups act in socially binding ways while boys act in competitive ways.


"hitting the wall"

all the negative message that a girl gets about her age, image, abilities, worth, etc come flooding back to influence perceptions of themselves. Gender socialization at birth consistently emphasizes a male dominated society. Girls who fail to conform are either "tomboys, oddballs or manly"


Gender identity

discussed in Lillian Rubin's book Intimate strangers. she says gender identity as strictly male or female prevents people from the opposite sex from developing intimacy. They see themselves in the instrumental or expressive traits and therefore have trouble making true emotional bonds.



socialization to a new role


mortification of self

when someone goes to a mental institution/hospital, prison, or armed forces. They have to strip themselves of their clothes, rewrite who they are. They essentially have to resocialize every aspect of their personality.