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
 It is the link between individual and society
If culture is the “toolkit”, socialization is the
What we become, how we act, think, and believe all
comes from the socialization we receive
Human beings are the most social creatures on Earth; and
because of this, socialization is extremely important to the
individual’s, as well as society’s, well being
How much of our being is dependent
on nature and nurture?
Many Sociologists will assert that though our preferences may
be genetic; how we act, behave, and go about our lives are all a
result of our socialization
 Sociobiologists believe that nature, and not nurture, will
ultimately shape who we become
Sociobiologists are concerned with the systematic study of how
biology affects our social behavior
While both sides wield evidence to their claims, it is widely
accepted that both nature and nurture play a part in a
much more complicated social equation
In order for humans (as well as other social animals)
to develop properly, social contact early on is crucial
 See Harlows’ non-human primate experiment (pg.
Cases of (extreme) social isolation and maltreatment
in humans
Ultimately, social isolation was detrimental to the
psychological growth of the Rhesus monkeys
See Anna and Genie (pgs. 109-110)
 Without socialization, and nurture, both children were
devoid of language, cleanliness, upright movement; and
in essence, their humanity
Without a social catalyst during our core stages of
development, we are nothing more than animals
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
His premise for human existence rested
on two basic tendencies; the urge to survive,
and the urge to procreate
Consisted of three states that reflected different levels of
The Id
 Most basic biological drives and demand for immediate gratification
The Superego
 The sense of conscience, the moral and ethical aspects of ones
The Ego
 The rational, reality oriented self that imposes restrictions on the Id
Conscious Awareness: The iceberg analogy
Both the Id and the Superego are unconscious states of awareness,
whereas the ego is conscious
 i.e. the “tip of the iceberg” is the ego, whereas the rest of all of our
Trust vs. Mistrust
(birth to age one) If infants are nurtured they form a sense of
trust, if they are neglected they will become mistrustful and
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
(age one to three) If allowed to develop physical and mental
abilities and allowed to control their environment, they develop
autonomy, if they are discouraged they become doubtful
Initiative vs. Guilt
(age three to five) If initiative is encouraged, children will develop
the sense (of initiative), if ignored, may develop guilt
Industry vs. Inferiority
(age six to eleven) Children seek to manipulate objects and become
curious of their workings, encouragement develops the sense of
industry; if regarded as a nuisance, children feel inferior
Identity vs. Role Confusion
(age twelve to eighteen) Adolescents attempt to develop a sense of
identity, in addition to having new roles; if an accurate sense of
identity is not attained, the individual feels role-confusion
Intimacy vs. Isolation
(age eighteen to thirty-five) The individual seeks to develop
relationships, if they fail to do so isolation ensues
Generativity vs. Self-absorption
(age thirty-five to fifty-five) Generativity refers to being concerned
for the next generation, whereas self absorbed persons are only
concerned with material gains, and relieving personal boredom
Integrity vs. Despair
(maturity and old-age) Integrity results in looking back on life and
seeing it as meaningful, despair results when personal issues go
Erik H. Erikson
Identified eight
psychosocial stages
that each involve a
transitional “crisis”
in social development
Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Cognitive Development
Cognitive and Moral Reasoning
Preconventional Level
(age seven to eleven) Children
think in terms of tangible objects,
begin empathizing
Formal-operational stage
(age twelve through adolescence)
potential to engage in highly
abstract thought, can think of
future options and actions
(age seven to ten) Behavior is based on
punishment or obedience, good and evil
Conventional Level
(age two to seven) Children begin
to use words and mental symbols
Concrete-operational stage
(birth to age two) Children
understand the world only
through contact and immediate
Preoperational stage
Lawrence Kohlberg (19271987)
Sensorimotor Stage
(age ten through adulthood) Concerned
with perception by peers, conformity to
Postconventional Level
(few adults reach this stage) Morality
in terms of individual rights, human
rights transcend government and laws
Self-Concept is the totality of our beliefs and feelings about
 Consists of four components
The physical self (“I am tall”)
 The active self (“I am good at sports”)
 The social self (“I am nice to others”)
 The psychological self (“I believe in world peace”)
 Later in childhood the focus shifts from physical and active to
social and psychological self
Self-Identity is our perception about what kind of person we
Self-Concept and Self-Identity are both components of the
Symbolic-Interactionist perspective of socialization
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929)
We imagine how our personality or appearance will look to
other people, can be favorable or unfavorable
We imagine how other people judge the appearance and
personality that we think we represent
We develop a self-concept, if we think an evaluation is
favorable it is enhanced, if not it is diminished
George H. Mead (1863-1931)
Extended the idea of self-concept to role-taking
 Role-taking refers to 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
Significant others
Like assuming the role of parent, doctor, teacher
Are those persons whose care, affection, and
approval are especially desired and who are most
important in the development of the self
Generalized other
The child’s awareness of the demands and
expectations of the society as a whole
Concept of the “Looking-glass self,” or the way in
which a person’s sense of self is derived from the
perception of others
George H. Mead
divided the self into
the “I” and the “me”
The “I” is the subjective
element of the self and
represents the unique
traits of the person
The “me” is the objective
element of the self, which
is composed of
internalized attitudes,
and demands of other
members of society, and
the individual’s
awareness of those
He believed that
socialization is a two way
process, between the
individual and society
The persons, groups, or institutions that teach us
what we need to know in order to participate in
The most influential are the family, the school, peer
groups, and the mass media
A peer group is a group of people who are linked by common
interests, equal social position, and typically similar age
The mass media as an agent of socialization?
Students on average spend 1,000 hours per year at
school, while they spend roughly 1,600 hours per year
subjected to the mass media…
Gender Socialization refers to the specific messages and
practices concerning the nature of being female or male in a
specific group or society
Such as color coded, or gender based toys, clothes, and activities
Racial-Ethnic Socialization is the socialization aspect that
contains specific messages and practices, concerning the
nature of one’s racial or ethnic status
Relates to personal and group identity, inter-group and interindividual relationships, and position in the social hierarchy
Resocialization is the process of learning
a new and different set of attitudes, values, and behaviors
from those in one’s background and previous experience
Either voluntary or involuntary
For example: military enrollment or a total institution
A total institution is 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
Individuals respond to resocialization in different ways
Some become rehabilitated, adapting the new ways
 Others become hostile, violent, or anarchistic towards the system
For example, inmates may conform to the rules in prison; but, they
may have little respect for the norms and laws of the greater society
A particularly popular novel (as well as a movie) on the
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
Sociology In Our Times (Seventh Edition)
o By: Diana Kendall
Notes incorporated
o By: James V. Thomas, NIU Professor (Emeritus)
o Formatted By: Jacob R. Kalnins, NIU student
Pictures Incorporated
o Clip Art (PowerPoint: 2007)
o Google Images: Sociology In Our Times

chapter 4: socialization