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.
Teenagers like Ponyboy, try to change their image to look more like those presented by
Although in teenage years the school becomes very important, the influence it has
on adolescents decreases as they get older. Many teenagers believe that they are being
forced to go to a place that they don't get much out of. There are two types of teachers,
the working teachers and the caring teachers. The difference between the two is that
caring teachers come to school with the goal to positively influence on teenagers. These
teachers are the ones who make the school a positive socialization agent. They aim to
give adolescents true values of life and to care for them to the amount of giving full
support when needed. However, schools also have negative influences that are sometimes
caused by the working teachers. These teachers come to school for only one reason, to
work for the money. They do not aim to give teenagers any support nor any important
In adolescent years, the peer group plays an important role in teenagers' lives. The
effects of peer group are evident in a teenager's behavior, opinions, dress, and attitude.
Survey results clearly show that the peer group has a very big influence, however
teenagers are not fully aware of the effects of the peer group on their lives.
In the same way, Ponyboy from the The Outsiders was affected negatively by the
peer group. In the rumble, he fought but he didn't like to. As a result of this, he got beaten
up severely which negatively effected on his school performances. However, in some
cases the peers can also have a positive effect. For example, Johnny was most fortunate to have Ponyboy as his friend. When Johnny needed it most Ponyboy was there for him.
Another example of the negative is Cherry Valance. She has a strong personality and she
makes her own decisions but when it comes to the impression she makes to her peer...