Thinking back to what form of mass media has been the most influential form of my socialization, music has most defined and shaped my self-identity over the years. (p.49, 57) Socialization is defined by Brym and Lie as “the process by which people learn their culture. They do so by entering and disengaging from a succession of roles and becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others.” (p. 49) My earliest childhood memories are of being immersed in music, whether on TV, radio, albums, or cd’s. Music is one of my mothers, a former singer and pianist, greatest loves, so growing up my house was never without a radio or record player on. Today my musical tastes are very eclectic and varied from what I was exposed to growing up because I discovered the freedom to be myself without anyone dictating what I could listen to and I no longer feel repressed in my musical tastes. More than anything, I have adhered to the genre of music I discovered during adolescence and am especially devoted to the artist I fell in love with over 20 years ago. Music has provided me the greatest self-socialization from amongst the varied mass media choices available. (Chapter 3 PowerPoint, slide 20)
Gospel hymns were the largest musical genre I was exposed to by my family and surrounding microstructure growing up. I didn’t just listen to it on the radio though. My mother, along with her brother, and my grandmother were part of a gospel singing trio for over a decade till I was around 4 and during their “career” they recorded 10 gospel albums, which I not only witnessed a few being recorded, but listened to all the time. I would go into the recording studio with them, and although very young, I remember sitting on the other side of the glass while watching each of them take on a role in the studio different than the one they normally had as “mother”, “grandmother”, or “uncle”. Although I was too young to understand it, I knew I would soon be able to hear their music played on my record player at home and I was riveted by it what I observed; not only that, their status increased in my eye as I saw them as “stars”.(p.56)
Primary socialization allows a child to master the basic skills needed to function in society during childhood. (p. 54) Much of mine took place spending valuable, loving one on one time with my many of my family members. During this time the gospel hymns I listened to not only on the radio or on an album, but in the recording studio with my family, influenced and helped to develop the Christian values that are norms in my family. They had been instilled in me from birth, but the music reinforced them each time I heard the lyrics. Even though I no longer listen to hymns, I still remember the lyrics by heart of such songs as “Amazing Grace”, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”, and what was my favorite, “His Eye is On The Sparrow” and I have those same values today.
The Symbolic Interactionism Theory developed by George Herbert Mead has helped me to...