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1 Nature and Nurture: What do twin studies tell us about

nature/nurture? Also, discuss the influence of heredity
in explaining the process of one’s personality and
intellectual development. Provide examples.

Studies following twins that were separated at birth
show us that although they may have been raised with
different beliefs (the nurture), they will still share
similar traits and habits (the nature).
Studies have shown that twins raised apart in similar
settings will score relatively the same in intelligence
test; while those that are raised in drastically different
settings will score very differently.
Such studies have suggested that certain personality
traits are heredity; meaning that because two
individuals are genetically identical they will possess the
same traits.
Self is the sense of who we are; an individual unique
from others, molded by our various social interactions.

2 What is the self? According to Charles Horton Cooley,
explain the “looking glass self” (discuss the three
phases). George Herbert Mead also discusses the stages
of the self: identify differences between I and Me.
The looking glass self comes from our imagination of
What is meant by significant others? How are
the way others see us. Then comes the evaluation of
significant others related to the self? Identify Mead’s
what we believe they see.
three-stage process of self-development.
The I is the acting self, this is the part of us that
performs any action; while the Me is the socialized self,
this is the part of us that draws from our past
experiences to plan our actions and use these
standards to judge ourselves afterward.
3 Explain the dramaturgical approach. What occurs on
The dramaturgical approach is the idea that we are all
front-stage? What happens in backstage? How can
actors playing a role on stage as we attempt to put on
Erving Goffman’s idea of impression management and
the best performance we can.
face-work be used to understand social behavior?
The front-stage is where the main action occurs, we
perform for an audience, we have our sets and props
and sometimes other cast members we work with.
The backstage is where we get ready; it’s where we
prepare our costumes and our props as we work
towards a believable performance.

4 Identify the agents of socialization. What is the role of
schools in gender role socialization? How has
technology (computer, cell phone, email, & TV)
influenced the socialization process?

We all want to put our best foot forward and be socially
accepted by whatever group we are trying to impress.
Impression management is altering ourselves to create
a unique appearance that will be accepted by a specific
audience, face-work is the effort we make to avoid
embarrassment. Goffman’s ideas basically outline what
is a human condition; we always want to look as best as
possible.
Agents of socialization are individuals we interact with
that have an influence in how we view ourselves and
how we represent ourselves to other. Such agents
include family, friends, religion and other such
institutions we are a part of.
School teach the values and customs of the larger

society but when it comes to gender roles, schools
teach us that boys are better athletes and when funds
are distributed among the sporting teams, male teams
earn receive funds.

5 What are total institutions? Identify Goffman’s four
traits of total institutions. Discuss how a degradation
ceremony is used to mortify one’s sense of self.

While technology has broadened the exposure we have
to other cultures and lifestyles, it has also hampered
the ability we have to communicate with those in our
immediate vicinity. Technology has allowed us to
become more connected and more isolated at the same
time. In the past we might have gone out and played
with our friends outside, in the real world, now days
you don’t need to see your friends in person you have a
headset or a webcam and you can play in the virtual
world.
A total institution is a facility/organization that
regulates/controls all aspects/areas of an individual’s
life under a single authority; such institutions can be a
cult, a prison, a mental hospital or the military.
The traits identified by Erving Goffman are (eBook page
90):
1) All aspects of life are conducted in same place
under the control of a single authority
2) Any activities within the institution are
conducted in the company of others in the
same circumstances
3) The ruling authorities devise rules and schedule
activities without consulting the participants
4) All aspects of life within a total institution are
designed to fulfill the purpose of the
organization

6 How does society deal with an elderly population?
Discuss differences between disengagement theory and
activity theory? Finally, provide solutions to ageism.

Degradation ceremonies are used to strip away the
sense of self. They demonstrate to the individual that
they are no longer an individual, but rather just another
body. Some institution, for example prisons refer to
inmates by numbers; the stripping of their name shows
prisoners they do not have an identity. They are simply
a number.
Depending on the culture, the elderly are treated
differently, there is no one universal view on the
elderly. For example, the Sherpas from Nepal revere
the elderly; they own their own homes and enjoy their
independence. The Funali in Africa have the elderly live
at the edge of the homestead because that is where
they burry people, worse the elderly sleep over their
future graves as they are considered already dead.
The disengagement theory suggest that society and the
elderly mutually agree to a severance of relationships
and the resulting social stability is akinned to a passing
of the torch like effect; in which social roles are passed

from one age group to the next.
While the activity theory suggest that elderly that
continue to be active and socially involved have a
better quality of life; such activities involve
volunteering.
Ageism is something that affects old and young alike;
current law prohibits employers from asking potential
employees their age, however looking at someone you
can more or less obtain a crude estimate of their age. I
believe that a solution for the discrimination based on
age is that at any point in which an in person interview
is required they should perhaps be conducted blindly; a
partition wall to separate the interviewer and the
interviewee. That way opinions can be formed based on
the way questions are answered.