Socialization is the process by which individuals develop into social beings. Examines various theories of socialization and human development. Explores the role played by social structure and institutions in the integration of the individual into society.
"Everyday social life—our thoughts, actions, feelings, decisions, interactions—is the product of a complex interplay between societal forces and personal characteristics. To explain why people are the way they are, we must understand the interpersonal, historical, cultural and organizational environments they inhabit. To understand either individuals or society, we must understand both (C.W. Mills, 1959)".
But this is easier said than done. Americans, for instance, live in an individualistic society dominated by explanations of human behavior that understand problems in individualistic terms—personality, psychology and biology. Most of us assume that what we say, feel, do and think are private phenomena. That is, we believe that we choose what we say, what we wear, what we eat and with whom we mate. Yet, social phenomena—ideas about age, race, gender, sexuality and class—shape our most intimate behaviors. This class is an exploration of some of these social phenomena and of some human behaviors.
Student learning goals
To understand the concepts of "individual and society" and the way in which social scientists have debated the nature of and relationship between these concepts.
To become a better critical thinker and writer--one who is capable of posing, answering and reposing a variety of critical questions, as they are related to the "individual and society."
To become a better speaker--one who is able to communicate clearly and engagingly about complicated topics, arguments and issues.
To be able to employ key interdisciplinary social science concepts to the study of the "individual and society" in order to foster the development of perspective taking and critical viewing
To be able to pose and explore a key question(s) in the study of the individual and society in a research project
General method of instruction
The method of instruction for this course includes lecture, films, in-class student discussion and small group work.
Class assignments and grading
The nature of assignments include formal and informal written assignments, class participation and student presentations. A final portfolio consisting of all assignments for the course is required. This class makes use of blackboard for furthering discussion circles.