Agents of Sociology
Socialization is an important factor in everyone’s life. No matter one’s color, race,
gender, etc, socialization occurs and brings about a social identity for every individual.
How the individual chooses to adapt to their environment and develop their own sense of
self is the important sociological question here. Teenagers today face pressure from
various socialization agents such as the media, schools, the peer group and the family.
These socialization agents influence adolescents in different ways both negatively and
positively. Each agent has its positive and negative effects.
The first and biggest part of this process is the family. The family affects everyone
the most because they are the ones around the most. Families are the first ones to teach
their children and what people learn first sticks to them for the rest of their life. Trust
plays a big role too. Kids trust their parents and have not received the knowledge to know
if they are being misinformed. Parents also have the control to isolate children from other
forms of politics.
The media manipulates individuals, especially teenagers. The media does this by
creating an image of a person a teenager would want to be and promotes this image with
products such as clothes, food and cosmetics. Research shows that more than 60 percent
of teenagers that live in the U.S. today find themselves buying products they have seen
advertised on television or magazines.
In the novel The Outsiders, Ponyboy Curtis was also influenced by the media. For
example, we see how he sees the movies of Paul Newman and wishes he could be more
like the image portrayed on the screen as Ponyboy says, “I was wishing I looked like
Paul Newman, he looks tough.” Likewise, Ponyboy enjoys becoming involved in the
lives of these imaginary characters he sees on the television or the movie screen.
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