Nature Vs Nurture and Socialisation

Socialisation is the process where a person learns attitudes, actions and values appropriate to the person as part of their culture from the time of birth to the time of death. There are two types of socialisation; primary socialisation and secondary socialisation. Primary socialisation occurs in early childhood, infancy even, and helps the child become socialised through the family support. The role of the family is extremely important to make the child known to the different cultural and social elements. The child would have a natural attachment to the family thus in theory finds it easy to learn social norms, practice and values.

Whereas secondary socialisation takes place later in childhood and maturity. The individual adapts to the environment around them and can relate to people in different ways. They can interact in such groups as school, the workplace, clubs and the media. The individuals learn the values norms and beliefs of a culture.

Neither nature nor nurture have a sole impact on a person’s life.

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Both work together, but it is the amount of either one which affects a person. Empiricists basic assumption ‘is that at birth the human mind is a tabula rasa (blank state) and that this is gradually filled as a result of experience’ (McLeod, 2018). On the naturism side, Freuds aggression theory is that there is an innate drive. ‘Components of the social environment include built infrastructure; industrial and occupational structure; labour markets; social and economic processes; wealth; social, human, and health services; power relations; government; race relations; social inequality; cultural practices; the arts; religious institutions and practices; and beliefs about place and community.

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Social environments can be experienced at multiple scales, often simultaneously, including households, kin networks, neighbourhood’s, towns and cities, and regions’ (Hernandez and Blazer, 2006).

Social attachments are necessary for human development, and is also essential for food, security, material and non-material resources. There are two social variables which are necessary for social relationships; social networks and social support. ‘Social networks are defined as the web of person-centred social ties¦ includes the structural aspects of social relationships such as size, density, boundedness and homogeneity’ (Hernandez and Blazer, 2006). Social support is when there are various types of assistance in which people receive from these social networks. There are three types of social support; instrumental which are resources that people receive from social networks, emotional, which is when people assist other persons and makes them feel cared about, and informational, which is priceless information that is received by another person in their social surroundings.

Socioeconomic status is measured by three indicators; education, income and occupation. These in turn are related to one’s health. Socialism has different impacts on one’s health status, for example, whether one is raised in poverty or from a wealthy community. Poverty can affect a person’s health during different stages of their life, ‘the influence of social and cultural variables on health involves dimensions of both time as well as place’ (Hernandez & Blazer, 2006). These outcomes are called the social and cultural environment. One’s health will be much better when their income is higher than those in a low social class and low income can be a cause of worse health status. People with a secure income have a ‘psychological sense of control and mastery over their environment’ (Hernandez and Blazer, 2006). Being in a higher social class is associated with healthier behaviours and they are less likely to smoke, which may be due to not being as stressed as those in lower class.

Occupational status relates back to health, as those that are in respected careers and less hazardous jobs will have less health concerns. They will not be exposed to toxic chemicals or dangerous conditions which may cause injury. High status jobs are associated with high levels of control, large skills range and a healthy psychosocial work environment. Regarding education, social surroundings have a major impact on one’s upbringing and future endeavours. In a study carried out by the University of Texas, the results showed that children which studied at a school in a higher social class had higher IQ’s than those that attended schools in a poorer community. They believe that nature and nurture are neither superior to the other and they should be in sync with each other in order for children to reach their highest potential. ‘At ten months of age, there was no difference in how children from different socioeconomic backgrounds performed. By age two, children from high socioeconomic backgrounds scored significantly higher than those from low socioeconomic backgrounds’ (Tucker-Drob, 2011).

Both environmental and genetic factors work hand in hand. Watson (1930) believed that it does not matter what kind of an environment an infant has been born into but in fact he can train them to become anything he wanted them to be. ‘give me a dozen healthy infants, well formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I will guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select’. Arnold Gesell (1977), also an American psychologist started to work on his theories at the same time as Watson and even disagreed with Watsons work. Gasell stated that individuals were not influenced by their surroundings but in fact from his research found that observational techniques such as film helped him discover that children behave and develop in similar ways even if their surroundings and environment are different.

Gesell stated that ‘the child of five to ten still grows in the same way and acts in relatively the same way as he did thirty years ago, and for many years before that’. In conclusion the nature versus nurture debate has been studied and theorised by many however it remains inconclusive on both sides of the debate. Both sides continue to debate many valid arguments, but human behaviour culture ethics will remain ever changing and evolving.

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Nature Vs Nurture and Socialisation. (2016, Jun 03). Retrieved from

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