ESL 91
SPRING, 2002

Juna 1
Juna 2

Natalya Shmay
ESL 91
Spring, 2002

Essay Topic: Which of the four agents of socialization do you believe is most important in the development of the child? Explain your answer through examples from your experience, your observation of others and/or your reading

What is socialization? How does socialization influence the child, and what are the agents of socialization? Socialization is the process that helps the infant gradually become a knowledgeable person, skilled in the ways of the culture into which he or she is born. Also, socialization has four basic agents: family, school, peers and the mass media. These agents have their own roles in our life.

The mass media are important elements of communication that influence our behaviors and actions because we usually spend a lot of time watching TV, reading newspapers, or playing computer games. These media sometimes provide positive as well as negative influences.  

The peer relationship is a social group with the same age and social background. That group formalizes some special society that helps to maintain close friendly connections through life. In the book “ Gender Play,” Barrie Thorne explained how the peer relationship teaches gender roles. So, peers have a great influence on the child because they are social actors who create their social world.  

Another socializing agent is the school. School gives children a formal process to be quiet in class, to be punctual with lessons and observe rules of school discipline. Children are required to see authority in the teacher. The peer group is often formed in the school.

In my opinion, the most important agent of socialization for the development of the child is the family. Family is the mirror of society where child gets the first understanding about norms and morals. Between family and child exists an invisible connection that makes a close relationship, and normally family is the most important authority institute for the child.  So, I would like to show some basic points why family is the main socializing agency for the child.

First of all, family is the most important institute for the child because family has the responsibility to care about their baby, and try to teach him how they were taught by their mother and father before. Primarily, family gives the child family tradition and hopes that their child will continue that tradition in the future, as in a family business. For example, I know a man who became a doctor because all men in his family work as doctors. He told me that in childhood his father taught him to love that occupation because it was the best job in the world to treat people. So, his work was influenced by his family because it was a tradition for a man to be a doctor.

Religion is the second point why family is the main socializing agency for the child. In fact, family does not ask their small baby what kind of religion she or he wants to follow. The child’s religion is already determined before he or she is born because the child’s mother and father, grandmother and grandfather all have that religion. The child will see how his family celebrates religious holidays, and he will repeat the same action, which he has seen. As a result, the family gives some belief for their child that will live in his heart during his life.

Gender socialization also plays an important role in how children learn gender roles. For example, we can see how mothers usually dress up their infants. If it is a girl they wear pink clothes, or if it is a boy everything is blue. The toys, pictures, books, and television programs with which young children come into contact all show us differences between male and female attributes. Toy stores and mail order catalogues usually categorize their products by gender. For example, toy kittens and rabbits are recommended for girls; lion and tigers are seen for boys. Why? All toys provide some characters and behaviors that will influence the child in the future. For example, I guess you remember how children play in the home or kindergarten. Girls play roles like mother; boys play like father. So, I saw how two girls disputed who would be father for their dolls. Finally, one girl said, “I can not be father and neither can you because girls always must be mother. It says mother for me.” So, the family teaches the child what role a woman or man plays in society, and what rules a woman or man should know. For example, women should be womanly and soft, and men should be manly and strong, and never cry because just women can cry.

So, we can see that family is the most import the agent of socialization for a child’s development because family helps the children to understand the world better. Also, family puts in the child’s head the basic knowledge that the child will use in the future. When children become adults, they add to the foundation provided by their family through their experience in school or by communication with peers or from the mass media. Family is the world that usually gives us a feeling of sunshine in our heart and reminds us of people who love us and take care of us, their children.

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Olesya Glebova
ESL 91
Spring, 2002

Essay Topic: Which of the four agents of socialization do you believe is most important in the development of the child? Explain your answer through examples from your experience, your observation of others and/or your reading.

“The Family Agent”

The agents of socialization include four stages of our society such as: family, school, peers, and the mass media. I think that the most important agent in our society is family because without this agent we could not have a society at all. Parents give the basic knowledge and explain to their own children during childhood that children should respect themselves and other people. Moreover, parents show and explain good manners and values of life to their children.

I cannot imagine living my life without my family because family is very important and valuable to me. Without my family, a large part of my life and culture would be missing. I know I can always get help and support when I need it from my family. In fact, I think that this is the most important thing that my family taught me- that a family is made up of people who you can trust and who love you no matter what.

Today we can read a lot of articles from newspapers and see different kinds of TV shows about families where parents abuse their own children, verbally and physically. I think that these parents do not realize that when their children grow up they might treat and raise their children in the same way because these people learned that way when they were teenagers or younger. I was so lucky because I learned differently and my family always cares about me, and I care about my family.

I remember when I came to the United States of America, in a little while I went to school. On my first day of school, I was very nervous because I did not know the language and was old enough to go alone without my parents. In addition, I was very scared because there would be no one who I would know at school. Before I left home, my mother and father tried to calm me and explain to me that I had to go to school anyway. Moreover, they gave me the positive examples such as: I would meet new people in the school and these people can become my friends. Also, they told me that I would be learning a new language because without it I cannot communicate with people. I saw that my parents were nervous that day also because they could understand my feelings and they knew that the school system is totally different in the United States than where I came from. And they could understand that it could be possible that the adaptation would be very hard for me.

Additionally, I would like to add that family and relatives are very close with each other and provide a support system for each other and for the children. I believe that most of the families in our society spend every holiday and often times every weekend with each other because all of them are very important members of the family. In addition, I would like to say that my belief based on my family example; my parents put problems that they may have been having in their marriage away so that their children would grow up in a loving home. Mothers and fathers are home for their children to help them with their homework or just to spend time with them. Grandparents are also around to help out their grandchildren and children. For the most important part, families provide a warm, safe haven for children grow up.

In conclusion, I will like to write that when I get married and leave my parents house, I would miss my parents a lot. I do not know exactly what I will miss most about my family. I know that I will miss the constant love and care, the feeling of having someone there for me, someone to talk to, to someone to come home to. I always have someone to turn to in my family, whenever I feel sad, angry, or scared. I can always depend on them because they would never let me down. I just hope that I can do the same someday for my own family.

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Juna Lucas
ESL 91
Spring, 2002

Essay Topic: Which of the four agents of socialization do you believe is most important in the development of the child? Explain your answer through examples from your experience, your observation of others and/or your reading.
Family is the most important to the child’s development

Socialization is the scientific study of human behavior and activities.  It is concerned with how human beings think and act as social creatures. Socialization is the process through which we become human.   It is through our interaction with society that we learn what is necessary to live in each society. 

There are four agents of socialization: family, school, peers, and mass media.  Among these agents I believe that family is the most important to the child’s development. Why?   Family is the most important to the child’s development, because in family we learn self-concept (within the family) we also learn the basics of who we are. Family is the best arrangement for bringing up children to be mature.   What is a family exactly?       

Family is the oldest institution on earth, and it plays a vital role in human society.  The book “The Secret of Family Happiness published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of N.Y says, “ Throughout history, strong families have helped to make strong societies”.  Most families consist of a father, a mother, and children.   Grandparents may live in their own households as long as they can.  While contact is kept up with more distant relatives, responsibilities toward these are limited.  

Today especially it’s not easy rearing children.   Nevertheless, many have done it with success.  In many homes around the world, men view child preparing or training as woman’s work.  True, the word of God points to the father’s role as the principal breadwinner.   However, it also says that he has responsibilities in the home.  (prov24:27)   In God’s view, fathers and mothers are partners in child training. 

What is discipline?   A magazine published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of N.Y says, “ Discipline is training that corrects the mind and Heart.” Children need discipline constantly.  Yes, parents should discipline in love as God does.   Reasoning can convey discipline based on love.  Parents should bear in mind that disciplining their children does not involve merely speaking to them in threatening tones, scolding them, or even insulting them.  But it involves recognizing the need for firmness and trying to keep these words in mind when disciplining their children.

Sometimes, though, reasoning is not enough, and some kind of punishment may be needed. In the Young People Ask answers that work, from the chapter “Train your child from infancy” says, some are not “ corrected by mere words”.  For them, the punishment administered for disobedience may be lifesaving; for example when a child gets punished because he/she was crossing the street without any adult surveillance. Whether, talked to her that was nothing. “ Discipline in no way endorses angry whipping or severe beating, which bruises and even injures a child” according to the book Secret Family Happiness 

Different children require different kinds of discipline.  Also when parents punish Their children, the child should understand why he is being punished.  If not, the Child will repeat the same thing again because he didn’t know why he was punished. 

I remember when I was a little girl around eight to ten years old. My mother didn’t want me to play with certain children on my Neighborhood. For me it was unfair because those children were like me.  When She saw that I didn’t want to listen she called me and talked to me.  And she told me the Reason why she didn’t want me to play with those children.  Anyway, what she said wasn’t interesting to me.  My mother wasn’t the kind of person who liked to beat her children.  So, what she did hurt me (she pretended to ignore me) because I felt that, I was missing something in my life.  Now by growing up I realize the reason I felt like that.  Children like when their parents give them attention. As in my case, children don’t want to be rejected.  As the magazine Awake published by Watch Tower says “parental discipline, in whatever appropriate form, should never leave a child feeling rejected. Rather, the child should sense that discipline is given because the parent is with him on his side”.

“A child feels secure in a happy family”, says the mother in the Show  7th Heaven on WB 11, I remember my grandfather always said, “a family is a haven of safety and security”.   Envision the ideal family for a moment. During their evening meal, caring parents sit with their children and discuss the events of the day.  Children chatter excitedly as they tell their father and mother about what happened at school.   This time spent together refreshes everyone for another day in the world outside.  Also in a happy family children know that the father and mother will care for them when they get sick; they know that they can go to their father and mother with their problems and get advice and support. The children feel safe no matter what happens in the outside the world. 

In conclusion, parents are most important to the child’s development.  Parents should teach children to fit in and belong. This means that exceptional parents do everything to prepare their child for life. Parents should help their children make good friends; and allow them to clearly express their feelings, thoughts, and needs.  Parents need to be good listeners and be proud of their children, both at home and in public. In that way we could say that family is the most important influence on the child’s development.   

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Juna Lucas
ESL 91
Spring, 2002

Essay Topic: Think of a time when you changed your behavior to conform to the group. Describe the situation in detail. How old were you? What type of group was it? How did you feel at the time? Looking back, how do you feel about your actions? Would you behave in the same way today? Why/Why Not?

Conformity is a type of social interaction in which an individual group.   Adapts behavior to fit the behavior of the group. Peer pressure has a lot to do with conformity because people change their behavior either for the worse or the better. Because, of a group that they want to please, and just because they don’t want to be left out.

Some people are more conforming than others, but most people conform to the expectations of some group most of the time.  Life without this type of social interaction could not exist.   This means that without conformity there could be no culture.

Here in America I have had many experiences with conformity in a group.  At one time or another, someone (like myself) had to behave like the rest of the group in order to fit in.  I was twenty-one years old when I came here.  I had brought a CD player to listen to my favorite Haitian songs.  One day one of my peers asked me “What music is it that you are enjoying so much?”  “It is Haitian music” I replied.  Then, to my surprise he insulted my taste in music.  Ever since that day I started buying American music, so no one else would laugh at me as he did. Now I am older and wiser than before, when I look back, I think that I shouldn’t have changed the music I listened to for another music, just because I wanted to act like everyone else. I no longer behave to please a crowd or group, but only to please myself.

However, There are some times that I change my behavior. This time it was about my accent. Because I came to the United States at such a late age, it was very difficult for me to speak the language without strong accent.  I remember one day, after a year of being in the United States, as I was entering my friend’s building, a stranger asked me a question.  Right after I answered his question he asked me if I was Haitian and I said yes.  Then I asked him why he asked me that question and he replied, “you sound Haitian,” I was a little shocked because I don’t recall having an accent when I spoke English.  I was so embarrassed about that because I knew that it was hard for me to speak the language, but I did not know that I had an accent.  Then I thought to myself that I should make more of an effort to sound like an American.  I did not want to get offended because of my accent.

Thus, I consider the fact that I am trying so hard to fit in a group as peer pressure. Because at time I would feel like an outsider just because I don’t speak like a real American.  I was thinking that if I did sound like an American, I would feel better and be more like everybody else.   I never really thought that there was something wrong with me trying to speak like an American.  As a matter of fact I think it urged me more to learn and speak proper English. 

I think that I would still have the same idea today because I think that most people don’t like hearing that they have an accent when they are speaking a language that is not their own.  I personally do not want to be categorized as a “just come” as they call it nowadays.  I would still feel bad about it if someone told me that I have an accent.  In this case I would always try my best to fit in, no matter what. 

I do think that wanting to change your behavior in order to conform to that of another group is wrong most of the time because it is important to think about pleasing yourself, doing what you like and what you want. It depends though on why you are changing your behavior and what you are changing to.  If it is for a trivial reason and you are changing your behavior for the worse, then it is wrong.  But if it is for an important reason, then I do not see anything wrong with it.  

I changed my taste of music just because I was offended and wanted to fit in. I felt the need to work hard on my English language because I did not want to sound like a “just come.” If it were today I would never change my taste of music just because someone did not like what I was listening to and did not appreciate my culture. We are living in a diverse country where there are many different cultures.  So, I would not change my taste because of an inconsiderate of person.  I think changing my behavior about my accent, and trying to get rid of it is not bad at all.  This is the positive part about conforming to the group, conformity is not always bad, but it can also have positive results. 

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