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Unformatted text preview: Socialization is the process whereby a helpless infant gradually becomes a self-aware, knowledgeable person, skilled in the ways of its culture. Socialization continues throughout life as the individual takes on new roles. According to G. H. Mead, children develop as social beings through imitation. A key stage is being able to imagine how others expect you to behave and to recognize two parts of the self, the I and the me. The me is the social sense, which is able to judge behaviour against social expectations. Piaget offers a model of cognitive development where children move through stages as they become increasingly able to grasp abstract concepts, follow logical processes, spot false reasoning and see the world from points of view other than their own. The main agent of primary socialization is the family. Secondary socialization takes place later and involves schools, peer groups, the media, workplaces and other organizations. Gender roles are learned through gender socialization. Adults relate differently to the same child depending on whether they believe it to be female or male, and toys and storybooks reproduce gender-specific identities and behaviours. Children become aware of their gender well before school age and will resist attempts to encourage them to try things they see as aimed at the other gender. Freud stresses the importance of a childs awareness of the anatomical differences between women and men in their emotional development. Boys compete with their father for their mothers attention but capitulate because, at the level of unconscious fantasy, they fear being castrated by the father (which is what the child fantasizes has...
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- Spring '10