Monday, October 13, 2008

What About Socialization?

People are social. Everybody knows that. Children are to be socialized. Most people would agree. But what does socialization entail? Does it mean becoming just like others in one's society or becoming useful within that society, regardless of whether that means mirroring others or being different enough to contribute what others cannot?


  1. At birth, children cannot walk, talk, feed themselves, or do anything for themselves. They first learn by observing, then by attempting to emulate, yet we are not all clones of each other. Do you talk just like you mother or father? Of course not. You may use similar phrases or a similar cadence, but as you aged, you developed your own style. If, however, you do not learn the dimensions of your culture's social behavior, you end up a social outcast/outsider, or worse, a criminal. Many Asian and Middle Eastern cultures have very specific social roles for men and women. If one veers outside of what is socially acceptable, harsh punishment, including death, can be the consequence. When an individual has learned the nuances of their social culture, they begin to apply their own opinions, beliefs…style, thereby diversifying the social culture ever so slightly. Socialization and culture are always adapting to include. If you draw a line today, October 17th, 2008, and rigidly define what our society and culture represent, within a decade or less, a significant portion of the population will fall outside of those social that definition. It’s not a box that is confining us within it, but is rather an ever growing consciousness of what we mutually accept to be normal. Up until the early 20th Century, it was socially accepted that women did not have the right to vote. Over time, we came to recognize that women had an equal right to vote, resulting in the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  2. Maybe there is more than one facet that contributes to socialization. One facet is personal, or "fitting in", another facet is related to learning a culture's ideals and a third could be related to being capable of contributing in a positive way, and could even go beyond simple contribution to creation.