Sociology 410 (Socialization)

Course Syllabus


Course: Sociology 410-001 (Socialization)

Spring 2015

9:35 a.m.-10:55 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday

Grise Hall 134


Instructor: Dr. Steve Groce

                  Office: 131 Grise Hall

                  Phone: 745-2253


                  Web Page:



     There is no text book for this course.  Reading material comes in the form of articles online at my web page.  Follow the course outline to know which articles you need to read for which class meetings. 

Note: Different versions of Adobe Acrobat react somewhat differently to .pdf files.  If you try to open an article from the web page and you get either a blank page or an error message, try downloading the most recent (newest) version of Acrobat (free).  If that doesn’t solve the problem, try the following:

            1) right click on the link

            2) click “Save Target As”

            3) save to your desktop

4) either double click on the icon on your desktop, or open Acrobat and then open  

    the file from within Acrobat


Course Objective:

     In some ways socialization may be considered the foundational course in sociology.  It is our discipline's contribution to the "nature-nurture" debate.  I want students to come away from this course with a deep appreciation for the countless ways in which the external--society, culture, language, interaction with others--constantly molds, shapes, and influences everything from how we learn to fit into society (norms, roles), to how we behave in the presence of others (language, social interaction), to how we come to think about ourselves as unique human beings (self, identity, gender identity), and finally, to how we feel in different social situations as we interact with others (emotion).  In short, this course focuses on how the social DNA surrounding us at every turn affects us over the entire course of our lives--from the very moment we are born until we are no longer counted among the living.



     I have no set attendance policy.  I do, however, expect to see you in class each time because much of our effort will be devoted to material not included in the

assigned readings.  You will be responsible for all material we cover on the exams.



Grade Determination:

     I assign grades based on: 1) three in-class exams; 2) a journal in which you write (at least three times a week) about your thoughts on the socialization process, your sense of self and identity, things you observe in the world around you that tell us something about socialization, the assigned readings, our class discussions, etc. (Bring journals to each class meeting to aid discussions); and 3) a number of unannounced in-class quizzes.

     I expect you to take exams and turn in journals on the days designated in this syllabus.  I accept only legitimate, documented excuses.  In all other cases I will deduct one letter grade for each day your journal is late.  You MUST turn in hard copies of your journals.  I will NOT accept journals emailed to me (the Sociology Department does not have sufficient resources to act as your personal printing service—which it would, in effect, become if I had to print out your journals in my office).

      I grade on the standard ten-point scale (90-100=A, 80-89=B, etc.).  You will have four major grades this semester, all of which carry the same weight--the three exams, plus the average of your three journal grades.  You will have one minor grade--the overall grade on pop quizzes.  The four major grades count two and one-half times more than the minor grade in the determination of your final grade.

     Note: In order for us to get maximum benefit from this class, you will need to collect some materials from your past.  These materials include pictures of you when you were a small child, favorite toys/books that you enjoyed when you were little, board games you played as a child, and at least one high school yearbook (senior year, preferably).  You will need to bring these materials to class as specified below.


Office Hours:

     My office in 131 Grise Hall. My office hours are 7:00-8:00 a.m on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 3:00-4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.  If these times are not convenient for you, just call me at the office or e-mail me and we'll schedule an appointment.


Students With Disabilities:

     In compliance with university policy, students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Services in DUC A-200 of the Student Success Center in Downing University Center.  Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor without a letter of accommodation from the Office for Student Disability Services.


The Learning Center (TLC) (located in the Academic Advising and Retention Center,

     Should you require academic assistance with this, or any other, course, there are several places that can provide you with help. TLC tutors in most major undergraduate subjects and course levels throughout the week . To make an appointment, or to request a tutor for a specific class, call 745-6254 or stop by DUC A330. Log on to TLC’s website at <> to find out more. TLC hours: M-Thur. 8am-9pm, Fri. 8am-4pm, Sat.-Closed, and Sundays 4pm-9pm.


Tentative Schedule


Jan. 27 Introduction; basic concepts of socialization


Jan. 29 Basic concepts of socialization; Culture and the socialization process

Readings: Zerubavel, "The Social Lens"

                                    Arnett, “Broad and Narrow Socialization. . .” and Narrow Socialization.pdf


Feb. 3 Theories of socialization: Freud, Erikson, Piaget


Feb. 5 Theories of socialization: Bandura, Durkheim


Feb. 10 Theories of socialization: symbolic interactionism; film

                  Readings: Becker, "Symbols and Minds"

                                   Berger and Luckmann, "Everyday Life and Social Reality"


Feb. 12 Theories of socialization: symbolic interactionism; film

                  Readings: Thomas, "The Definition of the Situation"

                                   Cooley, "The Self as Sentiment and Reflection"


Feb. 17  Theories of socialization: George Herbert Mead, reference groups

                  Reading: Shibutani, "Reference Groups as Perspectives" 


Feb. 19 Theories of socialization: Chicago and Iowa symbolic interactionism

                  Readings: Zhao, “The Digital Self. . .” Digital Self.pdf

                                   Stein, “Getting Away From It All. . .” Vacation Identities.pdf


Feb. 24 Language, symbols, and emotions

                  Readings: Hochschild, "Emotion Work and Feeling Rules" 

                                   Nenga, “Social Class and Structures of Feeling. . .” and Social Class.pdf

                  Review for exam; turn in journals

Feb. 26 Exam #1


Mar. 3 Childhood socialization; film; return exams

                  Reading: Davis, "Final Note on a Case of Extreme Isolation"


Mar. 5  Childhood socialization; film; assign pictures and toys

                  Readings: Cahill, "Children's Socialization to Civility"'ssocialization.pdf

                                   Fine, "Culture Creation and Diffusion. . ."


Mar. 9-13 No Class (Spring Break)


Mar. 17 Childhood socialization: Gender and sexuality; pictures and toys exercise;

               assign games

                  Readings: Strelb, “Class Reproduction by Four Year Olds" Reproduction by Four Year Olds.pdf

                                   Thorne, "Borderwork Among Girls and Boys"  

                                   Thorne and Luria, "Sexuality and Gender in Children's. . ."


Mar. 19 Childhood socialization; games exercise; assign yearbooks

                  Readings: Myers and Raymond, “Elementary School Girls and 


                                   Goldstein and Oldham, "A Child's Eye View of Work"'sEyeViewofWork-GoldsteinOldham.pdf

           Ausdale and Feagin, “Young Children’s Racial and Ethnic       

           Definitions of Self” Children’s Racial Ethnic.pdf


Mar. 24 Adolescent socialization; yearbooks exercise

                  Readings: Simon, Eder, and Evans, "The Development of Feeling. . ."

                                   Orenstein, "Fear of Falling: Sluts"

                                   Milkie, “Media Images’ Influence on Adolescent Girls. . .” Images Adolescent Girls.pdf


Mar. 26 Adolescent socialization; film

                   Reading: Chaplin and John, “Growing Up in a Material World. . .” Esteem and Materialism.pdf

          Best, “Parents, Kids, and Cars” Kids Cars.pdf

          Hoffner, Levine and Toohey, “Socialization to Work in Late

                                  Adolescence. . .” to Work in Late Adolescence.pdf


Mar. 31 Adolescent socialization; film

                    Reading: Fox, et al, “The Role of Facebook in Romantic Relationship 

                                   Development. . .” Role of Facebook in Romantic Relationships.pdf


Apr. 2 Adolescent socialization; film


Apr. 7 Adolescent socialization


                                      Karp, Holstrom, and Gray, "Leaving Home for College. . ."

                                       Padilla-Walker, et al, “Because I’m Still the Parent, That’s Why:  

                                       Parental Legitimate Authority During Emerging Adulthood ” I’m Still the Parent.pdf

                                       Hamilton and Armstrong, “Gendered Sexuality in Young       


                     Adult socialization: language, scripts


Apr. 9 Adult socialization

                  Readings: Berger and Kellner, "Marriage and the Construction of. . ."

                                    Doering, “Face, Accounts, . . .in Relationship Breakups” Breakups.pdf

                        Hogergrugge, et al, "Dissolving Long-Term Relationships. . ." Long-Term Romantic Relationships.pdf 

                                     Vennum, et al, “It’s Complicated: The Continuity and Correlates 

                                     of Cycling in Cohabitating and Marital Relationships” Again, Off Again Relationships.pdf


Apr. 14 Adult socialization; Turn in journals; review for exam

                  Readings: Carpenter, “Gendered Sexuality Over the Life Course” Sexuality Over the Life Course.pdf

                                    Small, “Material Memories Ethnography. . .” Memories.pdf

                                    Rauer, et al, “Growing Old Together. . .” Old Together.pdf


Apr. 16 Exam #2


Apr. 21 Agents of socialization: Family; Return exams

                  Readings: Betts, et al, "Parental Rearing Style As a Predictor. . . " Rearing Styles.pdf

                                    Carlson and Berger, “What Kids Get from Parents. . .” Kids Get From Parents.pdf

                                    Elliott, “Parents’ Construction of Teen Sexuality. . .” and Teen Sexuality.pdf


Apr. 23 Agents of socialization: Peer groups; film

                  Reading:   Kwon and Lease, “Perceived Influence of Close Friends, Well-    

                                    Liked Peers, and Popular Peers” of Peers.pdf

                                    Faith et al., “Recalled Childhood Teasing. . .” Teasing.pdf


Apr. 28 Agents of socialization: Peer groups; film

                  Reading: Wooten, “From Labeling Possessions to Possessing Labels. . .” and Socialization among Adolescents.pdf

          Manthos, et al, “A New Perspective On Hooking Up Among   

          College Students” Up.pdf

          Stuber, Klugman and Daniel, “Gender, Social Class, and Exclusion:

                                  Collegiate Peer Cultures and Social Reproduction” Peer Culture.pdf


Apr. 30 Agents of socialization: Education

                  Readings: Kapferer, “Socialization and the Symbolic Order of the School” in Educational Socialization.pdf

                                    Rosenthal and Jacobson, "Pygmalion in the Classroom. . ."

                                   Schafer, Olexa and Polk, "Programmed for Social Class. . ."


May 5 Agents of socialization: Mass Media

                  Readings: Ryan and Wentworth, "Mass Media Effects I: Individual. . ."

                                   Ryan and Wentworth, "Mass Media Effects II: Societal. .


May 7 Agents of socialization: Total institutions

                  Readings: Zurcher, "Navy Boot Camp: Role Assimilation. . ."

                                   Dyer, "Anybody's Son Will Do"'sSonWillDo.pdf

                                   Schmid and Jones, "Suspended Identity. . ." 

                  Turn in journals; review for exam


Final Exam: Thursday, May 14, 1:00-3:00 p.m.


If you have comments or suggestions, email me at