Children and Society: The Sociology of Children and Childhood Socialization

Paperback | August 18, 2006

byGerald Handel, Spencer Cahill, Frederick Elkin

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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 bookincorporates 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 socialclass, 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 andincludes 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 socializationis a life-long process. It briefly sketches issues of continuity and discontinuity in socialization throughout adolescence, adult life, old age, and death.

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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 bookincorporates the most recent research and the...

Gerald Handel is at The City College and The Graduate Center at City University of New York. Spencer Cahill is at the University of South Florida. Frederick Elkin is at York University, Toronto.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:372 pages, 5.91 × 8.9 × 0.79 inPublished:August 18, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195330781

ISBN - 13:9780195330786


Extra Content

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction: Understanding Childhood SocializationComplexities of Childhood SocializationLimitations of the Study of SocializationOrganization of the BookChapter 1: Studying ChildrenCompeting Images of Children and ChildhoodThe Natural Development of Children: The Social Inculcation of Children: The Social Construction of Children: Appreciating the Complexities of Children's LivesMethods of Studying ChildrenChapter 2: Foundations of SocializationIsolated ChildrenThe Human OrganismAn Ongoing SocietyChapter 3: Cultural and Historical Constructions of ChildhoodSocialization in Cross-Cultural PerspectiveChildren in Non-Western SocietiesThe History of Western ChildhoodContinuing Cultural Contrasts: Japan and the United StatesChapter 4: Basic Processes and Outcomes of SocializationSociety and SocializationEmotionally Significant RelationshipsCommunicationSymbols, Language, and Interaction: Language and Memory: Conversation: Language Mastery: The Significance of Significant OthersDevelopment of the Self: Play Stage and Game Stage: Time and Outcomes of SocializationMore 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 SocializationChapter 5: FamiliesSome Cross-Cultural ComparisonsFamilies in the CommunityFamilies as Groups of Interacting PersonsFamily Composition and InteractionTwo-Parent First-Marriage Families: Stepfamilies: Single Mothers: Teenage Mothers: Siblings: Grandparents in the 21st century: Chapter 6: SchoolsPreschools and Daycare CentersHead Start: Daycare Centers: School and SocietyThe Classroom as an OrganizationAuthority: Class Size: Evaluation: Moral Climate: Family-School InteractionChapter 7: Peer GroupsPeer CulturePlay: Sports: Peer Group Structures and ProcessesPlay Groups: Friendships: Cliques: Bullying: Chapter 8: Media of Mass CommunicationThe Major IssuesViewing as an Activity: Violent Program Content and Children's Aggression: The Power of Advertising: Gender and Racial Stereotyping: Research Methods in Television StudiesExperiments: Surveys: Content Analysis: Audience Interpretive Response: Theories of the Relationship Between Children and TelevisionUses and Gratifications: Cultivation Theory: Semiotics: Computers, The Internet, and Video GamesAccess to Computers: Implications for Socialization: Video Games: Computers, Parental Authority, and Children's Autonomy: Part III: Diversities of SocializationChapter 9: Social ClassUpper ClassUpper-Middle ClassMiddle ClassWorking ClassWorking PoorThe UnderclassSocial Class and IndividualismChapter 10: Ethnic Groups, Minorities, and Neighborhood CommunitiesAfrican American SocializationWhite European Ethnic GroupsHispanic, Caribbean, and Asian ImmigrantsNeighborhood CommunitiesChapter 11: Sex, Gender, and SocializationSex Category and Social OrganizationSex and the Social Division of Labor: Sex and Gender Hierarchies: The Biology of SexThe Development of Sex-Related Characteristics: Nature and Nurture: Socialization Processes and AgentsFamily Interaction: The Media: Preschools and Schools: Peer Relations and Cultures: The Complexities of Gender Socialization: Part IV: Continuities With and Discontinuities From ChildhoodChapter 12: Looking Back and Looking AheadSocialization in AdolescenceContinuities: Socialization in Adult LifeContinuities: Socialization in Aging and DeathContinuities:

Editorial Reviews

"These authors, all seasoned veterans of childhood research, have enlightened us with a book that illuminates our understanding about the social worlds of children. We learn about how children become acclimated to their societies, the major agents of socialization that influence them, and howsocial class and subcultures help to create diverse experiences for our youngest citizens. Accessible, well documented, and current, Children and Society provides the most contemporary, complete, and accurate overview of the field to date."--Peter Adler, University of Denver