Socialization plays a central role in the growth and development process. In fact, individual spend a better part of their lives being part of the socialization process. Today, people receive many incentives from the process of socialization. Of these incentives, developing personalities remain one of the most significant outcomes of the socialization process. The subject of socialization has intrigued psychologist for a long time. Many of them believe that this process involves learning of cultures and development of personalities, which define an individual’s value systems. Indeed, the process of socialization involves many vital processes that do not occur in isolation, but reinforce one another to shape what individual believe, act, or aspire to be. In the society, individuals are akin to clay at the same time a sculptor who can socialize others around them.
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In any society, individuals are clay, which must have the right properties—soft—for the sculptor to mold it into the right shape. Molding of clay is a skillful process that can have varying outcomes. Through molding, the sculptors make the clay ready and begin to fashion it according to their shape of their hands. Likewise, this process is comparable to the socialization process for individual mold to their surroundings. For instance, as individuals grow up, they acquire images that make them develop self-awareness and most importantly, self-images. These developments, which we can think of as shaping the clay forms the first process of socialization. Just as clay, individuals mold to what is close to them and this take place through the process of socialization where they take roles. For example, individuals learn to use social experiences though the use of symbols such as worlds and gestures that carry meaning. In this process, individuals learn that intention of others and by taking the role of another; they acquire images that help them develop self-awareness.
At birth, individuals have no form of socialized life, and this makes them resemble pieces of clay, ready to take different shapes through social experiences. From infancy, individual must take part in social experiences that will subject to the process of socialization for them to learn different cultures and behaviors. As they grow, the world around them shapes them by allowing them to expand their understanding and learning how to act in different situations. This process can lead to positive outcomes or negative outcomes depending on the prevailing social experiences. This means that individuals who interact with positive agents of socialization are likely to develop better social experience than those who do not. This is the reason why psychologists pay important consideration for various factors such as schools, mass media, and peer, because of their potential to mold people into different personalities. Certainly, individuals, just as clay, remain subject to this socialization process.
On the other hand, we can think of individuals as sculptors because they have the potential of molding others around them. In society, individuals have influence on the lives of same people, and this process is similar to that of sculptors who shapes lumps of clay into various shapes. Through socialization, individuals are able to exert influence on others who look at them for directions, or take them for role models. As a result, other people end up internalizing norms and values based on what they see other people doing. This process is nothing, but a sculptor shaping clay into objects of varying shape.
In conclusion, socialization process entails society shaping individuals and the same individuals shaping other people around them. Environmental factors and other social forces shape individuals because they resemble clay, which can mold into an object with defined behaviors and personality. The same individuals can also shape other people by influencing their behaviors and culture since they can also act as sculptors in the socialization process.
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