SocializationThe Process of Fitting into SocietyClass 4.
What is Socialization?The language, values, and beliefs we all have are passed down to us through the process of socialization.Had you been born in another time, in another place, you might speak a different language, salute a different flag, and celebrate a different religion.
SocializationSocializationis the process that teaches the norms, values, and other aspects of a culture to newgroup members.Socialization theoryclaims that the person we become is the result of our environment.
Talcott Parsons & SocializationAccording to sociologist Talcott Parsons, socialization requires people to learnand internalizesociety’s values.We accept and integrate the values of the group as our own.These social values constantly surround us, but often go unexamined.
Primary SocializationParsons& Balesargue that most socialization occurs during childhood.Orville Brimrefers to this stage as primary socialization.Parents are the first teachers, but children also teach their parents.Any parent of multiple children knows that no two children are alike!
Secondary SocializationBecause socialization is an unending cycle, we are at times the “socializer” and at other times the “socialized”.This dynamic, whereby socialization continues throughout our lives is considered secondary socialization.As you experience life-changing events—like going to college, beginning a career, or getting married– new socializationoccurs.
What does Socialization do?At each stage of life, we encounter new norms, values and expectations.We learn to accept and integrate them as we adapt to our environment.In a sense, the socialization process makes us who we are.
The Nature Vs. Nurture Debate—What makes us who we are?RICHARD DAWKINSSAID, “WE, AND ALL OTHER ANIMALS, ARE MACHINES CREATED BY OUR GENES.”PURE “NATURE” THEORISTS BELIEVE THAT THE GENES WE GET FROM OUR PARENTS AT CONCEPTION ARE THE PRIMARY CAUSES OF HUMAN BEHAVIORS—IN SHORT, OUR GENETIC MAKEUPDETERMINES WHO WE ARE.
NurtureIn the 20thcentury, social scientists began to fight biologists’ belief that nature is the sole determinant of who we are.Those who believe in “nurture” like philosopher John Locke, propose that our environmentinfluences the way we think, feel, and behave.
Supporters of this idea assert that socialization moldsus like pieces of clay, particularly during early childhood.Many nurture theorists believe that a social process teaches people who they are and how they fit into their world.
Although it is true that our genes do not necessarily dictate our destiny, it is also true that our biological makeup is what interacts with the environment in the first place.Biologist Paul Ehrlichsupports a blended point of view stating “we can’t partition the responsibility for aggression, altruism or charisma between DNA and upbringing…”
Theorists on SocializationCharles H. CooleyGeorge Herbert MeadErik EriksonJean PiagetLawrence KohlbergCarol Gilligan