We as a human race have become a byproduct of our society. Through media, technology, and social pressure, humans no longer run society, but it seems like we are run by society. The quote from sociologist Peter Berger states “Not only do people live in society but society lives in them” This statement is referring to a form of social control were groups and the people in those groups conform to society partially knowingly and partially as a reflection based on dominant social expectations. As I further explain Berger’s statement I will explain how individuality, identity, and freedom fit in to such a predetermined future.
Though identity suggests to an aspect of individuality it is really a result of socialization. Identity is how we see ourselves and socialization is “the process through which people learn the expectations of society” (Anderson, 74). Identity therefor becomes a product of socialization. One person could develop multiple identities which are dependent upon what social situation they may be in. A person may identify themselves as one thing in their home environment but that identity could change once in a professional of educational environment. Identity is one aspect of an individual but is based off of learned expectations from society. As Berger’s statement suggests humans not only merely live in society, but society now lays the framework for how we are going to be. As much as we would like to see ourselves as totally independent, without our family, our peers, language, culture, and bigger institutions suggesting ways of living we would have no basis for constructing an identity.
Individuality is defined as the “total character peculiar to and distinguishing an individual from others,” (Britannica) meaning it is the collection of all aspects of one person that makes them different from another person. While it seems from Berger’s statement that it would be hard to achieve individuality in a society that dictates individual identities, individuality is very important to society. While all people conform to society to some degree we all develop aspects of individuality from our different experiences. Individuality is what makes the human race as successful as it is. It adds creativity and change in an otherwise idle society. Without it there would be no change.
While all these characteristics of individuality are true there are pressures from society that still eliminate total individuality. Ones individuality is based on pressures of society. A woman will develop individual traits characteristic of a women, such as physical beauty and motherhood. A man will develop certain traits characteristic of a man, such as sports or risky behavior. An individual’s races or religions can also have an influence on what a person’s individual traits will be. While most humans have a...