The Role of Environment in Which I Was Raised
The agents of socialization are what help us learn about society and ourselves. These agents work by continuously shaping our values, self-image, and behavior. The family is an important agent of socialization because family provides an environment that allows us to develop. Media works as an agent of socialization by spreading information to be perceived as its own and influencing societies on a mass scale. Education serves as an agent of socialization because it engages students in competition for academic success which helps create a social environment in which students interact. Our peer group is also important because typically our peers share the same interest which lays the foundation for support and socialization amongst the group.
The family is the most important agent of socialization because it provides the closest social environment to us. Family is what gradually taught us how to function in society. My mother tried her best as a single parent, but without a high school diploma, she had limitations on jobs she could work. The environment I was raised in didn’t allow for much creativity because of financial limitations that placed strains on us all. I never really had support when I would have talks on pursuing education, so it changed my thoughts on pursuing college after high school. The norm for me was to figure out where I would like to work after high school as it was for my older brother. It felt like college was out of reach. I knew this environment I experienced was not the same as most of my peers, and I remember having a conflicted self-image about it. The reason I have a high priority on being successful now is that the environment I am in supports the values I have.
Education is another important agent of socialization because school is a safe environment where as students we are tasked with working objectively because of the status of being an honors student. Through schooling, we learn the value of success and what factors lead to failure. Through constant social interaction with our peers, it becomes easier to create relationships with others and obtain a better self-image. There is always an opportunity for students attending NWTC to develop relationships with other students on their own through events held at the school. Education values the success of each individual and helps provide the tools necessary to become successful.
Media as an agent of socialization has a strong influence on identity and emotions in society. Social media is a virtual environment that allows freedom to express emotions, opinions, and current issues in society. Mass media has continuously shown the effect it can have on our attitudes, opinions, and behavior. Political stories shared on social media are usually plagued with comments of verbal insults and a lack of social decency. Another form of mass media is television. Television functions as a form of entertainment but also works as an agent of socialization. The variety of ways people are shown on television through programing and advertisements helps provide a projection of gender, racial, economic, religious, or political perceptions that currently exist within society. This helps provide a new perspective on life.
The phrase “You are who you surround yourself with.” is a phrase that I’ve heard quite a bit throughout my life and I feel that it is both true and important. The people that share the same interests, social position, age, etc. are identified as a peer group. Amongst a peer group, individuals can escape the stratifications of society and freely express themselves. This environment that exists within groups can have a great influence on an individual. An example that comes to mind would be the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter on social media. Personally, I feel that all lives matter, but Black Lives Matter was initially a movement created due to racial discrimination and public executions of African-Americans by law enforcement. Blue Lives Matter was created on the value that the life of police officers is what is most important. People in my peer group also felt both sides mattered.
As shown above, these agents are what help us obtain a better understanding of society and ourselves. Through the influence of these agents of socialization people within society are continuously altering their self-image, emotions, attitudes, and behavior.
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