Symbolic Interaction Perspective on Socialization.

There will be 40 points possible on the exam. The point distributions will be indicated in [brackets] with each point representing a basic idea. You will need to pay close attention to the points indicated on the exam as you allot your time. The exam will consist of a subset of these questions.

Topic 1: Symbolic Interaction Perspective on Socialization. Describe the three reflective processes of Cooley’s looking-glass self; how accurate are our reflected self images? Detail the three developmental stages of Mead’s Symbolic Interactionism.

Topic 2: Socialization and the Life Course. Briefly describe your socialization to the social role of “college student” from each of the four social psychological perspectives, paying special attention to life course issues; your description should include the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and how they complement each other. Contrast the structural and interactionist perspectives on roles. According to structural interactionism, in what three ways do social networks exert an influence on the self? How are role transitions related to network changes? Outline some important changes across the life course stages of childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and middle-age in terms of network characteristics: dyadic tie content, network size/range, and core-peripheral-extended network distinctions. Describe the associations between social network characteristics and grade point average among college students. How does “borderwork” contribute to gender socialization in school age children? How are negotiations about car privileges influenced by SES?

Topic 3: Affective Socialization. Discuss the sociological conception of emotions. How do emotions make social life possible? Contrast cognitive labeling theory and “emotion work”. Describe the socioemotional economy in relationships. Discuss the “social emotions;” how are they social? Define affective neutrality and discuss its advantages and disadvantages in the practice of medicine and the private life of physicians.

Topic 4: Social Identities: Social and Self Cognition. Discuss the three levels of self-categorizations in self identities? How can we tell when a particular self-identity is highly ranked in our salience hierarchy, and how does this relate to a role-person merger and self-esteem? Discuss the connection between social power and identity salience. Describe the ways in which white and black girls generally differed in the Milkie study.

Topic 5: Self-Presentation and Self Transformation. What is the danger of “tactical self-presentation” in face-work? How do self-awareness and self-disclosure relate to self-presentation? Contrast high versus low self-monitors, and discuss the impact of self-monitoring on impression formation and impression management. How do changes in primary relationships signal changes in the self (narrative)? What is the price for the ‘glorified self’? Describe the three elements of ‘identity talk’ used in attempts to salvage the self? Describe the three aspects of resocialization. Discuss the important differences between cyberselves, and the self of everyday life. What are the three features of ‘multiphrenia’? Contrast Gergen’s view of the contemporary self with that of Gubrium and Holstein.