SOCI1001 Introduction to Sociology
Name: Wong Chun Sum
1. Resocialization refers to a social process through which an individual acquires new norms and picks up a new role in a new social setting. Discuss how an organization or social group carries out resocialization. What are the distinctive features of resocialization? Not all organizations or groups are able to resocialize their members successfully. Can individuals retain their autonomy in the face of social pressure exerted by their organizations or groups? How do they manage to do that?
Resocialization, as stated in the topic, is a social process through which an individual learns new norms, cultures and values, which in most occasions, though not necessarily, are contrary to the original norms that the individual possesses. In other words, resocialization is the modification of the ‘self’ idea, which helps transit one’s role from a social group to another social group. In this essay, I would like to identify how different organizations carry out resocialization and investigate its distinctive features. Next, I would discuss the ways individuals adopt to retain, or even protect the idea of ‘original self’. The distinctive feature of resocialization is that it is divided into 2 steps. The 1st step is role dispossession, which means the abandonment of the old norms and values. The 2nd step is the role establishment, the introduction of new values and norms. These 2 steps will be the backbone of the coming discussion. Resocialization can be classified into 2 types. One is voluntary, and another is involuntary. Some of the examples of voluntary resocialization are the transitions between life stages, and the transitions of career, which are relatively mild. The intensive type is usually adopted in prisons or mental hospitals, which may link to some humiliation and mortification. Therefore, they are rather intense in nature. Although their approaches are somewhat different, the key to resocialization remains the same. While voluntary resocialization may only modify one’s view and actions with mild adjustment, the involuntary resocialization may even disrupt the core value of one and a complete transformation may be resulted. As stated above, the 1st step to resocialization is role dispossession. (Goffman, 1968) To carry out this, the removal of identity and role of the previous social group is necessary. For mild one, taking schooling as an example, the change of uniform will be a part of such process. The change of uniform during the transition from the primary school to the secondary school reminds one’s change in his identity. The shield of the school on the uniform also plays the role of this reminder. To give an example of the transition of career, one may consider the idea of transiting from an investment bank, which is a private company, to a government institution, which is, as described, run by the government. In investment banks, the first language is mostly English instead of the mother language in which the investment banks locate. However, once a worker resigns and get to the government institution, the mother language will become dominant and his routine of speaking English will be stripped off. This is a typical example of role dispossession with the abandonment of an international language which is commonly used before. In some total institutions, which are institutions being cut off from the outside world and under total control by officials who run them, some intense methods such as the removal of personal possessions and no matter physical or mental, and the withdrawal of the privilege of having visitors. (Goffman, 1968) In the Police College, one may find that the junior are called by his assigned number, but not his full name. At the same time, the junior are required to get hair cut which is consistent with other junior. In other words, it is personal defacement. (Goffman, 1968) In...
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