The Social Self
The Social Self
What is socialization? When does it matter most in the life-course? Why is it important for a) the individual b) the society?
A process whereby various mouthpieces and agents of the society indoctrinate people about the basic ways of living and surviving in the society and the process, aid in the formation of peoples' qualities, is known as socialization. These representatives may include societal institutions, for instance, family, educational facilities, religion, mass media and the spokespersons of these institutions, e.g. parents, teachers, religious scholars, acclaimed celebrities and influencers.
Although socialization is necessary for the mere survival of human beings because instinctively, human beings know very little. Apart from some basic reflexes and needs of the human body which arise from the primal brain, there is a large store of information that humans have to learn and adapt to survive and to live with decent standards in this world.
Early socialization matters most in the life-course. Early or primary socialization is occurring in the life of an individual in his or her early years. During that time, the individual as a child is expected to develop some socially acceptable behavior patterns and a moral code which makes his attitude appropriate to a certain culture. The main players in this socialization are the parents, friends, and siblings of the child. The actions of these people make a lasting impression on the unfinished brain matter of the child and everything that he does or believes in his adult life depends on those early interactions.
Socialization is important for an individual because of some definite reasons. A man comes into this world alone but is dependent on others for learning the ways of this life, individual qualities and personality traits are also developed through the process of socialization. Whatever the actions of an individual adult might be, they are a result of an amalgam of hereditary characteristics and the different processes of socialization.
Collectively, socialization is important for society because it teaches a diverse group of people with basic impulse control and guides their conscience to develop in a certain manner, drawing the line between right and wrong which is considered the essence of being human by many philosophers.
What is an agent of socialization?
The process of socialization remains active throughout an individual’s life and the assimilation of the cultural values and norms is also dynamic and ever-evolving in nature. Socialization can be regarded as successful if all the members of a society depict uniform culture. The sources of extending information and practices about the acceptable standards of living and interacting with others are known as “agents of socialization.”
Family, friends, peers, teachers, religious leaders, government, workplace colleagues, and mass media can all act as agents of socialization for an individual.
The following interview was conducted from one of the faculty members of the Sociology department, Mr. Carrey who holds a dual degree in the doctoral program of Sociology and Demography. His research achievements have helped a lot of internally displaced people in society to find a niche that helps them in their life goals and objectives. Questions were asked regarding his placement in the society in a very limited context. Open-ended responses were recorded and analyzed as presented in the subsequent sections.
Importance of agents of socialization and their influence on the subject’s social placement
In a question asked about the primary socialization, Mr. Carrey responded that both his parents were high-school teachers with a set schedule and stressed on the importance of education and social sciences rather than natural sciences to understand the dynamics of society. Family as an agent of socialization impacted a lot of the childhood tendencies and activities of Mr. Carrey and developed in him, a love for reading and assimilating information about societal functioning. Besides the influence of his parents, Mr. Carrey's siblings were also captains and utilitarian members of different societies in their respective schools and colleges which aspired him to be a part of all the extracurricular activities in school. His parents made him watch scientific documentaries based on research from a very young age and instead of fantasy stories, Mr. Carrey and his siblings used to improvise on a random topic assigned to them from their parents every night after dinner. Thus all the agents of socialization influenced the current sociological placement of Mr. Carrey and made him what he is today.
Assessment of the relative importance of these social influences
Relatively, family as a social influence has proved to be more important in the life of Mr. Carrey and multiple studies which were conducted in the recent years have also established that even though a school’s environment helps a child in learning and adapting a socially acceptable behavior, the domestic environment of his household also plays a pivotal role in the formation of his personality CITATION Hof19 \l 1033 (Hofslundsengen).
Similarly, school has a more important status of a social influence in Mr. Carrey’s life as compared to church which is a religious institution because on questions regarding church attendance and resulting motives, Mr. Carrey responded that a global politics course taught in high-school was the major factor of his motivation to work for the internally displaced people of the society. Even though Mr. Carrey was regular in his church attendance he didn’t quite believe in the significance of charity and opined that the unfortunate must strive for their betterment instead of depending on financial aid.
Primary and secondary influences
Family, childhood friends, educational system, mass media are the primary influences and university friends, extra-curricular activities in the university, jobs, internships, research workshops and seminars, his YouTube channel and associated memberships are the secondary influences.
How are they complementary and how do they distinguish?
The primary and secondary influences of socialization are similar in the way they impart knowledge to an individual through interactions with family and friends. Behavior in public is also shaped and reshaped through primary and secondary influences.
The two sources of socialization conflict when in the later stages of life, a young adult has to navigate independently without the support of his parents or close friends. A teen or adolescent begins to make changes when his peer group acts against what he has been taught at home from his parents. Messages from religious or cultural organizations can also alter the responses of an individual as a consequence of secondary socialization.
Occasions about the subject's rebellion
The account of the final section of Mr. Carrey’s interview reveals that apart from minor disagreements and differences in opinion with his parents regarding the choice of Halloween costume, tobacco use in the teen years, and lending active support to the causes of LGTBQ+ community, there were no major occasions pertaining to his rebellion with the societal norms and values and did not attain the status of a socialization conflict.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Hofslundsengen, Hilde, Jan-Eric Gustafsson, and Bente Eriksen Hagtvet. "Contributions of the Home Literacy Environment and Underlying Language Skills to Preschool Invented Writing."." Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research (2019): 653-669.
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