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Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(2), 242-263; doi:10.3390/socsci3020242

Gender Socialization and Identity Theory

Department of Sociology, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8318, USA
Received: 25 March 2014 / Revised: 18 April 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
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Gender socialization is examined through a social psychological lens by applying identity theory and identity control theory. Current research from the fields of family and sociological social psychology are surveyed to provide a better conception of how the family operates as agents of socialization, and how identities that are cultivated and fostered in youth provide meaning throughout the life course and maintain the social order. The application of identity theory shows how gender is a diffuse status characteristic, which is salient in person, role, and social (group) identities, and also across social situations. Identity control theory is applied to show how emotions operate within an internal control system to stabilize gendered identities and perpetuate the social structure. Both theories are specifically applied to understand socialization dynamics that exist for children and families.
Keywords: gender; socialization; identity; identity theory; identity control theory gender; socialization; identity; identity theory; identity control theory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Carter, M.J. Gender Socialization and Identity Theory. Soc. Sci. 2014, 3, 242-263.

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