Semester Final Project

By: Alex Copp


  • Socialization is the cultural process of learning to participate in group life. This learning process takes place through transmission which means the act or process of conveying information from one person to another.
  • Socialization begins at birth and continues throughout life. If is successful it allows people to fit into different social groups.
  • Socialization is important in early life. Without a long period of time of social contact children do not learn basics such as walking, talking and loving. Without socialization for children when they are born they can't develop the attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviors associated with being an individual in society.
  • If children do not have socialization then they can not develop language, if they cant develop language then they cant understand human relationships and without understanding they cant form bonds.
  • Psychologists Harry and Margaret Harlow did an experiment with rhesus monkeys when they were babies. They isolated the monkeys for different lengths of time and the brought them back to group life. The monkeys that were isolated for 3 months where able to rejoin into group life but the ones that where isolated for six months where rejected by the other monkeys.
  • In a different experiment they separated the monkeys from their mothers at birth They exposed the monkeys to fake mothers. One of the mother monkeys where just wires and the other one was covered with a soft cloth. The infant monkeys consistently went to the mother that had cloth.
  • Even though humans are not monkeys experts think that humans are the same way.
  • symbolic interactionism uses a number of key of key concepts which include self concept, looking glass self, significant others, role taking, generalizing other, and the me and I.


  • Culture refers to knowledge, language, customs and physical objects that are passed from generation to generation among members of a group.
  • On the mental side, culture in the United States include physical objects such as sky scrappers computers, cell phones, and cars. On the non-material side it includes beliefs, rules, customs, family systems and a capital economy.
  • One rule of culture is to help explain human behavior. what people do and don't do, what they like and dislike what they believe and don't believe, and what they value and discount are all based on culture.
  • Another role of culture is to provide the blue print that people in society use to guide their relationships with others. It is because of culture that teenage girls are encouraged to compete for a position on the womens basketball team it is from culture that teenage boys come to believe that pumping iron is a gateway to masculinity,
  • A society is a group of people who live in a defined territory and participate in common culture. All of the different elements of culture, Knowledge, language, values, customs, and physical objects, from a whole culture that defines that society's total way of life
  • Human behavior is based on culture. Since people are not born knowing their culture, human cultural behavior must be learned. people develop mental outlines based on their experience or memory.
  • Instincts are generally inherited patterns of behavior. Nonhuman animal such as insects are very dependable on instincts for survival. Human infants can not depend as much on instincts alone. Instincts are not enough to solve problems humans face.
  • If humans were controlled by instincts alone they would all behave in the same way with respect to those instincts. For example women had an instinct for mothering, then all women would love and protect their child

Sociology of Sport

  • As a social institution, sport fulfills important societal needs. It teaches some of the basic values of society, promotes attachment to society, and helps individuals identify with other members of society.

  • Sport in American society reflects the culture's emphasis on achievement.

  • It also reflects the male-dominated society in America, although much progress has been made toward equality in sports. The relationship between sport, society, and culture can also be seen in sport subcultures.

  • Although sociologists agree that sport mirrors society and that the relationship is complex, they disagree over the social implications of sport. Functionalists think sport is important primarily because it helps society work more smoothly.

  • It teaches basic beliefs and values, promotes a sense of social identification, offers a safe release of aggressive feelings, and encourages the development of character.

  • To conflict theorists, sport is a social institution in which the most powerful oppress, manipulate, coerce, and exploit others. Symbolic interactionists are concerned with the personal meaning, social relationships, and symbols of sports.

  • Sport contributes to upward social mobility among collegiate athletes, but the opportunities are few and divert attention from learning academic and business-related skills necessary for success.

  • Minorities continue to face discrimination in sport. Women suffer from gender-based stereotypes, although this situation is slowly improving.

Social Structure, Anomie, Reflexive and Social Norms

  • To be reflexive, in the sociological sense, means that we reflect on and contemplate our own position in the world.

  • Sociologists often speak about walking in the shoes of others and seeing the bigger picture. These are both important components of the sociological imagination. But in order to do either of these things one must first be reflexive.
  • Learning to be reflexive can be challenging. Many of us are comfortable in our taken-for-granted reality and we are not too eager to leave it. Moreover, we often don’t realize that we see the world through a specific set of lenses and that others see the world through their own distinctive lenses.
  • Social norms are guidelines for expected behaviors thus they also point us in the direction that our society has as the right way.
  • Breaking norms in extreme ways, such as hurting another person, can disrupt society. Norm breaking can affect many different lives in much the same way that a traffic accident can.
  • When people break social norms, we often think negatively about them. Deviance in one area often leads us to expect deviance in other areas.
  • Anomie is a sense of normlessness. Societies that have competing norms or a total absence of norms experience more crime, instability, and a lack of cohesion.
  • Sociological imagination can enrich your life as you navigate the choices, opportunities, and barriers that we all encounter. It can explain why there might be so many opportunities or barriers in your path.

Sociological Imagination

  • Social structure refers to the patterned ways in which people interact in social relationships. This focus on patterns rather than individual actions is part of the unique perspective of sociology.
  • Perspective is a particular point of view. Babies are usually brighter and better looking to their parents than they are to others. Newlyweds nearly always find their spouses much more attractive than their friends do.
  • We normally do not realize how much of our attitudes and beliefs are determined by our perspectives. Sociology looks beyond personal perspectives and is interested in exposing the causes and sources of human behavior. This is known as the debunking tendency.
  • The sociological perspective focuses on the social, or group, level. Sociologists are interested in the patterns of behavior shared by members of a group or society. They want to understand how individuals are influenced by the society and culture in which they live.
  • Sociologists do not focus on the behavior of individuals but on the patterns of behavior shared by members of a group or society. Sociologists attempt to explain these same events without relying on personal factors.
  • Sociologists do not speak of a young man, a toddler, a factory worker, or a teenager. They concentrate on categories of people, young men, toddlers, factory workers, and teenagers.
  • Sociologists assume that social relationships are not determined only by the particular characteristics of the people involved.
  • Conformity within a group occurs because members have been taught to value the group’s ways. Members generally tend to conform even when their personal preferences are not the same as the group’s. Teens who start smoking only to gain group acceptance are an example of conformity.


Each of these 5 topic are similar because they all have to deal with social development. Socialization has to deal with being in a group or a society, culture is a group of people who believe in the same thing, Sport is a type of society you can be apart of, and social structure is how people act in society.

Applicable in Life

These topics are applicable in life because without them you wouldn't be able to do stuff that you can normally do. For example with socialization if you are not a part of group life and you are away from physical human contact as a child then you will never learn how to walk or talk normally