Sociology and Development

According to the second edition of Sociology in Modules by Richard Schaefer, socialization can be defined as a life process in which people learn appropriate behaviors, attitudes, and values. Focusing on nature and nurture, the subject tries to explore what shapes human personality. Sociology conducts extensive research that focuses on the effects of environment on self-identity. Our personal qualities define our impressions and how we view ourselves. These qualities are, however, a result of our social interactions with others.

Acquiring social qualities is influenced by a set of certain factors otherwise known as agents of socialization. From a tender age, these factors have an influence on our growth and development. The family plays a key role in an individual’s life. Growing in an environment where social expression is hindered affects how an individual relates with others. The self-esteem of such people is lowered, and they are therefore afraid of explaining their mind especially when relating with strangers. On the other hand, the esteem of an individual can be boosted from a tender age. Another major factor that influences socialization is culture. Being brought up in differing societies influences how we relate with others. In cultures where women are seen as subordinates and not equals to men, the society raises a generation of men filled with chauvinism and a strong ego. Women therefore feel intimidated and therefore fail to exploit their full potential. Being the foundation of our growth, the family plays a key role in the development of our language and instills the cultural value in us. As a norm, these values have been passed from one generation to the next. They ensure that the culture of a community does not become extinct.

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Race and gender cannot be left out as they are important as agents of development. They play a major role as social organization elements of culture. The impact of gender roles differs from one society to the other. There are communities with gender distinction concerning jobs, for example, women cannot undertake the responsibilities since their role is predefined and vice versa. The issue of race furthermore makes certain communities view their fellows as inferior. As a result, the humiliated communities resort to retaliation opposing the idea. Traditionally, the values instilled by teachers help in socializing children into different conventional gender roles. The result is that children were able to interact with peers and the community at large. Therefore, learning institutions play a major role in self-actualization and valuing others. Today, the ways of socialization have changed. With the introduction of mass media and technology, people interact and multitask as a norm. The internet is used as the major platform of interaction. At the workplace and social events such as weddings, burials and religious occasions, people have a chance of exploring and meeting new friends. This has lead to the development of the modern culture. In this culture, innovation, invention, and discovery are worldwide distributed. Elements of culture such as customs and traditions are therefore seen as things of the past. Transfer of art and literature has been made effective due to the ease of information exchange.

The various elements of culture such as forms of government and economic systems can be attributed to the agents of socialization. From the analysis above, it can be clearly seen that the development of one’s personality is influenced by various factors. However, the nurture from one’s family can be attributed as the major contributor to an individual’s personality. This is because the values and norms instilled at this tender age define the character of an individual before they face the society. The work of the society therefore becomes rectification.