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Introduction to Sociology

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Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
VU
Lesson 13
UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIALIZATION PROCESS
Socialization is a complex, lifelong process. In this lecture we shall focus on the works of three pioneer
researchers, namely Sigmund Freud (1856 -1939), George Herbert Mead
(1863 -1931), and Charles Horton Cooley (1864 -1929)
Freud's Model of Personality
Freud believed that biology plays a major part in human development, though not in
terms of human instincts. He theorized that humans have two basic needs that are there
at birth. First is the need for bonding, which Freud called the "life instinct". Second, we
have an aggressive drive he called the "death instinct". These opposing forces operate at
unconscious level and generate deep inner tension.
Freud joined basic needs with the influence of society to form a model of personality
with three parts: id, ego and superego.
The id (the Latin word for it) represents the human being's basic drives, which are unconscious and demand
immediate satisfaction. Rooted in biology id is present at birth, making a new born a bundle of demands
for attention, touching, and food. But society opposes the self-centered id, which is why one of the first
words a child learns is "no."
THE ID ("It"): functions in the irrational and emotional part of the mind. At birth a baby's mind is all Id -
want. The Id is the primitive mind. It contains all the basic needs and feelings. It is the source for libido
(psychic energy). And it has only one rule --> the "pleasure principle": "I want it and I want it all now". In
transactional analysis, Id equates to "Child".
Id too strong = bound up in self-gratification and uncaring to others
To avoid frustration, a child must learn to approach the world realistically. This is done through ego (Latin
word for I), which is a person's conscious effort to balance innate pleasure-seeking drives with the demands of society. Ego
is the balancing force between the id and the demands of society that suppress it. The ego develops as we
become aware of ourselves and at the same time realize that we cannot have everything we want.
Ego too strong = extremely rational and efficient, but cold, boring and distant
Finally, the human personality develops the superego (Latin meaning "above" or "beyond" the ego), which
are the cultural values and norms internalized by an individual. The superego represents culture within us i.e. the
norms and values that we have internalized from our social groups. The superego operates as our
conscience, telling us why we cannot have everything we want. As a moral component of the personality,
the superego gives us the feelings of guilt or shame when we break social rules or pride and self- satisfaction
when we follow them. The superego begins to form as a child comes to understand that everyone's
behavior must take the cultural norms into account.
Superego too strong = feels guilty all the time, may even have an insufferably saintly personality
To the id-centered child, the world is full of physical sanctions that being either pleasure or pain. As the
superego develops, however, the child learns the moral concepts of right and wrong. Initially, in other
words, the children can feel good or bad according to how they judge their behavior against cultural norms
(doing "the right thing").
The id and superego remain in conflict, but in a well-adjusted person, the ego manages these two opposing
forces. Culture, in the form of superego, serves to repress selfish demands, forcing people to look beyond
themselves.
When conflicts are not resolved during childhood, they may surface as personality disorders later on.
Freud emphasized the role of socialization in the personality i.e. that the social group into which we are
born transmits norms and values that restrain our biological drives.
George Herbert Mead: The Social Self
G. H. Mead (1863-1931) developed a theory of social behaviorism to explain how social experience creates
individual personality. There is the power of environment to shape behavior. Mead's central concept is self
that part of an individual's personality composed of self- awareness and self-image. For Mead:
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Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
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1. The self develops only with social experience. The self is not part of the body, and it does not exist at birth.
Self develops only as the individual interacts with others. In the absence of interaction (as is
evident from the cases of isolated children like Anna, Isabelle, Genie) the body grows, but no self
emerges.
2. Social experience is the exchange of symbols. Only people use words, or the wave of the hand, or a smile
to create meaning. These symbols are parts of the language, which plays a vital part in the
development of self. Self is a product of socialization experiences and that it develops along with
our ability to think symbolically.
3. Understanding intention requires imagining the situation from the other's point of view. Using symbols we
imagine ourselves "in another person's shoes" and see ourselves as the person does. We can
therefore anticipate how others will respond to us even before we act. A simple toss of a ball
requires stepping out of ourselves to imagine how others will catch our throw. You may call it as to
think symbolically.
Thinking consists of the conversations we carry on in our minds with ourselves
about all sorts of things, especially about ourselves. As a child, you eventually
developed cognitively to the point at which you were able to use one symbol (a
doll, for example) to represent a parent and another symbol (another doll, for
example) that represent you. Only then you could engage in role taking ­
imagining being someone else and looking from that person's perspective back at
yourself as a social object. That is the imitation of the role of others. Out of the
early social interactions we develop our ability to communicate, our ability to
think, and our social self emerge.
4. By taking the role of the other, we become self-aware. The self then has two parts.
As subject, the self is active and spontaneous. Mead called the active side of the
self as "I" (the spontaneous form of the personal pronoun). "I" is the self as
subject the active, spontaneous, creative part of self. But the self is also an
object, as we imagine ourselves as others see us. Mead called the objective side of
the self the "me" (the objective form of personal pronoun). All social experience
have both components.
The emergence of self consists of three stages:
1. The Play Stage. During the play stage, a child begins to develop a sense of him/herself as a social object
by taking the role of significant others in relation to him/herself. A girl child plays at being her mother or
father, which requires investing herself imaginatively into a doll, for example. She then makes the doll
behave as she behaves and evaluates and reacts to this behavior of the doll. She mimics the way in which
her father or mother reacts to her own behavior. In this way, she begins to make sense of why the parents
react to her as they do. At this stage, the child's self consists exclusively of the ideas she has about herself
based on her perceptions of how significant others, one at a time, view that self. (Significant others are
the persons who are very important for the individual)
2. The Game Stage. In the play stage, the child took the role of one significant other at a time. In order to
play games, however, the child must be able to take the roles of other players in the game simultaneously.
In a game (cricket, for example) each player must know what all the other players expect of him in any
situation that might come up. Being able to evaluate oneself from the perspective of several significant
others simultaneously results in more sophisticated self-concept.
3. The Stage of the Generalized Other. The generalized other represents the imagined perspective of the
community or society at large. At this stage of development, the child is capable of evaluating himself from
the perspective of community, sub-cultural, or cultural norms and expectations. The child tries to shape his
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Introduction to Sociology ­ SOC101
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behavior in accordance with the expectations of the others and tries to become what others what him to
become.
Charles H. Cooley: The looking Glass Self
Others represent a mirror (which people used to call a "looking glass") in which we can see ourselves.
What we think of ourselves, then, depends on what we think others think of us. For example, if we think
others see us as clever, we will think ourselves in the same way. But if we feel they think of us as clumsy,
then that is how we will see ourselves. Cooley used the phrase looking glass self to mean a self-image based
on how we think others see us.
Our sense of self develops from interaction with others. The term looking glass self was coined by Cooley to
describe the process by which a sense of self develops. The looking glass self contains three elements:
1. We imagine how we appear to those around us. For example, we may think that others see us witty or
dull.
2. We interpret others' reactions. We come to conclusions about how others evaluate us. Do they like us
being witty? Do they dislike us for being dull?
3. We develop a self-concept. Based on our interpretations of the reactions of others, we develop feelings
and ideas about ourselves. A favorable reflection in this "social mirror" leads to a positive self-
concept, a negative reflection to a negative self-concept.
Note that the development of the self does not depend on accurate evaluations. Even if we grossly
misinterpret how others think about us, those misjudgments become part of our self-concept. Note also
that self-concept begins in childhood; its development is an ongoing, lifelong process. The three steps of the looking
glass self are a part of our everyday lives, and as we monitor how other people react to us, we continuously
modify the self. The self, then is never a finished product, but is always in process, even into old age.
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Table of Contents:
  1. THE ORIGINS OF SOCIOLOGY:Auguste Comte, The Fields of Sociology
  2. THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:Society affects what we do
  3. THEORETICAL PARADIGMS:Salient Paradigms, Critical Evaluation
  4. SOCIOLOGY AS SCIENCE:Empirical, Verifiable, Cumulative, Self-Correcting
  5. STEPS IN SOCIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION:Exploration/Consultation
  6. SOCIAL INTERACTION:Social Status, ROLE, The Social Construction of Reality
  7. SOCIAL GROUPS:Primary and Secondary Groups, Reference Group, Networks
  8. ORGANIZATIONS:Utilitarian Organizations, Coercive Organizations
  9. CULTURE:Universality, Components of Culture, Symbols, Language
  10. CULTURE (continued):Beliefs, Norms, Cultural Diversity
  11. CULTURE (continued):Culture by social class, Multiculturalism, Cultural Lag
  12. SOCIALIZATION: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, NATURE, Social Isolation
  13. UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIALIZATION PROCESS
  14. AGENTS OF SOCIALIZATION:The Family, The School, Peer Groups, The Mass Media
  15. SOCIALIZATION AND THE LIFE COURSE:CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE
  16. SOCIAL CONTROL AND DEVIANCE:Crime, Deviants, Stigma, Labeling
  17. THE SOCIAL FOUNDATIONS OF DEVIANCE:Cultural relativity of deviance
  18. EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME:Sociological explanations
  19. EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME -- CONTINUED:White-Collar Crime, Conflict Theory
  20. SOCIAL DISTRIBUTION OF CRIME: EXPLANATIONS, Gender and Crime
  21. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION: INTRODUCTION AND SIGNIFICANCE
  22. THEORIES OF CLASS AND STRATIFICATION I:Critical evaluation
  23. THEORIES OF SOCIAL CLASS AND STRATIFICATION II
  24. THEORIES OF CLASS AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION III
  25. SOCIAL CLASS AS SUBCULTURE
  26. SOCIAL MOBILITY:Structural factors, Individual factors, Costs
  27. THE FAMILY: GLOBAL VARIETY, Marriage Patterns, Patterns of Descent
  28. FUNCTIONS OF FAMILY:Reproduction, Social placement
  29. FAMILY AND MARRIAGE IN TRANSITION:Family is losing functions
  30. GENDER: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION, Gender socialization
  31. GENDER SOCIALIZATION:Role of family, Gender Stratification
  32. EXPLANATIONS OF GENDER INEQUALITY:Conflict Explanations, Feminism
  33. FUNCTIONS OF SCHOOLING:Cultural Innovation, School Tracking
  34. ISSUES IN EDUCATION:Low Enrollment, High Dropout, Gender Disparity
  35. POPULATION STUDY AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE:Crude Birth Rate
  36. THEORY OF POPULATION GROWTH:Theory of Demographic Transition
  37. POPULATION PROFILE OF PAKISTAN:World Population Growth
  38. POPULATION PROFILE OF PAKISTAN (Continued):Age Distribution, Sex Composition
  39. IMPLICAIONS OF POPULATION GOWTH:Additional GDP needed per year
  40. POPULATION POLICY:Goals of Population Policy, Objectives, Strategies
  41. ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY:Global Dimension, Historical Dimension
  42. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:Preserving Clean Water, Clearing the Air
  43. SOCIAL CHANGE:Social change is controversial.
  44. CAUSES OF SOCIAL CHANGE:Culture and Change, Conflict and Change, Modernization
  45. MODERNITY AND POST MODERNITY:Cultural Patterns, Post-modernity