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Notes on Socialization and the social construction of self and identity

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´╗┐Sociology Classwork Pg.46-50 Socialization and the social construction of self and identity Identity is something that is socially constructed. Identity is not something that is given by biology or nature e.g. Being black or white, female or male, only have significance in society because people attach some importance to these characteristics, and define people in terms of these categories. There is a close link between culture, identity and socialization. The Socialization process passes them both on generation to generation. Jenkins (1996) argues that identities are formed in the socialization process. Learning the culture of a society involves learning the roles, or patterns of behaviour, that are expected by individuals in different positions in society. Through meeting other people, individuals learn to know what they can expect from others, to have a particular view of themselves, and also learn about how others see and define them. ...read more.


Social action approach see individuals having control over the formation of their identities, rather than identities simply formed by the social structure. The way that interation between individuals can form and change indentities is illustrated in works by Goffman, Mead and Cooley. The ?looking-glass self? Mead argues that as children grow up, they learn to develop a sense of themselves ? their self-concept ? and the qualities they have that make them different from others. They begin to develop an idea of how others see them Cooley used the idea of the looking-glass to explain this. ?Looking-glass self?: our image of ourselves is reflected back to us in the views of others. People are so consious abouot how they look and how others see them, that they begin to modfiy and change their view of themselves and their behaviour. ...read more.


A third way: structuration Giddens (2006) argues that there is a middle way between these structure and action approaches ? Structuration. Social sturcture limted the way people react/behave also adapt different identities. Social action and social structure are independent. Activity 1 Explain what Garfinkel meant by a ?cultural dope? and Goffman by ?impression management?. 2 Suggest ways in which you try to manage the impressions of yourself that you give to other people , drawing on things like behavour, speech, dress, consumer goods, personal appearand and so on. Do yoou always succeed in giving the impression you want? Explain why or why not you might succeed. 3 With reference to Cooley?s idea of the ?looking-glass self?, explain, with examples, how the reactions of others might encourage people to change how they view themselves. 4 Write a short essay, about one and a half sides of A4 paper, answering the following question: Examine different sociological approaches to the formation of identities through socialization. (500 words) Natasha Ogbe ...read more.

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