Theories of socialisation

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  • Theories of socialisation
    • Functionalist
      • Social behaviour is regulated by social control
      • Socialisation creates a consensus where everyone internalises the same norms and values
      • Behaviour which doesn't conforms with society's expectations is deviant.
      • Parsons - the family acts as a 'personality factory' where children want to be like there parent of the same sex, which influences their behaviour.
      • Parsons - education teaches values of fair competition, striving for success and honest conduct.
      • Religion creates social codes for people to follow promoting social conformity.
    • Marxism
      • Designed to benefit the ruling class
      • Education promotes values of obedience, respect for authority, acceptance of failure.
      • Socialisation prevents working class aspiration
      • Religion creates as false class consciousness promising reward for suffering in the afterlife.
    • Feminism
      • Socialisation is a form of indoctrination
      • Oakley - parents socialise their children to fit with gender appropriate ideals
      • Liberal feminists believe that by confronting gender stereotypes equal opportunities for men and women ca be created.
      • Radical feminists think patriarchal ideas are deep rooted in society.
    • Interactionist
      • Socialisation involves a two way social interaction
      • Handel - three key stages of childhood development = communication, empathy, sense of self
      • Mead - social control depends on how far people take on the attitudes of others
      • Indoctrination is not the only way to socialise people, pear groups put pressure on people to either conform or rebel, this happens to both children at school and adults at work.
      • Your background influences the you are socialised
      • Interactionists dont pay enough attention to social factors and institutions
    • Postmodernist
      • People can resist socialisation
      • Lyotard - people can choose who to listen to and what values to believe in
      • No single institution has a monopoly on knowledge
      • There is no single accepted version of the truth so many sets of norms and values exist helping people to resist socialisation.


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