Describe and Assess the Evidence That Socialisation Plays a Major Part in Determining Human Behaviour.

1735 Words May 31st, 2009 7 Pages
Socialisation refers to the process of learning one’s culture and how to live within it. The process of socialisation involves the transmission of culture from one generation to the next. It is during socialisation that individuals learn the values and norms that play such an important part in shaping human behaviour. Socialisation provides the skills and habits necessary for acting and participating within one’s society.

Charles Cooley divided socialisation into two stages – primary and secondary socialisation. Primary socialisation is the early years of our socialisation. It occurs when a child learns the attitudes, values and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. The most important agency of primary
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Anna was born to an unmarried woman, a fact that enraged the woman's father. At first forbidden to bring the child into the house, Anna's mother attempted to place her in a children's home. When this plan proved too expensive, Anna was moved to a series of foster homes. Finally, at the age of six months, the child was returned to her mother. Because of the grandfather's hostility, Anna was confined to an attic room where she was given only a minimum of care. She was undernourished and emaciated and received almost no human contact. She was not spoken to, held, bathed, or loved.
Anna was finally discovered by a social worker in 1938. At six years of age, Anna was little more than a skeleton. She could not walk, talk, or feed herself. Her face was expressionless, and she showed no interest in other people. Over time, though, Anna made some progress. She learned to walk, feed herself, and brush her teeth. She could also talk in phrases and follow simple directions. However, Anna died at the age of 10, probably as a result of her earlier isolation.
The story of Isabelle has a somewhat happier ending. Isabelle, whose mother was also unmarried, was found at about the same time as Anna. The child's grandfather kept her and her deaf mother confined to a dark room. Although deprived of a normal cultural environment, Isabelle have the advantage of her mother's company. But
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