Sociology Index


Society has several mechanisms for building us and our personality. The first mechanism is socialization and the second mechanism is social control. By defining what behavior is good, society also defines what is deviant behavior. Through socialization we learn who we are and what is expected of us and others in our culture. All of our identities come from society. Socialization begins in childhood and continues throughout our lives as we encounter and move through different institutions. Socialization helps in the process of personality formation. Even if human personality is the result of our genes, the socialization process can mold it.

Society provides us with ideologies, justifications for our systems of socialization, social control and stratification, and other social arrangements. Sociologists use the term sociological imagination to describe the ability to see the impact of these processes on our private lives, i.e., that we are a consequence of society. People are also the cause of society, i.e., we build it. Because of the continuous operation of the four mechanisms society uses to produce us, it is difficult for a single person to make significant societal changes. However, many important changes happen because of social movements, which consist of many people organized to promote social change. We participate in socializing others, carrying out social control, reproducing the stratification system, and promoting ideologies. Sociologists use the term the social construction of reality to describe how people build the social world, especially as it is done through our everyday interactions. - David Schweingruber.

Different perspectives have been taken on the study of personality. The psychodynamic tradition has been characterized by an emphasis on intensive observation of human behavior in clinical settings as the basis for developing and modifying theories, with little focus on defining theories in a manner that allows them to be disproven based on contrary evidence. The tradition of personality research has attempted to present theories which can be supported or disproven scientifically. In both cases, the usefulness of a theory in advancing knowledge about personality depends on the relationship between the theory and the method in which it was derived. For instance, a theory built and modified almost exclusively based on intensive observation of human behavior may have more relevance to actual personality functioning than a theory which was derived in part based on defining terms that can be conveniently tested. In fact, the history of personality research has been characterized by self-criticism and dramatic shifts in methodology - University of Virginia

Society also has mechanisms for distributing valued resources. Through stratification society categorizes people and distributes valued resources to them based on the categories. Among the most important categories are class, race and gender. Our social class, race and gender affect how we are socialized, what type of social control we face, what opportunities we receive and what obstacles weface.

A Complementary Perspective to Primary Socialization Theory
David N. Nurco, D.S.W., Monroe Lerner, Ph.D., L.H.D. (Hon.) Abstract: Primary socialization theory as formulated by Oetting and his associates emphasizes the transmission of societal norms during childhood and adolescence within society’s three major socializing agencies: family, school, and small, intimate peer groups. The norms thus transmitted may be pro-social or deviant, with pro-social norms more likely to be transmitted through strong bonds to healthy families or schools. Personality traits and other personal characteristics influence negative outcomes only to the extent that they interfere with socialization.
Our research does not address primary socialization theory directly. We have studied social factors, personality factors, and various psychopathologies as etiological for deviance and substance abuse. Our research has supported the hypotheses of primary socialization theory.

Personality and Socialization Bibliography

Allport, F. H., & Allport, G. W. (1921). Personality traits: Their classification and measurement. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 16, 6-40.

Allport, G. W. (1933). The study of personality by the experimental method. Character and Personality; a Quarterly for Psychodiagnostic and Allied Studies, 1, 259-264.

Murray, H. A. (1936). Basic concepts for a psychology of personality. Journal of General Psychology, 15, 241-268.

Cattell, R. B. (1950). Personality: A systematic, theoretical, and factual study. New York: McGraw-Hill. With good bibliography. [Read chapters 3-7 and 9.]

Eysenck, H. J. (1952). The scientific study of personality. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. [Read chapters 2-4 and 7-8.]

Mischel, W. (1973). Toward a cognitive social learning reconceptualization of personality. Psychological Review, 89, 730-755.

Fiske, D. W. (1974). The limits of the conventional science of personality. Journal of Personality, 42

Rorer, L. G., & Widiger, T. A. (1983). Personality structure and assessment. Annual Review of Psychology, 34, 431-463.

Carlson, R. (1984). What’s social about social psychology? Where’s the person in personality research? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1304-1309.

Kihlstrom, J. F., & Hastie, R. (1997). Mental representations of persons and personality. In R. Hogan, J. Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.) Handbook of Personality Psychology (pp.712-736). San Diego: Academic Press. With good bibliography.

McAdams, D. P., Diamond, A., de St. Aubin, E., Mansfield, E. (1997). Stories of commitment: The psychosocial construction of generative lives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 678-694.

Buss, D. M. (1991). Evolutionary personality psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 42

Kagan, J., Arcus, D., & Snidman, N. (1993). The idea of temperament: Where do we go from here? In R. Plomin & G. E. McClearn (Eds.), Nature, nurture, and psychology (pp. 197-210). With good bibliography. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

McClelland, D. C. (1951). Personality. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. With good bibliography. [Read preface only.]

Kernberg, O. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. New York: Jason Aronson. With good bibliography. [Read chapters 1-3 and 5.]

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1987). Validation of the five factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 81-90.

Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1997). Longitudinal stability of adult personality. In R. Hogan, J. Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology (pp. 269-285). San Diego: Academic Press. With good bibliography.

Goldberg, L. R. (1993). The structure of phenotypic personality traits. American Psychologist, 48, 26-34.

Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (1988). Mood and the mundane: Relations between daily life events and self-reported mood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 296-308.

Watson, D., & Hubbard, B. (1998). Adaptational style and dispositional structure: Coping in the context of the five-factor model. Journal of Personality, 64, 737-774.

Revelle, W. (1995). Personality processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 46, 295-328.

Winter, D. G., John, O. P., Stewart, A. J., Klohnen, E. C., Duncan, L. E. (1998). Traits and motives: Toward an integration of two traditions of personality research. Psychological Review, 105, 230-250.

Mischel, W., & Shoda, Y. (1995). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure. Psychological Review, 102, 246-268.

McAdams, D. P. (1992). The five-factor model in personality: A critical appraisal. Journal of Personality, 60, 329-361.


Handbook of Socialization: Theory and Research by Joan E. Grusec and Paul D. Hastings

Personality and Social Behavior (Frontiers of Social Psychology) Frederick Rhodewalt

Personality Psychology:Domains of Knowledge About Human Nature Randy J Larsen David M Buss

Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th Edition) by Howard S. Friedman and Miriam W. Schustack

Social Structure and Personality by Talcott Parsons

Family: Socialization and Interaction Process - Robert F. Bales

Theories of Personality Book by Calvin S. Hall, Gardner Lindzey, John B. Campbell

Personality by Jerry M. Burger

Handbook of Socialization: Theory and Research by Joan E. Grusec and Paul D. Hastings

Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research, Second Edition Book by Lawrence A. Pervin (Editor), Oliver P. John (Editor)

Motivational Science: Social and Personality Perspectives: Key Readings (Key Readings in Social Psychology) by E.tory Higgins

Personality in Intimate Relationships: Socialization and Psychopathology Luciano L'Abate

Social and Personality Development Book by David R. Shaffer

Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology) Book by Carol S. Dweck

Personality: Theory and Research Lawrence A. Pervin, Daniel Cervone, Oliver P. John

Personality and Work: Reconsidering the Role of Personality in Organizations
Book by Murray Barrick (Editor), Ann Marie Ryan (Editor)

Handbook of Personality Psychology Book by Robert Hogan, John Johnson, Stephen Briggs

Child Training and Personality: A Cross-Cultural Study John W. M. Whiting, Irvin L. Child

Handbook of Child Psychology, Socialization, Personality and Social Development (Handbook of Child Psychology) Book by Paul Mussen, E. Mavis Hetherington (Editors)

Personality in Adulthood, A Five-Factor Theory Perspective Book by Robert R. McCrae, Paul T. Costa Jr.

Paradigms of Personality Assessment Book by Jerry S. Wiggins

Social Structure and Personality Development: The Individual as a Productive Processor of Reality Book by Klaus Hurrelmann

SOCIAL STRUCTURE & PERSON Book by Talcott Parsons

The Incomplete Adult: Social Class Constraints on Personality Development (Contributions in Sociology) Book by Margaret J. Lundberg

Social and Personality Development: Infancy Through Adolescence
Book by William Damon.