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The individual has little control over the social forces that shape his or her life. Explain and assess the view.

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Q. The individual has little control over the social forces that shape his or her life? Explain and assess the view. Ans. Societies work or function because each individual is performing a set of norms and values which are seen fit for the person of the society. Structuralist sociologists argue that the life of an individual or his social identity is developed by the agencies of socialization such as family, peer groups and religion. Emile Durkheim is and avid supporter of this theory saying that society is much bigger than us and encompasses our lives from all corners. From an early stage of life, through socialization children are socialized into the norms and values, their parent see fit. An important element of encouraging socially acceptable behavior within the children is by using informal social control and this is how gender roles are also emphasized for example by gifting a boy a gun we encourage aggressive and adventurous behavior while girls are given dolls to emphasize their roles a being caring and expressive. ...read more.


Females are still finding it difficult to develop their careers because of the restrictions put on them by parents and husbands. They discard the opinion that nature has predefined their roles to child rearing and bearing rather it is the nurture or ideologies feed to them over the years. Another example is of the feral children who weren?t\t socialized by humans and so learnt according to the forces affecting them. This shows just how important socialization and agencies of socialization are in shaping our lives as if the true self of a person is not humane if no socialized. However, on the other side of debate interpretevists are firmly against the view that these institutions have any direct effect on shaping social identities of people rather individuals make sense of the world around them and react differently in different situations. G.H Mead, one of the founders of symbolic interactionism said that during childhood, a child passes through several stages in forming his social identity. ...read more.


This describes the notion of deviant behavior where individual can either conform to the society norms or go against them. There are great many opportunities of human?s negotiation and interpretation of identities. H. Bulmer also emphasizes the choices facing an individual. He has to assess them such as wealth available, aspirations, realties, problems. And then make a decision. Another explanation comes from Dennis Wrong who has said that human beings aren?t computerized devices who will take on the roles set by the society for them. This is the over socialized concept indication sociology?s inability to comprehend emotions and feelings. He posits that each individual will not internalize the norms in the same degree and some may become overburdened and show deviant behavior. Another sociologist, Freud described human behavior as a constant conflict between his ego (the conscious reality and id (instincts and unconscious, repressed life). In what we say internalization of roles, it is actually the social control forcing individuals to conform. Although two different perspectives on the freedom of individual shaping his identity one emphasizing the action of society on individuals and the other emphasizing the individual?s interpretation of social roles and neither can be completely accepted. ...read more.

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