Gulnara 1
Gulnara 2

Mohammed Habib
ESL 91
Spring, 2000

Essay Topic:  In your opinion, of the four agents of socialization discussed in the passage, which one is the most important to the child’s development? Provide specific, detailed examples to support your opinion.

The four agents of socialization are the family, school, peers, and the mass media. Each one of these has its own influences on people, but in my point of view, the most important agent is the mass media. The mass media has a big hand in developing a child in a positive or a negative way. Unless the child is intelligent, he will not be able to distinguish what is right and what is wrong. The media could develop children’s minds in a negative frame. This is especially difficult for children under twelve.

This is why I’m against mass media for children under twelve. I believe that children under twelve can not help themselves to understand the difference between what is right and what is wrong on television. They feel that whatever they see on television is real and then they try to repeat it themselves. This may either hurt themselves or someone else. For instance, my four years old nephew loves watching cartoons and he is particularly crazy about Power Rangers. He imitates whatever his cartoons heroes do. Often he hurts himself doing some dangerous stunts that he has seen on TV. Whenever he comes to my house he wants to fight with my brothers and I. Right away he assumes the karate position like the Power Rangers do when they are going to start a fight.

After seeing my nephew’s behavior, I think that the media has a very bad influence on younger children. We as adults have to stop children from too much exposure to violent cartoons on TV. We must also teach them that what they are viewing on TV is not real life and should not be acted out in real life.

In addition to my personal experience with my nephew, my criticism of the mass media is based on the assumption that what people see and hear strongly affect their attitudes and behavior towards others. Anyone who saw my nephew would find it difficult to believe that the media does not have a direct impact on people’s attitudes and actions. More evidence shows that television viewing may have a long-term effect that can’t yet be measured. One study of three Canadian towns before and after television was introduced found that TV watching was associated with a decline in reading skills, an increase in aggressive behavior, and less involvement in community activities.

Therefore, the reasons for my strong opinions against mass media are based on personal experiences and research. Television is a powerful tool that is used daily to influence the masses. It has some bad influences on young children. We must take some kind of steps to shield our future generation from the mass media’s bacteria.

Gulnara Saparova
ESL 91
Spring, 2000

Essay Topic: In your opinion, of the four agents of socialization discussed in the passage, which one is the most important to the child’s development? Provide specific, detailed examples to support your opinion.

According to sociology researchers we know four agents of socialization, which help children develop. These are family, school, peers and mass media. I think the most important agent in the child’s development is family. We begin the process of socialization in our family. Everyone has parents, brothers or sisters. We take our first steps at home; we say our first words at home; we begin to see the world around us through our family.

The family predestines a child’s attitudes and behavior. A child looks at his parents; he copies his parent’s behavior. He listens to how his parents talk with each other. He soaks up everything that happens in the family. Our culture begins with our family. It means our traditions, our language; everything comes from our family. The family gives the child social status and identity in terms of race, religion and social class.

The family is a special world for a child. When I was a child I imitated my mother. I liked how she dressed. I liked her behavior. I liked the relationship between my parents. My parents taught me to be honest, kind, fair and to never give up. A Russian adage says that the apple doesn’t fall far from the apple tree. Children are similar to their parents, not only outwardly but also inwardly. The family provides the context in which the first and most long-lasting intimate social relationships are farmed.

Family protects children from negative influence and prepares them for the social world. Often when children have problems and they don’t know how to solve the problems, they go their family. Children can have problems at school, with peers. Constantly children find escape in drugs. It is a very serious social problem. The family helps to find of ways for solving the problems.

Today I, like my parents before me, help my own daughter to build her social world. My daughter is ten years old. We came to America two years ago. When we arrived in America, we had a lot of different problems. First we had to adapt to our new environment. We had problems with the new language and work. We met different people with their own culture. I think our children have more problems than the adults because when they arrive in America they are more helpless. I was very nervous about how my daughter would feel in her surroundings.

I think I am a fortunate person because I live with my mother. My mother helps me to take care of my daughter. Unfortunately, most parents have to leave their children alone while they work. A lot of time children watch TV shows many programs, which harm our children, for example “Jerry Springer”. TV includes many violent cartoons, which make our children more inhuman. Our children become angrier; they begin to feel that they live in a terrible world.

Who can help our children? Only we, their parents can help them. How can we protect them? I think if we discuss books with them, go to theaters and museums, our children will spend less time watching TV and playing with a computer. We have to be more interested in what our children do; we have to know about their hobbies and their goals.

A child doesn’t have to feel lonely. He has to feel that his parents take care of him and support his interests. My daughter began to study karate. She became more organized. She has competitions; she knows that she should train hard for better results. I know each child has got his own interest and we parents, family have to help our children to find their interest.

The parents are responsible for their children. We help our children when they are in misfortune and we are proud of them when they achieve their goals. The family is the most important agent in the child’s development; it is the social root of the process of socialization.  

Gulnara Saparova
ESL 91
Spring, 2000

Essay Topic: Discuss the role of the mass media as an agent of socialization.

The mass media is one of agents of socialization. The mass media includes television, newspapers, and magazines and in fact, all means of communication that are a part of people’s life. The mass media have considerable influence on the process of socialization – some negative, some positive.

The aspects of the mass media can be different. They can be violent, sexy, aggressive, kind and educational. All these aspects have a different kind of influence on children and adults. The aspects of the mass media can develop intelligence and a sense of morality, but also they can make people aggressive and immoral.

First of all, I would like to emphasize the aspect of media that has good influence on children, parents, and teachers. The example of this aspect are educational TV shows like “Sesame Street” and “Barney”. These TV shows are educational programs for preschool and school age children. Their parents and teachers use these programs to help children to learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, different words, opposites, and actions. Most importantly children learn all of these things by easy, simple and understandable forms. Also these programs help children to prepare for school. Most American children who watch these programs from early childhood go to school with a strong knowledge of the alphabet, numbers, and shapes. Moreover, the programs “Sesame Street” and “Barney” also help to develop musical aptitudes in children. Characters in these programs often sing a lot of famous American songs, and children, who watch these TV shows, usually sing along with them. It’s from these shows, that many American children find their heroes.

The educational programs like “Sesame Street” and “Barney” are not only good for children, but they are also helpful for parents and teachers. Teachers can borrow some methods for teaching young children at school. Also, from these TV shows, they can find out different ways to make the process of teaching natural and teachable. Sometimes parents and children watch these shows together and then discuss the new information, which children get from the programs.

My family and I arrived in America two years ago. My mother began to study English from programs such as “Sesame Street” and “Barney.” My daughter learns from the shows as well. And it’s most important that I don’t have to worry that my daughter will see something violent, sexy, aggressive or fearful when she watches these TV shows. Parents can be confident that children will get interesting information, new knowledge, and fun from these programs.

The Internet is another medium that may have many positive effects. We can find a lot of interesting information and activities on the Internet. Computers help us to improve our English. We can see our mistakes; we can find information; we can communicate with each other.

Unfortunately, televisions and computers can have another kind of effect. It is a fact that TV violence causes violent behavior. The TV and computer violence influences children and adults in different ways. The scientist David Buckingham of the Institute of Educational University of London, England researched TV shows. He used the term “moral panic” to describe how the media influences undesirable social developments. Buckingham stated, “ we all imitate things we see on TV – both good and bad.” He said that these are causes of pathological copy - cat acts. Keep in mind, however that there is still no conclusive evidence that television violence causes people to be more violent than they would otherwise be.

Children take more different information from TV than in school. American TV shows contain many programs, such as “Jerry Springer” show, which may harm our children. Also TV includes a lot of violent cartoons, which make our children more inhuman. Our children become angrier, and they begin to feel that they live in a terrible world.

The role of mass media in our life is very important. It influences developing self – concept. The mass media can have either positive or negative effect. The TV has to reduce violent programs. I hope we can protect our children and ourselves from negative influence of the mass media. Hopefully, TV networks will broadcast more programs like “Sesame Street” and “Barney”. They teach children to be kind and friendly and over the years help children to increase their intellectual level and morality.

Olga Shchiglik
ESL 91
Spring, 2000

Essay Topic: In your opinion, of the four agents of socialization discussed in the passage, which one is the most important to the child’s development? Provide specific, detailed examples to support your opinion.

There are 4 agents of socialization, Family, School, Peers, and the Mass Media that are important to the child’s development. One of the most important agents is the mass media.

Video games, television and computers are facts of life for today’s children. Each medium can make a contribution to child’s development; each has strengths and weakness.For example, television can be used to enhance and motivate reading. However, at the same time TV can have a damaging effect on children if adults do not guide their children’s viewing and teach children to watch critically and to learn from what they watch.

Properly used, mass media can provide opportunities for learning and development. For example, my young brother recalls actions from the same story he read before. I think that it’s because the TV story is more visible and easier to remember. I myself, remember a film that showed seeds sprouting its roots, which I was watching in school during a science lesson. So, motion can help children learn about processes because it stimulates children’s attention and makes the process more understandable.

Of course, the child needs not only television, but also other experiences. The amount of television children watch at home should be limited. Children should be encouraged to read, to enhance thinking, while TV can stimulate their imagination. I remember when I was a child, watching, TV and then my mother said: "Take a book!" It was so refreshing to read after watching.

So, media has a lot of advantages and disadvantages. However, it should be used critically and thoughtfully for a child’s development.


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Posted to the Web on Monday, March 27, 2000 at 18:45 EST
Last modified on Sunday, May 21, 2000 at 17:46 EST