Thread: Sociology Notes
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Old Tuesday, March 17, 2015
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Default Socialization: Human development


1.The newborn having the capacity to become a member of human society.

2.The infant has the capacity to learn human social behavior. This capacity is provided by nature to every normal child. But

3.The newborn child cannot become social being unless there is interaction with other human beings.

It is a matter of survival of human child; and then to transform the human child into a social being he needs interaction with other members of human society without which learning capacity is lost.

This process of transformation is socialization.

Socialization is process whereby people learn through interaction with others that which they must know in order to survive and function within society.

In this process, as defined by the local culture, they learn what roles are associated with their status.They learn how to play those roles.

Therefore it is a matter of NATURE and NURTURE.

Nature implies the contribution of heredity to the human being, which may include physical- characteristics and what is inside the human body.
Presumably physical and psychological characteristics can be transmitted through heredity.
Whatever is being transmitted through heredity may be considered as human potential given by nature.

As said earlier, in the 20th century, the biological explanations of human behavior were challenged.
It was assumed that much of the human behavior was not instinctive; rather it was learned.
Thus, people everywhere were equally human, differing only in their learned cultural patterns, which highlighted the role of nurture.


Socialization agents are the sources from which we learn about society and ourselves.

People and groups that influence our self-concept, emotions, attitudes, and behavior are called agents of socialization.
They are our socializes. People who serve as socializing agents include

family members,
the police,
the employers,
political leaders,
business leaders,
religious leaders,
sports stars,
and entertainers.

Socialization agents also can be fictional characters that we read about or see on television or in the movies.

Every social experience we have affects us in at least a small way.
However, several familiar settings have special importance in the socialization process. Some of the important agents of socialization are as below.

The Family

The family has the greatest impact on socialization. Infants are totally dependent on others, and the responsibility to look after the young ones typically falls on parents and other family members. It is a matter of child survival.
Family begins the lifelong process of defining ourselves of being male or female and the child learns the appropriate roles associated with his/her gender.
Who we are? The perceptions about ourselves and the family status are conferred on us.
The class position of parents affects how they raise their children.
Class position shapes not just how much money parents have to spend, but what they expect of their children.

The School
Schooling enlarges children’s social world to include people with backgrounds different from their own.
the schools teach children a wide range of knowledge and skills.
Through different activities schools help in inculcating values of
patriotism, democracy, justice, honesty, and competition.

Peer Groups
Peer group is the one whose members have interests, social position, and age in common.
Unlike the family and the school, the peer group lets children escape the direct supervision of adults.
Among the peers, children learn how to form relationships on their own.
Peer groups also offer the chance to discuss interests that adults may not share with their children (such as clothing or other activities).
In a rapidly changing society, peer groups have great influence on an individual.
The importance of peer groups typically peaks during adolescence, when young people begin to break away from their families and think of themselves as adults.
Neighborhood and schools provide a variety of peer groups.

The Mass Media
The mass media have an enormous effect on our attitudes and behavior, and on shaping people’s opinions about issues as well as what they buy.
Where television provides lot of entertainment, at the same time it is a big agent of socialization.

Religion plays significant role in the socialization of most Pakistanis.
It influences morality, becoming a key component in people’s ideas of right and wrong.

The influence of religion extends to many areas of our lives.
pak and paleet, and manners appropriate for formal occasions.

Provision of Learning Situations

The provision of learning situations is very crucial in the development of human potentials. Human group plays a pivotal role in this respect by:

The provision of learning situations;
These learning situations are provided automatically in the day-to-day routine activities in the family.
The children listen to people talking around them, see them walking, and playing different roles.

A girl looks at her mother the way she looks after the cooking arrangements, the way she cooks the food, the way she looks after the guests, and other household chores.
She is very likely to copy the behavior of her mother.

The provision of guidance; and
The parents may have to provide real guidance to the children for in the pronunciation of certain words, taking steps in walking, wearing of clothes, answering the telephone, and so on.
Parents try to nurture their child as it is considered appropriate under the cultural norms.

Controlling the behavior.
Since all behavior is governed by the cultural values and norms, the parents make it sure that the child acts as it is culturally permissible.
For an appropriate behavior just giving a pat on the shoulder may reward the child, or placing a kiss on the face, or giving a big hug, each may be rewarding.
Similarly the group may apply punishments to the socialize in case the behavior is not in accordance with cultural expectations.
Such punishments may be the withdrawal of love and affection, social boycott, withholding of pocket money, corporal punishment, and so on as permissible under the cultural norms.

Human groups like the family with whom the child normally has the first contact provide these learning opportunities.

Personal Social learning
Whereas the group provides the learning situations to the child, the child also takes certain actions about what he or she experiences in the learning situations. These actions are:

Experimentation; and

In many cases the socialize tries to copy the behavior of others in the learning situations.
The socialize may be talking like others, walking like them, shouting like them, and so on.
To what extent he or she can imitate can be determined by the outcome of the experience of giving a trial to any imitative behavior. The

This whole process may be called socialization,
which is a lifelong learning experience by which individuals develop their human potentials and learn the patterns of their culture.
As a result of socialization process the individuals develop their self-concept.


Life course is a biological process. In this process there is a personal change from infancy through old age and death brought about as a result of the interaction between biographical events and social events.

The series of major events, the stages of our lives from birth to death, may be called life course. Movement through life course is marked by a succession of stages by age.

Analysts have tried to depict the typical stages through which we pass, but they have not been able to agree on standard division of the life course.

As such life course is biological process, which has been divided into four distinct stages:

1. childhood,
2. adolescence,
3. adulthood,
4. and old age.

Life course stages present characteristic problems and transitions that require learning new and unlearning familiar routines.
Through the process of socialization society tries to prepare its members for taking up the roles and statuses associated with life course stages.
Each life course stage by age is also affected by other factors like social class, gender, ethnicity and human experience.
People’s life experiences also vary depending on when, in the history of society, they were born.


Childhood usually covers the first 12 years of life: time for learning and carefree play.
Children in lower class have always assumed adult responsibilities sooner than their other class counterparts.

In childhood an individual is made to learn the skills needed in adult life.


Just as industrialization helped create childhood as a distinct stage of life,
adolescence emerged as a buffer between childhood and adulthood.
We generally link adolescence, or teenage years, to emotional and social turmoil, when the youth try to develop their own individual identities.
In these emotional and social spheres the young people appear to be in conflict with their parents.
Establishing some independence and learning specialized skills for adult life.


Adulthood, which begins between the late teens and the early thirties,
depending on the social background, is a time for accomplishment.
They pursue careers and raise families.
These youth embark on careers and raise families of their own.
They reflect on their own achievements---Did the dreams come true?

Early Adulthood:

It covers the period from 20 to about 40 years, and during this period personalities are formed.
They learn to manage the day-to-day responsibilities personally.
They try to make an adjustment with spouse, and bring up their children in their own way.
They often have many conflicting priorities: parents, partner, children, schooling, and work.

Middle Adulthood:
Roughly covers the period from 40 to 60 yrs.
the individuals assess actual achievements in view of their earlier expectations.
Children are grown up.
Growing older means facing physical decline.


The societies attach different meaning to this stage of life.
Pakistani society often gives older people control over most of the land and other wealth.
Since the rate of change in Pakistani society is not very fast,
older people amass great wisdom during their lifetime, which earns them much respect.
On the other hand in industrial societies old are considered as conservative, unimportant, obsolete.
In a fast changing society their knowledge appears to be irrelevant.


This survey of the life course leads us to two major conclusions.
First the life course is largely a social construction.
Second With every stage of life course we learn different problems things situation never confront before.

Charles H. Cooley: The looking Glass Self

Others represent a mirror (which people used to call a “looking glass”) in which we can see ourselves.

What we think of ourselves, then, depends on what we think others think of us.
For example, if we think others see us as clever, we will think ourselves in the same way.

But if we feel they think of us as clumsy, then that is how we will see ourselves.
Cooley used the phrase looking glass self to mean a self-image based on how we think others see us.

Our sense of self develops from interaction with others.
The term looking glass self was coined by Cooley to describe the process by which a sense of self develops.

The looking glass self contains three elements:

1. We imagine how we appear to those around us.
2. We interpret others’ reactions.
3. We develop a self-concept.

Based on our interpretations of the reactions of others, we develop feelings and ideas about ourselves.
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