Sociology in Our Times

What is the extent to which people would become human beings without adequate socialization?

Socialization is the lifelong process through which individuals acquire their self-identity and learn the physical, mental, and social skills needed for survival in society. The kind of person we become depends greatly on what we learn during our formative years from our surrounding social groups and social environment. Social contact is essential in developing a self, or self-concept, which represents an individual’s perceptions and feelings of being a distinct or separate person. Much of what we think about ourselves is gained from our interactions with others and from what we perceive that others think of us.

What is the sociological perspective on human development?

According to Charles Horton Cooley’s concept of the looking-glass self, we develop a self-concept as we see ourselves through the perceptions of others. Our initial sense of self is typically based on how our families perceive and treat us. George Herbert Mead suggested that we develop a self-concept through role-taking and learning the rules of social interaction. According to Mead, the self is divided into the ‘I’ and the ‘me.’ The ‘I’ represents the spontaneous and unique traits of each person. The ‘me’ represents the internalized attitudes and demands of other members of society. – Excerpt from book: Sociology in Our Times by Diana Kendall, Professor of Sociology