It is not difficult to assess the degree to which an individual is affected by the environment in which he lives. We know that climatic and social surroundings are no less influential. We know also that a person is born with the basic characteristics which are going to shape his personality and eventually his destiny. We can safely say that the interactions of both heredity and environment produce the individual. It would be interesting to analyse the effects of environment on the personality and activities of the individual.
2 Social surroundings have an undisputed influence on people. Traditions and customs are the results of social relations in a group of people. These are often impressed on the individual who may either adopt them or oppose them. The individual often finds himself in conflict with such traditional institutions as marriage, family, religion and other established customs. The individual who rejects traditions is condemned by society and often ostracised. Individuals often have to fight against traditions. This continued opposition reveals the influence that such traditions have. The majority are just passively shaped by these traditions that have been inculcated in them from the cradle through school to adult life. Our basic personality is formed by society.
3 The powerfulness of social environment can also be seen in the everyday language we speak. The mother tongue is so called because the child assimilates naturally the language spoken by its mother. It is a scientific concept that all humans are “programmed” with the language ability, but what we speak depends on the social environment. The new-born Eskimo, if placed in an English-speaking environment, will grow up to speak English like the English. The mother tongue is learned in conditions different from those in which a second or foreign language is learned. The accent adopted by the individual also reveals the social milieu where he has picked up the language. Only the...
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