Sociology Australia Examining Sociology I Journal

Excerpt from Journal :

Sociology, Identity, and Families

I would like to write about the concept of self in sociology this week because I have learned to evaluate the relationship between the internal and external self and the influence that society plays on developing who we are as individuals. When taken in the perspective of how we view children in society as influential and subject to the perspectives of key people, one would believe that we develop our identity based upon a culmination of all of our experiences and social influences. The institutions of education and religion are believed to be process by which socialization and identity development occur in the external world and therefore our external self is the result of these factors. Society and family are viewed as the agents by which individuals are molded into the people they are to become and this can be best accomplished through the use of structure and discipline. Yet one must also take into account the individual internal factors that make us more
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or less likely to be influenced by external forces. It is the merger of the external and internal forces that allow us to fully develop and individuate.

Sociology, Age, and Identity

This week I particularly connected with the concept of youth and their ability to develop an identity within the context of social stigmas that are associated with the transition to adulthood. Youth in their normal maturation process go through a natural period of individualization that is often viewed as rebellion and characterized as troubled behavior. The readings this week helped me to reflect on how these stigmas associated with a normal life process may impact the formation of self as a positive and contributing member of society. If one continues the logic of last week with society playing a significant role in shaping how children develop through the use of institutional influences, then one can see how society may view this natural rebellion as a failure of such institutions. One must consider whether it is the framing of the concept of youth in direct comparison of that of adulthood that leads to social stigma and the identification of categorical concepts based on age and specific developmental accomplishments.

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