The Process of Socialization: Case Study

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 1112
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

The socialization process goes throughout the entire life – from the very birth of a person to old age. In socialization, a person masters social norms and roles and interacts with other people; the personality is formed in this process. A person becomes a social being due to the socialization process. The expansion and deepening of socialization occur in the sphere of activity, communication, and self-consciousness. As a result of socialization, a person adapts to the social environment around him, masters the rules and norms of behavior accepted in the society they belong to. A person can live in human society only on the condition that they are able to adapt to it. The adaptation process can be very complex and varies from person to person. But, in the end, all people adjust to the social environment in which they grow up.

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To analyze the socialization process, it is necessary first to answer the question ‘who am I?’ This might be difficult because there are many ways to answer this question. However, finding the answer is important because I can mention a wide variety of roles that have influenced the formation of my entire personality. Through the analysis of personal socialization processes, one can truly understand the basis of character. To highlight the leading social roles that apply to me, I will name age, race, gender, and professional affiliation. These factors, at the moment, are these social labels by which people evaluate and form their idea of ​​me.

I am a 37 years old black woman, currently a military veteran. Two of these characteristics were acquired in the life process; two have influenced my life since birth. Despite this, all of them directly influenced my process of socialization and, subsequently, self-identification. My age indicates that I have gone through the stages of socialization required in adolescence; my circle of friends, interests, and values ​​has already been formed. You can consider yourself a fully formed person in biological and social terms at my age. Belonging to a particular race also affects the process of socialization.

Being black, I may face racial prejudice, which, unfortunately, is still inherent in our everyday society. Gender determines early socialization due to gendered behavior patterns. Involvement in the circle of military personnel is another essential part of my socialization; I got used to a specific hierarchy and principles of behavior. It is impossible to consider all these aspects separately: I am a 37-year-old black military woman; these facts make me who I am. It defined my social circle and shaped the perception of me by other people. All this is the process of personal socialization, laying the self-identification of a person as a reflection of the ideas of others about you.

Behavior patterns unquestionably come from the social institutions each member of society considers himself. In the family circle, the basic norms of behavior in society are laid down, on which a person relies on for the rest of his life—the culture in which a person is brought up plays a significant role. My family laid down the basic patterns of behavior associated with my gender. It was not possible to avoid instilling the qualities related to the norms of behavior for women: tolerance and empathy. Growing up, what was laid down in the family was either strengthened or torn away, but the deep-laid base could not be changed.

Later, educational institutions leave their mark in the process of socialization. The theory of functionalism describes the concept of the influence of social institutions on a person. Functionalism, also called structural-functional theory, views society as a structure with interconnected parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of the people in that society. Functionalism grew out of the work of the English philosopher and biologist Hebert Spencer. He saw the similarities between society and the human body; he argued that just as organs of the human body work together to keep the body functioning, the different parts of society work together to keep society functioning (Kalu, 2019, p.1). The school taught me the need to contribute to the functioning of the social mechanism. In the process of learning, I developed communication skills with peers and elders and an understanding of what I want to do in life.

Social conflict theory is a macro-oriented paradigm of sociology that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change. Key elements from this perspective are that society is structured to benefit the few at the expense of the many, and factors such as race, gender, class, and age are associated with social inequality. The social conflict theorist is all about the relationship between the dominant group and the minority group (Conflict theory, 2019, p.5). In the key of this theory, my socialization process as a black person took place.

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Socialization of a person is impossible without attributing oneself to a specific gender. It is gender socialization that largely determines the role of a person in society. Traditionally, women’s roles are debunked by the theoretical concept of feminism. The theoretical basis of feminism can be described as the idea of ​​a perspective that asserts that women are uniquely and systematically oppressed and that challenges notions of gender and gender roles (Delap, 2020, p. 7). Feminism played a serious role in the process of my socialization. By challenging traditional gender patterns, I was able to choose a career in the military that was not very typical of a woman.

The people around us play a significant role in socialization at any stage. The theory of symbolic interactionism suggests that people respond to elements of their environment following the subjective meanings they attach to those elements, such as the meanings created and changed through social interaction, which includes symbolic communication with other people (Quist-Adade, 2019, p.9). Symbolic interactionism describes the way societies are created and maintained due to the repeated actions of people. Simply put, people in society understand their social world through communication – the exchange of meanings through language and symbols. My environment influenced shaping me as a person no less than other factors. The military environment brought up patience, strictness, and purposefulness in me.

Thus, socialization is influenced by many factors, starting from early childhood. In my case, the most decisive influence on the process of socialization was my family, my gender, race, and professional affiliation. All these factors equally influenced both my personality and how others perceive me. Discovering one’s personality is impossible without understanding the processes that influenced its formation. Understanding the stages of socialization and the whole process provides an excellent opportunity to analyze your personality and the origins of your character and behavior.

References

Delap, L. (2020). Feminisms: a global history. Penguin Books Limited.

Kalu, K. N. (2019). A functional theory of government, law, and institutions. Lexington Books.

IntroBooks. (2019). Conflict theory. (n.p.). Independently Published.

Quist-Adade, C. (2019). Symbolic interactionism: the basics. Vernon Press.

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