Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

‘Human Beings are Social Beings’

A. Video: ‘Human Beings are Social Beings’:

B. Discussion questions based on the video:

1. What does it mean to say that humans are to some extent ‘socially determined’?

2. What are the different ways in which (i) children and (ii) adults are normally dependent upon others.

3. What are (i) physical, (ii) emotional and (iii) economic dependency? Give examples of each.

4. What is the ‘learning corollary’ described by the lecturer?

5. In comparing the young of different species, what is the relationship between learning and instinct?

6. What is the role of (i) biological inheritance and (ii) social environment in the acquisition of language?

7. In what ways do many adolescents remain physically dependent upon their childhood caregivers?

8. How do street children survive in the absence of adult caregivers?

9. (a) In what ways do some adolescents become adults sooner than others? (b) What factors prolong the transition to adulthood for some adolescents? (c) How does the process of becoming an adult vary between societies and social groups?

10. Do you think that students who are in their late teens or early twenties are adults yet? Why/Why not?

11. Children growing up in some orphanages experience ‘emotional deprivation’. (i) What does this mean? (ii) What are the consequences?

12. What were the main findings of Harry Harlow’s study of baby monkeys?

13. What is ‘emotional dependency’ in adults? What evidence is there for its importance?

14. Describe the major social needs identified by Abraham Maslow.

15. How are most people in the modern world economically dependent upon others? Give examples.


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This entry was posted on May 15, 2013 by in Sociology and tagged .
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