"I don't want to be crippled by things that happened in the past. [My father] was a free bird, you know? He couldn't handle being a father. [When I learned that my father was terminally will with cancer,] I thought, even if it's seven months, I want to get to know this person. Sometimes I 'just sit there, and he'd say,"Stop staring at me.Then sometimes we'd talk about the past. One day he said, "Perfect. You were made perfect"! just started crying. i was like,"Thank you, God, for letting me have this moment''
an interview, actor Drew Barrymore explains how she reconciled with her father, . from whom she had been estranged for many years, a short time before his death (Lynch and Gold, 2005: 96, 98). As her previous autobiography, Little Girl Lost, described, Barrymore and her father had experienced problems in the past:
I think my mom and dad were boyfriend and girlfriend far a couple of years, but they were apart by the time I was born ....
The earliest memory I have of my father isn't pleasant. I was three years old My mom and I were standing in the kitchen, doing the laundry Suddenly the door swung open and there was this man standing there. I yelled, "Daddy!" Even though I didn't know what he looked like, I just automatically knew it was him. He paused in the doorway, like he was making a dramatic entrance, and I think he said something, but he was so drunk, it was unintelligible. It sounded more like a growl. We stood there, staring at him. I was so excited to see him i didn't really know what my dad was like, but I learned real fast. In a blur of anger he roared into the room and threw my mom down on the ground. Then he turned on me. I didn't know what was happening. I was still excited to see him, still hearing the echo of my gleeful yell, "Daddy!" when he picked me up and threw me into the wall. Luckily, half of my body landed on a big sack of laundry, and I wasn't hurt. But my dad didn't even look back at me. He turned and grabbed a bottle of tequila, shattered a bunch of glasses all over the floor, and then stormed out
of the house .... And that was it. That was the first time I remember seeing my dad. (Barrymore, 1994: 185-187)
For Barrymore and many other people. early interactions with their parents have had a profound influence on their later lives. Clearly, the parent-child relationship is a significant factor in the process of socialization, which is of interest to sociologists. Although most children are nurtured, trusted, and loved by their parents, Barrymore's experience is not an isolated incident: Large numbers of children experience maltreatment at the hands of family members or other caregivers such as babysitters or child-care workers. Child maltreatment includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect. and emotional mistreatment of children and young adolescents. Such maltreatment
is of interest to sociologists because it has a serious impact on a child's social growth, behavior, and self image- all of which develop within the process of socialization. By contrast. children who are treated with respect by their parents are more likely to develop a positive self image and learn healthy conduct because their parents provide appropriate models of behavior. In this chapter. we examine why socialization is so-crucial, and we discuss both sociological-and social psychological theories of human. development. We look at the dynamics of socialization-how it occurs and what shapes it Throughout the chapter. we focus on positive and negative aspects of the socialization process. Before reading on. test your knowledge of socialization and child care.