Education has positive functions in contemporary societies. Discuss.

Topics: Education, Sociology, Student Pages: 6 (2089 words) Published: April 18, 2014
“Socialization is the process by which the various representatives of society-parents, teachers, political leaders, mass media teach people the ways of society and form their basic qualities.” 1We are taught to deal with our environment through the interaction with people we met. Socialization is not only the process when we were young, it is actually a lifelong process teaching us how to fit in the society in every stage of life. We learn the expectation of the society and when we accept the rules of games, we internalize them and make our own way. As a result, education play an important role in socialization. However, has education bring positive functions in contemporary societies? People hold different opinions responding this question. From my point of view, education definitely has improve nowadays societies. I am a 19-year old young adult now, by tracing back to my past experiences by educated, there are many clues to tell how I become such a person today, from an infant knowing nothing about the society to a “civilized” human being, this is the power of education. In this essay, I will use my personal experiences explain how different education agents affect me through my growth timeline. I am nurtured by generally Chinese culture but since I was born in Hong Kong, I was exposed to the mixture and Eastern and Western culture. I can learn both traditional Chinese culture like Confucianism ideas and also Christianity ideas. As Macionis notes,” Values are culturally defined standards by which people judge desirability,goodness and beauty, and which serve as broad guidelines for social living.”2That is,value can be seen as the criteria that we use to evaluate people, including ourselves.

Regarding to the Christian background of my parents, since I was small, I was educated of the values advocated by the Bible, to be altruistic, to show love and care to the needy. I was socialized to accept these values through observing my parents’ behavior. They practice these values into actions by donating warm clothes to the charity, telling me that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Also, when we travel in public transport, they will ask me to give my seat to pregnant women and elderly, showing a sense of love and care to them. By following my parents to do such behavior, I was praised as good girl, therefore, I feel happy when doing such actions and I internalized the values of being altruistic.

Apart from Christian values, I was nurtured with traditional Chinese Confucian value. When we enter schools, we have to follow many school rules, if we break the rules, we will be punished, this is to convey the value that we should be obedient and obey the authority. This value is strengthened when I entered primary school. Teachers set up different roles like “prefect”,” monitor” and “row leader” to execute the duty of monitoring students to follow school rules so as to maintain order in school. Through being class monitor and head prefect in primary school, I learnt to behave myself (to obey the rules) so I could be a role model to my fellow schoolmates, therefore, since primary school, the value of being obedient strongly established in my mind.

Apart from parents, media education affect us a lots since we were young. Stated by Macionis ,“Norms are common social expectation by which a society guides the behavior of its members3.” I recalled a norm that I learnt through early socialization was gender setting. It was a common perception that girls should be long-haired while boys should carry short hair. I remembered that when I was in kindergarten, one day my mom helped me to have haircut, she overcut my hair and I looked like the boy sitting me in class, I cried heavily for nearly a week as my hairstyle could not differentiate me from a boy, which dampened my identity recognition, therefore, I felt really bad and I was anger at my mom for quite a long time. Now, when I think this memory twice, I think the gender...


References: 1.      Charon,J.M. (1995) Ten Questions-A Sociological Perspective. International Thomson Publishing
2.   Sarawathi,T.S.(1999) Culture,Socialization& Human Development:Theory, Research and application in India .Sage Publications
3.   Thio,A.(2007) Society : myths and realities : an introduction to sociology,Pearson/Allyn and Bacon
4.   Macionis,J.J. (2012) Sociology,Pearson
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