Saturday, February 25, 2012

detrimental secondary social agents

A college paper:

Socializing agents are people and institutions that help with integration of an individual into society. These agents are necessary to the social development of an individual so that they can interact with society properly. Social skills have to practiced, so that they can become a natural part of our lives. People who do not learn these vital social skills are often not ever able to function in normal interpersonal relationships, work environments, and school settings.  Social class also is a socializing agent. In fact, the people we interact with in our marriages, families, friends, schools, colleges, churches, and workplaces are most likely dictated by our social class. The social classes are divided into the lower class, working middle class, and the higher √©lite class.

Primary agents of socialization include family and friends. I believe that having a family, or conversely the lack of family, plays the primary role in a person’s environment. Family members can be the most influential in forming who we are and what we become. They teach us how to relate others, how to relate to authority, and how to get along with diverse people. Within the folds of a family, we learn to develop, to love, to hate, to relate, to appreciate, to resent, and to forgive. A family influences birth order, personality, and temperament. It is also true that family can inflict the most pain, abuse, and trauma as well. Peers also are a vital part of a person’s socialization. Friendships can help form a person’s personality and teach them interpersonal communication skills, especially in formative years. Later on in life, both family and friends form a necessary support network for a person.

Secondary agents of socialization include religious institutions, schools, and work places. School is where most children learn social skills that help to integrate them into society in general. Church, temples, and synagogues are important secondary agents in social development as well. And then there is the media. As a teacher, I see too many of my students obsessed with video games, iPods, Facebook, and anime. They seem to have little inspiration or ambition to achieve or do anything else. Skyrim is absorbing, World of Warcraft is addicting. All these media-themed secondary agents  have unhealthily substituted for primary agents: family interaction and conversation, the development skills and talents, involvement in the community, physical activity, and proper interaction with others. This world spits out socially inept individuals who seek to only dwell in a egocentric universe, centered around fantasies and make-believe lives. I've seen it too often. It's too sad, and almost unavoidable: second-tier agents overshadow the first rate ones.

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