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Unit2 2Sociology

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Ch. 44-1Why Is Socialization Important Around the Globe?LO1Debatethe extent to which people would become human beings without adequate socialization.Socializationis the lifelong process of social interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental, and social skills needed for survival in society (Figure 4.1). It is the essential link between the individual and society because it helps us become aware of ourselves as members of the larger groups and organizations of which we are a part. Socialization also helps us to learn how to communicate with other people and to have knowledge of how other people expect us to behave in a variety of social settings. Briefly stated, socialization enables us to develop our human potential and to learn the ways of thinking, talking, and acting that are necessary for social living.Figure4.1The kind of person we become depends greatly on the people who surround us. How will this boy’s life be shaped by his close and warm relationship with his mother?Christopher Futcher/iStockphoto.comWhen do you think socialization is most important? Socialization is the most crucial during childhood because it is essential for the individual’s survival and for human development. The many people who met the early material and social needs of each of us were central to our establishing our own identity. Can you identify some of the people in your own life who were the most influential in your earliest years of social development? During the first three years of our life, we begin to develop both a unique identity and the ability to manipulate things and to walk. We acquiresophisticated cognitive tools for thinking and for analyzing a wide variety of situations, and we learn effective communication skills. In the process we begin a socialization process that takes place throughout our lives and through which we also have an effect on other people who watch us.What does socialization do for us beyond the individual level? Socialization is essential for the survival and stability of society. Members of a society must be socialized to support and maintain the existing social structure. From a functionalist perspective, individual conformity to existing norms is not taken for granted; rather, basic individual needs and desires must be balanced against the needs of the social structure. The socialization process is most effective when people conform to the norms of society because they believe that doing so is the best course of action. Socialization enables a society to “reproduce” itself by passing on its culture from one generation to the next.How does socialization differ across cultures and ways of life? Although the techniques used to teach newcomers the beliefs, values, and rules of behavior are somewhat similar in many nations, thecontentof socialization differs greatly from society to society. How people walk, talk, eat, make love, and wage war are all functions of the culture in which they are raised. At the same time, we are also influenced by our exposure to subcultures of class, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. In addition, each of us has unique experiences in our family and friendship groupings. The kind of human being that we become depends greatly on the particular society and social groups that surround us at birth and during early childhood. What we believe about ourselves, our society, and the world does not spring full-blown from inside ourselves; rather, we learn these things from our interactions with others. What examples can you think of from your own experiences with your family and other close associates?4-1aHuman Development: Biology and SocietyWhat does it mean to be “human”? To be human includes being conscious of ourselves as individuals, with unique identities, personalities, and relationships with others. As humans, we have ideas, emotions, and values. We have the capacity to think and to make rational decisions. But what is the source of “humanness”? Are we born with these human characteristics, or do we develop them through our interactions with others?Have you ever thought about what you were like when you were first born? When we are born, we are totally dependent on others for our survival. We cannot turn ourselves over, speak, reason, plan, or do many of the things that are associated with being human. Although we can nurse, wet, and cry, most small mammals can also do those things. As discussed inChapter 3, we humans differ from nonhuman animals because we lack instincts and must rely on learning for our survival. Human infants have the potential to develop human characteristics if they are exposed to an adequate socialization process.Do you think we are more the product of our biological inheritance or the people we are around? Every human being is a product of biology, society, and personal experiences—that is, of heredity and environment or, in even more basic terms, “nature” and “nurture.” How much of our development can be explained by socialization? How much by our genetic heritage? Sociologists focus on how humans design their own culture and transmit it from generation to generation through socialization. By contrast, sociobiologists assert that nature, in the form of our genetic makeup, is a major factor in shaping human behavior.Sociobiologyis the systematic study of “social behavior from a biological perspective” (Wilson and Wilson, 2007: 328). According to the zoologist Edward O. Wilson, who pioneered sociobiology, genetic inheritance underlies many forms of social behavior, such as war and peace, envy of and concern for others, and competition and cooperation. Most sociologists disagree with the notion that biological principles can be used to explain all human behavior. Obviously, however, some aspects of our physical makeup—such as eye color, hair color, height, and weight—are largely determined by our heredity.How important is social influence (“nurture”) in human development? There is hardly a single behavior that is not influenced socially. Except for simple reflexes, most human actions are social, either in their causes or in theirconsequences. Even solitary actions such as crying or brushing our teeth are ultimately social. We cry because someone has hurt us. We brush our teeth because our parents (or dentist) told us it was important. Social environment probably has a greater effect than heredity on the way we develop and the way we act. However, heredity does provide the basic material from which other people help to mold an individual’s human characteristics.How are our biological and emotional needs met, and how are they related? Children whose needs are met in settings characterized by affection, warmth, and closeness see the world as a safe and comfortable place and see other people as trustworthy and helpful. By contrast, infants and children who receive less-than-adequate care or who are emotionally rejected or abused often view the world as hostile and have feelings of suspicion and fear.4-1bProblems Associated with Social Isolation and MaltreatmentSocial environment, then, is a crucial part of an individual’s socialization. Even nonhuman primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees need social contact with others of their species in order to develop properly. As we will see, appropriate social contact is even more important for humans.Isolation and Nonhuman PrimatesResearchers have attempted to demonstrate the effects of social isolation on nonhuman primates raised without contact with others of their own species. In a series of laboratory experiments, the psychologists Harry and Margaret Harlow (1962, 1977) took infant rhesus monkeys from their mothers and isolated them in separate cages. Each cage contained two nonliving “mother substitutes” made of wire, one with a feeding bottle attached and the other covered with soft terry cloth but without a bottle (seeFigure 4.2). The infant monkeys instinctively clung to the cloth “mother” and would not abandon it until hunger drove them to the bottle attached to the wire “mother.” As soon as they were full, they went back to the cloth “mother” seeking warmth, affection, and physical comfort.Figure4.2As Harry and Margaret Harlow discovered, humans are not the only primates that need contact with others. Deprived of its mother, this infant monkey found a substitute.Martin Rogers/The Image Bank/Getty ImagesThe Harlows’ experiments show the detrimental effects of isolation on nonhuman primates. When the young monkeys were later introduced to other members of their species, they cringed in the corner. Having been deprived of social contact during their first six months of life, they never learned how to relate to other monkeys or to become well-adjusted adults—they were fearful of or hostile toward other monkeys (Harlow and Harlow, 1962, 1977).Because humans rely more heavily on social learning than do monkeys, the process of socialization is even more important for us.Isolated ChildrenOf course, sociologists would never place children in isolated circumstances so that they could observe what happened to them. However, some cases have arisen in which parents or other caregivers failed to fulfill their responsibilities, leaving children alone or placing them in isolated circumstances. From analysis of these situations, social scientists have documented cases in which children were deliberately raised in isolation. A look at the lives of two children who suffered such emotional abuse provides important insights into the significance of a positive socialization process and the negative effects of social isolation.AnnaBorn in 1932 in Pennsylvania to an unmarried, mentally impaired woman, Anna was an unwanted child. She was kept in an attic-like room in her grandfather’s house. Her mother, who worked on the farm all day and often went out at night, gave Anna just enough care to keepher alive; she received no other care. Sociologist Kingsley Davis (1940) described Anna’s condition when she was found in 1938:[Anna] had no glimmering of speech, absolutely no ability to walk, no sense of gesture, not the least capacity to feed herself even when the food was put in front of her, and no comprehension of cleanliness. She was so apathetic that it was hard to tell whether or not she could hear. And all of this at the age of nearly six years.When she was placed in a special school and given the necessary care, Anna slowly learned to walk, talk, and care for herself. Just before her death at the age of ten, Anna reportedly could follow directions, talk in phrases, wash her hands, brush her teeth, and try to help other children (Davis, 1940).GenieAbout three decades later, Genie was found in 1970 at the age of thirteen (Figure 4.3). She had been locked in a bedroom alone, alternately strapped down to a child’s potty chair or straitjacketed into a sleeping bag, since she was twenty months old. She had been fed baby food and beaten with a wooden paddle when she whimpered. She had not heard the sounds of human speech because no one talked to her and there was no television or radio in her room (Curtiss, 1977; Pines, 1981). Genie was placed in a pediatric hospital, where one of the psychologists described her condition:At the time of her admission she was virtually unsocialized. She could not stand erect, salivated continuously, had never been toilet-trained and had no control over her urinary or bowel functions. She was unable to chew solid food and had the weight, height and appearance of a child half her age. (Rigler, 1993: 35)Figure4.3A victim of extreme child abuse, Genie was isolated from human contact and tortured until she was rescued at the age of thirteen. What are the consequences to children of isolation and physical abuse, as contrasted with social interaction and parental affection? Sociologists emphasize that the social environment is a crucial part of an individual’s socialization.Bettman/CorbisIn addition to her physical condition, Genie showed psychological traits associated with neglect, as described by one of her psychiatrists:If you gave [Genie] a toy, she would reach out and touch it, hold it, caress it with her fingertips, as though she didn’t trust her eyes. She would rub it against her cheek to feel it. So when I met her and she began to notice me standing beside her bed, I held my hand out and she reached out and took my hand and carefully felt my thumb and fingers individually, and then put my hand against her cheek. She was exactly like a blind child. (Rymer, 1993: 45)Extensive therapy was used in an attempt to socialize Genie and develop her language abilities (Curtiss, 1977; Pines, 1981). These efforts met with limited success: In the 1990s, Genie was living in a board-and-care home for adults with intellectual disabilities (see Angier, 1993; Rigler, 1993; Rymer, 1993). From 2008, when the latest available reports on Genie were released by the news media, we know that she was 51 and living in a foster home where she had experienced further regression and was unable to speak (James, 2008). No further information about her is currently available.Why do we discuss children who have been the victims of maltreatment when we are thinking about the socialization process? Because cases like this are important to our understanding of the socialization process and show the importance of the process. These cases also demonstrate how detrimental that social isolation and neglect can be to the well-being of people. Among other things, for children to experience proper grammatical development, they need linguistic stimulation from other people. If children do not hear language, they are unable to speak in sentences.Child MaltreatmentWhat do the termschild maltreatmentandchild abusemean to you? When asked what constitutes child maltreatment, many people first think of cases that involve severe physical injuries or sexual abuse. However, neglect is the most frequent form of child maltreatment (Mattingly and Walsh, 2010). Child neglectoccurs when children’s basic needs—including emotional warmth and security, adequate shelter, food, health care, education, clothing, and protection—are not met, regardless of cause (Mattingly and Walsh, 2010). Neglect often involves acts of omission (where parents or caregivers fail to provide adequate physical or emotional care for children) rather than acts of commission (such as physical or sexual abuse). Neglect is the most common type of maltreatment among children under age eighteen (seeFigure 4.4). Of course, what constitutes child maltreatment differs from society to society.Figure4.4Types of Maltreatment Among Children Under Age 18**Does not add up to 100 percent because a child may have suffered from multiple forms of maltreatment and was counted once for each maltreatment type.Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, 2015.Social Isolation and LonelinessUp to this point, we have primarily looked at the effects of isolation on children in their formative years. However, social isolation and loneliness are central issues for persons across all age categories. In the twenty-first century, medical and social researchers continually produce new research documenting that lack of interaction and ongoing learning from others is problematic for everyone. Although we often think that we are more connected than people were in the past and that we have more “friends” than would have been possible for them (because of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest, and other social media sites), the reality is that many people are lonely and have few people to confide in. One study found that 20 percent of all individuals are, at any given time, unhappy because of social isolation (Cacioppo and Hawkley, 2003). According to one study, “People are so embarrassed about being lonely that no one admits it. Loneliness is stigmatized, even though everyone feels it at one time or another” (Seligman, 2009).Living alone does not necessarily equal being lonely; people experience loneliness in different ways, and some people are more sensitive to social isolation than others. This is why the socialization process of learning how to interact with other people is important. Communicating with other people and learning from them links us to a larger social world and is energizing for us. Gerontologists who study aging and the issues associated with this process are the first to tell us that older individuals are among the most likely to be socially isolated because of the structure of contemporary families and the greater likelihood that one spouse (typically the wife) will outlive the other partner by a good number of years. We will look into this issue in greater detail inChapter 12, “Aging and Inequality Based on Age.”4-2Social Psychological Theories of Human DevelopmentOver the past hundred years, a variety of psychological and sociological theories have been developed not only to explain child abuse but also to describe how a positive process of socialization occurs. Although these are not sociological theories, it is important to be aware of the contributions of Freud, Piaget, Kohlberg, and Gilligan because knowing about them provides us with a framework for comparing various perspectives on human development.4-2aFreud and the Psychoanalytic PerspectiveThe basic assumption in Sigmund Freud’s (1924) psychoanalytic approach is that behavior and personality originate from unconscious forces within individuals. Freud (1856–1939), who is known as the founder of psychoanalytic theory, developed his major theories in the Victorian era, when biological explanations of human behavior were prevalent (Figure 4.5). For example, Freud based his ideas on the belief that people have two basic tendencies: the urge to survive and the urge to procreate.Figure4.5Sigmund Freud, founder of the psychoanalytic perspective.Mary Evans/The Image WorksAccording to Freud (1924), human development occurs in three states that reflect different levels of the personality, which he referred to as theid, ego, andsuperego.Theidis the component of personality that includes all of the individual’s basic biological drives and needs that demand immediate gratification. For Freud, the newborn child’s personality is all id, and from birth the child finds that urges for self-gratification—such as wanting to be held, fed, or changed—are not going to be satisfied immediately. However, id remains with people throughout their life in the form ofpsychic energy, the urges and desires that account for behavior.By contrast, the second level of personality—theego—develops as infants discover that their most basic desires are not always going to be immediately met. Theegois the rational, reality-oriented component of personality that imposes restrictions on the innate pleasure-seeking drives of the id. The ego channels the desire of the id for immediate gratification into the most advantageous direction for the individual. The third level of personality—the superego—is in opposition to both the id and the ego. Thesuperego, or conscience, consists of the moral and ethical aspects of personality. It is first expressed as the recognition of parental control and eventually matures as the child learns that parental control is a reflection of the values and moral demands of the larger society. When a person is well adjusted, the ego successfully manages the opposing forces of the id and the superego.Figure 4.6illustrates Freud’s theory of personality.Figure4.6Freud’s Theory of PersonalityThis illustration shows how Freud might picture a person’s internal conflict over whether to commit an antisocial act such as stealing a candy bar. In addition to dividing personality into three components, Freud theorized that our personalities are largely unconscious—hidden from our normal awareness. To dramatize his point, Freud compared conscious awareness (portions of the ego and superego) to the visible tip of an iceberg. Most of personality—including the id, with its raw desires and impulses—lies submerged in our subconscious.4-2bPiaget and Cognitive DevelopmentJean Piaget (1896–1980), a Swiss psychologist, was a pioneer in the field of cognitive (intellectual) development (Figure 4.7). Cognitive theorists are interested in how people obtain, process, and use information—that is, in how we think. Cognitive development relates to changes over time in how we think.Figure4.7Jean Piaget, a pioneer in the field of cognitive development.AFP/Getty ImagesPiaget (1954) believed that in each stage of development (from birth through adolescence), children’s activities are governed by their perception of the world around them. His four stages of cognitive development are organized around specific tasks that, when mastered, lead to the acquisition of new mental capacities, which then serve as the basis for the next level of development. Piaget emphasized that all children must go through each stage in sequencebefore moving on to the next one, although some children move through them faster than others.1. Sensorimotor stage(birth to age two). During this period, children understand the world only through sensory contact and immediate action because they cannot engage in symbolic thought or use language. Toward the end of the second year, children comprehendobject permanence;in other words, they start to realize that objects continue to exist even when the items are out of sight.2. Preoperational stage(age two to seven). In this stage, children begin to use words as mental symbols and to form mental images. However, they are still limited in their ability to use logic to solve problems or to realize that physical objects may change in shape or appearance while still retaining their physical properties (seeFigure 4.8).Figure4.8The Preoperational StagePsychologist Jean Piaget identified four stages of cognitive development, including the preoperational stage, in which children have limited ability to realize that physical objects may change in shape or appearance. Piaget showed children two identical beakers filled with the same amount of water. After the children agreed that both beakers held the same amount of water, Piaget poured the water from one beaker into a taller, narrower beaker and then asked them about the amounts of water in each beaker. Those still in the preoperational stage believed that the taller beaker held more water because the water line was higher than in the shorter, wider beaker.Tony Freeman/PhotoEdit3. Concrete operational stage(age seven to eleven). During this stage, children think in terms of tangible objects and actual events. They can draw conclusions about the likely physical consequences of an action without always having to try the action out. Children begin to take the role of others and start to empathize with the viewpoints of others.4. Formal operational stage(age twelve through adolescence). By this stage, adolescents are able to engage in highly abstract thought and understand places, things, and events they have never seen. They can think about the future and evaluate different options or courses of action.4-2cKohlberg and the Stages of Moral DevelopmentLawrence Kohlberg (1927–1987) elaborated on Piaget’s theories of cognitive reasoning by conducting a series of studies in which children, adolescents, and adults were presented with moral dilemmas that took the form of stories. Based on his findings, Kohlberg (1969, 1981) classified moral reasoning into three sequential levels:1. Preconventional level(age seven to ten). Children’s perceptions are based on punishment and obedience. Evil behavior is that which is likely to be punished; good conduct is based on obedience and avoidance of unwanted consequences.2. Conventional level(age ten through adulthood). People are most concerned with how they are perceived by their peers and with how one conforms to rules.3. Postconventional level(few adults reach this stage). People view morality in terms of individual rights; “moral conduct” is judged by principles based on human rights that transcend government and laws.4. 4-2dGilligan’s View on Gender and Moral Development5. Psychologist Carol Gilligan (b. 1936) noted that both Piaget and Kohlberg did not take into account how gender affects the process of social and moral development. According to Gilligan (1982), Kohlberg’s model was developed solely on the basis of research with male respondents, who often have different views from women on morality. Gilligan believes that men become more concerned with law and order but that women tend to analyze social relationships and the social consequences of behavior. Gilligan argues that men are more likely to useabstract standardsof right and wrong when making moral decisions, whereas women are more likely to be concerned about theconsequencesof behavior. Does this constitute a “moral deficiency” on the part of either women or men? Not according to Gilligan, who believes that people make moral decisions according to both abstract principles of justice and principles of compassion and care.6. 4-3Sociological Theories of Human Development7. LO28. Discussthe sociological perspective on human development, emphasizing the contributions of Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead.9. Although social scientists acknowledge the contributions of social–psychological explanations of human development, sociologists believe that it is important to bring a sociological perspective to bear on how people develop an awareness of self and learn about the culture in which they live. Let’s look at symbolic interactionist, functional, and conflict approaches to describing the socialization process and its outcomes.4-3aSymbolic Interactionist Perspectives on SocializationAccording to a symbolic interactionist approach to socialization, we cannot form a sense of self or personal identity without intense social contact with others. How do we develop ideas about who we are? How do we gain a sense of self? The self represents the sum total of perceptions and feelings that an individual has of being a distinct, unique person—a sense of who and what one is. When we speak of the “self,” we typically use words such asI, me, my, mine, andmyself(Cooley, 1998/1902). This sense of self (also referred toself-concept) is not present at birth; it arises in the process of social experience.Self-conceptis the totality of our beliefs and feelings about ourselves. Four components make up our self-concept:(1)the physical self (“I am tall”),(2)the active self (“I am good at soccer”),(3)the social self (“I am nice to others”), and(4)the psychological self (“I believe in world peace”).Between early and late childhood, a child’s focus tends to shift from the physical and active dimensions of self toward the social and psychological aspects. Self-concept is the foundation for communication with others; it continues to develop and change throughout our lives.Ourself-identityis our perception about what kind of person we are and our awareness of our unique identity. Self-identity emerges when we ask the question “Who am I?” Factors such as individuality, uniqueness, and personal characteristics and personality are components of self-identity. As we have seen, socially isolated children do not have typical self-identities because they have had no experience of “humanness.” According to symbolic interactionists, we do not know who we are until we see ourselves as we believe that others see us. The perspectives of symbolic interactionists Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead help us understand how our self-identity is developed through our interactions with others.Cooley: Looking-Glass SelfCharles Horton Cooley (1864–1929) was one of the first U.S. sociologists to describe how we learn about ourselves through social interaction with other people. Cooley used the concept of thelooking-glass selfto describe how the self emerges. Thelooking-glass selfrefers to the way in which a person’s sense of self is derived from the perceptions of others. Our looking-glass self is based on our perception ofhowother people think of us (Cooley, 1998/1902). AsFigure 4.9shows, the looking-glass self is a self-concept derived from a three-step process:1. We imagine how our personality and appearance will look to other people.2. We imagine how other people judge the appearance and personality that we think we present.3. We develop a self-concept. If we think the evaluation of others is favorable, our self-concept is enhanced. If we think the evaluation is unfavorable, our self-concept is diminished. (Cooley, 1998/1902)Figure4.9How the Looking-Glass Self WorksBecause the looking-glass self is based on how weimagineother people view us, we may develop self-concepts based on an inaccurate perception of what other individuals think about us. Consider, for example, the individual who believes that other people see him or her as “fat” when, in actuality, he or she is a person of an average height, weight, and build. The consequences of such a false perception may lead to excessive dieting or health problems such as anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders.Mead: Role-Taking and Stages of the SelfGeorge Herbert Mead (1863–1931) extended Cooley’s insights by linking the idea of self-concept torole-taking—the process by which a person mentally assumes the role of another person or group in order to understand the world from that person’s or group’s point of view. Role-taking often occurs through play and games, as children try out different roles (such as being mommy, daddy, doctor, or teacher) and gain an appreciation of them. First, people come to take the role of the other (role-taking). By taking the roles of others, the individual hopes to ascertain the intention or direction of the acts of others. Then the person begins to construct his or her own roles (role-making) and to anticipate other individuals’ responses. Finally, the person plays at her or his particular role (role-playing).According to Mead (1934), children in the early months of life do not realize that they are separate from others. However, they do begin early on to see a mirrored image of themselves in others. Shortly after birth, infants start to notice the faces of those around them, especially the significant others, whose faces start to have meaning because they are associated with experiences such as feeding and cuddling.Significant othersare those persons whose care, affection, and approval are especially desired and who are most important in the development of the self. Gradually, we distinguish ourselves from our caregivers and begin to perceive ourselves in contrast to them. As we develop language skills and learn to understand symbols, we begin to develop a self-concept. When we can represent ourselves in our minds as objects distinct from everything else, our self has been formed.As Mead (1934) points out, the self has two sides—the “me” and the “I.” The “me” is what is learned by interaction with others in the larger social environment; it is the organized set of attitudes of others that an individual assumes. The “me” is the objective element of the self, which represents an internalization of the expectations and attitudes of others and the individual’s awareness of those demands. By contrast, the “I” is the person’s individuality—it is the response of the person to the attitudes of other individuals. We might think of the “me” as the social self and the “I” as the response to the “me.” According to Mead, the “I” develops first, and the “me” takes form during the three stages of self-development (Figure 4.10):1. During thepreparatory stage, up to about age three, interactions lack meaning, and children largely imitate the people around them, particularly parents and other family members. At this stage, children are preparing for role-taking.2. In theplay stage, from about age three to five, children learn to use language and other symbols, thus enabling them to pretend to take the roles of specific people. At this stage, they begin to see themselves in relation to others, but they do not see role-taking as something they have to do.3. During thegame stage, which begins in the early school years, children understand not only their own social position but also the positions of others around them. In contrast to play, games are structured by rules, are often competitive, and involve a number of other “players.” At this time, children become concerned about the demands and expectations of others and of the larger society.Figure4.10According to sociologist George Herbert Mead, the self develops through three stages. In the preparatory stage, children imitate others; in the play stay, children pretend to take the roles of specific people; and in the game stage, children become aware of the “rules of the game” and the expectations of others.Peter Cade/The Image Bank/Getty Images; Stella/Getty Images; Matt Lewis—The FA/Getty ImagesMead’s concept of thegeneralized otherrefers to the child’s awareness of the demands and expectations of the society as a whole or of the child’s subculture. According to Mead, the generalized other is evident when a person takes into account other people and groups when he or she speaks or acts. In sum, both the “I” and the “me” are needed to form the social self. The unity of the two (the “generalized other”) constitutes the full development of the individual and a more thorough understanding of the social world.More-Recent Symbolic Interactionist PerspectivesSymbolic interactionist approaches emphasize that socialization is a collective process in which children are active and creative agents, not just passive recipients of the socialization process. From this view, childhood is asocially constructedcategory. As children acquire language skills and interact with other people, they begin to construct their own shared meanings. Sociologist William A. Corsaro (2011) refers to this as the “orb web model,” whereby the cultural knowledge that children possess consists not only of beliefs found in the adult world but also of unique interpretations from the children’s own peer culture. According to Corsaro, children create and share their ownpeer culture, which is an established set of activities, routines, and beliefs that are in some ways different from adult culture. This peer culture emerges through interactions as children “borrow” from theadult culture but transform it so that it fits their own situation. In fact, according to Corsaro, peer culture is the most significant arena in which children and young people acquire cultural knowledge.4-3bFunctionalist Perspectives on SocializationAs discussed inChapter 1, functionalist theorists such as Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton saw socialization as the process by which individuals internalize social norms and values. They believed that socialization is important to societies as well as to individuals because social institutions must be maintained and preserved for a nation to survive. For these institutions to be efficient, individuals must play their roles appropriately, or dysfunctions will occur. Simply stated, the socialization process plays an integral part in teaching the next generation, as well as new arrivals, about how to conform to the rules of the game, and this keeps the society functioning properly. As a result of adequate socialization, people come to support a society that is stable and orderly. Individuals learn to accept the values, beliefs, and behavioral expectations that keep society, and sometimes the larger global community, functioning effectively.Some functionalist theorists identify three stages of socialization:Primary socializationrefers to the process of learning that begins at birth and occurs in the home and family; by contrast,secondary socializationrefers to the process of learning that takes place outside the home—in settings such as schools, religious organizations, and the workplace—and helps individuals learn how to act in appropriate ways in various situations. Secondary socialization often occurs when we are teenagers and young adults.Tertiary socializationtakes place when adults move into new settings where they must accept certain ideas or engage in specific behaviors that are appropriate to that specific setting. (SeeFigure 4.11.) For example, older persons entering a retirement community often have to internalize new social norms and values that are appropriate to the setting in which they now reside. From a functionalist approach, problems in the socialization process contribute not only to individual concerns but also to larger societal issues, such as high rates of crime and poverty, school dropouts and failures, and family discord.Figure4.11Some theorists identify three stages of socialization: primary, secondary, and tertiary. At what stage might socialization be occurring for the people working together in this photo?© Shots Studio/Shutterstock.com4-3cConflict Perspectives on SocializationBased on an assumption that groups in society are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources, conflict theorists stress that socialization contributes to “false consciousness”—a lack of awareness and a distorted perception of the reality of class as it affects all aspects of social life. As a result, socialization reaffirms and reproduces the class structure in the next generation rather than challenging existing conditions. For example,children in low-income families may be unintentionally socialized to believe that acquiring an education and aspiring to lofty ambitions are pointless because of existing economic conditions in the family. By contrast, middle- and upper-income families typically instill ideas of monetary and social success in children. As discussed later, schools may also provide different experiences to children depending on their gender, social class, racial–ethnic background, and other factors. This chapter’sConcept Quick Reviewsummarizes the major theories of human development and socialization.Concept Quick Review Psychological and Sociological Theories of Human Development and Socialization Social Psychological Theories Freud’s psychoanalytic perspective Piaget’s cognitive development Children go through four stages of cognitive (intellectual) development, moving from understanding only through sensory contact to engaging in highly abstract thought. Kohlberg’s stages of moral development People go through three stages of moral development, from avoidance of unwanted consequences to viewing morality based on human rights. Gilligan: gender and moral development Women go through stages of moral development from personal wants to the greatest good for themselves and others. Symbolic Interactionist Theories Cooley’s looking-glass self A person’s sense of self is derived from his or her perception of how others view him or her. Mead’s three stages of self-development In the preparatory stage, children prepare for role-taking. In the play stage, they pretend to take the roles of specific people. In the game stage, they learn to take into account the deman 4-4Agents of SocializationAgents of socializationare the persons, groups, or institutions that teach us what we need to know in order to participate in society. We are exposed to many agents of socialization throughout our lifetime; in turn, we have an influence on those socializing agents and organizations. In this section we look at the most pervasive agents of socialization in childhood—the family, the school, peer groups, and the mass media.4-4aThe FamilyLO3Contrastfunctionalist and conflict theorists’ perspectives on the roles that families play in the socialization process.The family is the most important agent of socialization in all societies. From our infancy onward, our families transmit cultural and social values to us (Figure 4.12). As discussed later in this book, families vary in size and structure. Some families consist of two parents and their biological children, whereas others consist of a single parent and one or more children. Still other families reflect changing patterns of divorce and remarriage, and an increasing number are made up of same-sex partners and their children. Over time, patterns have changed in some two-parent families so that fathers, rather than mothers, are the primary daytime agents of socialization for their young children.Figure4.12As this chess game attended by several generations of family members illustrates, socialization enables society to “reproduce” itself.© wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.comTheorists using a functionalist perspective emphasize that families serve important functions in society because they are the basis for the procreation and socialization of children. Most of us form an emerging sense of self andacquire most of our beliefs and values within the family context. We also learn about the larger dominant culture (including language, attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms) and the primary subcultures to which our parents and other relatives belong.Families are also the primary source of emotional support. Ideally, people receive love, understanding, security, acceptance, intimacy, and companionship within families. The role of the family is especially significant because young children have little social experience beyond the family’s boundaries; they have no basis for comparing or evaluating how they are treated by their own family.To a large extent, the family is where we acquire our specific social position in society. From birth, we are a part of the specific racial, ethnic, class, religious, and regional subcultural grouping of our family. Many parents socialize their children somewhat differently based on race, ethnicity, and class. Some families instruct their children about the unique racial–ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds of their parents and grandparents so that they will have a better appreciation of their heritage. Other families teach their children primarily about the dominant, mainstream culture in hopes that this will help their children get ahead in life.Some upper-class parents focus on teaching their children about the importance of wealth, power, and privilege; however, many downplay this aspect and want their children to make their own way in life, fearing that “spoiling them” will not be in their best interest. Middle-class parents have typically focused on academic achievement and the importance of hard work to achieve the American Dream. However, with the global recession that hit the U.S. economy hard between December 2007 and June 2009, optimism that persons in the middle class had previously passed on to their children diminished as homes went into foreclosure, jobs were lost and not replaced, and people saw their standard of living slip. Even then, some research showed that middle-class families felt slightly more secure financially than families at working- and lower-income levels, where parents continually struggle to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. Parents in lower-income categories often felt that they had little time to help their children learn about important things that might help them succeed in school and life (Kendall, 2002, 2011). Problems such as these contribute to and reinforce social inequality, and this is one of many reasons why conflict theorists are concerned about the long-term effects of the socialization process.However, we should note that socialization is a bidirectional process in which children and young people socialize their agents of socialization, including parents, teachers, and others, as well as receiving socialization from these important agents (Figure 4.13).Reciprocal socializationis the process by which the feelings, thoughts, appearance, and behavior of individuals who are undergoing socialization also have a direct influence on those agents of socialization who are attempting to influence them. Examples of this process include parents whose preferences in music, hairstyles, and clothing are influenced by their children, and teachers whose choice of words (“cool,” “you know,” “LOL,” and other slang terms) is similar to that of their students.Figure4.13Students are sent to school to be educated. However, what else will they learn in school beyond the academic curriculum? Sociologists differ in their responses to this question.Jamie Grill/Getty Images4-4bThe SchoolLO4Describehow schools socialize children in both formal and informal ways.Asthe amount of specialized technical and scientific knowledge has expanded rapidly and as the amount of time that children are in educational settings has increased, schools continue to play an enormous role in the socialization of young people. For many people, the formal education process is an undertaking that lasts up to twenty years.As the number of one-parent families and families in which both parents work outside the home has increased dramatically, the number of children in day-care and preschool programs has also grown rapidly. Nearly 11 million children younger than age 5 whose mothers are working are in some type of child-care arrangement where they spend, on average, about 36 hours a week. Potentially, more than 15 million children under the age of 6 need child care (Child Care Aware of America, 2014).Generally, studies have found that quality day-care and preschool programs have a positive effect on the overall socialization of children. These programs provide children with the opportunity to have frequent interactions with teachers and to learn how to build their language and literacy skills. High-quality programs also have a positive effect on the academic performance of children, particularly those from low-income families. Today, however, the cost of child-care programs has become a major concern for many families. For example, a year of center-based care for a four-year-old ranges from slightly more than $4,500 in Tennessee to more than $12,300 in Massachusetts (Child Care Aware of America, 2014).In schools ranging from kindergarten through grade 12, students learn specific mandated knowledge and skills. However, schools also have a profound effect on children’s self-image, beliefs, and values (Figure 4.13). As children enter school for the first time, they are evaluated and systematically compared with one another by the teacher. A permanent, official record is kept of each child’s personal behavior and academic activities. From a functionalist perspective, schools are responsible for(1)socialization, or teaching students to be productive members of society;(2)transmission of culture;(3)social control and personal development; and(4)the selection, training, and placement of individuals on different rungs in the society (Ballantine and Hammack, 2012).In contrast, conflict theorists assert that students have different experiences in the school system depending on their social class, their racial–ethnic background, the neighborhood in which they live, their gender, and other factors. For example, Langhout and Mitchell (2008), after investigating the “hidden curriculum” in a low-income elementary school, concluded that African American and Latino boys were disproportionately punished for violating the rules (e.g., raising your hand to speak) when compared to their white and female counterparts. Thus, schools do not socialize children for their own well-being but rather for their roles in school and the workforce, where it is important to be well-behaved and “know your place.” Students who are destined for leadership or elite positions acquire different skills and knowledge than those who will enter working-class and middle-class occupations.4-4cPeer GroupsLO5Explainthe role that peer groups and media play in socialization now, and predict the role that these agents will play in the future.As soon as we are old enough to have acquaintances outside the home, most of us begin to rely heavily on peer groups as a source of information and approval about social behavior. Apeer groupis a group of people who are linked by common interests, equal social position, and (usually) similar age. In early childhood, peer groups are often composed of classmates in day care, preschool, and elementary school. Preadolescence—the latter part of the elementary school years—is an age period in which children’s peer culture has an important effect on how children perceive themselves and how they internalize society’s expectations (Robnett and Susskind, 2010). For example, boys who havea large proportion of same-gender friends are more likely to reject “feminine” traits, which they associate with girls. As a result, this may play a part in socializing them to have negative attitudes toward femininity that they display later in life (Robnett and Susskind, 2010). In adolescence, peer groups are typically made up of people with similar interests and social activities. As adults, we continue to participate in peer groups of people with whom we share common interests and comparable occupations, income, and/or social position.Peer groups function as agents of socialization by contributing to our sense of “belonging” and our feelings of self-worth (Figure 4.14). As early as the preschool years, peer groups provide children with an opportunity for successful adaptation to situations such as gaining access to ongoing play, protecting shared activities from intruders, and building solidarity and mutual trust during ongoing activities (Corsaro, 2011). Unlike families and schools, peer groups provide children and adolescents with some degree of freedom from parents and other authority figures. They also teach cultural norms such as what constitutes “acceptable” behavior in a specific situation. Peer groups simultaneously reflect the larger culture and serve as a conduit for passing on culture to young people. As a result, the peer group is both a product of culture and one of its major transmitters.Figure4.14The pleasure of participating in activities with friends is one of the many attractions of adolescent peer groups. What groups have contributed the most to your sense of belonging and self-worth?© Photomatz/Shutterstock.comDo you think there is such a thing as “peer pressure”? Most of us are acutely aware of such a social force. Individuals must earn their acceptance with their peers by conforming to a given group’s norms, attitudes, speech patterns, and dress codes. When we conform to our peer group’s expectations, we are rewarded; if we do not conform, we may be ridiculed or even expelled from the group. Conforming to the demands of peers frequently places children and adolescents at cross-purposes with their parents. For example, young people are frequently under pressure to obtain certain valued material possessions (such as toys, clothing, athletic shoes, or cell phones); they then pass the pressure on to their parents through emotional pleas to purchase the desired items.4-4dMass MediaAn agent of socialization that has a profound impact on both children and adults is themass media, composed of large-scale organizations that use print or electronic means (such as radio, television, film, and the Internet) to communicate with large numbers of people. Today, the termmediaalso includes the many forms of Web-based and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For many years, the media have functioned as socializing agents in several ways:(1)they inform us about events;(2)they introduce us to a wide variety of people;(3)they provide an array of viewpoints on current issues;(4)they make us aware of products and services that, if we purchase them, will supposedly help us to be accepted by others; and(5)they entertain us by providing the opportunity to live vicariously (through other people’s experiences).Although most of us take for granted that the media play an important part in contemporary socialization, we frequently underestimate the enormous influence that this agent of socialization may have on our attitudes and behavior.As you are aware, the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has grown exponentially in recent years. Today, 95 percent of teens report that they use the Internet, and most indicate that they use it to interact with friends and watch video content online that they previously might have watched on television (Nielsen, 2013). Withinhouseholds where teens are present, smartphones and tablets are the fastest-growing devices. Social networking is a rapidly increasing layer on top of existing layers of other media use (Figure 4.15).Figure4.15Texting, social networking, and using smartphones now provide us with instant access to friends, information, and entertainment around the clock. How does this compare to the socialization process when your parents or grandparents were children?© ndoeljindoel/Shutterstock.comIn the past young people between the ages of 12 and 17 watched much more TV than today. Research showed that the monthly time spent, on average, watching video on TV was more than 98 hours (Nielsen, 2013). Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile media now make it possible for young people to have access to social media 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with little time for other influences or activities in their life. Does this make a significant difference in childhood socialization? Future studies will no doubt continue to examine new media’s effects on children and how increased use relates to grades, family interaction patterns, social networks, and other important issues in reaching maturity.Parents, educators, social scientists, and public officials have widely debated the consequences of young people watching violence on television. In addition to concerns about violence in television programming, motion pictures, and electronic games, television shows have been criticized for projecting negative images of women and people of color. Although the mass media have changed some of the roles that they depict women as playing, some newer characters tend to reinforce existing stereotypes of women as sex objects even when they are in professional roles such as doctors or lawyers. What effect do you think this has on children and young people as they develop their own ideas about the “adult world”? Throughout this text, we will look at additional examples of how the media socialize us in ways that we may or may not realize.4-4eGender SocializationLO6Identifyways in which gender socialization and racial–ethnic socialization occur.Gender socializationis the aspect of socialization that contains specific messages and practices concerning the nature of being female or male in a specific group or society. Through the process of gender socialization we learn about what attitudes and behaviors are considered to be appropriate for girls and boys, men and women, in a particular society. Different sets of gender norms are appropriate for females and males in the United States and most other nations. When do you first remember learning about gender-specific norms for your own appearance and behavior?One of the primary agents of gender socialization is the family. In some families, this process begins even before the child’s birth. Parents who learn the sex of the fetus through ultrasound or amniocentesis often purchase color-coded and gender-typed clothes, toys, and nursery decorations in anticipation of their daughter’s or son’s arrival. After birth, parents may respond differently toward male and female infants; they often play more roughly with boys and talk more lovingly to girls. Throughout childhood and adolescence, boys and girls are typically assigned different household chores and given different privileges such as boys being given more latitude to play farther away from home than girls and being allowed to stay out later at night (Figure 4.16).Figure4.16Do you believe that what this child is learning here will have an influence on his actions in the future? What other childhood experiences might offset early gender socialization?© rodimov/Shutterstock.comIn regard to gender socialization practices among various racial–ethnic groups, some sociologists have found that children typically are not taught to think of gender strictly in “male–female” terms. Both daughters and sonsare socialized toward autonomy, independence, self-confidence, and nurturance of children. Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins (2000) has suggested that “othermothers” (women other than a child’s biological mother) play an important part in the gender socialization and motivation of African American children, especially girls. Othermothers often serve as gender-role models and encourage women to become activists on behalf of their children and community (Collins, 2000). In the past, by contrast, Korean American and Latino/a families typically engaged in more-traditional gender socialization, but evidence in the 2010s suggests that this pattern has continued to change as young women are spending more time away from older family members and are gaining greater freedom of expression at school and in the workplace.Like the family, schools, peer groups, and the media also contribute to our gender socialization. From kindergarten through college, teachers and peers reward gender-appropriate attitudes and behavior. Sports reinforce traditional gender roles through a rigid division of events into male and female categories. The media are also a powerful source of gender socialization; starting very early in childhood, children’s books, television programs, movies, and music provide subtle and not-so-subtle messages about how boys and girls should act (seeChapter 11, “Sex, Gender, and Sexuality”).4-4fRacial–Ethnic SocializationIn addition to gender-role socialization, we receive racial socialization throughout our lives.Racial socializationis the aspect of socialization that contains specific messages and practices concerning the nature of our racial or ethnic status as it relates to our identity, interpersonal relationships, and location in the social hierarchy. Racial socialization includes direct statements regarding race, modeling behavior (wherein a child imitates the behavior of a parent or other caregiver), and indirect activities such as exposure to an environment that conveys a specific message about a racial or ethnic group (“We are better than they are,” for example).The most important aspects of racial identity and attitudes toward other racial–ethnic groups are passed down in families from generation to generation. As the sociologist Martin Marger (1994: 97) notes, “Fear of, dislike for, and antipathy toward one group or another is learned in much the same way that people learn to eat with a knife or fork rather than with their bare hands or to respect others’ privacy in personal matters.” These beliefs can be transmitted in subtle and largely unconscious ways; they do not have to be taught directly or intentionally.How early do you think racial socialization begins? Scholars have found that ethnic values and attitudes begin to crystallize among children as young as age four (Van Ausdale and Feagin, 2001). By this age, the society’s ethnic hierarchy has become apparent to the child. Some minority parents feel that racial socialization is essential because it provides children with the skills and abilities that they will need to survive in the larger society.4-5Socialization Through the Life CourseLO7Discussthe stages in the life course, and demonstrate why the process of socialization is important in each stage.Why is socialization a lifelong process? Throughout our lives, we continue to learn. Each time we experience a change in status (such as becoming a college student or getting married), we learn a new set of rules, roles, and relationships. Even before we achieve a new status, we often participate inanticipatory socialization—the process by which knowledge and skills are learned for future roles. Many societies organize social activities according to age and gather data regarding the age composition of the people who live in that society. Some societies have distinctrites of passage, based on age or other factors that publicly dramatize and validate changes in a person’s status. In the United States and other industrialized societies, the most common categories of age are childhood, adolescence, and adulthood (often subdivided into young adulthood, middle adulthood, and older adulthood).4-5aChildhoodSome social scientists believe that a child’s sense of self is formed at an early age and that it is difficult to change this self-perception later in life. Symbolic interactionists emphasize that during infancy and early childhood, family support and guidance are crucial to a child’s developing self-concept. In some families, children are provided with emotional warmth, feelings of mutual trust, and a sense of security. These families come closer to our ideal cultural belief that childhood should be a time of carefree play, safety, and freedom from economic, political, and sexual responsibilities. However, other families reflect the discrepancy between cultural ideals and reality—children grow up in a setting characterized by fear, danger, and risks that are created by parental neglect, emotional maltreatment, or premature economic and sexual demands. Abused and neglected children often experiencephysical consequences, such as damage to their growing brains, which can lead to cognitive delays or emotional difficulties. Psychological problems can also occur that involve high-risk behavior such as smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, or similar activities. Other psychological problems manifest as low self-esteem, an inability to trust others, feelings of isolation and powerlessness, and denial of one’s feelings.4-5bAdolescenceDid you know that some societies have not had a period of time in the life of the individual known as “adolescence”? In contemporary societies, the adolescent (or teenage) years represent a buffer between childhood and adulthood. It is a time during which young people pursue their own routes to self-identity and adulthood. Anticipatory socialization is often associated with adolescence, with many young people spending time planning or being educated for future roles they hope to occupy. Although no specific rites of passage exist in the United States to markeverychild’s transition between childhood and adolescence or between adolescence and adulthood, some rites of passage are observed. For example, a celebration known as a Bar Mitzvah is held for some Jewish boys on their thirteenth birthday, and a Bat Mitzvah is held for some Jewish girls on their twelfth birthday; these events mark the occasion upon which young people accept moral responsibility for their own actions and the fact that they are now old enough to own personal property. Similarly, some Latinas are honored with thequinceañera—a celebration of their fifteenth birthday that marks their passage into young womanhood (Figure 4.17). Although it is not officially designated as a rite of passage, many of us think of the time when we get our first driver’s license or graduate from high school as another way in which we mark the transition from one period of our life to the next.Figure4.17An important rite of passage for many Latinas is thequinceañera—a celebration of their fifteenth birthday and their passage into womanhood. Can you see how this occasion might also be a form of anticipatory socialization?Charles O. Cecil/AlamyAdolescence is often characterized by emotional and social unrest. In the process of developing their own identities, some young people come into conflict with parents, teachers, and other authority figures who attempt to restrict their freedom. Adolescents may also find themselves caught between the demands of adulthood and their own lack of financial independence and experience in the job market.The experiences of individuals during adolescence vary according to race, class, and gender. Based on their family’s economic situation and personal choices, someyoung people leave high school and move directly into the world of work, whereas others pursue a college education and may continue to receive advice and financial support from their parents. Others are involved in both the world of work and the world of higher education as they seek to support themselves and to acquire more years of formal education or vocational/career training. Whether or not a student works while in college may affect the process of adjusting to college life (seeFigure 4.18). In the second decade of the twenty-first century, more college students are exploring international study programs as part of their adult socialization to help them gain new insights into divergent cultures and the larger world of which they are a part (see “Sociology in Global Perspective”).Figure4.18Time Line for First-Semester College SocializationDavid R. Frazier Photolibrary, Inc/AlamyAdapting to new people and new situationsAnticipation and excitement about studying in a new settingInsecurity about academic demandsHomesicknessIf employed, trying to balance school and work lifeIan West/Bubbles Photolibrary/AlamySocial pressures from others: What would my parents think?Anticipation (and dread) of midterm exams and major papersTime-management problems between school and social lifeIntense need for a breakConcerns about role conflict between school and workImage Source/Getty ImagesPositive or negative assessment of grades so farPre-final studying and jittersMaking up for lost time and procrastinationFirst college illnesses likely to occur because of late hours, poor eating habits, and proximity to others who become illPotential problems with roommates or others who make excessive demands on one’s time and/or personal spaceThe Copyright Group/SuperStockFinal exams: late nights, extra effort, and stressConcerns about leaving new friends and college setting for winter breakAnticipation (and tension) associated with going home for break for those who have been awayReassessment of college choice, major, and career options: Am I on the right track?Acknowledgment that growth has occurred and much has been learned, both academically and otherwise, during the first college termSource: Based on the author’s observations of student life and on Kansas State University, 2010.Sociology in Global PerspectiveOpen Doors: Study Abroad and Global Socialization[T]hefirst month or so of the study abroad experience feels like a vacation in that everything is exciting and new. After this “honeymoon” period, the experience becomes something other than merely a vacation or fleeting visit. You start to relate to the people, the culture, and life in that country not from the eyes of a tourist passing through, but progressively from the eyes of those around you—the citizens who were born and raised there. That is the perspective which is unattainable without actually living in another country, and a perspective which I have come to appreciate and understand more fully as I settle back into life here back at home.—John R. R. Howie(2010), then a Boston College economics and Mandarin Chinese major, explaining what studying abroad at Peking University, in Beijing, meant to him. Howie has since graduated and is now employed as a financial analyst.Studying abroad is an important part of the college socialization process for preparing to live and work in an interconnected world. Here are a few interesting facts about studying abroad (adapted from Institute of International Education, 2014):More than 313,000 U.S. students participated in study-abroad programs for credit in 2012–2013, and this number continues to increase each year.The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and China are the top destinations for study abroad; however, Germany, Ireland, Costa Rica, Australia, Japan, and Africa are also popular destinations.The top fields of study for U.S. study-abroad students are STEM, business, social sciences, foreign languages, and fine and applied arts.More than 60 percent of study-abroad students remain in their host country for a short-term stay (summer or eight weeks or less during the academic year). About 37 percent spend one semester or one or two quarters in the host country, while 3 percent remain for an academic or calendar year.Sociologists are interested in studying the profile of U.S. study-abroad students because the data provide interesting insights on differences in students’ participation by classification, gender, race, and class. Based on the latest figures available (2014/2015), most students participating in study-abroad programs are classified as juniors or seniors. Women make up nearly 70 percent of all study-abroad students, and men make up about 30 percent. White students make up the vast majority of study-abroad students (73 percent). Other groups include Hispanic or Latino(a), Asian or Pacific Islander and black or African American students who make up 27 percent (Institute of International Education, 2016).Socialization for life in the global community is necessary for all students because of the increasing significance of international understanding and the need to learn how to live and work in a diversified nation and world. Even more important may be the opportunity for each student to gain direction and meaning in his or her own life. Do you think that studying abroad might make an important contribution to your own socialization while in college? Why or why not?Reflect & AnalyzeWhat are the positive aspects of study-abroad programs in the college socialization process? What are the limitations of such programs? If you are unable to participate in a study-abroad program, what other methods and resources might you use to gain “global socialization,” which could be beneficial in helping you meet your goals for the future?4-5cAdulthoodOne of the major differences between child socialization and adult socialization is the degree of freedom of choice. If young adults are able to support themselves financially, they gain the ability to make more choices about their own lives. In early adulthood (usually until about age forty), people work toward their own goals of creating relationships with others, finding employment, and seeking personal fulfillment. Of course, young adults continue to be socialized by their parents, teachers, peers, and the media, but they also learn new attitudes and behaviors. For example, when we marry or have children, we learn new roles as partners or parents.Workplace (occupational) socializationis one of the most important types of early adult socialization. This type of socialization tends to be most intense immediately after a person makes the transition from school to the workplace; however, many people experience continuous workplace socialization as a result of having more than one career in their lifetime.In middle adulthood—between the ages of forty and sixty-five—people begin to compare their accomplishmentswith their earlier expectations. This is the point at which people either decide that they have reached their goals or recognize that they have attained as much as they are likely to achieve.Some analysts divide late adulthood into three categories:(1)the “young-old” (ages sixty-five to seventy-four),(2)the “old-old” (ages seventy-five to eighty-five), and(3)the “oldest-old” (over age eighty-five).Others believe that these distinctions are arbitrary and that actual appearance and behavior are quite different based on people’s health status, socioeconomic level, and numerous other factors. Although these are somewhat arbitrary divisions, the “young-old” are less likely to suffer from disabling illnesses, whereas some of the “old-old” are more likely to suffer such illnesses. Increasingly, studies in gerontology and the sociology of medicine have come to question these arbitrary categories and show that many persons defy the expectations of their age grouping based on their individual genetic makeup, lifestyle choices, and zest for living. Perhaps “old age” is what we make it!4-5dLate Adulthood and AgeismIn older adulthood, some people are quite happy and content; others are not. Erik Erikson noted that difficult changes in adult attitudes and behavior occur in the last years of life, when people experience decreased physical ability, lower prestige, and the prospect of death. Older adults in industrialized societies may experiencesocial devaluation—wherein a person or group is considered to have less social value than other persons or groups. Social devaluation is especially acute when people are leaving roles that have defined their sense of social identity and provided them with meaningful activity (Figure 4.19).Figure4.19Throughout life, our self-concept is influenced by our interactions with others. How might the self-concept of these women be influenced by each other? By society at large?Sandy Huffaker/CorbisNegative images regarding older persons reinforceageism—prejudice and discrimination against people on the basis of age, particularly against older persons. Ageism is reinforced by stereotypes, whereby people have narrow, fixed images of certain groups. Older persons are often stereotyped as thinking and moving slowly; as being bound to themselves and their past, unable to change and grow; as being unable to move forward and often moving backward.Negative images also contribute to the view held by some that women are “old” ten or fifteen years sooner than men. In popular films, male characters increase inleadership roles and powerful positions as they grow older; women are either moved into the background or are given stereotypical roles that disparage gender and aging. Similarly, the multibillion-dollar cosmetics industry helps perpetuate the myth that age reduces the “sexual value” of women but increases it for men. Men’s sexual value is defined more in terms of personality, intelligence, and earning power than by physical appearance. For women, however, sexual attractiveness is based on youthful appearance. By idealizing this “youthful” image of women and playing up the fear of growing older, sponsors sell millions of products and services that claim to prevent or fix the “ravages” of aging.Although not all people act on appearances alone, Patricia Moore, an industrial designer, found that many do. At age twenty-seven, Moore disguised herself as an eighty-five-year-old woman by donning age-appropriate clothing and placing baby oil in her eyes to create the appearance of cataracts. With the help of a makeup artist, Moore supplemented the “aging process” with latex wrinkles, stained teeth, and a gray wig. For three years, “Old Pat Moore” went to various locations, including a grocery store, to see how people responded to her:When I did my grocery shopping while in character, I learned quickly that the Old Pat Moore behaved—and was treated—differently from the Young Pat Moore. When I was 85, people were more likely to jockey ahead of me in the checkout line. And even more interesting, I found that when it happened, I didn’t say anything to the offender, as I certainly would at age 27. It seemed somehow, even to me, that it was okay for them to do this to the Old Pat Moore, since they were undoubtedly busier than I was anyway. And further, they apparently thought it was okay, too! After all, little old ladies have plenty of time, don’t they? And then when I did get to the checkout counter, the clerk might start yelling, assuming I was deaf, or becoming immediately testy, assuming I would take a long time to get my money out, or would ask to have the price repeated, or somehow become confused about the transaction. What it all added up to was that people feared I would be trouble, so they tried to have as little to do with me as possible. And the amazing thing is that I began almost to believe it myself…. I think perhaps the worst thing about aging may be the overwhelming sense that everything around you is letting you know that you are not terribly important any more. (Moore with Conn, 1985: 75–76)Do you think we would find the same thing if we recreated Moore’s study today? We might find out what many older persons already know—it is other people’sreactionsto their age, not their age itself, that place them at a disadvantage. Consider, for example, that researchers in one study searched on Facebook for groups that concentrate on older people and found 84 groups (with about 25,500 members) created by people between the ages of 20 and 29 years that were extremely derogatory, encouraged such things as banning older people from public activities such as shopping, infantilized them, or used negative terminology to describe them. Although Facebook policies on hate speech prohibit singling out people based on their sex, sexual orientation, gender, illness status, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, no such policy exists in regard to age and the problem of ageism (Adler, 2013).Many older people buffer themselves against ageism by continuing to view themselves as being in middle adulthood long after their actual chronological age would suggest otherwise. Other people begin a process of resocialization to redefine their own identity as mature adults.4-6ResocializationLO8Distinguishbetween voluntary and involuntary resocialization, and give examples of each.Resocializationis the process of learning a new and different set of attitudes, values, and behaviors from those in one’s background and previous experience. Resocialization may be voluntary or involuntary. In either case, people undergo changes that are much more rapid and pervasive than the gradual adaptations that socialization usually involves.4-6aVoluntary ResocializationResocialization is voluntary when we assume a new status (such as becoming a student, an employee, or a retiree) of our own free will. Sometimes, voluntary resocialization involves medical or psychological treatment or religious conversion, in which case the person’s existing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors must undergo strenuous modification to a new regime and a new way of life. For example, resocialization for adult survivors of emotional/physical child abuse includes extensive therapy in order to form new patterns of thinking and action, somewhat like Alcoholics Anonymous and its twelve-step program, which has become the basis for many other programs dealing with addictive behavior.4-6bInvoluntary ResocializationInvoluntary resocialization occurs against a person’s wishes and generally takes place within atotal institution—a place where people are isolated from the rest of society for a set period of time and come under the control of the officials who run the institution (Goffman, 1961a). Military boot camps, jails and prisons, concentration camps, and some mental hospitals are considered total institutions. Involuntary resocialization is a two-step process. First, people are stripped of their former selves—ordepersonalized—through a degradation ceremony (Goffman, 1961a). For example, inmates entering prison are required to strip, shower, and wear assigned institutional clothing. In the process, they are searched, weighed, fingerprinted, photographed, and given no privacy even in showers and restrooms. Their official identification becomes not a name but a number. In this abrupt break from their former existence, they must leave behind their personal possessions and their family and friends. The depersonalization process continues as they are required to obey rigid rules and to conform to their new environment (Figure 4.20).Figure4.20New inmates are taught how to order their meals. Two fingers raised means two portions. There is no talking in line. Inmates must eat all their food. This “ceremony” suggests how much freedom and dignity an inmate loses when beginning the resocialization process.Journal Courier/The Image WorksThe second step in the resocialization process occurs when the staff members at an institution attempt to build a more compliant person. A system of rewards and punishments (such as providing or withholding television or exercise privileges) encourages conformity to institutional norms.Individuals respond to involuntary resocialization in different ways. Some people are rehabilitated; others become angry and hostile toward the system that has taken away their freedom. Although the assumed purpose of involuntary resocialization is to reform people so that they will conform to societal standards of conduct after their release, the ability of total institutions to modify offenders’ behavior in a meaningful manner has been widely questioned. In many prisons, for example, inmates may conform to the norms of the prison or of other inmates but have little respect for the norms and the laws of the larger society.4-7Looking Ahead: Socialization, Social Change, and Your FutureWhat do you think socialization will be like in the future? The family is likely to remain the institution that most fundamentally shapes and nurtures people’s personal values and self-identity. However, other institutions, including education, religion, and the media, will continue to exert a profound influence on individuals of all ages. A central value-oriented issue facing parents and teachers as they attempt to socialize children is the dominance of television, the Internet, and social media, which make it possible for children and young people to experience many thingsoutside their homes and schools and to communicate routinely with people around the world.The socialization process in colleges and universities will become more diverse as students have an even wider array of options in higher education, including attending traditional classes in brick-and-mortar buildings, taking independent-study courses, enrolling in online courses and degree programs, participating in study-abroad programs, and facing options that are unknown at this time. However, it remains to be seen whether newer approaches to socialization in higher education will be more effective and less stressful than current methods.A very important area of social change in regard to socialization has occurred with the distinction between “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” because people in each category supposedly see the world fundamentally differently. Also known as the Net Generation, Millennials, and Generation Y, individuals in the category ofdigital natives—which would include many of you reading this sentence—literally were born into the digital world, grew up with the Internet, and think absolutely nothing of the rapid changes that so quickly brought digital technology into all aspects of our lives. According to Marc Prensky (2001), who coined the termsdigital nativesanddigital immigrants,Today’s students—K through college—represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology. They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives. It is now clear that as a result of this ubiquitous environment and sheer volume of their interaction with it, today’s studentsthink and process information fundamentally differentlyfrom their predecessors.By contrast, their predecessors, the “digital immigrants,” are persons who have extensively used older technologies and were socialized differently from their children. Digital immigrants have to be resocialized to think and live in a world of digital immersion. For example, you might communicate by shooting a YouTube video while your parents would write a letter or an essay (Economist, 2010).If there is validity to the distinction between digital natives and digital immigrants, then socialization will continue to change dramatically. Parents and teachers will seek to communicate in the language and style of their children and students. However, digital natives will need to be aware of, and tolerant toward, some of the more traditional ways of thinking and learning that may have unique merit for unraveling certain problems, learning specific forms of information, and completing specific projects.Socialization in the future is linked to new technologies that are being developed now. Some people in the United States, and many people throughout the world, do not have access to the digital technology that many of us take for granted. These are important social, economic, and political issues for now and the future. One thing remains clear: The socialization process will continue to be a dynamic and important part of our life whether we are learning information from parents and teachers, from a smartphone, or from a robot. What kind of future would you like to see?