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1. Nature and Nurture: What do twin studies tell us about nature/nurture?

discuss the influence of heredity in explaining the process of ones
personality and intellectual development. Provide examples.
Identical twins by definition are genetically the same. Many studies have
been done on identical twins to see the effects of nature and nurture,
especially appealing are the identical twins that were separated at birth and
thus have different nature set-ups. For example, Jim Lewis and Jim Springer
were identical twins that were separated at 4 weeks old and reunited at age
39. Both twins found that they had a lot of similar traits like tension
headaches, nail biting, and even driving the same type of car. They found
that the reasoning to all these coincidences were genes. Theres a sci-fi show
about human clones called Orphan Black that actually tackles the
nature/nurture debate really well. The female clones are genetically the same
but theyve all grown up apart and unaware of others existence so you see
how different each clone is; whereas, the male clones grew up together and
so they have very similar personalities due to the same nature setting.
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. What is meant
by significant others? How are significant others related to the self? Identify
Meads three-stage process of self-development.
The self is a persons own experiences and attributes thats distinguishable
from others. Cooleys looking glass self states that a persons self grows out
of a persons social interactions with others, that the view of ourselves comes
from the contemplation of personal qualities and impressions of how others
perceive us, and that how we see ourselves does not come from who we
really are, but rather how we think others see us. The three phases are 1) we
imagine how we must appear to others, 2) we imagine and react to what we
feel their judgement of that appearance must be, and 3) we develop our self
through the judgement of others.
According to Mead, Me is the social aspect of self, whereas I is the nonsocial aspect of self like phenotypic traits. Significant other is someone whose
opinions matter to us and is in a position to influence our thinking, especially
about ourselves. His three stages of self-development are 1) the preparatory
stage, 2) play stage, and 3) game stage. The preparatory stage occurs in the
first year of life when the person engages in meaningless imitation, so
basically there are no symbolic understanding yet. The play stage is when the
person plays one role at a time of a single actor. The person models oneself
in accordance to a significant other. The game stage is the taking of roles of
several others simultaneously.
3. Explain the dramaturgical approach. What occurs on front-stage? What
happens in backstage? How can Erving Goffmans idea of impression

management and face-work be used to understand social behavior?

The dramaturgical approach is a sociological perspective that studies social
interactions, emphasizing the ways in which those involved work to create,
maintain, dismantle, and present a shared understanding of reality. If you are
on stage, it means that you are in front of the public for all to see and are
highly involved in impression management. Backstage is when you are in the
company of other actors or people you are familiar with so you are more
comfortable and less inclined to feel the need to impress. Goffmans idea can
be used to understand social behavior because it is applicable to any person
in any environment.
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?
The agents of socialization are family, mass media, peer groups, and school.
Schools instill the concepts of gender roles in children by actively
encouraging boys to be more masculine and girls to be more feminine.
Technology further enforces these gender roles onto children. For example,
toys to appeal to boys versus those for girls and even film trailers. I read that
Disneys Tangled film was originally titled Rapunzel, but Disney renamed it
and created a trailer to appeal to boys.
5. What are total institutions? Identify Goffmans four traits of total institutions.
Discuss how a degradation ceremony is used to mortify ones sense of self.
A total institution is an isolated, enclosed social system whose primary
purpose is to control aspects of its participants lives. The first trait is that all
aspects of life are conducted in the same place and under the same single
authority. The second trait is that each phase of the members daily activity
will be carried out in the immediate company of a large batch of others, all of
whom are treated alike and required to do the same thing together. The third
trait is that all phases of the days activities are tightly scheduled, with one
activity leading at a prearranged time into the next, the whole circle of
activities being imposed from above through a system of explicit formal
rulings and a body of officials. The last trait is the contents of the various
enforced activities are brought together as parts of a single overall rational
plan purportedly designed to fulfill the official aims of the institution. A
degradation ceremony is meant to deprive people of their former identities
and dignity in order to make them more accepting of external control.
6. How does society deal with an elderly population? Discuss differences
between disengagement theory and activity theory? Finally, provide solutions
to ageism.
Depending on the society, elderly people are either revered or almost

forgotten. For example, in America it is common for people to send their

elderly parents into senior homes but in Asian cultures, elders are expected
to continue living with the family until they pass away. Disengagement theory
argues that it is inevitable that elderly people withdraw and leave social
networks as they age, whereas activity theory states elderly people who
continue to engage in social activities will have a higher quality of life and
age better. The American senior homes is an example of disengagement
theory, whereas the Asian approach is activity theory. I dont think insurance
companies should be allowed to deny coverage for elderly people based
solely on old age. Another way to deal with ageism is to have more focus on
geriatric care since there are not enough people trained or educated enough
with elderly patients. I think the most important issue is that elderly people
shouldnt be forgotten.