It is primarily necessary to mention that every individual is assigned with a specific social status from their birth as well as achieves other statuses during their lifetime. The term status refers to the measurement of a person’s value that gives a chance to experience certain privileges and responsibilities based on rank in society (Griffiths et al., 2015). The ascribed status is the one people have no control over; they cannot choose or change it (Griffiths et al., 2015). For instance, the ascribed statuses are sex, race, and ethnicity. At the same time, the achieved status is the one an individual can control or shift (Griffiths et al, 2015). The main examples of this status are income, education, and career.
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In addition, every person is expected to engage in a specific pattern of behavior based on their social status and functions. These behaviors are defined by the word role, and it assigns people with a set of duties, rights, benefits, and norms that they have to follow (Griffiths et al., 2015). Since I am a university student, I am expected to fulfill certain expectations that are established by the educational institution. For example, I have to be respectful of my teachers and classmates and be a responsible student. Because I have control over these behaviors they can be described as achieved. Besides, some roles were given to me from birth. I was born in the U.S.; therefore, I have to support the country’s constitution and obey state and federal laws.
Role Conflict & Strain
Role conflict and role strain are other two important definitions associated with the topic of socialization and personal identity. Role conflict appears in case the roles connected to one status collide with the responsibilities associated with another status (Griffiths et al., 2015). For example, mothers may feel that there are too many incompatible demands placed on them: they have to take care of the children and, at the same time, fulfill their job responsibilities. Role strain happens when people experience trouble meeting the requirements expected from them based on their status and rank in society (Griffiths et al., 2015). For instance, individuals who have just received a promotion may have a hard time completing all the tasks effectively or new parents may feel stressed why managing challenges brought by the baby.
My Role Conflict
An obvious example of a role conflict that any school or university student experienced in their life is being supportive of a friend while also being a responsible student. Several times during my school years I have encountered a situation when my peers asked me for help with their assignments; however, the instructor required me to complete all the work individually. On these occasions, two different social expectations clashed and made me experience confusion regarding the right decision. While I wanted to be a good and supportive friend, I also did not want to disappoint my teacher and desired to meet their expectations. Therefore, role conflict is an issue that can occur in every person’s life and bring complications to their decision-making process.
Socialization is a complicated procedure that helps individuals learn and utilize different values, beliefs, and laws that exist in society and create certain behavioral expectations. It is not a secret that every person has their understanding of the world and follows different norms. This tendency is caused by the fact that every human being is influenced by specific social agents. As mentioned by Ely and Gleason (2017), much socialization is affected through language and verbal signals that these agents directly to people. These verbal instructions are transmitted through simple conversations, stories, and aphorisms (Ely & Gleason, 2017). As a result, humans create their worldview and perception of society.
My Socialization Influences
In my case, the top three social agents are my family, friends, and educational institution. Family is the first and the most important influencer because my parents transmitted the fundamental knowledge and taught me how to behave in different life situations. They helped to establish some of my beliefs, for instance, encouraged me to respect others and understand that I am responsible for my happiness. Moving on, my friends and peers are also on the list of the most important social agents. While listening to their views, I can look at specific issues from a unique perspective and judge situations objectively. Finally, my educational institution is another vital social agent. This place prepares students for adult life by delivering essential knowledge from different fields of life.
Theory of My Socialization Process
Based on the descriptions of three different approaches, it can be stated that my theory of the socialization process is functionalism. In general, the functionalist perspective perceives society as a complicated system whose small parts work collaboratively to provide balance and harmony (Griffiths et al., 2015). For instance, I believe that families exist to stabilize the community and help it to function properly. In addition, education is one of the little parts of the system that contributes to people’s development and makes them more likely to bring benefits to society. Thus, I believe in the functionalism theory because it seems every structure’s component is essential and valuable.
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Influences on Socialization
Social groups and institutions have a huge influence on a person’s socialization. Paulus (2015) noted that individuals are constantly impacted by the communities they belong to and the people they interact with, and the level of influence is determined by the extent of emotional connection between the members of the group. As it was suggested earlier, social groups allow human beings to look at familiar problems or situations from a different perspective and, eventually make appropriate judgments. Moreover, social institutions deliver basic information quickly which makes it easier for people to create opinions (Paulus, 2015). Finally, social groups help individuals understand the world as well as their own identities and distinguishing features.
Socialization Across Lifespan
Based on the information provided in the presentation, it is clear that every person’s socialization advances and changes during life. From early childhood, individuals are exposed to the opinions and beliefs of their parents. Children observe the behavior of their caretakers and take an example from it by copying various actions and creating the same ideas. However, once people start growing up, their surroundings change and bring new opinions. Individuals begin to be highly impacted by others and no longer create judgments based on their personal beliefs. Instead, they take into consideration the views of other people. Therefore, it can be concluded that, as people get older, their socialization becomes broader and more collective rather than personal.
Overall, the topics of socialization and self-identity are essential because they help human beings understand how their beliefs and values are established and what agents influence them. Socialization develops during lifespan because of the changes in people’s surroundings and priorities. In addition, individuals are all ascribed with specific statuses after their birth and are expected to fulfill certain expectations and completely different requirements based on their rank and place in modern society. Sometimes, demands clash or become overwhelming which causes people to develop confusion and conflict in their inner self. As it can be seen, socialization is a complicated system that includes many elements, and people have to learn more about it to be prepared for any changes or complications in life.
Ely, R., & Gleason, J. B. (2017). Socialization across contexts. The handbook of child language, 251-276. Web.
Griffiths, H., Keirns, N., Strayer, E., Cody-Rydzewski, S., Scaramuzzo, G., Sadler, T., Vyain, S., Bry, J., & Jones, F. (2015). Introduction to sociology (2nd ed.). OpenStax College, Rice University.
Paulus, P. B. (Ed.). (2015). Psychology of group influence. New York, NY: Psychology Press.