Agents of Socialization essay
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An individual is influenced by their surroundings throughout their entire life. There are six main “agents” of socialization. The author of our text maintains these agents are: family, religion, media, school, sports, and peers. Although they can be separate entities; they all become intertwined in various aspects of life. One of the biggest socializing agents is the family. They are often times the people we are most exposed to growing up as well as the ones we confide in. The family is where we establish morals and values, along with a sense of belonging and being taken care of. Unfortunately there are many families that don’t provide security, love, and nutrition. When those conditions are unavailable they will have a tremendous effect on the physical and mental health of an individual, especially in children. Another agent of socialization is school. School is a place multiple socializing agents act together.
During the school years children are exposed to their peers, sports, media, and at times religion. For a child with a bad home life, school can be a safe haven and a positive place to be; which was the case for me. I didn’t exactly have the best home life. When I was at school I knew that I was safe and would be taken care of if I was sick. I knew that I would have at least two meals a day available to me. I enjoyed the positive relationships with my peers, teachers, and counselors. I was able to participate in various sports throughout my middle school and high school years which helped me to establish more peer connections and do something that I felt good about. The media surrounds each of us with every turn we take.
With television, movies, radio, and magazines available almost anywhere it’s easy to see how the media can have a major impact on someone’s perception. The media determines what is “popular”. It tells us what to wear, places to visit, foods to buy, many times without us even realizing. Personally I looked up to many celebrities as a child; I based much of my style and fashion choices on what I saw them wearing; regardless of how poor those choices may have been. Religion plays a huge part on how people live their lives. Morals, values, and codes of conduct are often formed by one’s religious beliefs. There are rules and restrictions on how one is to behave on a personal level, how they are to treat others, how to regard their sexuality, proper forms of worship, and the list could go on. Living with my Christian grandparents for a few years as a teenager really opened my eyes to the difference in life style and socialization religion brings. The agents of socialization have impacts on all different aspects of life with or without our knowledge.