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CHAPTER 3: Socialization, the Life Course, and Aging
1. When parents remind their children that they should not chew with their mouths open, the
parents are engaging in:
a. evolution
b. socialization
c. cognition
d. social reproduction
Answer: B
2. Children learn the ways of their elders and perpetuate the values, norms, and social
practices of their culture. This process is known as:
a. evolution
b. socialization
c. cognition
d. social reproduction
Answer: B
3. For humans to be socialized, it is imperative that they have:
a. two parents, a mother and a father
b. proper medical treatment
c. educational books and toys
d. social interaction with adults
Answer: D
4. Socialization refers to the:
a. process by which people learn the norms and values of their culture
b. interaction between different societies’ cultures
c. process by which individuals come to know one another
d. interaction between children and adults
Answer: A
5. Although social scientists have developed alternative theories of child development, all
theories share a common understanding of the:
a. importance of human contact

b. significance of symbolic interactionism
c. priority of the preoperational stage
d. tendency of adults to ignore their children’s ongoing socialization
Answer: A
6. Socialization provides an individual with:
a. behavioral guidelines
b. jobs
c. money
d. elevated status
Answer: A
7. Which of the following best describes the process of socialization?
a. Learning only takes place within schools.
b. Older people are not influenced by the behavior of those around them.
c. Behavioral patterns are fixed and permanent once people reach adolescence.
d. Learning occurs throughout the entire life course.
Answer: D
8. George Herbert Mead’s analysis of child development emphasizes the:
a. emergence of a sense of self
b. stages of cognitive development
c. importance of sociobiology
d. grammatical differences between the subject “I” and the object “me”
Answer: A
9. According to George Herbert Mead, children develop a sense of self by:
a. going through the sensorimotor stage
b. going to school
c. going to church
d. imitating others
Answer: D
10. According to George Herbert Mead, the socialization process occurs in three stages: the
“I” stage, the “me” stage, and the:
a. generalized other stage

b. interactionist stage
c. self-consciousness stage
d. imitative stage
Answer: A
11. George Herbert Mead referred to the general morals and values of the culture in which a
child develops as the:
a. symbolic morality
b. symbolic interaction
c. generalized other
d. corporalized other
Answer: C
12. A child learns to act like the adults he or she observes. Mead called this behavior:
a. unsocialized
b. taking the role of the other
c. preoperational
d. the generalized other
Answer: B
13. According to George Herbert Mead, what are children learning when they begin to take
the perspective of a generalized other in their games?
a. the values and beliefs of their parents
b. the behaviors associated with particular roles
c. how to imitate things
d. the attitudes and expectations of society as a whole
Answer: D
14. According to George Herbert Mead’s ideas of social interactionism, in what way is a
game of football like society?
a. Football is one of the few games that allows individual agency.
b. In both football and society, individuals have to take into account the roles and points of
view of everyone else.
c. In football and society, there are winners and losers.
d. Both football and society are entertaining.
Answer: B

15. In George Herbert Mead’s theory of socialization, what is accomplished when individuals
see themselves as others see them?
a. self-consciousness
b. other consciousness
c. selfishness
d. the sensorimotor stage
Answer: A
16. Jean Piaget’s theory of child development is based on the:
a. emergence of a sense of self-awareness
b. stages of cognitive development
c. importance of sociobiology
d. need for social reproduction
Answer: B
17. Which of the following describes behavior associated with Jean Piaget’s sensorimotor
a. a child senses that his or her beliefs vary from what other people believe
b. a child learns that he or she should wave at a person who says “bye, bye”
c. a child’s motor skills are independent of cognitive development
d. a child learns about his or her world by handling different objects
Answer: D
18. How would Jean Piaget describe a person who interprets the world relative to only himor herself?
a. concrete operational
b. egocentric
c. formal operational
d. symbolic relativist
Answer: B
19. According to Jean Piaget, the ability to understand things from a different perspective
does not take place until the:
a. preoperational stage
b. concrete operational stage
c. formal operational stage

d. generalized other stage
Answer: B
20. What describes adults who never reach the formal operational stage?
a. They often remain highly egocentric.
b. They are often highly educated.
c. They think in abstract terms.
d. They are skilled problem solvers.
Answer: A
21. The most concentrated period of socialization is called:
a. formal operational socialization
b. primary socialization
c. secondary socialization
d. generalized other socialization
Answer: B
22. Which of the following is NOT an agent of socialization?
a. an elementary school
b. a preschool playgroup
c. a new sports car
d. music videos
Answer: C
23. Which of the following is the most significant agent of socialization?
a. media
b. family
c. friends
d. coworkers
Answer: B
24. Research on teen smoking and other deviant behaviors has found that the most important
factor in statistically predicting whether a teen will take up a particular deviant behavior is
the presence or absence of peers who also engage in this behavior. This is probably because
the other teens are acting:
a. in ways that are closely connected to the family

b. in cooperation with schools and the media
c. as agents of socialization
d. as the most powerful long-term force in their friends’ lives
Answer: C
25. Why does the family have such a powerful impact as an agent of socialization?
a. Respect for parents is one of the key values of modern society.
b. No matter what stage of life we are in, families play an important role in our everyday
c. In recent years, the family has begun to take on greater responsibilities.
d. Families begin the socialization process before there are any other competing influences.
Answer: D
26. Schools teach us various academic subjects and are also involved in the socialization
process in more latent ways such as their emphasis on:
a. understanding mathematical concepts
b. reading Shakespearean plays
c. teaching students to follow rules
d. parent-teacher conferences
Answer: C
27. Social groups of similar age and social background are known as:
a. mature adults
b. socializing groups
c. peer groups
d. social grades
Answer: C
28. Formalized peer groups are known as:
a. age-groups
b. age-grades
c. teenagers
d. elders
Answer: B
29. Which type of television show depicts the highest number of violent acts and episodes?

a. police shows
b. soap operas
c. talk shows
d. cartoons
Answer: D
30. Which of the following have studies shown may help children’s social development?
a. reality TV programs
b. video games
c. newspapers
d. music videos
Answer: B
31. How has industrialization created agents of socialization in the workplace?
a. Demands of the work environment may cause people to change their outlook and behavior.
b. For the first time in history, people have to learn to cooperate with others at work.
c. For the first time in history, working at home has become a major part of social life.
d. Work is no longer considered a significant part of people’s lives.
Answer: A
32. The belief that individuals are permanently fixed within the social roles of their particular
culture is mistaken because:
a. men and women are programmed to accept the norms of the dominant society
b. social roles are set by societal consensus
c. social roles are negotiated and dynamically constructed
d. each person determines his or her own norms and values
Answer: C
33. From a sociological perspective, ________ is the source of individuality.
a. culture
b. the ego
c. gender
d. socialization
Answer: D
34. Characteristics attributed to an individual by others is called:

a. social identity
b. the generalized other
c. self-identity
d. peer groups
Answer: A
35. Which of the following might be the basis for a social movement?
a. self-identity
b. the “I”
c. social identity
d. the “me”
Answer: C
36. The process of self-development through which an individual formulates a unique sense
of self and his or her relationship to the rest of the world is called:
a. socialization
b. social-identity
c. self-identity
d. the “I”
Answer: C
37. How do sociologists define identity?
a. people’s understanding of themselves
b. egocentric behavior
c. cognitive development
d. role playing
Answer: A
38. What is the difference between social identity and self-identity?
a. Social identity is static, whereas self-identity is dynamic.
b. Social identity focuses on similarities among people, whereas self-identity focuses on
individual differences.
c. Social identity describes postindustrial identities, whereas self-identity describes
postmodernist identities.
d. Social identity is a sociological concept, whereas self-identity is a psychological concept.

Answer: B
39. When does gender socialization begin?
a. infancy
b. adolescence
c. young adulthood
d. old age
Answer: A
40. Parents often buy their children gender-specific toys. Boys get action figures that
encourage active and aggressive play, whereas girls get dolls and toy ovens that encourage
domesticity. This is part of what process?
a. expressions of behavior
b. growing up
c. socialization
d. generalizing others
Answer: C
41. At what age do children learn that gender does not change?
a. six months
b. two years
c. five years
d. sixteen years
Answer: C
42. Which of the following accurately describes the connection between gender socialization
and toys?
a. Toys are gender neutral.
b. Boys and girls have no gender preferences in toys; it is their parents and teachers who
distinguish playthings by gender.
c. Gender-specific toys are a phenomenon of the United States; other countries avoid these
d. Girls are more likely to choose boys’ toys to play with than boys are to choose girls’ toys.
Answer: D
43. In a well-known 1972 study of gender roles in children’s books, Lenore Weitzman and
her colleagues found that:

a. the vast majority of the characters were female
b. females were more likely to be involved in adventurous activities
c. not a single woman had a job outside of the home
d. males cooked and cleaned for the females
Answer: C
44. In which of the following media outlets are the primary figures most likely NOT male?
a. TV commercials
b. cartoons
c. beauty magazines
d. video games
Answer: C
45. Which of the following characterizes much of children’s literature?
a. A witch casts a spell on a princess that can be broken only when a prince kisses her.
b. A father prepares dinner for his children while his wife works on a legal brief.
c. A young girl wearing a red cape with a hood shoots a wolf that is harassing her.
d. A prince gives up his throne to pursue a career in ballet.
Answer: A
46. The socialization process is complex and involves distinct stages throughout the life
course that are determined by:
a. biology
b. books
c. mathematics
d. poetry
Answer: A
47. Which of the following stages in the life course is NOT a relatively new development?
a. childhood
b. adolescence
c. young adulthood
d. old age
Answer: D

48. Certain stages in the life course have expanded, whereas others have contracted. Which of
the following best characterizes this trend?
a. Young adulthood is expanding as twentysomethings extend their education and postpone
their movement into mature adulthood.
b. Mature adulthood is contracting as the number of premature deaths cuts this stage short.
c. Childhood is expanding as society becomes increasingly more child centered.
d. Old age is contracting as more people remain active for a longer period.
Answer: A
49. How does childhood today differ from a few hundred years ago?
a. Children today work in shopping malls, but previously worked only on farms.
b. Children today are seen as being in a unique developmental stage, but previously assumed
adult roles at a young age.
c. Children today are physically diverse, but previously all looked the same.
d. Children today are seen as miniature adults, but previously were portrayed as cherubs.
Answer: B
50. The concept of childhood as a distinct stage in the life course has its origins in:
a. ancient religion
b. hunting and gathering societies
c. industrialized society
d. economic theory
Answer: C
51. Which of the following norms for young people were especially strong in premodern
a. duties of children toward their parents
b. the need for experimentation during the teenage years
c. sexual promiscuity
d. marriage based on love
Answer: A
52. In her comparative study of Japanese and American teenagers, Mary White found:
a. a great deal of rebellion among both groups
b. more rebellion among American teenagers than Japanese teenagers
c. a respect for parents in both cultures

d. greater sexual activity among American teenagers than Japanese teenagers
Answer: C
53. Which of the following best illustrates the comparison between American and Japanese
a. Both groups place an interest in sex at the bottom of their priorities.
b. Japanese teenagers are more forthcoming than Americans in discussing their sexual
c. American teenagers are more academically successful than Japanese teenagers.
d. Adults in Japan are more critical of teenage behavior than adults in the United States.
Answer: B
54. While there are many similarities between Japanese and American teenagers, which of the
following illustrates a difference between the two groups?
a. Japanese teenagers attain greater academic achievement.
b. American teenagers put sex at the bottom of their priorities.
c. Japanese teenagers are less likely to separate passion, marriage, and romance.
d. American teenagers are less likely to conform to wider cultural ideas.
Answer: A
55. Which stage of the life course in modern society involves greater individual freedom and
increased responsibility?
a. childhood
b. young adulthood
c. mature adulthood
d. old age
Answer: C
56. Which of the following best describes a midlife sociologically?
a. when a man turns 50 years old, which is the midpoint between 0 and 100 years—the
average life expectancy
b. when a 66-year-old retires and decides to volunteer at the community center
c. when a 45-year-old woman goes back to college after her children have left home
d. when a twentysomething woman panics because her biological clock is rapidly ticking
Answer: C
57. In ________ societies, elders often lack authority within the family and community.

a. traditional
b. pastoral
c. industrialized
d. hunting and gathering
Answer: C
58. The highest status in traditional cultures was the age-grade of:
a. teenager
b. young adult
c. mature adult
d. elder
Answer: D
59. By 2050, ________ of the population in industrialized societies will be age 65 and over.
a. 5 percent
b. 14 percent
c. 20 percent
d. 50 percent
Answer: C
60. Modernization facilitates individual choice but can lead to dissatisfaction because:
a. geographic mobility impedes strong family connections
b. people must be responsible for their own life course decisions
c. people have to make choices that prepare them for the second half of their lives
d. people expect to be disappointed in life and do little to change their fate
Answer: B
61. Which of the following is the sociological definition of aging?
a. the process of people retiring from paid work
b. the respect with which elders are treated
c. the social processes that affect people as they grow older
d. turning 65 years old
Answer: C
62. The discipline concerned with the study of the social aspects of aging is called:

a. social aging
b. aging chronology
c. social gerontology
d. elder studies
Answer: C
63. According to 1950s functionalist theorist Talcott Parsons:
a. U.S. society needs to find roles for the elderly that are appropriate to their diminished
physical and psychological capacities
b. elderly people need to organize social movements to struggle for greater economic equality
c. older people should actively participate in shaping and defining their own social roles
d. older people should continue to work so that they do not financially burden their adult
Answer: A
64. Which theory argues that it is functional for society to remove elderly people from their
roles to free those positions for young people who will be more successful and productive?
a. functionalism
b. disengagement theory
c. conflict theory
d. activity theory
Answer: B
65. From the functionalist perspective, disengagement theory best serves:
a. children, who want to spend more time with their grandparents
b. infants, who need to learn the ways of their elders to be properly socialized
c. society, which benefits from the greater energy and new skills of young people
d. mature adults, who want to move into older adults’ senior-level jobs
Answer: C
66. Which theory is vulnerable to the critique that it is based on stereotypical assumptions
about the abilities of the elderly?
a. biological aging theory
b. disengagement theory
c. activity theory
d. conflict theory

Answer: B
67. According to its critics, functionalist theory:
a. focuses too much on social inequalities and not enough on the abilities of the elderly
b. pays too little attention to the inevitable mental and physical decline of the elderly
c. unrealistically assumes that the elderly can play an active part in defining their own role
d. emphasizes the need for society to redefine the social needs of older people rather than the
elderly defining their roles for themselves
Answer: D
68. Which of the following conforms to the assumptions of disengagement theory?
a. Couples are better off disengaging rather than continuing with an ill-fated marriage.
b. Elderly people should have an afternoon break in activities in order to reinvigorate
c. The U.S. economy and society would benefit from a mandatory retirement age.
d. Grandchildren should not engage in activities with their grandparents unless they initiate
the interaction.
Answer: C
69. Which theory suggests that both society and the elderly can benefit if elderly people
remain actively engaged in work and other social roles as long as they can?
a. functionalism
b. disengagement theory
c. activity theory
d. conflict theory
Answer: C
70. According to social conflict theories, what is the source of many of the problems of
a. social institutions that favor those who have the most economic power
b. disengagement of the elderly from their previous roles
c. the self-identity of the elderly
d. the inability of older people to adjust psychologically to their changed circumstances
Answer: A
71. According to social conflict theorists, who among the elderly fared best in the 1980s?
a. women

b. low-income people
c. white males
d. minorities
Answer: C
72. The second generation of theories of aging focuses on:
a. how well the elderly are integrated into the larger society
b. the extent to which activity is functional for the elderly and for society
c. how the larger social structure creates unequal opportunities for the elderly, creating
potential for social conflict
d. how social class affects how people age
Answer: C
73. According to ________ theories, approaches popular in the 1950s and 1960s as well as
those of the 1970s and 1980s overemphasized the importance of social structures in shaping
the lives of the elderly.
a. second-generation
b. third-generation
c. social conflict
d. activity
Answer: B
74. Recent theories on aging emphasize how:
a. the elderly expect others to define their social role
b. older people and young adults are forced to compete for the same jobs
c. older people age differently depending on class and status
d. the elderly contribute very little to society
Answer: C
75. Which of the following groups is more likely to live longer in U.S. society?
a. black men
b. black women
c. poor people
d. white women
Answer: D

76. Which group is most likely to experience poor health, isolation, and economic insecurity?
a. under age 65
b. ages 65 to 74
c. ages 75 to 84
d. over age 85
Answer: D
77. Other than age, what advantages do the “young old” have over the “oldest old”?
a. The young old tend to be more educated.
b. The young old have more children who can financially support them.
c. The young old are likely to have more friends and suffer less isolation.
d. The young old live in warmer parts of the country.
Answer: A
78. Research in the United States shows that:
a. adult children are willing to financially support their parents, if necessary
b. many elderly parents refuse to financially support their adult children, even in times of
c. most elderly people live a great distance from their adult children
d. most of the elderly who live alone are men
Answer: A
79. Among the elderly, which group is more likely to have problems of isolation and
a. men, because they are less sociable than women
b. women, because they are more likely to outlive husbands
c. young old women, because they are young enough to remember companionship, but too
old to enjoy it
d. both men and women, because they are equally likely to experience loneliness
Answer: B
80. Which of the following best describes the life expectancy of women relative to the life
expectancy of men?
a. The gap between men and women has remained constant at about five years’ difference.
b. The gap between men and women has decreased in the past fifty years as more women
enter the labor force.

c. The gap between men and women widens with age, with women outliving men.
d. The gap between men and women has widened in the past fifty years, with men outliving
Answer: C
81. Which of the following is illegal in the United States?
a. discrimination on the basis of age
b. prejudice against the elderly
c. andragogy
d. stereotypes about the elderly
Answer: A
82. Prejudice and/or discrimination based on age is:
a. socially acceptable
b. ageism
c. no longer a problem in the United States
d. fair treatment
Answer: B
83. Which of the following is NOT a source of ageism?
a. stereotypes of the elderly as sad, lonely, and senile
b. the obsession with youth in American popular culture
c. retirement plans offered in the workplace
d. new information technology
Answer: D
84. Elder abuse is:
a. always physical
b. sometimes linked to adult children’s financial dependence on their elderly parents
c. rarely perpetuated by a spouse
d. commonly perpetuated by an adult child
Answer: B
85. What is the best explanation for why adult children abuse their parents?
a. The latent anger of children boils over when they are responsible for ailing parents.

b. The financial burden of caring for parents comes at the same time that adult children are
ready to retire from work.
c. The adult children are retaliating for the abuse they suffered as children.
d. The adult children are resentful that they are financially dependent on their elderly parents.
Answer: D
86. In the United States, the health of the elderly:
a. is better than that of young people
b. is not covered by public insurance for people over age 65
c. is commonly reported by older people as reasonably good
d. has declined in recent years
Answer: C
87. With respect to health care, how do the elderly differ from other age groups in the United
a. They are almost all covered by government-funded health insurance.
b. They are remarkably less likely to suffer from health problems.
c. They have a better chance of living with HIV/AIDS.
d. They are less likely to require caregiver assistance.
Answer: A
88. Which of the following countries does not provide full healthcare coverage for its elderly?
a. Canada
b. France
c. Sweden
d. United States
Answer: D
89. A recent survey found that Americans’ worst fear about growing old is:
a. having nothing to do
b. death
c. being lonely
d. living for many years in a nursing home
Answer: D

1. Social reproduction is made possible by socialization.
Answer: True
2. Socialization is a process in which culture stamps people into molds, ultimately
undermining their individuality and free will.
Answer: False
3. Socialization usually ends at the beginning of adulthood.
Answer: False
4. Sociology has developed a single comprehensive theory about how the self develops.
Answer: False
5. According to George Herbert Mead, all children are born with an essential sense of self.
Answer: False
6. According to symbolic interactionist George Herbert Mead, a distinct sense of self is
developed in play through the process of “Taking the role of the other,” when young children
learn the guidelines and expectations associated with a variety of roles.
Answer: True
7. According to Jean Piaget, not all adults have accomplished the formal operational stage.
Answer: True
8. The family is the main socializing agency in all cultures.
Answer: True
9. In all cultures, adult relatives other than a child’s parents are rarely involved in the child’s
Answer: False
10. Research shows that adults react differently toward a child depending on the child’s sex.
Answer: True
11. The stages of the life course are pretty much the same regardless of culture and time
Answer: False
12. The concept of childhood as a distinct phase of life between infancy and teenager did not
arise until the last two or three centuries.
Answer: True
13. Some observers have suggested that childhood as a separate stage is diminishing due to
early exposure to such socializing experiences as adult TV programs.
Answer: True

14. Activity theory is supported by research showing that elders who stay engaged in their
work as long as they are able have enhanced mental and physical health.
Answer: True
15. In the United States, the elderly are generally a homogeneous group with little variation
in physical and mental ability, class, political values, and sexual preference.
Answer: False
16. Race is a more significant factor than age in poverty among the elderly in the United
Answer: True
17. Among the elderly in the United States, the “oldest old” are most likely to be
economically independent.
Answer: False
18. The majority of the elderly in the United States are socially isolated.
Answer: False
19. It is easier for women than men to grow old gracefully because of U.S. cultural values.
Answer: False

Test Bank for Essentials of Sociology
Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum, Deborah Carr
9780393932379, 9780393674088, 9780393937459, 9780393918830

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