Socialisation sample essay
Jarvis (2006) defines socialisation as ‘the process whereby people acquire the rules of behaviour and the systems of beliefs and attitudes that form part of life in their society’. Socialisation influences the way people think, believe and act. Socialisation occurs through different types of interactions between human beings such as family and peers. It helps build their personal identity and personality. In this essay, my socialisation as an individual will be discussed and links between my socialisation and significant social processes will be identified.
According to Aspin (1992), there are diverse phases of the socialisation process, and each of them appears at different stages of people’s life. The socialisation process takes place from the day a person is born until death. Maynard and Thomas (2009) state that some theorists such as Talcott Parsons, ‘distinguish between primary socialisation, which includes the laying down of fundamental characteristics of personality, basic values, and so on; and secondary socialisation, representing the continuing effect of group interaction and culture on our habits, thoughts and values throughout life’.
Primary socialisation takes place during early childhood within the family. As for me, my family has played a big role in my life and has influenced me in being the person I am today. They have transmitted their values to me over the course of my childhood. Learning the norms that my family acknowledges and follows were natural and even today those norms reside in me. They taught me about moral values of life which help me distinguishing between the right and wrong. They have influenced me emotionally by always loving me unconditionally and supporting me throughout different stages of my life.
Theorists claim that primary socialisation within families are necessary and that they are factories which produce human personalities. According to me, they are right as people who know me well say that my mother’s caring personality was passed down to me. My father, siblings and myself have been my mother’s priority since the beginning. Whether she is sick or tired, she will never allow herself some rest until every one’s need has been met. She taught me that as a woman it is our duty to ensure that we clean, cook and do any other types of house chores at home.
But it was evident that whatever she was doing for us, she was doing it out of love and not because she did not have the choice. My mother inspired me to be someone who cares about my beloved ones more than me and she taught me the basic skills of becoming a good housewife. My gender roles were taught to me in the family setting. So my family socialisation led to my gender socialisation. According to psychologists such as Bem (1993), one cognitive process that humans tend to follow is to divide people into groups and most of the times these groups are split up based on their gender.
Bem (1993) stated that because boys and girls are treated in different ways and put into different learning environments, they develop different personalities, needs and skills. They become different people and grow into men and women. According to Parsons’ theory, in nuclear families, husbands and wives are given roles in accordance with the assumed instrumental characteristics of males and the assumed expressive characteristics of females (Sociology Guide, 2009). I have four elder sisters and one young brother. The fact that boy and girl are treated differently was oblivious to me until the birth of my brother.
As long as it concerned my sisters and me, we were treated equally. But as years went by, it was crystal clear that there was a big difference between the way we were treated and the way my brother was treated. When I was approximately eight years old and my brother seven years old, my brother was allowed to play out with his friends whereas for me it was a restriction. At the age of fifteen, I had to be home by four o’clock in the afternoon whereas my brother he was allowed to stay out until six in the afternoon.
A daughter had to help the mother out on the daily house chores whereas the son was not asked to do these types of chores. As said earlier, my mother taught me how to cook and do house whores because according to our culture it is a woman’s duty to complete these tasks whereas my brother was not asked to learn and do those. At that time, it was obvious that being a male meant being given more freedom and privileges. No matter how much the world is changing nowadays and cultures being disregarded, even today in the United Kingdom, family are unconsciously socialising their children in gendered ways.
For example, we can deduce that the colour blue is associated with boys and pink with girls. Hedgegaard (2003) defines secondary socialisation as the process where an already socialised person is learning new norms and values that take place when joining a new group of people. The factors that lead to secondary socialisation are education, mass media, peers and religion. According to Erik Erikson psychosocial theory, the latency stage, which occurs between the age of six years old and twelve years old, is a very social stage of development (Simply Psychology, 2008).
At the age of ten years old there was a group of girls that I was always with at school and though I was young, those friends had already influenced me in different ways. My mother is Christian and my father is Hindu. They always wanted me to practice and acknowledge both religions. My mother was reading the bible to me a few times per week and I was studying Hinduism at school. But as most of my friends were Christians, it led me in losing the interest of studying Hinduism. So at this young age, I was influenced to give up on one of my religion and focused on only one of them.
Before meeting those friends, both of my religions were a pride and were not ignored but then things changed. Since hanging out with those friends, I have stopped acknowledging the fact that Hinduism is my religion too. Even now Christianity is the only religion taken into consideration by me. Hinduism is a strict religion compared to Christianity and my belief is that giving up on that religion was a way to avoid the strict rules of good behaviour of it. Following the Latency stage, is the Puberty stage where the most significant relationships are with peer groups.
According to Erikson, the development depends mostly upon what is done to us and what we do (Simply Psychology, 2008). It is the time for one to discover who he is as an individual. My friends exert a powerful social influence on me. I was spending my days hanging out with my friends. Though as an adolescent I was not always on my best behaviour during this stage, spending time with my friends taught me how to share and handle conflict. The close relationships shared with my peers during that stage helped me discovering my social, mental and physical ability.
Socialisation impacts a lot on one’s life. The success of a person as an individual depends on the type of socialisation processes he has been through and whether the person made the most of it in the right way. My primary socialisation with my family helped me in being the one I am today. No matter what type of belief, values and norms, my parents tried to teach and share with me, they did so in order to ensure my well-being an individual and to feel part of this society.
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