Societies have their own ways of working, and to prepare an individual to live in those societies the individual must has been socialized. Socialization is a process of how we learn the way of society. There are agents that work to form an individual in society such as family, parents, neighborhood, religion, and school. Those agents expect from an individual to act, think, and feel in a certain way, and play roles in life that fit the society.
I am from Saudi Arabia. Society over there is nothing like other society, in my opinion. I can understand the similarity of societies, but mine has differentiations from other. I can say that above all agents of socialization religion has the most impact on individuals. Religion in my society is the center of everything; I see it as the big tree and the other agents are branches.
Family is number one priority in my society, so the impact that I receive from it is huge. The way I should greet my father and mother is based on family norms, so I have to follow that way. In family the old son is next in responsibility after the father, so the role that he should play has to fulfill the duty of that position. I am the oldest son in my family, so I know what I am talking about. My father taught me to be mature in a young age so I can take care of the family. This kind of teaching considers socialization. He prepared well to live in such a society. So by doing that he expects a certain role from me to do.
I see in my society another new agent, or maybe it’s a branch from the family, it’s the tribe. Tribe has a significant meaning to an individual in my society; it is the source of the identity. So for that reason tribe plays a big role in how we, as members of tribe, act toward each other and toward society. Tribe is the extended family. We are siblings, because we share the seventh father. The leader of the tribe has control and impact on the members. He plays an important role of how we act as a group. When the leader honors a member because he is a very good poet, the poet has to feel happy. Controlling of feelings appeared over here, so I think the tribe is an agent of socialization. Also in big meetings and weddings we have to behave in a typical way that suits our society; no intermixing between men and women in weddings, no excuses for not coming to the wedding, and bring something for the groom and the bride. Parents tend to teach individual what the society expects from him/her. The teaching of the parents usually comes in hidden messages form. They always remind the individual how his/her grandfather and grandmother behaved, and how parents followed that.
This reminding is a message to the individual that he/she has to walk on the same steps to anticipate in society. Parents tell individual that it’s rude to interrupt someone while talking. That implies society has mores and we should respect them. The experience that the individual has from the parents is long-term experience, and it would play a major role in the individual choices, values, and faith. When I grew up in a Muslim family the expectations from my actions and thought are have to suite a Muslim society. Neighborhood for kids is like the soil for the plant. If the kids were planted in a good soil they will thrive and bloom. The impact that neighborhood has on an individual is essential to the development of individual’s character, motivation, and ideas. I grew up in a neighborhood that has a big mosque in it. I spent most of my time around that mosque with my coterie memorizing chapters from Quran and laws of Islam. That would be a very typical model of a Muslim society. The neighbors who see me going back and forth to the mosque would greet me and cheer me up, and they may tell their kids to follow me. In neighborhood also individual learns how to hustle his/her way through life, and that considers socialization.
I learned how to be carful not lose my control and behave when I am in trouble, because that could means I may cause damage to the repetition of my family or myself. Religion is the source of my society; everything pours out of it. The behaviors, thoughts, morals, values, norms, and mores are coming from the Islam. The way my society judges anyone is based on rules and conditions of Islam. This major role that religion plays over here on society is obvious, even on those who are non-Muslims. They follow the general rules of a society that they don’t belong to its religion. The way I dress is based on Islamic concept. I can’t dress something too short over the knee in general places, it would be against the concept. Also women have to dress in a certain way if they want to go outside the house, even if they were foreign women. Appropriate attitude is required on such a society; modesty is the general them. I’ve been raised in a Muslim society, so the impact on me is huge and it influences every single thing lf my life. The way an individual greets someone in the street is based on religion, and if the individual doesn’t greet it considers rude.
James’s (2012) we would miss the point if we were to assume that religion influences only people who are “religious.” Religion plays a powerful role even for people who wouldn’t be caught dead near a church, synagogue, or mosque. How? Religious ideas so pervade U.S. society that they provide the foundation of morality for both the religious and the nonreligious. (P79). Resocialization is how an individual learn new principles, behaviors, and tradition of a society. According to James (2012), “ Resocialization is the learning of new norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors to match the individual new situation in life. In its most common form, resocialization occurs each time an individual learns something contrary to his/her previous experience” (p. 82).
In my society I didn’t used to shake hands with women, and that is based on religious concept. When came to the U.S. in 2011 I faced a lot of women who are workers, and I have to greet them when I meet with them. At the beginning I used to say I don’t shake hands, and I would see enrage in their faces. They think that I am disrespecting them, but the truth is that I am following the rules of my religion. Now in order of resocilization I shake the hands of old women only, I don’t want them to feel angry on me. Studying with females also is resocialization. In my society boys are separated from girls in schools. I used to study with boys only. When came I here at the first day I was nervous about that, but with time I got used to it. That also is a process of resocialization.
Henslin, James, M. (2012). Sociology A down-to-earth approach. Eleventh ed. Boston, MA: Nesbitt graphics Publishers.
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