Based on the material in this module, address the issue of human freedom in a socially structured world. That is, to what extent do you think people are free to think and act as they wish? In answering this question, consider the theories presented in this module?

Nature Versus Nurture: A False Debate

➢ Nature (Inherited characteristics)

➢ Nurture (Socialization experiences)

Socialization ➢ The process of social interaction that teaches the child the intellectual, physical, and social skills needed to function as a member of society.

  • Through socialization children learn
  • Begins at birth
  • Their culture
  • Acquire a personality

Becoming a Person: Biology and Culture

➢ Every human being is born with a set of genes, inherited units of biological material. Where do these inherit traits come from?

Genetics – Inherited

➢ Biological transmissions from mother and father that influence:

  • Chemical processes
  • Blood type
  • Physiological response and perception » Taste, color
  • Physical traits » Height, weight, hair color, musculature

Sociobiology – Synthesis (the influence of both society and biology on behavior)

• Behavioral Ecology – Acknowledges biological basis for some human behavior

• Recognizes socialization and free will

• Links some behavior to survival

• Part of natural selection

The Concept of Self

➢ Every individual comes to possess a social identity by occupying statuses—culturally and socially defined positions—in the course of his or her socialization.

➢ Social identity is the total of all the statuses that define an individual. How does the self develop?

➢ When the individual becomes aware of his or her feelings, thoughts, and behaviors as separate and distinct from those of other people.

Six Concepts of Self

➢ An awareness of the existence, appearance, and boundaries of one’s own body

➢ The ability to refer to one’s own being by using language and other symbols

➢ Knowledge of one’s personal history

➢ Knowledge of one’s needs and skills

➢ The ability to organize one’s experiences

➢ The ability to take a step back and look at one’s being as others do, to evaluate the impressions one is creating, and to understand the feelings and attitudes one stimulates in others

Dimensions of Human Development

➢ Cognitive

➢ Moral

➢ Gender

Socialization in American Society

Socialization begins with the Family, the School, Peer Groups, and Mass Media

Family: Primary source for early socialization

Connects to particular version of culture

• Subcultural community

• Geographic region

• Social class

• Ethnic group

• Religious orientation

The School: Institutional Framework

–Selected skills and knowledge

–Mitigates conflicting values between:

  • Family
  • Local community
  • State, regional, and local requirements

How important are schools to the process of socialization?

Peer Groups: Individuals who are social equals.

Powerful influence over lifestyle issues

• Appearance

• Activities

• Interaction and dating

• Materialism and consumerism

➢ Diverse Society

Mass Media Television, Movies, & Video Games: An inescapable presence – Measurable time involvement

• 2.5 hours weekdays / 4.3 hours weekends

• Cumulative totals exceed personal interaction in other areas

– Promotes aggression

• Problem resolution via violence

Four consequences of repeated exposure to video games

➢ It produces more positive attitudes and expectations regarding the use of aggression

➢ It leads to rehearsing more aggressive solutions to problems

➢ It decreases consideration of nonviolent alternatives

➢ It decreases the likelihood of thinking of conflict, aggression, and violence as unacceptable alternatives

 
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