Sociology: Notes
Chapter 5
Ch. 5 – Sociology 
Socializing the Individual 
I. Personality Development 
A. Personality- sum total of behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and values characteristic of an individual 
1. Personality traits determine how we adjust to our environment & how we will react. 
2. People’s personalities continue to develop throughout their lifetimes.

B. Heredity- The transmission of genetic characteristics from parents to children (Nature) 
1. Instinct- unchanging behavior, biologically inherited behavior pattern. 

2. Nature supporters: claim everything from laughing, warfare, religion & creation of society explained by various instincts 
3. Nurture supporters: attribute human behavior & personality to environmental factors and social learning. 

C. Sociobiology- systematic study of the biological basis of all social behaviors. 
1. Sociologists believe personality & social behavior result from a mix of hereditary and environmental influences. 
-environmental factors have the most influences. 

2. 4 factors affecting personality and behavior 
a. Our personalities are influenced by whether we have brothers, sisters, both, or neither. 
b. Children with brothers and sisters have a different view of the world than children who have no brothers and sisters. 
c. Parental Influences: 
Age, education, religious orientation, economic status, cultural heritage, and occupational background. 
d. Each culture gives rise to a series of personality traits that are typical of member of that society. How we experience our culture also influences our own personalities. 

D. Heredity: 
1. Aptitude- capacity to learn a particular skill or acquire a particular body of knowledge. 
a. Many aptitudes result from inherited qualities or from a combination of heredity and environment. 
b. Children raised apart from humans exhibit few human characteristics other than appearance. 
c. Institutionalization: 
d. Children raised in institutions, such as orphanages or hospitals, may show characteristics of isolated children. 
e. Children raised apart from humans exhibit few human characteristics other than appearance. 
f. Children raised in institutions, such as orphanages or hospitals, may show characteristics of isolated children. 

2. Charles Cooley (1864 - 1929): 
a. Looking-glass self 
i. The three step process of the looking-glass self: 
-Imagine how we appear to others. 
-Based on others reactions, we attempt to determine whether others view us as we view ourselves. 
-We use our perceptions of how others judge us to develop feelings about ourselves. 
This process of identity begins very early in childhood. 

3. George Mead (1836 - 1931): 
Role taking 
Significant others 
Generalized others 

Me 

4. The Family: 
a. The most important agent of socialization in almost every society. 
b. Experiences within the family help determine the type of person an individual becomes. 
c. Socialization in a family setting can be both deliberate and unconscious. 
5. Peer group 
a. The School: 
i. Large amounts of unintentional socialization occurs within the school. 
b. Mass Media 
c. Other Agents of Socialization: 
i. Religion 
ii. Total Institution 
iii. Resocialization