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Socialization and its relationship to gender stereotypes. Discrimination and the degrading of others are self-taught but how gender whether its a social construct or not. How is it introduced into our lives and where does it start? In an article by Zuleyka Zevallos who has written many works about gender and social issues with a phd in sociology and over 16 years of experience. In research kh1 she describes the sociology of gender, examines how society influences our understandings and perception of differences between masculinity, what society deems appropriate behavior for a man and femininity. Zevallos Zuleyka in order to understand how people learn about gender it is essential to know what comes along with gender and its relationship with socialization. Socialization is a process where an individual right from birth through to death is taught the values customs norms and the roles he or she is supposed to assume in the society.
The process tends to take in the new members in the society so that they can blend in smoothly. Socialization is guided by family coaches teachers religious leaders community media and even peers. At its simplest socialization means a process where individuals gain social skills knowledge and language and value so that they can conform to the roles and norms which are required for the individual to integrate into the community. In a nutshell socialization is a combination of self-imposed rules and externally imposed rules as well as expectations of the others and the community.
Socialization occurs in two stages which are primary socialization and secondary socialization. The primary form of socialization begins at birth and continues through adolescence and is influenced by parents and family friends and teachers bánovcinová et al. pg. 411 primary socialization refers to the initial period where children learn and build themselves in terms of interactions and experiences surrounding them when they are young. Secondary socialization begins in the home through the family and it is at this point where children learn about gender roles and what is accepted and what is not accepted in the social norms cultural practices and the society in general through media school and the larger community. Both forms of socialization can play a huge deciding factor on gender identity. Some of the agents of primary socialization include common institutions such as family public schools social media and childhood friends pomohaci et al. pg. 48. Primary socialization with the family enables children to bond with parents. parents create significant relationships with their children and in the process teach them to understand the common basic concepts of life such as trust love and togetherness. as children mature they observe the roles of their parents and begin to associate those roles with gender.
Schools media friends then tend to influence socialization and gender roles. Children build on these basic concepts and assume them throughout his or her life. in most cases these agents of socialization tend to be limited to the people and the factors which surround the individual in question such as family and friends but other external factors such as social media can also have a big influence on the life of an individual. According to guliaikhin et al. pg. 72 secondary socialization is a continuation of primary socialization taking place throughout life. generally secondary socialization involves the internalizing of the ideologies and the norms of the society. it is a process through which cultural and social continuity is achieved. it is strongly connected to developmental psychology in that human beings require basic social experiences for them to learn about cultures and survival means pomohaci pg. 155
Secondary socialization is an outline of the whole process which takes place through the life of an individual and is key to changing beliefs actions as well as behaviors in childhood and adulthood.agents of socializationsocialization is less intentional unlike the learning which we gain through formal systems of education and is a result of our interactions with family friends and the public in general vomácková chytrý pg. 49. The agents of socialization are basically the influential people in the society who in essence initiate the processes of socialization. Factually the agents of socialization are the peers or people with whom we have established relationships. media as well can be assumed to be an agent of socialization in that it plays a role in influencing the manner in which we acquire information about a peoples culture and societal perspectives in general. In primary socialization we are often limited to the immediate family members which actually depend on the family structures such as the extended families hunter-jones pg. 1550 this can be attributed to the fact that our lives are significantly influenced by primary caregivers who through the initial interactions we get to observe and assume their modes of behavior both at home and in the public settings. setting can change throughout time but in the majority of time results stay the same. Basically socialization is an important and necessary aspect in the society and social groups as well. while we may think we are always free to choose gender behaviors which appeal to us and then adopt them we are heavily influenced by the attitudes and beliefs of our primary caregivers.
The primary caregivers influence our behaviors attitudes and all aspects of our lives with time we tend to outline which appeals to us and adopt the same to the levels which best suit us yifan et al. pg. 50. In this context socialization assumes a liberal perspective to our personal developments and well-being in that we are at liberty to choose which gender identifies with us. Though socialization is not a value neutral process it in essence allows for the dominant values norms beliefs and assumptions to take course. In this line the society is an enabling factor where people can choose a gender which conforms to themselves in freedom and not restricting people to two choices only.When I come to think back and look at my childhood growing up with a focus of gender in the back of my mind kh2 where did gender come into my life through socialization growing up i spent majority of my time with males.
While back then there wasn’t much discussion through gender to me kh3 I have always identified as a straight male and I knew other males wouldnt identify the same as me. but why socialization starts from the very first day you are born. this process follows you into adulthood and even beyond. as a simple description it is a process that shapes how you identify yourself through interactions of others trying to fit in. in socialization the sociology of gender kh4 is introduced from traditions and often day-to-day routines such as blue for boys and pink for girls.the sociology of gender is different from what see as sex. Sex is in a sense the biological traits we assign and our taught to assigned kh5 to people. In most societies the traits are assigned to two different categories male and female. This simplifies things for people and creates a protocol for people to follow. Gender kh6 on the other hand is a much more fluid concept. It can identify you regardless of sex or even taken with the consideration of your assigned sex. gender has a much more cultural meaning. Its fluidity comes from characterizing it as not just two categories. It is a more complex concept and numerous factors can have a hold in it such as zuleyka describes. It is a concept that describes how societies determine and manage sex categories; the cultural meanings attached to men and womens roles; and how individuals understand their identities including but not limited to being a man woman transgender intersex genderqueer and other gender positions. Gender involves social norms attitudes and activities that society deems more appropriate for one sex over another. Gender is also determined by what an individual feel and does. Socialization is a necessary part of child development but what should we change to provide a better outcome of the process.
The environments of schools churches and peers are all parts but how far should we go to get involved on the childs development. Schools can help change the process by providing a more genderless role for students. as time goes on providing this space may arise more issues such as what will we do when it comes to safe sex education. The role of a genderless environment is there to promote all gender identities without the promoting of male and female identities to students. Sex education can always be taught without the direct this is what boys do and this what girls do.for people to clearly develop their own identity how we act treat and ritualize people must start when people are young. In most cases children can identify people from boy or girl just around the age of two. This is a very young age and even at the age of four children already have sense of identity.
If we learn how to let kids have freedom during this time by letting them decide who they imitate let them decide what they were approve of all relationships and allowing to choose small things let hairstyle and getting ear piercing they will have developed a much truer identity without the fear of society. this freedom is what we can do during the process of socialization to allow kids truly to be who they want to be when they grow up.
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