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Agents of Socialization – Socialization (PSY, SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 So have you ever wondered why do you act the way you do? How do you know what’s right and what’s wrong? These are some of the variables and factors that we consider on socialization.

    00:11 How do you input yourself into the society around you? So let’s take a look at some of the different factors that are involved in associate with socialization.

    00:19 So it refers to the process of inheriting, so getting what you need to get from the different places and will walk through that in just sec.

    00:27 Learning these different things, disseminating these norms meaning what have you learned passing that information on? What are some of the customs and different values that you also pick up? So these are a whole bunch of different variables and factors that are involved in the process of socialization.

    00:45 So this is the continuum, this is the dynamic process so this isn’t something that you wake up one day and you understand all the points that are needed to be socially at.

    00:55 So I’m talking about a process that happens from the moment you’re born into the moment you pass away.

    01:02 So different factors can influence this process overtime.

    01:05 So we call this Agents of Socialization.

    01:08 The first one we are going to talk about is family, probably the most important agent especially right from birth.

    01:14 So this is where you’re family, your parents, your brothers, your sisters those around you helped shape you.

    01:20 And they impart all the different customs, beliefs, traditions and all the things that they feel are important that you should know.

    01:27 So right from birth they teach you –no don’t touch that and you’re reaching for the plugs socket and they start screaming “no, no, no, no” and when you go out and the teacher say, “hello to your uncle” and you do those different things and that’s because you’re being taught that.

    01:41 That is how you interact with those around you that’s how you socialize.

    01:45 So there's a lots of literature, a lots of experiments have been done on social experiments.

    01:50 but one that I’m going to mention right now is from a book called Outliers.

    01:54 And this is from the author called Malcolm Gladwell, a Canadian who wrote a whole bunch of books but in this specific book he looked at some of the drivers behind what makes people successful.

    02:05 He also looked at the differences between those who are more affluent to those who were not.

    02:10 So blue-collar workers versus those who are from sort of a richer family.

    02:16 And they look at the interaction that they have when they go to the doctor.

    02:20 So you might want to think back to your childhood.

    02:22 So when you would go to the doctor, did you just go in sit down and let the doctor do their work, turn around with the prescription at hand and leave.

    02:32 Or did you actually have an interaction with the doctor where you start to asking questions and wondering why you were taking this medicine versus that medicine – well this is the differentiating factor that he identified. And those he found that came from wealthier families were actually prompted and taught to do and that they would ask the doctor questions.

    02:52 And this sort of continuous and shapes the child as it go on to question authority, asked questions, be more inquisitive versus not asking questions, being more submissive and just doing what you we’re told.

    03:05 So if you think of certain families and you look at –did your parents, mother or father or both go to higher education? Did they go to college or university? Did they get a master’s degree or PhD? Or were they content just entering the workforce or working in a factory or doing something that we might consider a little bit lower on the socioeconomic scale? What we find is those individuals who come from a family whose parents went on to higher education typically will follow that trend.

    03:36 and part of that is because they’re prompted and shaped to follow sort of in their parent’s footsteps.

    03:42 And again, this is shaping the socialization that you tend to follow.

    03:48 Another factor which continuous becomes more and more prominent as you get a little bit older is the peer group. So the people around you, your friends, the people you hang out with.

    03:57 so as you get older you realized you spend more time at school than you do with your own family.

    04:02 and that is where you start to understand things like fashion and what’s cool, what’s not, how do you interact with the opposite sex? what is your gender role? So think of your high school days and you start to form these different cliques or groups where you say, this is the groups that plays a lot of sports or the jocks.

    04:21 here are the Science nerds or here are the heavy metal head bangers or here the techno dancers. Whatever you have the different groups that you have and you start to understand, well, how do they interact within that group? More generally as a complete subgroup of just students you understand ways of talking and communicating versus say how you interact with your parents or you interact with the doctor or you interact with somebody sitting on the bus.

    04:47 And so this is the really important time in your life, it’s a very important time in terms of understanding how you socialize.

    04:54 It also starts to showcase your different selfs and this will be coming up in other lectures where we talk about your social self or your workplace self versus your family self versus your peer group self.

    05:06 And each of these self refers to how you act and interact and socialize within that circle.

    05:12 The next is Workplace. So, again this continues becomes more and more prominent as you get older, as you get older you leave the school space and you hang out less with your social friends and you get into that workplace environment.

    05:25 And there your understanding what we called Informal norms.

    05:28 So this are norms of things that you can do in the workplace more generally things that you don’t do in the workplace versus what you do say with your friends.

    05:37 So don’t try this but one day if you show up at work and you’re not wearing pants, they might say, “Tarry you probably should be wearing pants” And you say, “Well, yes I should know this because I understand workplace norms” as opposed to saying, “Well, nobody told me” so you understand some of this basic things, you kind of learn not to swear at work, you learn that you can't set it your dress asking get drunk.

    05:58 These are things that you maybe do at home with your friends or with your family but you really don’t do these things at work.

    06:04 So it’s not that somebody implicitly told you these are things you need to do, these are things that you pick up through being in that environment.

    06:11 It also helps shape your personal identity. So what is my way work self look like.

    06:15 You might probably find this at work or at school even when you’re young child your parents would come into Parent-Teacher interviews.

    06:24 And they would say, “You know Mr. Johnson your child, Dave is fantastic at school.

    06:30 He's a great listener, always asking questions, always involved.” And you’re scratching your and said “My son Dave, my son Dave who doesn’t get out of bed, doesn’t do any work, doesn’t talk to me, never cleans his house room or anything, barely eats. That Dave?” And you’re like that’s the Dave.

    06:46 Two different complete individuals and seems like even they’re the same person they have different identity based on where they are because of what they’ve learned in terms of socializing in that space.

    06:57 Now the last one that we’re going to mention is quite important is mass media.

    07:03 So this is something that is really becoming more prominent over the past decade.

    07:07 And that we really inundated with different types of media.

    07:10 So if we backtrack a little bit pre-Facebook, smartphone days we would get a lot our information through movies and books.

    07:19 And I would say in the 80s, 90s the biggest thing to really splash the society societal areas was video games. And we started to see an increase in violent tendencies and fights, altercations and changes in the social behavior towards a more violent society.

    07:36 A lot of times affiliated with those who are playing the videos that were violent which tend to be little boys.

    07:41 So all of a sudden they notice the school why are kids, why are young boys fighting more, why they’re acting out this video games they’re playing in and they kind of answer their own question is that’s it’s the video games.

    07:51 And so this has been an ongoing debate people saying, “You can't blame violent actions and behaviors directly to video games.” But I think most would agree that that definitely has impacted and increase in the violent behaviors.

    08:04 It might not be the only factor but it’s definitely a contributing factor.

    08:08 So that is really important.

    08:10 Now let’s flip that and look at say, young girls.

    08:14 How do young girls realize or start to act in a way that they feel is gender appropriate? So why is that a little girl’s kind of resonate towards being a princess and wanted to wear tiara and putting on their pink dress.

    08:27 Now, sure maybe some young boys like to do that as well and you go right ahead but a lot of the young girls seem to resonate towards that.

    08:35 and that might be because of say the whole Disney phenomenon of Cinderella.

    08:39 and then the Cinderella books and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, she is quite docile and very, very sweet and wears all these pretty dresses and it’s not a coincidence that this socialization is the behavior that they’re seeing relates to what these young girls are doing.

    08:55 Now, some would argue where actually causing stereotypes.

    08:59 and that’s a whole another lecture in itself. But in terms of how we socialize, they feel like were skewing them towards inappropriate behavior or a behavior where we [0:09:07,8] them.

    09:09 So I’m updating to say the last few years those of you who were parents and have the pleasure of watching Frozen a 1000 times will see that they kind of switched the roles here and they’ve made these young characters, these young female characters, Anna and Elsa, my two favorite ladies into positive role models.

    09:26 and instead of being the damsel in distress, these are now the main characters of the movie who are quite strong, independent.

    09:32 And they’re trying to appreciate the fact that –yes mass media, social media.

    09:37 and this medium of movies can impact individuals and their behaviors.

    09:42 and so why not make it a positive one.

    09:44 And the last point I’m going to end on is something you really can't get away from that social media, the Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest all these different things are really shaping how we socialize with others.

    09:57 A lot of people in this younger age category now would much rather just text somebody versus picking up the phone or even physically walking over and talking to somebody.

    10:07 And it’s so much easier to throw a 5-word texts versus saying, “Hey, how are you? What’s going on today? How are you feeling?” On Facebook, we create this identity for ourselves about perfect picture will take 10 selfies, choose the best one or make sure I’m looking great and all of my profile pics versus how do I really look? what am I really like? And so how am I interacting and socializing with others? And the last point I’m going to end on is our sort of social network.

    10:34 and how that’s influence the mass media? On Facebook, a lot of times you gauge a person’s popularity and how social they are with the amount of people that are in their social network.

    10:44 How many friends do you have? Oh you only have 300 well I have 700.

    10:48 Therefore, I’m much more popular and I have a larger social network.

    10:52 But what we’re not getting is the quality of the relationships and interactions.

    10:57 and the socialization versus quantity.

    11:00 So in the past, if you had 10 great friends, you were very, very lucky.

    11:04 And today you have 700 not so great digital friends.

    11:08 So all different things to consider, all different things that shape and influence are socialization.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Agents of Socialization – Socialization (PSY, SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Social Processes That Influence Human Behavior.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Teach customs and values.
    2. Influence gender role and behavior.
    3. Influence behavior through informal norms.
    4. Compare behavior of children to others in similar age group.
    5. Teach workplace etiquette.
    1. Genetics.
    2. Customs.
    3. Inheriting.
    4. Learning.
    5. Values.
    1. Peers.
    2. Pediatrician.
    3. Siblings.
    4. Coworkers.
    5. Teachers.
    1. Workplace.
    2. Facebook.
    3. Movies.
    4. Parents.
    5. College friends.
    1. The way in which an individual learn and recreate knowledge, skills, motivates, values and role that are appropriate to their position in society or group.
    2. The way in which an individual enters a society.
    3. The way in which an individual re-enters a society.
    4. The way in which a group of people learn skills and values.
    5. The way in which an individual learn and recreate knowledge, skills, motivates, values and role that are appropriate to their position in their family or religion.
    1. A child would fail to successfully undergo a complex socialization and learn about norms, standards and vales of the society.
    2. A child would be experiencing speech difficulties.
    3. A child would be unable to comprehend a message.
    4. A child would fail to undergo complex socialization.
    5. A child will become socially isolated.

    Author of lecture Agents of Socialization – Socialization (PSY, SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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