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Yang Zhang

Professor Coleman
Sociology 1
07 June 7, 2015
Socialization Nature vs. Nurture
1.

Nature and Nurture: What do twin studies tell us about nature/nurture? Also, discuss
the influence of heredity in explaining the process of ones personality and intellectual
development. Provide examples.
The twin studies tell us about both nature and nurture impact who we are. Nature refers to
genetic and hereditary factors that influence who we are. Nurture refers to the external
factors (social environment) influence who we are. Although the twins were raised
separately, their temperament and behavior are similar in some way, such as using the same
hand gestures. At this point, we could know that the genetic play an important in human
behavior and personality. Heredity is one of the major factors in development of ones
personality and intellectual. There are certain things are inborn (passed by parents) like talent
and IQ. Some children might inherit their parents talent and IQ. However, the external
factors (culture, life experience and environment) might also influence the way we behave.
For example, because of the different culture and values, American kids can act as equal to
their parents, but Chinese kids cant.

2.

What is the self? According to Charles Horton Cooley, explain the looking glass self
(discuss the three phases). George Herbert Mead also discusses the stages of the self:
identify differences between I and Me. What is meant by significant others? How are
significant others related to the self? Identify Meads three-stage process of selfdevelopment.
The self is how you see yourself or who you think you are. Charles Horton Cooleys concept
of looking glass self expresses the personal imagination on how we see ourselves through
social interaction. Basically, it means how we see ourselves comes from how we think other
people think us. There are three phases of looking glass self. The first phase is we imagine
how others see us. This imagine that we have is based on how we think other are seeing us.
The second phase is we imagine how others are judging us. We start to prejudge onto them
that how we think theyre judging us. The third phase is how we feel about our imagination.
We develop our self identities based on how we feel were being perceived by others in
society. On the other hand, George Herbert Mead developed two versions of self- I and Me.
I represents our self identities based on response to the Me. Me represents what we
learn (behavior, attitudes, etc) through social interaction. Significant others is the important
role that shaping the behavior of others. Significant others will influence the self change in
behavior, motivation and expectation. They help to develop the self identities.

Meads three-stage process of self-development: In preparatory stage, children start imitates


people around them, especially the parents. At this time, they also start to understand the use
of symbol. In play stage, children start to develop skill in interacting with others and doing
role playing game. In game stage, children start to consider and understand their role and
position.
3.

Explain the dramaturgical approach. What occurs on front-stage? What happens in


backstage? How can Erving Goffmans idea of impression management and face-work
be used to understand social behavior?
Dramaturgical approach is the sociological perspective that studies the social interaction.
Erving Goffman pointed out that people have knowledge to drive the way they design to
behave and people could control how other see us. In front-stage, were in front of the public,
so we will try to put our best character out there for other people. We want them to like us
and accept us. In backstage, we will practice how to be socialize and relax because nobody
around us. Its more private in the backstage, and people will do what they want. We behave
and act differently in social setting around people, and people cant really see the real us. We
use impression management as tool to show our best side to other people.

4.

Identify the agents of socialization. What is the role of schools in gender role
socialization? How has technology (computer, cell phone, email, & TV) influenced the
socialization process?
Agent of socialization refers to individual and institution that help people successful function
in society. Family, school, media, government, religion, workplace, and peers group are all
agent of socialization. School provides stage and opportunity on developing the gender role
in society. Teacher will likely to calling on them to answer question and challenge them.
They will also encourage boy to be engineering or work on computer science in the future.
Technology is also part of agent of socialization. Technology plays a significant role on
influenced social attitude and behavior. People could learn many things through media that
include good thing and bad things. For example, people might imitate crime and violence
through media.

5.

What are total institutions? Identify Goffmans four traits of total institutions. Discuss
how a degradation ceremony is used to mortify ones sense of self.
Total institutions are the place where group of people are cut off from the rest of the society.
There are four traits of total institutions. First, all aspects of life are guide and control by a
single authority in the same place. Second, all the activities within institution are guide by
other people in the same circumstance. Third, the authorities have the power to devise any
rules and schedule. Fourth, all aspects of life within total institutions should obey the
authorities to achieve the purpose of organization. Degradation ceremony is introduced by
Harold Garfinkel. Degradation ceremony is a way that could restrain oneself. Law court is an

example. If you did bad thing, then you will be confine the range of eligibility within a
community.

6.

How does society deal with an elderly population? Discuss differences between
disengagement theory and activity theory? Finally, provide solutions to ageism.
An elderly population is always the weakest group in the society. They always easily
forgotten by society because people think the elder people would have hard time to keep up
with the pace of social development. Its hard for them to adapt the fast-changing society.
The disengagement theory refers to elder people are separate from the society in some way
because they disengage activities and isolated from social interaction. The theory states that
withdraw from social are inevitable and encourage the elder people to withdraw from social.
However, the activity theory refers to remain the elder people in need to stay active, maintain
social interaction, and involves in activities. This theory states that the elder people can still
maintain a role in society and encourage them to become active.
People should change their mind about ageism because we are all going to get older. I think
communication will be a good idea to solve the problem of ageism. We can learn their stories
and lesson from their experience. People should try to understand others and stand on their
side to see thing, then the world will better.