Question 1: 1. Identify the reading chosen
The reading is entitled; Cycle of Socialization by Bobbie Harro. It was written in 2000. Harro (2000) explains the process of socialization from seven theoretical promises applying a cyclic interpretation. The cycle begins with first socialization whereby the individual interacts with family members. Next institutional and cultural socialization is cited; thirdly, enforcements; fourthly, are results, next directions for change emerges, sixth actions are pursued and finally the born again experience is embraced (Harro, 2000).
Harro (2000) makes two claims pertaining to socialization. First he advances that people associate their oppressive states of being with the process of socialization exploring differences instead of similarities. Further he emphasized that our social identity is unique and this is what we should try to appreciate in each other. While Socialization creates social identity everyone needs to take an invention of their unique way of socialization (Harro, 2000).
Question 11: 2. Analyze the topic using your sociological imagination
While Harro’s (2000) seven assumptions depicted in a cycle are valid explanations of the socialization process many schools of thought linking sociological imagination support as well as differ from these premises. For example, Klaus Hurrelmann (2009) links socialization to psychology in advancing ‘Model of Productive Processing of reality. This theorist contends that socialization is actuality personality development, which differs slightly from contemporary sociology arguing that man is a product of society of the environment (Hurrelmann, 2009).
In my sociological imagination looking at children develop; one amazing feature of socialization is language. Studies have shown where humans speak the language they hear growing up without any one teaching them. However, if the person was not socialized into that language culture it is difficult learning it. Then socialization is an insidious process to that point and valid too. How therefore, can social scientists explain giftedness aptitudes differences among children when they all grow up in the same environment? (Hurrelmann, 2009).
Here is where alternative theories blending sociology with psychology make scientific sense because humans are social beings, spiritual as well as physical. Precisely, sociology can help us understand socialization only from a sociological perspective. Harro’s cycle (2000) did not tread beyond the social aspect of socialization. The focus was on institutions, culture, social action, social enforcement and the gamut of social interactions (Harro, 2000). The truth is that human development is way beyond this dimension, which sociology cannot completely explain.
More importantly, Harro (2000) again contends that our socialization begins before we are born. He projects the assumption that gender identities emerge before birth because medical science is so advanced that gender of babies can be known as early as 16 weeks gestation. From then on parents and significant other relate towards the pregnancy from the perspective of gender. The question is does the infant emerge from a mother’s womb knowing how to suck or communicate from the premise of gender? If so when did this socialization occur? Harro (2000) argues that socialization begins before birth. In my opinion sociological imagination does not explain fully the how of this phenomenon. Herein lays the limitation of sociology explaining every aspect of socialization because man is not only a social or physical entity.
Question 111: Connect to personal experience
Harro (2000) discussed how first socialization occurs. His assumption is that it begins soon after birth. During this phase the infant child learns to love, identify with significant others and make an inference regarding his/her surroundings. Erikson (1994) who is not a sociologist contends that it is a process of trust versus mistrust which sociologist would define from the perspective of values (Bambi, 1990).
There is very little remembrance of my infancy and early childhood experiences. Growing up however, values begin to emerge. Sure enough some were different from what were demonstrated in my environment. Deep within me meanness was not a part of my external interaction. Loving people is my signature strength. Nonetheless, my parents were always at odds with each other as if there was no love between them and for us as children. Yet my socialization did not converge towards that direction.
A few of my siblings became very hateful and have pursued a life similar to my parents. Therefore, in applying modern theories of socialization how could the difference in me be explained from the assumption that man is a product of his environment. Connecting this theory to my personal experience it is not entirely true. It is more accurate to say that man is a product of himself or self whatever that emerges to be. Precisely, there are three aspects to the self-according to Charles Horton Cooley (1992) (Bambi, 1990).
Question 1V: Summary
In summarizing the main argument regarding socialization from Harro’s (2000) cycle it is my opinion that while the seven stages has its merit in contemporary sociology there are more to the process of socializations than institutionalization of values and core behaviors among groups of individuals. Society must function from the perspective of group behavior and sociology is the science predicting this behavior. However, its limitation in explaining socialization in humans is immense.
Bambi B. Schieffelin.The Give and Take of Everyday Life: Language, Socialization of Kaluli Children. Publisher CUP 1990.Print
Harro Bobbie. Cycle of Socilaization. New York Routledge. 2000. Print
Hurrelmann, Klaus, Social Structure and Personality Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2009. Print