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Socialization and the Life Course
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Socialization And the Life Course Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone “There is no greater adventure greater than that of growing up” 2
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Socialization The process whereby the helpless infant becomes a self-aware, knowledgeable person, skilled in the ways of the culture into which he or she was born Socialization among the young allows for the more general phenomenon of social reproduction Social Reproduction – the process by which societies have structural continuity over time. 3
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Culture, Society, and Child Socialization – “Unsocialized Children The ‘Wild Boy of Aveyron” Genie These examples suggest how limited our faculties would be in the absence of an extended period of socialization 7
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Theories of child development One of the most distinctive features of human beings compared to other animals is that we are self aware During the first months of life, the infant possesses little or no understanding of differences between human beings and material objects in the environment, and he has no awareness of the self Children do not begin to use concepts such as I, Me, and You until about the age of 2 Only gradually do they come to understand that others have separate identities and needs separate from their own. The emergence of the self is much debated and viewed rather differently in the two major theoretical perspectives To a certain extent, this is a result of the fact that the most prominent theories about child development emphasize different aspects of socialization. 8
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Theories of child development George Herbert Mead (The Development of Self) Gives attention mainly to how children learn to use the concepts “I” and “me” Jean Piaget (The stages of cognitive development) Worked on many aspects of child development Best known for his writings regarding cognition The ways in which children learn to think of themselves and their environment. 9
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Piaget (1970) To present an adequate notion of learning One must first explain how the [person] manages To construct and invent, not merely how he repeats and copies” 10
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Active Approach 11
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Piaget’s Cognitive Stages Sensorimotor Stage (birth to age 2) Acquiring basic reasoning skills Learn the rule of object permanence – objects are there even when they are out of sight Preoperational stage (2-7) Empathy with others – overcome egocentrism Mastery of the language – symbolic fashion Concrete Operational stage (7-11) Develop empirical reasoning skills – Rule of Conservation Formal Operational Stage (12+) if at all Comprehension of abstract concepts 12
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George Herbert Mead Come from symbolic Interactionism Mead also provided us with an account of the main phases of child development – paying close attention to the development of the sense of self According to Mead, infants and young children first
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