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

Authors Avatar by kh_usamalivecom (student)

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. Informal social control can take forms of appreciation, punishment, calling names and even exclusion from the group. In this regard, children have no option but to accept their model roles which are carried throughout their lives.  From the point of functionalists, socialization is seen as a one way process in which individuals are thought to be passive responding unknowingly to rewards and punishments. In this context, socialization is no more than training where individuals are not free to negotiate their social roles.

Join now!

Talcott Parsons is also of the view that society is a asocial system where order is maintained. Social order is there for maintained by individuals learning the norms the society provides. In doing so they internalize these roles i.e. these social roles become a part of them. Deviant behavior can therefore be explained by inadequate socialization.

Primary socialization is also seen as a place for internalizing concepts of obedience within the future working class. Cooper identified that within family parents are the bourgeoisie and children are proletariat. This theory is also further developed by feminists who argue that patriarchy or ...

This is a preview of the whole essay