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Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, politicians and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies. It may provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society; a society itself is formed through a plurality of shared norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’.

Socialization, however, is not a normative term: it describes a process which may or may not affect the reflexiveagent, and which may or may not lead to desirable, or 'moral', outcomes. Individual views on certain issues, such as race or economics, may be socialized (and to that extent normalized) within a society. Many socio-political theories postulate that socialization provides only a partial explanation for human beliefs and behaviours; that agents are not 'blank slates' predetermined by their environment. Scientific research provides strong evidence that people are shaped by both social influences and their hard-wired biological makeup. Genetic studies have shown that a person's environment interacts with their genotype to influence behavioural outcomes, whilst the linguistic theory of generative grammar demonstrates how something such as the capacity for learning changes throughout one's lifetime. (See also: Nature vs. Nurture; Structure vs. Agency)


Socialization is the primary means by which human infants begin to acquire the skills necessary to perform as a functioning member of their society, and is the most influential learning processes one can experience. Although cultural variability is manifest in the actions, customs, and behaviors of whole social groups (societies), the most fundamental expression of culture is found at the individual level. This expression can only occur after an individual has been socialized by its parents, family, extended family and extended social networks. This reflexive process of both learning and teaching is the how cultural and social characteristics attain continuity.

Clausen claims that theories of socialization are to be found in Plato, Montaigne and Rousseau and he identifies a dictionary entry from 1828 that defines 'socialize' as 'to render social, to make fit for living in society' (1968: 20-1). However it was the response to a translation of a paper by Georg Simmel that the concept was incorporated into various branches of psychology and anthropology (1968: 31-52).

In the middle of the 20th century, socialization was a key idea in the dominant American functionalist tradition of sociology. Talcott Parsons (Parsons and Bales 1956) and a group of colleagues in the US developed a comprehensive theory of society that responded to the emergence of modernity in which the concept of socialization was a central component. One of their interests was to try to understand the relationship between the individual and society – a distinctive theme in US sociology since the end of the nineteenth century. Ely Chinoy, in a 1960s standard textbook on sociology, says that socialization serves two major functions:

On the one hand, it prepares the individual for the roles he is to play, providing him with the necessary repertoire of habits, beliefs, and values, the appropriate patterns of emotional response and the modes of perception, the requisite skills and knowledge. On the other hand, by communicating the contents of culture from one generation to the other, it provides for its persistence and continuity.|Chinoy, 1961: 75

For many reasons – not least its excessive approval of modern American life as the model social system and its inability to see how gender, race and class divisions discriminated against individuals – Parsonian functionalism faded in popularity in the 1970s.

… it is no longer enough to focus on the malleability and passivity of the individual in the face of all powerful social influences. Without some idea about the individual’s own activity in shaping his social experience our perspective of socialization becomes distorted.|Graham White (1977: 5), reacting to the functionalist notion of socialization English sociologist

During the last quarter of the twentieth century the concept of ‘socialization’ has been much less central to debates in sociology that have shifted their focus from identifying the functions of institutions and systems to describing the cultural changes of postmodernity. But the idea of socialization has lived on, particularly in debates about the family and education. The institutions of the family or the school are often blamed for their failure to socialize individuals who go on to transgress social norms. On the other hand, it is through a critique of functionalist ideas about socialization that there has been an increasing acceptance of a variety of family forms, of gender roles and an increasing tolerance of variations in the ways people express their Social norms reveal the values behind socialization. Sociologists, such as Durkheim, have noted the relationship between norms, values and roles during socialization.


Primary socialization

Primary socialization occurs when a child learns the attitudes, values and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. For example if a child saw his/her mother expressing a discriminatory opinion about a minority group,

Stereotype threat

A Stereotype threat is the experience of anxiety or concern in a situation where a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about their social group. First developed by social psychologist Claude Steele and his colleagues, stereotype threat has been shown to reduce the performance of individuals who belong to negatively stereotyped groups. For example, stereotype threat can lower the intellectual performance of African-Americans taking the SAT, due to the stereotype that African-Americans are less intelligent than other groups. Since its introduction into the scientific literature in 1999, stereotype threat has become one of the most widely studied topics in the field of social psychology. Stereotype threat is often discussed as a potential contributing factor to long-standing racial and gender gaps in academic performance. However, stereotype threat may occur in any situation in which an individual has the potential of confirming a negative stereotype.

Effects on Performance

The concept of stereotype threat originated from the work of Claude Steele, social psychologist and current Provost of Columbia University. As an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Steele sought to understand why certain minority groups at the university were under-performing compared to their peers. He rejected the idea that group differences were due to biology and instead focused on the possibility that stigma could be playing a role. Steele and his then graduate student, Steven Spencer, tested this hypothesis by examining men and women's performance in advanced math classes compared to advanced English classes. They found a larger gender gap in the math classes, which led them to conclude that stigma might lower academic performance. They tested this experimentally by asking male and female college students to complete a difficult math test. Some of the participants were told that men and women tend to perform similarly on that particular test while others were given no instructions. The participants who received no instructions showed an expected gender gap in performance, such that women did worse on the test compared to men. In contrast, the participants who had been told that the test usually shows no gender differences displayed no such gender gap in performance. Although Steele and Spencer felt they had identified a new reason for group differences in performance, their findings still did not explain why stigma would impair performance and whether it could affect other groups aside from women.

In 1991 Steele accepted a professorship at Stanford and continued his research on how stigma affects performance in collaboration with Joshua Aronson, then a post-doctoral scholar in the Stanford psychology department. Steele and Aronson ran several experiments similar to the ones done at Michigan but this time using African-American college students as participants. They also looked at what underlying mental processes may cause stigma to reduce intellectual performance. In their first experiment, Steele and Aronson demonstrated that African-American students perform worse on an excerpt from the verbal portion of the Graduate Record Examination test, as compared to European-American college students. In a second experiment, they attempted to eliminate this gap by telling some participants that the test was not diagnostic of intelligence. This led to a significant reduction in the racial gap in performance on the test. In a subsequent experiment, Steele and Aronson demonstrated African-Americans who were led to believe that the test measured intelligence displayed greater cognitive activation of negative stereotypes. This was demonstrated through a word completion task where participants were asked to complete word fragments. African-Americans who were led to believe that the test measured intelligence completed more of the word fragments using words that are associated with negative stereotypes about African-Americans (e.g. completing __mb as "dumb" rather than "numb").

Based on the findings from these experiments, Steele and Aronson believed they had enough evidence to publish a research paper arguing that stigma causes lowered performance. After using several working names for their theory, they settled on "stereotype threat" as the label that could be used to best describe their phenomenon. Due to the novelty of their findings, Steele and Aronson's paper received a great deal of attention both inside and outside of psychology. Steele's own thoughts about the implications of his findings were summarized in a quote featured in the August 1999 Atlantic Monthly: "When capable black college students fail to perform as well as their white counterparts, the explanation often has less to do with preparation or ability than with the threat of stereotypes about their capacity to succeed."

In addition to academic performance, stereotype threat has been shown to affect performance in a variety of domains. For example, a study on chess players revealed that women players performed more poorly than expected when they were told they would be playing against a male opponent. In contrast, women who were told that their opponent was female performed as would be predicted by past ratings of performance. Researchers Vishal Gupta, Daniel Turban, and Nachiket Bhawe extended stereotype threat research to entrepreneurship, a traditionally male-stereotyped profession. Their study revealed that stereotype threat can depress women's entrepreneurial intentions while boosting men's intentions. However, when entrepreneurship is presented as a gender-neutral profession, men and women express a similar level of interest in becoming entrepreneurs.

Overall, findings suggest that stereotype threat may occur in any situation where an individual faces the potential of confirming a negative stereotype. For example, stereotype threat can negatively affect the performance of European Americans in athletic situations as well as men who are being tested on their social sensitivity.

Certain individuals appear to be more likely to experience stereotype threat compared to others. Individuals who are highly identified with a particular domain appear to be more vulnerable to experiencing stereotype threat. Therefore, students who are highly identified with doing well in school may, ironically, be more likely to underperform when under stereotype threat.

Physiological responses

Stereotype threat can manifest itself in physiological responses that arise in response to the psychological pressure and fear of potentially confirming a negative stereotype. For example, a study by Blascovich J, Spencer SJ, Quinn D and Steele C. found that African-Americans

Complex adaptive system

Complex adaptive systems are special cases of complex systems. They are complex in that they are dynamic networks of interactions and relationships not aggregations of static entities. They are adaptive in that their individual and collective behaviour changes as a result of experience.


The term complex adaptive systems, or complexity science, is often used to describe the loosely organized academic field that has grown up around the study of such systems. Complexity science is not a single theory— it encompasses more than one theoretical framework and is highly interdisciplinary, seeking the answers to some fundamental questions about living, adaptable, changeable systems.

Examples of complex adaptive systems include the stock market, social insect and ant colonies, the biosphere and the ecosystem, the brain and the immune system, the cell and the developing embryo, manufacturing businesses and any human social group-based endeavour in a cultural and social system such as political parties or communities. There are close relationships between the field of CAS and artificial life. In both areas the principles of emergence and self-organization are very important.

The ideas and models of CAS are essentially evolutionary, grounded in modern chemistry, biological views on adaptation, exaptation and evolution and simulation models in economics and social systems.


A CAS is a complex, self-similar collection of interacting adaptive agents. The study of CAS focuses on complex, emergent and macroscopic properties of the system. Various definitions have been offered by different researchers:

A Complex Adaptive System (CAS) is a dynamic network of many agents (which may represent cells, species, individuals, firms, nations) acting in parallel, constantly acting and reacting to what the other agents are doing. The control of a CAS tends to be highly dispersed and decentralized. If there is to be any coherent behavior in the system, it has to arise from competition and cooperation among the agents themselves. The overall behavior of the system is the result of a huge number of decisions made every moment by many individual agents.
A CAS behaves/evolves according to three key principles: order is emergent as opposed to predetermined (c.f. Neural Networks), the system's history is irreversible, and the system's future is often unpredictable. The basic building blocks of the CAS are agents. Agents scan their environment and develop schema representing interpretive and action rules. These schema are subject to change and evolution.
  • Other definitions
Macroscopic collections of simple (and typically nonlinear) interacting units that are endowed with the ability to evolve and adapt to a changing environment.

General properties

What distinguishes a CAS from a pure multi-agent system (MAS) is the focus on top-level properties and features like self-similarity, complexity, emergence and self-organization. A MAS is simply defined as a system composed of multiple interacting agents. In CASs, the agents as well as the system are adaptive: the system is self-similar. A CAS is a complex, self-similar collectivity of interacting adaptive agents. Complex Adaptive Systems are characterised by a high degree of adaptive capacity, giving them resilience in the face of perturbation.

Other important properties are adaptation (or homeostasis), communication, cooperation, specialization, spatial and temporal organization, and of course reproduction. They can be found on all levels: cells specialize, adapt and reproduce themselves just like larger organisms do. Communication and cooperation take place on all levels, from the agent to the system level. The forces driving co-operation between agents in such a system can, in some cases be analysed with game theory.


Complex adaptive systems are characterised as follows and the most important are:

  • The number of elements is sufficiently large that conventional descriptions (e.g. a system of differential equations) are not only impractical, but cease to assist in understanding the system, the elements also have to interact and the interaction must be dynamic. Interactions can be physical or involve the exchange of information.
  • Such interactions are rich, i.e. any element in the system is affected and affects several other systems.
  • The interactions are non-linear which means that small causes can have large results.
  • Interactions are primarily but not exclusively with immediate neighbours and the nature of the influence is modulated.
  • Any interaction can feed back onto itself directly or after a number of intervening stages, such feedback can vary in quality. This is known as recurrency.
  • Such systems are open and it may be difficult or impossible to define system boundaries
  • Complex systems operate under far from equilibrium conditions, there has to be a constant flow of energy to maintain the organisation of the system
  • All complex systems have a history, they evolve and their past is co-responsible for their present behaviour
  • Elements in the system are ignorant of the behaviour of the system as a whole responding only to what is available to it locally

Axelrod & Cohen identify a series of key terms from a modeling perspective:

  • Strategy, a conditional action pattern that indicates what to do in which circumstances
  • Artifact, a material resource that has definite location and can

From Yahoo Answers

Question:I am 18 years-old and have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. For my entire life I have had a strong amount of hate towards myself. Throughout most of my life I have referred to myself as being a failure. I blame mostly school for this, but I am aware school is not the only reason. In school, my work was always crap. A 60% was usually the highest I could ever get on anything: sports, math, spelling, writing, music, etc. My best friend, at the time, was a genius as far as I am concerned. He could always managed to ace every subject, always getting in the high +90% range or perfect. My dad (April 12th, 1959 - February 9th, 2009) had a great amount of self-hatred himself. Before he killed himself, he use to say that he failed at his job, failed at being a father, etc. etc. Although now I am in high school and my grades are significantly different than elementary school, there are still numerous signs pointing me in the direction of self-hatred. Most of this seems to stem from comparing myself to others. In high school I suck at every subject, except geography and philosophy. Every other subject (Math, Science, Chemistry, Biology, Law, Gym, Human Growth, etc.) I suck at. I become extremely frustrated at myself when I see a student who can ace my courses and just about every other course available. Last year I received an award in geography. Kayla, a student, received an award in geography, law, chemistry, biology, mathematics, English, and a citizenship award. I cannot help but look at someone like Kayla and think, "Wow...I really suck." Then there are relationships that generally have made me feel the worst. My five year crush, Michelle, "wants nothing to do with me." That's absolutely devastating to me. I've been hospitalized twice over this girl because of self-mutilation. How on Earth can I think positively about myself when my dream girl doesn't like me? Yes I am aware that there are other women in the world and I have held other relationships, however no one has captured my attention like this girl. This "silent rejection" (she never rejected me personally in fear that I would kill myself, which I've attempted to over her) makes me think that I cannot be loved when combined with all the other social failures of mine. In the midst of all this, my dad just died; we are losing our home; I have to pull in wonderful marks in school for university; and all the other stress I have to deal with. As for friends, I basically do not have any. Sure I have some online buddies whom I have met through Yahoo Answers and Facebook, but very few close friends who actually live in the same country as me. How, with all this said, do I think positively about myself?

Answers:I can tell you that you are a great guy and that you are going to make it! What has happened is that you have suffered alot of disappointments and they have drained you. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! many people even millionares were terrible in school. Even Albert Einstein was not a great student!! School is only one aspect of life. I can tell you have a great heart and you will have many girls that love that. You give a lot of your power away to girls because you are empty right now. It is ok..right now you need to work on YOU. the girls will come later. You have a lot of pain from your past but it is not your fault. You will have many friends later..You sound like a great guy and you sound very intellengent. Many girls would love a blond cool dude like you. You will do fine with the ladies.. trust me..Also remeber you are NOT a failure..even if you never passed one class you are not a failure. School does not prove anything..some are good at some are not and it does not matter. I mean it many people do well in life even with bad grades..SO WHAT Heal yourself emotionally first then you will have something to offer a girl. You pain is from your dad but remember..he left behind his pain to you but you do not have to receive it. You are going to get a great girl who loves you unconditionally in the future..trust me..then you will help others who are depressed..Here is a good article that tells you not to let depression take a hold of you.. I am straight but I send you Love brother http://ezinearticles.com/?Am-I-Depressed?-Why-You-Must-Heal-This-Fast&id=2125357

Question:Hey, I really need to get in touch with anyone who has had courses in any of the social sciences or even a similar job. I am writing a paper about the field and part of the assignment requires an interview with an expert (interpreted loosely here...). So, I just have a few questions, anything you could answer would be very much appreciated. :) 1.What specific branch of the field are you studying/working with? 2.What originally inspired your interest in this field? 3.Do you feel there are more pros or cons to this job? Why? 4.What are some things that someone should know before choosing this profession? 5.How long did it take you to complete your education for this? 6.Why do you think that the social sciences are important/relevant to today? 7.Do you think many others could follow the same career path as you? And if you do work in this area or could answer these questions: 8.What sort of hours do you work? 9.Could you tell me an average yearly income of someone working in this field? 10.What type of job growth do you see in your future? Thanks for taking the time to answer! and congrats! :)

Answers:1. I studied anthropology. I was specifically interested in physical/biological anthropology. 2. It combined my previous education in the physical sciences with social science. By doing that, I really felt it provided a holistic view of humans. 3. I don't work in anthropology. As fascinating as I find it, I chose to become a nurse for job security and direct results of my efforts on improving people's lives. 4. It's hard to find jobs. Any decent job requires a master's degree and even then you'll likely end up working at a university. 5. My anthropology degree was a 4 year, bachelor of arts, degree. My bachelor's degree in nursing added an additional 2 years for a total of 6 years in school. 6. Obviously humans are evolving faster socially and technologically today than we are biologically. Can't hurt to understand these processes. Unfortunately, the practical applications are somewhat limited. 7. Sure, lots of people could (and do!). The remaining questions do not apply. As a side note, this is the 2,000 question I've answered! Wow! I have no life.

Question:Discuss how you found it?

Answers:It was a bit complicated, way different to all the past papers we had done, and that last question was wierd!!!!!

Question:i'm studying for my exam and looked at a past exam paper and i found this question difficult so cud u pls help! question : explain why osmosis and active transport are neccessary, including an example of where each may occur in an organism.

Answers:Ok, I haven't taken biology in two years but here's what I remember: Osmosis is necessary because it helps to maintain an equilibrium in an organism. For example, red blood cells in the human body use diffusion to regulate the amount of water that passes in or out. It keeps the water level balanced. Certain particles cannot pass through some membranes however. Cell membranes have specialized proteins that allow their nutrients to transport into the cell using energy.This process is called active transport. It's necessary because cells need nutrients in order to live and this process allows it to do so against the concentration gradient. Well, that's basically a summary of what happens. Good Luck!

From Youtube

Lecture 6 - What Makes a Greenhouse Gas? :This 10-week course for non-science majors focuses on a single problem: assessing the risk of human-caused climate change. The story ranges from physics to chemistry, biology, geology, fluid mechanics, and quantum mechanics, to economics and social sciences. The class will consider evidence from the distant past and projections into the distant future, keeping the human time scale of the next several centuries as the bottom line. The lectures follow a textbook, "Global Warming, Understanding the Forecast," written for the course. For information about the textbook, interactive models, and more, visit: forecast.uchicago.edu

CREA - Saving Tropical Ecosystems :Google Tech Talks May, 15 2008 ABSTRACT Michael will talk about the work that his organization CREA is carrying out in Panama to conserve endangered tropical forests. Specifically the talk will deal with the link between human poverty and environmental degradation and how social justice is key to the solution. In his presentation Michael will discuss how CREA is taking a leading role environmental conservation through the implementation of innovative programs and initiatives that the organization undertakes. Speaker: Michael Roy (PhD) Michael is an accomplished conservation geneticist having obtained his PhD from London University and thereon working in academic institutions in UK, Denmark and the US before being made a tenured senior lecturer of zoology at Otago University, New Zealand. He has undertaken biological research on a wide variety of terrestrial and marine organisms and has generated over 40 international research papers. While working on sabbatical in Panama as a conservation biologist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in 2002 he came to the stark realization that the knowledge gained by his research and that of others was not being conveyed to the people that most needed it. At that point he made the bold decision to leave his successful career as an academic and dedicate himself to creating a grass-roots organization that could really making a change. That organization became known as Conservation through Research Education and Action: CREA ...