Some Theorists Believe That Human Behaviour Is ‘Wired in’, That Is Innate. What Are Some of the Arguments That Support and Contest This View?

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Some theorists believe that human behaviour is ‘wired in’, that is innate. What are some of the arguments that support and contest this view? In opposition to the view of human behaviour as being “innate” are the theories of behavioural development through socialisation. These theories stress the acquisition of language and social interaction throughout childhood as key determinates of an individual’s behaviour (Germov and Poole 2007). George Herbert Mead and John Piaget both developed theories of childhood development that sought to explain the acquisition of a sense of “self” – an essential part of the socialisation process. It is through socialisation that individuals learn the culture of their society, and in doing so learn how one is expected to behave based on that societies norms. Agents through which socialisation occurs are many, and have grown over time. Primary socialisation – that which occurs in early childhood mostly within an individuals family – shapes behaviour, but this is also built upon by secondary socialisation – which includes influences such as school, peers and increasingly the media and internet. All of these factors combine to influence an individuals behaviour, and these influences may differ widely based on environment – differing socioeconomic status, cultural practices, education levels and so on. References

Colapinto, J (2000) As Nature Made Him: The Boy who was Raised as a Girl, HarperCollins, Pymble, Sydney. Germov J, Poole M (2007) Public Sociology, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, New South Wales. Kety S, Rosenthal D, Wender P (1978) Genetic relationships within the schizophrenia spectrum: evidence from adoption studies. In Spitzer R, Klein D (eds), Critical Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis. New York, Raven Press, pages 213-223. O’Brien, D (2006) An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, Polity, Cambridge, UK.
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