Throughout reading the chapter I connected a lot of the ideas discussed to my childhood and the different ways I was socialized into society. Socialization is defined as “the process through which people are taught to be proficient members of society,” (Openstax, 2016, p. 94). My parents definitely had the biggest impact on my socialization. My parents thought a very important value and norm was manners and really wanted my brothers and I to be well mannered and behaved kids. One of the aspects I remember most is when we learned how to set the table. My mom had a little drawing on an index card that we had to follow so we learned how to set the table properly. I will always remember my mom telling me, “The knife cuts the plate.” Another aspect that was part of my socialization was the proper way to communicate. I learned to say “Mr., Mrs., and Miss” to anyone older than me. This had a big impact on my life because I remember all my friends would call my parents by their first name, but I would always say Mr. or Mrs. first. I also was taught to say “Please” and “Thank you”. This has definitely had a big impact on who I am today.
Another major part of my socialization was school. One of the norms I remember learning most was taking turns when talking. Teachers taught you to not interrupt them, raise your hand, and listen to your classmates. This norm is practiced widely across our society, not just in school settings. I think this is definitely one of the most important norms we were taught in school because it teaches us respect.
All three perspectives — Symbolic Interactionism, Functionalism, and Conflict Theory — play an important roll in explaining socialization. I identify best with functionalism. Functionalism “sees society as a structure with interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of the individuals in that society,” (Openstax, 2016, p. 15). This idea helps explain why people are socialized. “People are socialized because it’s required for society to exist” (Unit 4, Module Video 5). Without socialization people would grow up with no interests, and thus we wouldn’t have people for jobs that are crucial to our survival, such as doctors, nurses, firemen, and policemen.
Functionalism helps keep our society balanced. Socialization helps teach us how to create a balanced society by teaching us how to behave in society. Without socialization we wouldn’t know how to communicate properly with others, help others, and much more. Learning these norms help us function in society and make sure our needs are met.