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Oxford University Press
Children and Society: The Sociology of Children and Childhood Socialization / Edition 1

Children and Society: The Sociology of Children and Childhood Socialization / Edition 1


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Children and Society: The Sociology of Children and Childhood Socialization / Edition 1

Children and Society presents a comprehensive sociological portrayal of children and childhood from birth to the beginning of adolescence. A major theme is the tension between children's active agency and the socializing influences of the family, school, peer groups, and mass media. The book incorporates the most recent research and theories of childhood socialization. Its theoretical perspective is primarily symbolic interactionism which emphasizes the development of the self. The volume features research that documents cultural variations within American society shaped by social class, race and ethnicity, and gender.

Children and Society is organized into four parts, each with an introduction. Part I, "Understanding Childhood Socialization," consists of four chapters. Chapter One reviews how social scientists have conceptualized children, leading to today's understanding of childhood as a social construction. Chapter Two briefly discusses the characteristics of the human organism that both require and make socialization possible, and the characteristics of society that receives the newborn. Chapter Three reveals the range of meaning of the concept of socialization in western and non-western societies and includes a review of the history of western childhoods. Chapter Four offers a careful exposition of the development of the self.

Part II, "Agencies of Socialization," focuses on the major agencies that help shape the development of the self in the United States and similar societies. One chapter each covers families, schools, peer groups, and mass media respectively. "Diversities of Socialization" are the focus of Part III. Whereas Chapter Four presented a general account of how the self develops, the three chapters of Part III examine the variations that are shaped by social class, race, ethnicity and neighborhood, and gender. The single chapter in Part IV, "Looking Back and Looking Ahead," stresses that socialization is a life-long process. It briefly sketches issues of continuity and discontinuity in socialization throughout adolescence, adult life, old age, and death.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195330786
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/04/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 372
Sales rank: 448,937
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

City University of New York

University of South Florida

York University, Toronto

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction: Understanding Childhood Socialization
Complexities of Childhood Socialization
Limitations of the Study of Socialization
Organization of the Book
Chapter 1: Studying Children
Competing Images of Children and Childhood
The Natural Development of Children
The Social Inculcation of Children
The Social Construction of Children
Appreciating the Complexities of Children's Lives
Methods of Studying Children
Chapter 2: Foundations of Socialization
Isolated Children
The Human Organism
An Ongoing Society
Chapter 3: Cultural and Historical Constructions of Childhood
Socialization in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Children in Non-Western Societies
The History of Western Childhood
Continuing Cultural Contrasts: Japan and the United States
Chapter 4: Basic Processes and Outcomes of Socialization
Society and Socialization
Emotionally Significant Relationships
Symbols, Language, and Interaction
Language and Memory
Language Mastery
The Significance of Significant Others
Development of the Self
Play Stage and Game Stage
Time and Outcomes of Socialization
More about the Self
Self Concept, Identity, Self Esteem, Self Efficacy
Sentiments and Emotions
Values and the Self
Incipient Adult Roles
Truncated Childhood, Premature Adulthood
A Stock of Social Knowledge
Part II: Agencies of Socialization
Chapter 5: Families
Some Cross-Cultural Comparisons
Families in the Community
Families as Groups of Interacting Persons
Family Composition and Interaction
Two-Parent First-Marriage Families
Single Mothers
Teenage Mothers
Grandparents in the 21st century
Chapter 6: Schools
Preschools and Daycare Centers
Head Start
Daycare Centers
School and Society
The Classroom as an Organization
Class Size
Moral Climate
Family-School Interaction
Chapter 7: Peer Groups
Peer Culture
Peer Group Structures and Processes
Play Groups
Chapter 8: Media of Mass Communication
The Major Issues
Viewing as an Activity
Violent Program Content and Children's Aggression
The Power of Advertising
Gender and Racial Stereotyping
Research Methods in Television Studies
Content Analysis
Audience Interpretive Response
Theories of the Relationship Between Children and Television
Uses and Gratifications
Cultivation Theory
Computers, The Internet, and Video Games
Access to Computers
Implications for Socialization
Video Games
Computers, Parental Authority, and Children's Autonomy
Part III: Diversities of Socialization
Chapter 9: Social Class
Upper Class
Upper-Middle Class
Middle Class
Working Class
Working Poor
The Underclass
Social Class and Individualism
Chapter 10: Ethnic Groups, Minorities, and Neighborhood Communities
African American Socialization
White European Ethnic Groups
Hispanic, Caribbean, and Asian Immigrants
Neighborhood Communities
Chapter 11: Sex, Gender, and Socialization
Sex Category and Social Organization
Sex and the Social Division of Labor
Sex and Gender Hierarchies
The Biology of Sex
The Development of Sex-Related Characteristics
Nature and Nurture
Socialization Processes and Agents
Family Interaction
The Media
Preschools and Schools
Peer Relations and Cultures
The Complexities of Gender Socialization
Part IV: Continuities With and Discontinuities From Childhood
Chapter 12: Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Socialization in Adolescence
Socialization in Adult Life
Socialization in Aging and Death

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