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Utilising a range of examples discuss to what extent individuals are shaped by society.

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Introduction

UTILISING A RANGE OF EXAMPLES DISCUSS TO WHAT EXTENT INDIVIDUALS ARE SHAPED BY SOCIETY "A Society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable" (Mencken, H.L. Minority Report 1956) As an individual in society we have an idea of what our identity is or should be. When meeting others, they will make various assumptions about us without our help. Factors such as age, gender and race are hard to disguise and these can be classed as our natural characteristics. Other factors such as appearance, dress, behaviour and speech are through choice, and as such can be nurtured characteristics. Whether these characteristics are individuals to choose is a matter for debate. A person can be influenced on how they appear from their family, religion or work. As a society we have a role to accept people on their own merit. The two characteristics listed above form the two sides of the argument on how and why we act in certain ways. Some people believe that we are shaped by our NATURAL INSTINCTS. If these instincts are to be believed they can be traced back to the first creatures on earth. ...read more.

Middle

Source: bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/boyturnedgirl Many Sociology books address the problem of detachment. A Chemist has no connection to a jar of Potassium Permanganate but a Social Scientist is an integral part of their own studies. This is known as the subject-object problem. Any writer is part of a gender, and comes from some form of family. It is difficult for me as a father to discuss problems with child rearing. When talking about society, 'Westerners' assume that ours is the ultimate model and others should want to embrace it. One person that worked against that thinking was Margaret Mead. She lived from 1901 to 1978 and was often described as the most famous anthropologist in the world. She carried out field work in the Pacific Islands studying how the play and imaginations of young children were shaped by adults. She strongly believed that the 'civilised' world had something to learn from the 'primitive'. She was able to demonstrate that gender roles are not specific and can differ from one society to another. Below are summaries of two tribes she studied with vastly differing parental ideals. Despite being in relatively close proximity to each other they show how different ideals can produce differing societies. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Media cannot be left out of development. As a child I can remember neighbours coming to view the wedding of Princess Anne and Capt. Mark Philips at our house because we had a colour television. They were houses in the street that did not have a television set. Nowadays, it seems unusual if a household only has one television set. There are channels that are dedicated to children, the commercial ones such as Nickleodeon and Fox Kids are funded by advertisers who promote their wares at frequent intervals. There is also a huge range of Children's magazines that are based on TV and films. The programmes and publications all promote themes that the youngster should want to attain to. This essay concentrates on the shaping of an individual by society in the relatively early stages of life, discussing only primary and secondary socialisation. The third, ADULT socialisation is when a person enters a new role that has not been able to be prepared for in the original two. When you become an employee or a parent your ideals and beliefs will change. We may think of ourselves as individuals, we all conform in way or another to fit into society. Regardless of gender, class, religion or work, every person fits into a group that moulds together to form a society. ...read more.

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