First published in 1991, this book represents the first wide-ranging review of young people’s understanding of the social world and the functioning of society. Taking a social cognitive view of adolescence, it focuses on the processes by which young people learn to understand other people’s thoughts, emotions, intentions and behaviour. Concentrating on the social world of politics, economics, work, gender and religion, the authors cover such issues as: politics and government; work and unemployment; law and legislative matters; religion; marriage and the family; social class; and racial and ethnic differences. This work will be of interest to students of sociology and psychology.
List of figures and tables; Preface; 1 Introduction to the issues; Introduction Common themes Stage-wise theories in growth Major determinants of development The construction of the social world Some methodological issues Conclusion; 2 Politics and government; Introduction Political attitudes Political knowledge Stages of development Political socialization Conclusion; 3 Economies and trade; Introduction The acquisition of specific economics concepts Developmental stages in the acquisition of economic concepts Economic socialization and education Conclusion; 4 Work and employment; Introduction Attitudes to school, work and employment Youth unemployment Knowledge of different occupations Vocational choices Stage-wise theories Conclusion; Sex and gender; Introduction Sex Differentiation Sex-role and gender attitudes and knowledge Socialization into sex roles: family influences School influences on gender understanding Other influences Adolescent sexuality Conclusion; 6 Religion and spiritual matters; Introduction Young people’s religious beliefs Infancy and childhood understanding of religion Adolescent beliefs and understandings The socialization and counter-socialization of religion Conclusion; 7 Race, color and prejudice; Introduction Understanding of skin color Racial attitudes and preferences Socialization Direct interracial contact Racial prejudice Conclusion; 8 Law and justice; Introduction Developmental perspectives and stage-wise models Attitudes to law enforcement and crime Conclusion; 9 Social class and stratification; Introduction Developmental trends and stage-wise theories Social differences Uses of stratification information Conclusion; 10 Conclusion; Introduction The structure of social attitudes to society What determines the extent of young people’s knowledge The growth of understanding: stage-wise theories The socialization of understanding; References; Name index; Subject index