How Do We Become Human?
Socialization is simply the process by which we become human social beings. George Herbert Mead and Charles Cooley (from the “Chicago School”) contributed the Symbolic Interactionism perspective-most widely used today by sociologists. Mead and Cooley focused on how all the symbol-based interactions we have with others shape and form our self, our roles, our becoming “human,” and ultimately our experiencing socialization throughout our life stages. Socialization is the process by which people learn characteristics of their group’s norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors.
Newborns are not born human—at least not in the social or emotional sense of being human. They have to learn all the nuances of proper behavior, how to meet expectations for what is expected of them, and everything else needed to become a member of society. A newborn in the presence of others, interacting with family and friends typically acquires their socialization by the time they reach young adulthood.
From the first moments of life, children begin a process of socialization wherein parents, family, and friends establish an infant’s Social Construction of Reality, or what people define as real because of their background assumptions and life experiences with others. An average US child’s social construction of reality includes: knowledge that he or she belongs, can depend on others to meet their needs, and has privileges and obligations that accompany membership in their family and community. In a typical set of social circumstances, children grow up through a predictable set of life stages: infancy, preschool, K-12 school years, young adulthood, adulthood, middle adulthood, and finally later-life adulthood. Most will leave home as young adults, find a spouse or life partner in their mid-to late 20s and work in a job for pay. To expect that of the average US Child is normal.
Date: 2015-01-29; view: 178