The Struggle to Maintain Individuality

Topics: Sociology, Social contract, Gender role Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: June 5, 2012
By studying societal behaviours and society as a whole, sociologists tell us that, through a process known as socialization we are tremendously influenced by other. Socialization is a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviour, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position (dictionary.com). It is referred to a process, because it takes place in all stages of the life cycle. As we move through life, our expectations strictly change. In other words, as we enter a new age, we also enter new statuses and are recommended to learn the "appropriate" roles that shape them. During socialization, we are taught, for example, the language of the culture we are born in. For instance, girls learn to be daughters, sisters, friends, wives, and mothers (O'Neil, 2009).

Because of the great effect socialization has on human beings, there is little to no room for individuality, however, many of us still manage to maintain a sense of individuality as we progress in life, whether it may cause us to be classified as "different" or "deviant" in society. Human beings are naturally drawn to each other, thus this is how the formation of roles, behaviours and identities emerge in society. There are numerous ways we can classify a person as one who has a great sense of individuality, such as through personal choices.

In my opinion, socialization simply acts as a guidance that leads to our individuality. By that, I simply mean that after birth, we are, metaphorically speaking, given a script on how we should behave, but no specific person has forced us to act in that certain way. This is where individual choices are developed. From childhood, we informally took place in socialization, for instance, through the participation of activities such as dress-up, where little girls unconsciously learn gender roles. However, as we progress through life, many different aspects influence us and we thereby become...


References: Durkheim, E. (1982) _Durkheim: The Rules of Sociological Method_, ed. S. Lukes, (London: Macmillan).
O 'Neil, D. O. (2009, January 3)._Socialization_. Retrieved from http://anthro.palomar.edu/social/soc_1.htm
Pelovangu, R. P. (2010, March 5)._Emile durkheim theory_. Retrieved from http://rolly-pelovangu.suite101.com/emile-durkheim-criminology-and-sociology-a209663
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