Agents of Socialization on One's Personality and Perception of the World
Socialization is a never-ending process that helps us to become what we are capable of becoming and shapes our destination to a great extent. This essay highlights the effects of the potential agents of socialization on the personality and perception of the world around.
Sociology: Agents of socialization
At the age of 39 and the father of three highly indispensable marvelous works of our Creator, life has taught me innumerable lessons. Life that offers beauty, dignity of work, enlightenment from education, affection of parents, love of the beloved, awareness from external exposure, guarantees as long as we keep trying hard, hard enough to remain determined and socializing through moving in a society. Society that shapes our destiny offers friends and foes and helps us change, grow, improve and become what we are today. I personally believe that "man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality" (Fromm). Personality and society are interconnected thereupon with the changing trends in socializing with our surroundings, containing environment (immediate and distant) and individuals (having different values, convictions, perceptions, tastes, likes and dislikes), our personality changes accordingly. We condition our minds and mould ourselves in reaction to these societal changes and our ability to observe or feel these amendments. This takes place when we learn to transmute and "adapt to the needs of our society" (The American Heritage Dictionary) through the lifetime experiences of interaction and socializing. Though this is just one meaning of the challenging, learning and hard-to-define process of socialization but the one that makes most sense to me. Hence socialization equips us with the "knowledge of culture, achievement orientations, cognitive competence, emotions and sexual behaviors" (Agents of socialization) apart from many others thereby motivating the human soul to constantly grow and learn from the enriching experiences. These sprout from interaction with and influence of family, academic world, peer group and the all-so-popular mass media- the four most dominating agents of socialization (Agents of socialization).
I was fifth, born in a welfare family with the state of California soon placing orders for my adoption. Jim and Shirley, my caring and highly concerned parents adopted me in October of 1963. My parents provided me with the best and most expedient learning at home providing me with all the possible resources to equip myself with the adequate social skills. They allowed me to interact with people on the streets, took me out to the nearby parks for walking, to parties and shopping malls probably for the purpose of socializing with others, communicating my thoughts and expressing universally accepted and felt emotions of immense force and originality. They searched for possible ways to assist me in interacting and adapting to the norms and regulations of our society because being the only child, I only had my parents to interact with- a form of socialization though indispensable for the most blooming cognitive and personality development, is rather insufficient for the childhood phase. As an aftermath, today my personality is arrayed with a number of social skills. As a child only I learnt to take proper telephonic messages for my composed yet kind-hearted father, help mama in shopping by picking the right product from the shelves and taking it to the payment reception, adequately communicating my opinions, placing a meal order in my favorite eateries, writing a nice letter, making friends, helping them out in some way or the other, supporting and consoling them in times when they most needed it all and so on and so forth. However, my parent's first experience of raising a child left some loopholes. I took the form of a spoilt brat with throwing tantrums and using cheap emotional tactics on my mother both to get away with most of my mistakes and to get what ever my heart wished for. Father was also nice towards me.
However, as responsible and socially aware individuals, my parents knew their next step. I went to Arlington elementary two blocks from my place. Early school days were certainly critical in shaping my personality. The social experiences at the school left me hurt, rebellious, arrogant and cynical of others. Being protected by my parents and carefully watched by them throughout made me emotionally dependent as well as sensitive and on not receiving the same affection and appreciation at school from my fellows, I also became quite submissive. Going to school was like experiencing a daytime nightmare particularly after grade four with classmate's backbiting against me and choosing me for their never-ending love for mockery. I was the target of their desire to laugh unnecessarily at people and make fun of those students whose appearance did not do justice to their intellectual capabilities. I was picked at for being too skinny, unhandsomely lanky and too tall for my age and the only spectacled boy in the entire fourth grade. Since my parents belonged to the not-so-rich class of the society, my accessories were usually not snazzy nor expensive, another reason to remain the scapegoat for my classmates until grade five although when tested in the similar grade, my Intelligence Quotient came out to be 165. In addition to the above, one day some notorious boys at school chased me after school and compelled me to reach home with a broken wrist. For grade six, seven and eight, I joined Casmir Middle School with my parents praying and hoping that it would do me some good only to be highly disappointed later when in mid year of grade six, I was placed into remedial classes. The days that spent in there made me all the more rebellious and detached from the outside world. As an aftermath, "screw everybody" became my attitude though not lasting for more than a year. I felt lonely, degraded and looked at my "special" instructors, classmates and even my parents with distrust and disgust for making me stand where I then stood- remedial classes for mentally disturbed children. As Bernard Shaw rightly said for people like me: "Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world" (Shaw). I began to view the world as a vicious place to live in. Nevertheless, with a few good friends at school and due to my mother's endless support, I managed to pull through the tough times. However, before bidding farewell to my school, with a bunch of lousy memories, I still considered myself lucky for on my way to the high school I made some real trustworthy friends.
At high school in the senior year, gradually things took a turn for the better and my life changed probably because I realized that "fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed" (Pritchard M., from quoteland). Therefore my senior year at high school became kind of interesting and fun. Though patience and moderation seem the possible answers to the unseemly behavior, I chose to display my rebellious streaks. With some positive changes in appearance like I started to dress up well, put on some much-needed mass and gained strength to fight back my mockers. Most importantly, I became friends with a few good class fellows from school who were lost for sometime in the haphazard academic world. That made me attend parties. However, with the amazing and fulfilling feeling of being "in" and "accepted" comes some negative socialization that landed me in a major trouble. And my parents soon found out I were into smoking weed. However, it still pinches (though with a much less intensity) to remain an outcast for a long adolescent period. However, working full time at a Honda m/c dealership as a parts man was an enriching experience. Once a graduate, I left for phoenix AZ to attend De Vry. There one of my roommates was dating a history student who one day brought her next door neighbor with her who became my wife after two years in 84.
Attraction and respect for responsibility, the two qualities out of many that I adored in my mother since the early childhood days, probably made me fall for her. Because she was both caring and responsible, reflecting the inherent ability to reason out life situations with morality, as suggested by Carol Gilligan (Stage theories of socialization). During the critical and frustrating phase of making our marriage life steady and fulfilling and to get things straight with her, I realized what made me fall for her. The feeling of being wanted, loved and taken care of. (The desire to be in love and to be loved in return, a lesson that I learnt by keenly observing my surroundings while at the church on Sundays). Another possible reason for marrying her. Nevertheless, as we grew and passed from the childhood to being an adolescent and finally making it to the adulthood (Stage theories of socialization), we transformed into…