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The Struggle To Maintain Individuality Essay

1009 words - 4 pages

By studying societal behaviours and society as a whole, sociologists tell us that, through a process known as socialization we are tremendously influenced by other. Socialization is a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviour, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position (dictionary.com). It is referred to a process, because it takes place in all stages of the life cycle. As we move through life, our expectations strictly change. In other words, as we enter a new age, we also enter new statuses and are recommended to learn the "appropriate" roles that shape them. During socialization, we are taught, for example, the language of the culture we are born in. For instance, girls learn to be daughters, sisters, friends, wives, and mothers (O'Neil, 2009).Because of the great effect socialization has on human beings, there is little to no room for individuality, however, many of us still manage to maintain a sense of individuality as we progress in life, whether it may cause us to be classified as "different" or "deviant" in society. Human beings are naturally drawn to each other, thus this is how the formation of roles, behaviours and identities emerge in society. There are numerous ways we can classify a person as one who has a great sense of individuality, such as through personal choices.In my opinion, socialization simply acts as a guidance that leads to our individuality. By that, I simply mean that after birth, we are, metaphorically speaking, given a script on how we should behave, but no specific person has forced us to act in that certain way. This is where individual choices are developed. From childhood, we informally took place in socialization, for instance, through the participation of activities such as dress-up, where little girls unconsciously learn gender roles. However, as we progress through life, many different aspects influence us and we thereby become individuals when we choose what path to follow according to our influences. With that being said, no decision is made without the influence of outside forces, such as friends and the media. Through interaction, we learn to see ourselves reflected in the eyes of others and to sense our own identity.Everybody has different attitudes towards things in life, which is where we establish personal choices. This, however, does not necessarily mean that we neglect and reject everything that socialization has taught us on behaviours. It simply means that we choose to pick what we feel suits us best and benefits us in terms of our personalities. For instance, in terms of gender differences, socialization has briefly displayed, through media, for example, that girls play with dolls, brush their hair, and must be "lady-like". In opposition, many girls may feel that this does not suit them in any way. Some girls make the decision to acquire the behaviours of what socialization has classified as a male. Basically,...

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