People’s thoughts, behaviors, and views of certain things can be impacted not only by their own experiences and priorities but also by specific cultural and social forces. Many of them affect a person during their whole life and can guide most of their decisions. For example, these factors include family, peers, education, religion, and mass media. First, family members raise a child, spend most of the time with them until they go to school, and thus instill in this child some of their values, beliefs, and views of the world. In school, peers and teachers also form some of the student’s opinions, and their influence may significantly affect the way this particular teenager perceives themselves. Religion prohibits or forces certain choices in food, clothing, and marriage. Finally, the mass media can make people believe in some events and thereby manipulate their actions or inaction.
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Some of the major decisions that change and define the whole life can be influenced by socialization and cultural impacts as well. For instance, not all young people want to go to college after school. Some wish to take a gap year, while others prefer a different path and do not need higher education. However, society dictates that having a diploma is necessary, which is why some teenagers still go to college and live a life they did not want to choose.
Finally, media and advertising have a significant impact on our understanding of how we should act or behave in a culture or group. As mentioned above, mass media is able to make society believe in or doubt certain things. Additionally, major news companies exaggerate the number of people interested in a particular issue, thereby encouraging others to discuss it. Finally, many advertisements broadcast how a person should behave in society: to have fun, take care of others, live in the here and now, or choose the best for themselves.