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Debating Nature vs. Nuture

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Nature vs. Nurture has been an ongoing debate in the social sciences.

- Describe what is meant by "Blank Slate."
- How is culture imprinted upon children?
- Within this line of thought, how is gender learned?
- Which perspective (functionalist, conflict, or interaction) can be used to explain socialization?

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"Blank Slate"
In addition to the social science perspective of the "blank slate" or commonly known as "tabula rasa" (John Locke's theory) which is the literal Latin translation, there are biological and psychological perspectives (which you may have learned in first year psychology). I will focus on the social science perspective.

The "Standard Social Science Model" is a model that is purported by critics to the "blank state" theory. I highly recommend referring to the following resources:
Pinker, Steven. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Viking.
Pinker, Steven. (2007). The Stuff of Thought : Language as a Window Into Human Nature. New York: Viking.

The first resource is targeted toward answering your question. The second resource will assist you in the area of socialization in general.

There are also numerous YouTube videos available of lectures by Steven Pinker. He is a professor at MIT. There are scholars in the behavioural sciences and in anthropology that would critique Pinker's scientific basis for his claims, however, it would be a more modern follow-up to John Locke's analysis.

In an interview, Pinker responds:
"...Let's talk about the blank slate. Just on logical ...

Solution Summary

This solution will guide the student in describing what is meant by "Blank Slate," and discuss how culture is imprinted upon children. This solution will also assist in discussing how gender is learned and describing perspectives that can be used to explain socialization.

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