Socialization

As discussed in chapter 5 of Open Stax book online and in class, socialization is very important in many ways. In Open Stax, socialization is defined as “is the process through which people are taught to be proficient members of a society. It describes the ways that people come to understand societal norms and expectations, to accept society’s beliefs, and to be aware of societal values.” This is true because not only does socialization affect us as individuals but it also affects our cultures and our society.

A large part of socialization is the effect is has one us a individuals and a part of this is the ongoing nature vs. nurture debate that many sociology, human development, psychology, and other social science classes will cover or discuss. In the aspect of sociology and socialization nurture is more of the applied aspect and what we will be mostly discussing. As an individual, socialization is very important in shaping us and allowing us to “fit into our society.” One way which we discussed the aspect of socialization in class and how we know that nurture is more of a part in our development than nature is the studies of social isolation. We found that without socialization a person (or in many cases animals) do not know who they are, how they should act in society, how to maintain “normal” lives, or many other things that seem to come naturally to us. Socialization is not just being inducted into a society (or large number of people) but there are many things which have influence on our socialization. One of the largest and often closest socialization we encounter is our family, other things like friends, peers, school, work, religion, government, and even media can affect us in the aspect of socialization and our development.

In the aspect of how we as individuals and socialization affects our society is by allowing us to form a connected society where socialization is passed down to continue the society and culture. Also without socialization a society would fall apart because no one would have the right means to form one means of communication, interaction, values, or norms and everyone would be on a different level not sure of what the person next to them is doing to going to contribute. Socialization is curtail to society because as I quoted earlier it aids to “understand societal norms and expectations, to accept society’s beliefs, and to be aware of societal values,” and to be aware of and understand others in our society. Socialization is important to a properly functioning society because of the understanding and social connections it teaches us as individuals that we can contribute back to society.

There a couple of people who had a large part to do in the studying and understanding of socialization and one of the bigger concepts of socialization comes from George Herbert Mead who said that socialization is the development of oneself through social interaction. He described this as the exchange of symbols, meanings, and intentions which we were not born with but must learn by taking the role of the other people around us. This is yet another way that socialization connects us as individuals and society so closely.

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