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How Socialization Shapes Society Essay

898 words - 4 pages

Through socialization, a society relays cultural values to its members, intelligence is learned, and personalities are developed. In every society there are four types of social interaction and many socializing agents, but every society approaches them differently and different societies may have different socializing agents. This is because every society socializes in a different way.
The San have no authority figures to maintain order in their society, but although deviance is present, there are no gangs or thieves. San socialization is quite successful; therefore, there is little deviance throughout their society. Because there are no forma institutions, socialization is implicit. Through anticipatory socialization, children observe and imitate the roles of adults. The Ju/’hoansi children learn a lot from other children in their society. The older children help the younger ones by teaching them the rules of the game and how to correctly play it. As adolescents, the Ju/’hoansi spend most of their time socializing with adults; the boys hunt with the men while the women gather with the women. San people have norms of reciprocity, which dictate when and how to give gifts, as well as whom the gift needs to be given too. Cooperation, when everyone aids in achieving a common goal, is the second type of interaction. This is shown during the dry season when people in society help carry any large animal a hunter has killed, and through the games that are played by children. The San find competition frightening, and they ridicule anyone who over exaggerates their pride. They also try to avoid conflict.
The San people have four important rites of passage rituals that symbolize their transition into adulthood. The First Buck ceremony symbolizes a boy’s transition into adulthood when he gets his first big kill. Another rite of passage is Choma, a six week initiation rite. During Choma, male knowledge is passed down to the new generation from the older generation. Marriage is thought to be the beginning of a process rather than a transition into adulthood, and it is marked by a formal ceremony. This process begins with wedding negotiations and ends with the birth of a child. The last ceremonial rite of passage is a girl’s first menstruation. This is a public ceremony when women dance and sing, and it marks sexual maturity.
The socialization of American children is a little different than that of the San because the United States is multicultural; therefore, there are various ways to socialize children. Native American children are taught tribal traditions, cooperation, and sharing. African American mothers do not believe in spoiling their children, so they are strict about teaching discipline, independence, and strength. Hispanic American children are taught familism, obedience, sensitivity...

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