• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Pygmalion - What does the play show us of the society of ...

    He swears a lot and is very impolite, especially towards Eliza. She even reprimands him for being rude and not inviting her to sit down when she turns up at his home querying about elocution lessons, 'Well, if you was a gentleman, you might ask me to sit down, I think.'

  2. 'There's no such thing as society - merely individuals and their families'. (Margaret Thatcher). ...

    It is true that society cannot work without toleration however somewhere someone must be profiting from society, and these are persons perfect for the attention and individualist label. "Communism works in theory. In theory!" Homer Simpson, Matt Groening, Socialist, and even though this was said by a loveable cartoon character

  1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

    But a Bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide.... Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.... If we could Bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved.... The principle of mass production at last applied to biology" (Huxley 4).

  2. What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

    Yet, until quite recently, such third-sector institutions were neglected if not ignored outright by all social sciences. Such a short-sided approach has had disastrous consequences for our understanding of how economy and society interact, of which the inability of the social sciences to predict and understand the fall of communism

  1. Using examples describe a range of sociological perspectives and theories (including both classic and ...

    self--that is any idea he appropriates--appears in a particular mind, and the kind of self-feeling one has is determined by the attitude toward this attributed to that other mind. A social self of this sort might be called the reflected or looking glass self: "Each to each a looking-glass reflects the other that doth pass."

  2. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    For example, Confucianism was the status ethic of prebendaries, men with literary educations who were characterized by a secular rationalism. Christianity began its course as a doctrine of itinerant artisan journeymen. It is not the case for Weber that ''the ruling ideas of any epoch are the ideas of the ruling classes,'' however.

  1. Jack Johnson's song, "Cookie Jar"

    Jack Johnson is also using techniques such as intertextuality from this quote "Or the maker of the movie which he based his life on" This is talking about the controversial movie "Bowling For Columbine" which is about two high school children, who take their dads guns and go to school

  2. Prostitution: Prohibit or Legalize? Both Sides of the Debate

    And finally, the idea that the problems prostitutes face are rarely seen by the public as injustices that need to be solved. As Anderson (2002) remarks sarcastically: "they're not like us; they do things we wouldn't dream of doing." And as Abraham and McNaught (1997)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work