Describe and analyze the process of socialization.
A Brief Essay on Socialization
Families act as the very first agent of socialization and a large number of social factors further impact the manner in which a family raises its children. Peer groups are on the other hand built up of individuals who are similar age wise and social status and share common interests (Grusec & Hastings, 2014). Peer groups help in providing their own opportunities of socialization as kids since being small engage in different activities which they don’t do with their families. Other institutional agents, like schools, educational institutions, workplaces, religion, governments, and mass media all contribute towards the individual being that individual. This socialization of the individual presents a half explanation of the human behaviours and beliefs, stating that individuals wholly cannot be predetermined by environment alone. Well this having being true, as human individuals are also guided by their own genetic predisposition as well as proven by science. So to go back to answer the question “Who am I” will take answers from what genes an individual has received courtesy centuries of her family history and origin and also the society in which the individual was born into.
School has been the second important socialization agent for me. I met the best of teachers and faculty members there, and met my peer group as well. Schools are critically important for the development of individuals, as in every developed and emerging nation, children spend maximum hours in school settings. They do not go there to only learn about varied subjects, but admirable behaviours like teamwork, camaraderie, friendship, importance of schedules and overall helps individuals find their true vocations (Lawson, Petersen, Cousins, & Handfield, 2009). It is in school, that I realized my love for social subjects and decided to pursue such in my later life. It is in school, I met my best of friends, learnt about the global economy, learnt to develop and put forward my own notions and ideas about the world. In other words, it is school who has majorly shaped me the way I am.
Peer groups are the next most important socialization agent in my case. A typical peer group is made up of individuals who are in a similar age bracket, and belong to more or less the same social status, and who share common interests. This peer group socialization starts at one of the earliest years, when kids start socializing in playgrounds and in random plays. This process intensifies when the children start entering into their teenage. Peer groups are tremendously importance to adolescents as they then begin to develop their own identity distinct from their families and assert independence. And as mentioned, Peer groups help in providing their very own opportunities and situations of socializations which are very different from how the families socialize (Arnon, Shamai, & Illatov, 2008). In my case, school has been the meeting ground for my peer group, and till now my peer groups constitute of individuals hailing from my school life and then college. I learnt how to be open to new ideas, try new things, have a more global and open world view, learnt about my interest for soccer, and reinstated my interest in photography from my peer group. It is with this socialization agent, I have shaped my personal life and the contribution of this agent for shaping who I am cannot just be ignored.
Lastly, mass media is chosen as the fourth socialization agent for me. This refers to all the distribution of information to a global audience through many mediums. With individuals hooked on to social media, on an average of 3 hours a day, and children engaging in even more TV time, the media greatly impacts the way social norms are formed and impact individuals (Wang, Yu, & Wei, 2012). Well I am no exception to it. I learn about subjects I am interested in, as well as the media reports help in shaping my viewpoints about global politics and world view. Hence, it cannot be denied that what I am today, a part of it has to be credited to the mass media as a socialization agent.
How these four socialization agents have shaped my childhood and my erstwhile adulthood, needs a bigger scope and will be beyond the purview of this essay. As aging procedure progresses, social roles start evolving and the importance of responsibility and commitment sets in and these acts as the cornerstones of adulthood. Individuals are expected to settle down, resulting in social unions named as marriages, and progress further generations. With the age progressing further, socialization continues and ultimately leads to re-socialization where the old behaviors which seemed to be helpful and relevant in previous life roles now are removed consciously as they are of no longer use. This process of re-socialization is generally more stressful and painful than regular socialization, as individuals often have to consciously unlearn behaviours which were customary to the self.
Hence, to go back to the start of the essay on the question “Who am I?” , the answer of such is not an objective one and keeps on changing as the age progresses in an individual and socialization process goes on. The purpose of this paper was to give the reader a brief comprehensive idea about socialization and how it shapes the concept of self.
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