The degradation ceremony is significant to the recruits because it strips away their civilian identity and places them into the identity of a Marine. The degradation ceremony is an attempt to remake the self by stripping away an individual's self-identity and putting a new identity into place. In order for the degradation ceremony to work the recruits have to follow certain rules and procedures to transform them from civilians to recruits to Marines.
During this time many of the recruits are going through a process known as the looking glass-self. The looking glass-self is a process in which one's self develops through internalizing others' reactions to one. During boot camp the recruits are trying to be accepted by the other recruits as well as the sergeants. They are also stepping into the term, the generalized other. The generalized other is the norms, values, attitudes, and expectations of people in general. The recruits are trying to fulfill the Marines idea of the generalized other.
While at boot camp the recruits are in total institution. They are cut off from civilian live completely in order for them to be turned into Marines. "They have someone watching their every move and telling them how to act, talk, and even think." Who they were in civilian life means absolutely nothing to who they are as a Marine.
Recruits are not allowed, "video games, television, cigarettes, cars, candy, soft drinks, music, alcohol, drugs, and sex." They are not allowed these things because they interfere with degradation procedure. If they were allowed these things they would not fully be leaving behind their civilian lives. They are going through the resocialization process. "They are learning new norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors." They are learning these things so that they can better adapt to their situations. They are taking the role of the other. They are putting themselves into someone else's shoes. They are putting...