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Essay on socialization.
Essay on Socialization!
Socialization is the process through which the individual learns to become an accepted member of the society. At birth the neonate is neither social nor unsocial. Because of this helplessness at birth he has to depend on other social beings for his care and welfare. As he grows in a social environment and in a social context, he develops various types of behaviour which are called social and gradually grows to become a social animal.
The interaction of the baby with his environment and particularly mother helps him in the above process. Thus the learning to adopt to the social norms, values and standards is called socialization.
The human organism is a byproduct of the society and social force. The manner in which the human child learns to become an accepted member of the society is called the socialization process. Anyone who does not accept or follow the dos and donots, rules and regulations, values and norms of the society is not called a socialised individual.
The socialization of the child takes place through action and reaction between the child and other individual members of the society. The child begins interaction with his mother first, then with his father and subsequently with other members of the family.
The process of socialization is quite complex. It involves the multiplicity of processes as it involves the multiplicity of social norms. It involves the various roles which the individual has to play in order to fulfil the expectations of the society. Not only the parental influence, and the influence of other adults but also the neighbourhood is of tremendous value in the socialization of the child.
Through the process of socialization the various values, codes, norms and mores of the society become a part of his personality, part of his personal values. When he accepts these willingly rather than as a matter of compulsion he is said to be socialized. The child’s behaviour is modified and remodified to conform to the expectations held by the members of the groups of which he is a member.
During the first three four years and before attending school the child is trained to meet the expectations of family members.
They teach him to follow the socially accepted behavioural patterns which are considered as good and reject unacceptable behavioural patterns which are considered as bad. But when he is admitted to a preschool or a nursery school or a primary school, he is also influenced by teachers and friends.
The child learns to adjust with a wider world of school teachers, class mates and play mates and a host of other persons. He learns the social norms, how to behave with the teachers and show respect to them, how to deal with the class mates. In this way as he grows and grows and reaches adulthood he comes across varied agents of socialization who mould his personality in the manner the society wants.
Not only the parental influence and the influence of the other adults also the neighbourhood is of tremendous value in the socialization of the child. Besides the effects of books, radio, TV and motion pictures are of tremendous value for the moral and social development of the child.
The child is socialized on the basis of his past and present experiences. Thus family, neighbourhood peers, playmates and classmates etc. mould the personality of the child according to the pattern of the society. Fundamentally socialization is possible through affiliation.
The early helplessness of the baby makes him dependent upon others. So he has to affiliate himself with others for his living. Love, comfort, respect, power, achievement and other secondary needs cannot be satisfied in isolation. Hence the child acquires many needs through social and affiliation learning which leads to socialization.
Major Features of the Process of Socialization :
The process of socialization is a continuous one. It continues from birth till death. Results of various experimental studies, observations of children in day-to-day life, interviews with parents, studies in different cultures taken together point out the major aspects of the process of socialization.
The dependency of the new born infant, the need for affiliation, the role of the reference group, the need for education and therefore admission to school, the effect of reward and punishment imposed by the parents, school and the society, delay in fulfilment of needs, desires and wishes, identification with the loved ones all have their respective roles in the socialization of the human infant.
The infant’s dependence upon the mother for food, care and nursing provides the essential condition for socialization of personality. But the help of reinforcement certain responses of the child are rewarded and certain other responses are not rewarded. Sometimes, the child is punished for not following the dos of the society. In this manner the dependent and helpless child is taught to be a member of the society.
The child also learns many values and traditions through imitation and incidental learning since parents do not always teach like a teacher. When a child sees that his mother is lying at the feet of God or Goddess he also does the same. When a child sees his mother showing her respect to a senior person by bowing her head she also learns to do the same.
Sears (1957) is of opinion that through dependence the process of identification develops. The desire to identify occurs when the child is given food and love and such reinforcements are periodically withdrawn so that the child will be rewarded by reproducing the mother’s behaviours.
The child also depends upon his parents and close family members for various informations about his surrounding and about the world at large. He also needs their help to clarify certain matters and to fulfil his curiosity. For this he has to obey them and follow what they say.
The need for affiliation also develops out of dependency. The desire to remain with others and be happy when one is in a group is an outcome of the helplessness of the child during early period. The desire to remain with others throughout one’s life has a direct link with the process of socialization.
Schachter (1959) found that isolation produces fear and affiliation reduces fear. Thus he concluded that persons with higher fear would affiliate more than those with low fears as through affiliation man tries to reduce his emotion of fear.
When a child grows up his socialization process is subject to the influence of outside agents of the society like the play group, teachers and peers. Now he becomes a member of several groups and clubs. Those groups which strongly influence the child are called the reference groups. The individual evaluates himself through the reference groups which serves as the standard for him.
New Comb (1943) while finding out the changes in the attitude of students that accompanied socialisation in a college observed the important role of reference group on socialisation. Sherif and Sherif (1964) also observe that like the family group, the reference groups influence the conduct of the individual.
The reference group serves as a norm, standard or model for the individual. The growing children and adolescents become a member of many groups and are influenced by the action, model ideal and values of such groups. A reference group serves as a standard for evaluation.
Out of the socialisation process the ‘self’ develops. The individual then learns to perceive himself and his self concept affects his social behaviour. A person perceives himself from three aspects i.e. from the cognitive, effective and behavioural components. His self concept becomes ultimately a source of motivation to him. The self concept develops out of the interaction of the individual with others.
When others say some one beautiful, sincere and intelligent, he develops a positive self concept and when people start saying negative things about one’s action and behaviour, he develops a negative self concept. A person who becomes regularly unsuccessful in examination perceives himself as academically poor. Thus the self concept develops through the process of social interaction and socialization.
When others say that he is an excellent boy he perceives himself as such and tries to repeat these characteristics in future which have brought him praise and reward. Those actions which bring him blame are given up and unlearned. A person who continuously become unsuccessful in an interview also develops negative self-image and inferiority complex.
The development of self therefore depends on continuous learning unlearning and releasing. Through the process of adjustment and readjustment the individual’s self is socialised.
Some have tried to compare the process of socialization with the procedures by which many human beings using raw materials construct automobiles. Many human beings interacting with the raw organism, the human infant, turn him to a socialized personality.
Nevertheless personality is not a mechanical by product of the society. Socialization is never a passive process and no personality is a mechanical by product of the society. A number of automobiles of similar type are produced using raw materials.
But no two human personalities are equal. Every personality is unique by itself. Every in the same family two brothers may have totally different personalities. One brother may have a very high social status while the other may be a delinquent and disgrace to the society.
Since no two personalities in the world are identically equal it would be erroneous to compare living human infants with the raw materials of automobiles which are dead materials.
When an infant undergoes the process of socialization he reacts in diverse ways. Sometimes he resists rules, regulations, traditions and customs of the society. At home, during training of feeding habits, there may be conflict between the child and the mother.
The child may resist to take certain types of good, to wear dresses of certain designs, he may like to go naked in summer, he may not like to follow certain traditions and customs which do not give him pleasure.
Sometimes a child may find it difficult to adjust with the demands and the needs of the society. He may find it difficult to control his emotions. If he is scolded by parents he is adviced to remain silent. He is not allowed to react. When he feels hungry he is not allowed to eat. He is allowed to eat only at a scheduled time and place.
Thus, the more rules and regulations he has to obey, the more disciplines, he has to follow, the more resistances are found. Since he has to meet a great deal of difficulty to conform to the expectations and norms of the groups he often resists conformity to social norms during infancy when it is mostly ‘id’.
But gradually when the ego develops, training of socialisation becomes stronger than the resistances and when he accepts the social values and norms as a matter of principle as his own values rather through compulsion, the conflict in the process of socialization is reduced and the person is said to be socialized.
The individual and society mutually respond to the process of socialization. The society tries to mould the individual through its rules, regulations, traditions and customs and the individual while trying to belong to the group, sometimes tries to modify the social standard as far as practicable.
A sense of belongingness helps one to feel secured and satisfied. Thus the process of socialisation helps one to develop a normal personality. One who is properly socialized, when he becomes a parent he undertakes the responsibility of socializing his own children and at this time, his attitude towards the prevalent social norms undergoes tremendous change.
With the change in the socio-cultural values and spirit of time, there is always a continuous change in the rules, regulations, standards, customs and traditions of the society. As a result, there is change in the socialisation of the human personality.
The socialization process is therefore never rigid but dynamic. It varies and changes from time to time and generation to generation. The parents, teachers and individuals have to adjust with the changing social customs and values and socialize their children accordingly.
They have to develop proper social attitudes and behaviours appropriate to his particular society. Otherwise there will be conflict due to generation gap. The child must behave in such a way which is approved by the group or society. Since the aim of socialization is to induce the individual to conform willingly to the ways of the society and the groups to which he belongs, parents and teachers should see that his personality is built up accordingly.
Otherwise in future there may be tremendous adjustment problems. Since socialization is a dynamic process a person who rigidly conforms to the rules and regulations of the society is not an ideal product of socialization.
A properly socialized person should be flexible and dynamic in approach to conform to the changing social standards of the society and culture. A person who is unable to adjust with this is therefore said to be unsocial or a social.
As previously indicated, the socialization practices change constantly. Social class has also an important role to play in this regard. Middle class mothers in comparison to working class mothers are more permissive towards the child’s expressed needs and wishes, are more equalitarian in their handling of the child and are less likely to use physical punishment.
Early learning experiences have a lasting impact on personality and socialization. In various studies of socialization process child psychologists have tried to investigate the effects of infant disciplines, child care programmes and post childhood discontinuities on adult personality. They have found that during the early years the parental influences on child is maximum and have powerful impact on socialization.
But during the later stage to reshape the unsatisfactory and socially inappropriate behaviours found in many adolescents, application of desocialization and resocialization processes are found essential.
Desocialization attempts to remove the previous attitudes and habits which are not conducive to proper socialization. Many had habits, antisocial and irresponsible, socially unacceptable behaviours can be reduced by this technique.
Resocialization on the other hand is a process by which the group induces a person to adopt one set of behaviour standards as a substitute for another. Sometimes after desocialization resocialization may be a necessary consequence. While removing the old values new values are to be substituted in their place.
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