Socialization is a complex, lifelong process.
The following slides highlight the work of six
researchers who made lasting contributions to
our understanding of human development.
1856 – 1939 90
Vienna, Austria 80
Lived during a time 60
when most Europeans 50
believed human 40 West
behavior was based on 30 North
biology/ was 20
“biologically fixed” 10
Trained as a physician 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Studied personality Qtr Qtr Qtr Qtr
Freud’s Model of Personality
Merged mankind’s basic needs with the
influence of society….*different/ unique as it
considered the role of / impact of society
rather than just biology/ biological factors
Identified 3 components
Represents the human’s basic drives which
are unconscious and demand immediate
Is present at birth: making the newborn a
“bundle of demands” (feed me, burp me,
change me, where’s my binky? etc.)
Noteworthy: society opposes the self-
centered “id” – which is why one of the first
words a child learns is no!
A person’s conscious efforts to balance innate
pleasure seeking drives with the demands of
Is a learned status that one matures / develops
“You can’t always get your way!”
“The world doesn’t revolve around you!”
The cultural values and norms internalized by
Acts as our conscience, telling us why we
can’t have everything we want.
Provides a moral sense of right and wrong
Forces people to look beyond themselves by
repressing selfish demands
Is in constant conflict with the id*
Freud’s term for the compromise that results
between the competing demands of self of
Redirects selfish drives into socially
Sexual urges may lead to marriage
Aggression may give rise to competitive sports
Mike Tyson & Boxing, remember him?
Sociologists applaud Freud…
While a psychologist, Freud’s recognition of
the impact of childhood experiences on our
personalities is fundamental sociological fact!
1896 – 1980
“how people think”
Personal Passion: to
discover not what you
knows but instead how
you know it: the
Jean Piaget: Cognitive Development
Identified four stages of cognitive
The First Stage
Sensorimotor: level of human development at which
individuals experience the world only through their
Birth to two years of age
Infant knows the world only through the five senses:
touching, tasting, smelling, looking, listening
“Knowing to children” = direct, sensory experience
Examples: “Choking Hazard Toys”
Why? => sensorimotor stage
Preoperational: the level of human development at
which individuals first use language and other
Lacks abstract concepts
Preop kids cannot judge size, weight, or volume
The famous glass experiment
Today is Friday. => No, it’s my birthday.
He’s not a hero. => He’s a fireman.
Begins at approximately 2 years of age to about 6
Concrete Operational: the level of human
development at which individuals first
perceive causal connections in their
Can attach more than one symbol to a particular
event or object
Today is Friday. => Yes, and it is my birthday, too!
Ages 7 – 11
Formal Operational: level of human
development at which individuals think
abstractly and critically
Can fully embrace symbolism
“a penny for your thoughts”
“hold your tongue”
Begins around the age of 12…
How’d you do?
Cold as ice…
Flat as a pancake…
(It’s a) piece of cake…
It’s raining cats and dogs…
Take a walk in my shoes… / you’ve got big
shoes to fill…
Protect the family jewels…
Summary of Piaget…
DIFFERED WITH FREUD:
While Freud saw biology and culture (society) as
antagonistic to the human experience, Piaget saw the
human mind as both active and creative thereby able to
evolve over time and with experience.
These stages of development result due to both biological
maturation AND social experience.
(a complimentary, not antagonistic, co-existance)
Interestingly, perhaps as many as 30% of people
never reach the formal operational stage….
FROM PIAGET TO KOHLBERG
A study of what is it is to be human: “the moral mind”
What about morality?
HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY PIAGET
BUILT ON PIAGET’S WORK IN
STUDYING MORAL REASONING, THE
WAYS IN WHICH INVIDUALS JUDGE
SITUATIONS AS RIGHT OR WRONG
CONCLUDED THAT MORAL REASONING,
LIKE COGNITION, DEVELOPED IN
THE FIRST STAGE: PRECONVENTIONAL
COINCIDES WITH PIAGET’S
SENSORIMOTOR STAGE - BIRTH TO 2 YRS.
“WHAT FEELS GOOD TO ME”
“WHAT I WANT”
“THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND ME”
“IT’S RIGHT CAUSE I WANT IT TO BE RIGHT.”
The Second Stage: CONVENTIONAL
Coincides with Piaget’s final, FORMAL
OPERATIONAL STAGE – TEENAGE YRS. +
Understands, has been socialized, to understand
parental expectations/ sense of right and wrong as
well as overall societal expectations regarding
Children want to follow rules in order to get
The third & final stage: POSTCONVENTIONAL
WHERE SCENARIOS ARE ANALYZED SUCH AS
“WHAT IS LEGAL MAY NOT BE RIGHT…”
HIGHER LEVEL THINKING APPLIED TO ISSUES OF
MORALITY – NOT what society/ mom & dad teaches
but what you think!
THE INDIVIDUAL IS MORE FLEXIBLE & THINKS
IN TERMS OF WHAT’S PERSONALLY IMPORTANT
TO THEM – only a small proportion reach this final stage
Summary of Kohlberg
Like Piaget, development occurs in distinct stages
Many people apparently never reach the postconventional
(highest-level) of moral reasoning.
A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH KOHLBERG’S WORK: A
RESEARCH ERROR OF ONLY STUDYING BOYS &
THEN GENERALIZING THE RESULTS OF MALE
SUBJECTS TO ALL PEOPLE. A MAJOR NO – NO!
HOW ONE MAN’S ERROR FED
ONE WOMAN’S CURIOUSITY
THEREBY TRIGGERING A
PASSION FOR GENDER STUDY….
THE KOHLBERG – GILLIGAN
CAROL GILLIGAN: UP CLOSE
AN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST AT
HER WORK EXPOSED THE GENDER BIAS OF
KOHLBERG’S RESEARCH AND OTHERS WHO
ONLY CONSIDERED BOYS
A PIONEER IN RECOGNIZING THE
IMPORTANCE OF GENDER IN RESEARCH…..
(PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT JUST A SOCIOLOGY – RESEARCH – ONLY
CONCERN…. BIG PROBLEMS ABOUND REGARDING MEDICAL STUDIES AS
GILLIGAN: By ignoring gender, we end up
with an incomplete view of human behavior.
Compared the moral development of girls &
boys and concluded that the two sexes use
different strategies in making moral decisions.
Claims that males have a justice perspective,
relying on formal rules to define right and wrong.
Claims that females have a care and
responsibility perspective, judging a situation
with an eye toward personal relationships.
Carol Gilligan: the gender factor
Differing perspectives regarding morality:
the stealing scenario
Boys: stealing is wrong because it breaks the law.
Illegal = wrongness
Girls: stealing might be wrong – tended to inquire
why someone would steal and to be sympathetic who
steals to feed a hungry child or other similar situation
the effect of gender on self-esteem
Research team interviewed more than 2,000 girls,
ages 6 – 18, over a five year period.
Young girls start out eager and confident, but their self-
esteem erodes through adolescence.
Eager to please – lots of role models w/ elementary teachers (
How about it? Who was your kindergarten teacher, first grade,
second grade, third grade, etc.?)
Teenage years: self-doubt, more male authority figures, image
issues, “drama” & “mean girls”
Eventual come-back in adulthood:
“You’re not really a woman until you are 40.” Oprah Winfrey
A GILLIGAN TIME-OUT!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
How does Gilligan’s research show the
importance of gender in understanding society?
How does her work show that socialization may
NOT be a direct and linear progression?
Do you think that boys are subject to some of the
same pressures and difficulties as girls? How?
Gilligan: A Summary
Sharpens our understanding of human development
AND gender issues
What accounts for the differences she documents
between males and females? Nature or nurture?
According to Gilligan, it’s nurture!
Cultural conditioning is at work.
As women continue to pervade the workplace, the moral
reasoning of women and men will become increasingly
George Herbert Mead:
The Social Self
Mead (1863 – 1931)
Developed the theory of SOCIAL
BEHAVIORISM to explain how social
experience creates individual personality/
George Herbert Mead
It is said that Mead’s genius was in seeing the self as
the product of social experience.
The part of an individual’s personality composed of self-
awareness and self-image.
Develops with social experience.
Is NOT part of the body.
Does NOT exist at birth.
Develops only as the individual interacts with others.
The Self (con’t.)
Social interaction is key!
Supported by social isolation cases
Genie’s body grew but there was no “self” / no
personality at the time of her discovery…
Social interaction involves seeing ourselves as
others see us – a process called taking the role
of the other…
The Looking Glass Self
A self-image based on how we think others
“I am not who I think I am. I am not who you
think I am. I am what I think you think I am!”