Academic Master

Sociology

Using sociological concepts to analyze contemporary social issues

Socializing is important as it helps us to be able to interact with one another in a meaningful and constructive way. It is the purpose of this paper to describe culture and socialization using sociological knowledge acquired in this course of study. The sociological concepts that have been learnt will be used in this discussion to emphasize the analysis of contemporary social issues.

In sociology, the role is very important in shaping the conduct of an individual in relation to society. The process of socialization involves the way people internalize societal norms, ideologies, and customs through learning and teaching, affecting the behavior, actions, and beliefs of an individual. According to boundless sociology, the process of socialization takes place throughout the life of an individual, where skills and habits are taught so as to become an effective and functional participant in society (Sociology, 2016, May). A role involves a given set of rules that are used as a master plan to guide the way an individual should behave. In human socialization, roles are very important as they determine the choice of personal goals to be achieved, what activities are done, and objectives to be achieved by an individual in society. Since roles carry with them expected behavior, those who are playing a certain role can predict their next cause of action as defined by the role they have identified themselves with (Thompson, Hickey, and Thompson, 2016)… For example, as a teacher, I am expected to be a disciplinarian, coach, guide, and role model as an academician.

Therefore, for individuals to be properly socialized, they must identify with a certain role from early childhood in terms of gender roles. For example, the expectations of the role of a girl in a given culture would be different from those of a boy or a girl would get a doll for a toy being socialized into motherhood in the future, while a boy would probably get a miniature tank being socialized to become a protector probably a soldier. In role theory, it’s important to change roles so as to change the behavior of an individual

The status of an individual in society is very important as it defines the person in the eyes of society. Status is simply the placement of an individual in a hierarchy of prescribed positions in society (Dubois and Ordabayeva, 2015). Being a child in itself is status as compared to being an adolescent or an adult. I went through this status of a child, whereas an individual had several statuses such as being a playmate, Daughter, pupil, etc. As one grows older statuses keep on changing in varying aspects. As an adult, one may have statuses such as breadwinner, father, soccer fan, husband, etc. Some of these statuses are given at birth (ascribed) gender, race, age, prestige, privileges, etc., while others are acquired as we grow, e.g., lawyer or doctor. It’s, therefore, imperative to note that status and roles are interlinked as we socialize in our society.

Since a group is a number of people who interact together in an organized and well-defined structural manner, it affects the behaviors of its members in relation to one another (Zelditch, Berger, and Cohen, 2015). One participating in a particular group must conform to the group’s norms for them to be rewarded with acceptance and reconditioned as members of that group. The opinion of the group will, therefore, influence the behavior of an individual and how to make judgments in line with group opinions.

The self is a stable set of perceptions of who we are in relation to others and the social systems in which we operate through interaction with others the individual is, therefore, an active participant in socialization. The self-relate to one’s own organism in relation to interaction with others hence increasing meaningful interaction with the rest of the society (Walker and Lynn, 2013). In the family, my identity has been enhanced in relation to the members of the family and how we, as a family, would conduct ourselves. As an individual, my family has influenced the decisions I have made in relation to how to treat others politely and with respect from a young childhood; otherwise, one would be punished. As an individual, the role of religion in shaping the way I interact with the rest of society has been important. I am expected by my family and members of my religion to preach to others. Since self-constitute, the I and ME are the ‘I’ in connection with me.

So the I in relation to an individual as he relates to others, while the ‘me’ is those attitudes organized I in relation to others which an individual assumes. (Saperstein and Penner, 2014). So, the attitudes of my family, members of my church, and my peers have influenced my behavior since childhood in terms of how I perceive myself as a good religious person. Education has also influenced the way I relate to others since my teachers have instilled certain strict norms and codes of behavior, which have been reinforced by my family and religious group. These behaviors include proper grooming, punctuality, and good morals, among other aspects the people socialize with consider appropriate.

Moral norms have been a part of socialization in our family. As a child, I was taught to address my seniors with respect and obey them. Tasks like keeping my room clean were taught and reinforced by my elder siblings and peers under the supervision of my parents. The use of vulgar language and sexual innuendos are frowned upon both at home and in my church. Peer influence has consistently tried to influence otherwise, especially when hanged with the group classified by society as bad children due to their errant behavior. The strict morals adhered to by my family and church members had made me consider choosing a partner in marriage who is religious too and has a similar interest in spiritual matters to avoid discord with my family and church. Good morals are important to me and have influenced decisions on sex, drug experimentation, and abuse, among other actions that are considered to be errant by those who are my close associates.

Genetic inheritance influences behavior and other biological factors such as physical appearance and personality traits. Talent in music, art, and arithmetic aptitude. On the other hand, nurture is the effect of the environment on one’s behavior. Since I was born into a family of artists, and it has always been the custom of our family to delve into art, my family has always expected me to be good at sketching and drawing from an early age. The belief that the ability to be a good artist was inherited in my family always surfaced in family discussions. Having been brought up in this kind of environment, I realized that it came naturally when I went to school to excel in this area. My peers in my classes also reinforced this belief making me exert myself to conform to their belief that I was a good artist. When my skills improved with time in school, my teachers reaffirmed that I was good at art, and they expected me to pursue a career in art. For this reason, I decided to actually pursue this profession. I finally decided to become a teacher of the subject and ended up being at the university to train as a teacher in the subject of art. This shows how socialization influences our lives, especially with the influence of what we inherit from our parents and the environment we are brought up in.

Resocialization is an important aspect of our lives, especially when we need to unlearn old habits and need to learn new and better ways of socializing to improve our lives. Resocialization means the way in a person’s perception of norms and values are changed to accommodate new values and discard old ones. (Dubois and Ordabayeva, 2015) Examples of resocialization may include single parenting, military boot camps, and prison life to change lifestyle through the intense social process in a total institution. One can unlearn and re-learn social norms, e.g., language, eating habits, and talking habits. It is interesting that having been brought up in a religious family background, after joining the university, I have changed some of the things that I used to believe in. One of the major influences has been my peers at the university and the education system, as I have to understand more about the reasons behind human behavior and socialization. Though I still believe in god, I have found that the definition of morals is relative to the group making the definition and its interpretation. Peer pressure has influenced my habits of drinking alcoholic beverages, affecting the way I socialize with some of the friends I met later in life.

Complete resocialization has occurred as I am no longer overly religious, and I have relearned that I don’t have to live according to my parent’s standards, as my peers have often lectured me. The media, especially the internet using Facebook and WhatsApp, have changed the way I relate to people,e and I have changed my social status. I have become a liberal independent thinker, choosing my friends and creating social nets not based on religion and family ties but based on what I have been exposed to at this higher institute of learning. It is through Facebook that I have had the opportunity to meet my new friend, who is actually not religious at all, but we share our love for art and teaching.

References

Saperstein, A., & Penner, A. M. (2014). Beyond the looking glass: Exploring fluidity in racial self-identification and interviewer classification. Sociological Perspectives57(2), 186-207.

Walker, M. H., & Lynn, F. B. (2013). The embedded self: A social networks approach identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly76(2), 151-179.

Zelditch Jr, M., Berger, J., & Cohen, B. P. (2015). Stability of organizational status structures.

Dubois, D., & Ordabayeva, N. (2015). 13 Social Hierarchy, Social Status, and Status Consumption.

Sociology, B. (2016, May). Boundless, 26 May 2016. Web.Retrieved from: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-sociology/chapter/theories-of-socialization/ 24th March 2018.

Thompson, W. E., Hickey, J. V., & Thompson, M. L. (2016). Society in focus: An introduction to sociology.

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