(I'm working today on a colloquium I'm giving here at Harvard on Tuesday. This post is inspired by that, but not anything I'll actually be saying during the talk.)
Have you ever been annoyed by political officials who talk about their committment to, say, education or the integrity of infrastructure but then, in their actual actions, show themselves to have very different priorities about the expenditure of resources? I mean, where you just sit and seethe and want to yell, "Don't pretend like education and infrastructure are important to you if you aren't willing to support ponying up the resources the actually improve these things!"
Anyway, I must admit that I feel a little similarly when sociologists talk as though we were experts in human development, like our discipline is doing all kinds of work at the forefront of understanding human development and the "social" influences on human development, when in fact it would seem like inspection of major journal articles, or section memberships, or national hiring patterns would suggest that the study of development, or even just that part that is the study of "socialization," is not exactly a thriving enterprise in sociology. Myself, it's less that I feel like sociology needs to invest more in studying developmental processes, necessarily, but that we're honest in recognizing that it's a relatively small and shrinking part of our business these days. And that we are not collectively experts on topics, even if we may have strong opinions.
If you are a sociologist, take a look sometime of the "socialization" chapter of sociology textbooks. They often throw culture into it because they have so little to say. Or they dwell on old and resoundingly incorrect theories that no one outside of, e.g., the dwindling cult of George Herbert Mead, pays any attention to anymore.