Socialization is a critical life process for every human being. Through socialization, one learns various aspects of life which in turn plays a vital part in their personality development throughout life. Without socialization, a person can develop many physical and mental problems relating their ability to live competently in society (Green & Johns, 2013). Cultural norms, attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs are inculcated in an individual through the process of socialization (Mitchell, 2012). Therefore, a failure to experience it may even undermine the ability that person to perform primary life activities such as talking, eating, playing and even sitting. However, there is no phase in life where socialization is more important than childhood. As a child grows right from infancy, they learn from their parents, siblings, friends, and society about various issues in life and internalize them as essential elements of a perfect society. Reconstruction of my childhood reveals that socialization defined my perception about education, enabled me to acquire my culture and appreciate other people, learn about making money, and general societal expectations.
Relating with other people and making sense of such interactions played a vital in defined my personality as a person who wants to succeed in matters related to education with a view of advancing a career in organizational management. Parents, siblings, teachers, and friends are some of the most significant shapers of the socialization process in children because they spend most of their interacting with these groups. As early as three years, children begin to learn from people around them and make sense of what is valuable from what they hear or see daily and relate it to their own lives (Mitchell, 2012). For instance, when I was around five years, the father of my childhood friend worked in Europe. We lived with this family in the neighborhood, and our families enjoyed good relations. Although I could not understand much about Europe at the time, I perceived Europe to be far away placed where people with certain qualities worked. Quite often, the father of my friend took them to Europe for a tour, especially during holidays. One day I asked my mother what I could do to work in Europe so that I can go on holidays as my neighbors did. My mother usually responded that I needed to do well in school so that I can acquire skills necessary for me to work as my friend's father. On many occasions, I heard this from my peers and the teachers. From then on, it stuck to me that education would shape my future in many ways. Perspectives have changed now about acquiring knowledge, but the value I attach to it was majorly shaped by the life of my neighbors which was later emphasized by my peers, mother, and the teachers.
The other area where socialization played a role is instilling the culture of saving money as a way of developing entrepreneurial skills. The experience that relates to this aspect of socialization is the family business that my parents operated downtown. The interesting part of this experience is my siblings and I helped the parents in this drug dispensing store during the weekends and holidays. It was not made mandatory for as to work but the parents always encouraged us to visit the shop and help out one considering that my father valued so much family togetherness. Every time we spent on the shop, the parents 'paid' us a small amount of as showing that our effort was appreciated and required to save for future use. Over time, I developed a tendency of saving money for my future use in the custody of the parents. By the time I was 15, I had learned that saving money was critical if one wants to be prosperous and made this habit of being part and parcel of my life. The outcome can be related to the study of Webly and Nhus (2007) who found that the saving culture of children has a clear and direct relationship with what their parents taught them about the value of saving. Even though the study featured children between 16-21 years, it gives a picture of the real impact of interactions between parents and children regarding the issue of money management and specifically about saving.
Besides the income aspect of my childhood experience, my ethnic background has played a role in shaping not only my relations with people who appear different from but also to understand how society treats the issue of race in general. The experience relates to the media portrayal of Canadian minorities. On many occasions, access to the media as a teenager made me feel that certain groups in the Canadian society were of lesser importance than others when I reflect on the advertisements and shows that run on television. To a large extent, how the media and people in the neighborhood talked about the ethnic minorities in the country occupied greatly influenced how I perceived them. However, there is almost no talk among my parents and siblings about the issue of race. Gaskin (2015) notes when parents do not talk about the issue of race, they fail to realize that it is a form of communication that leaves the children to construct their version of what really race means in the society in which they live. According to Lalonde, Jones, and Stroink (2008), racial identity plays a major in how people socialize in Canadian society. The silence about race motivated me to go out and find information about people of the so-called other races by forging friendship because I did understand at the time the reason as to why people rarely talked about racial issues and what I saw on television. Years of interactions with others made construct an attitude that regarded minority peoples as fellow Canadians because I found them to be equally friendly as my siblings and parents.
Simple alphabet toys in childhood years played an important in my development as an individual. The toys that mostly interacted with included alphabet toys and 'vehicle' toys. The alphabet toys were made of colors such as pink, blue and maroon, and often exhibited a rough texture. The alphabet toys played a crucial part in helping learn my first language because it was embedded with letters of the alphabet and how such letters are constructed to create meanings in the language. The most interesting aspect is that it helped connect with the few words that may family members uttered every day. These toys made me learn the essential elements of my culture language and having fun. As the study of Onder (2018) observes, such toys can be of great value to children, especially by enabling children to make sense of the environment around them and such interpretation can shape positive perspectives about learning and language development.
Vehicle toys were the most playful of all the toys I can remember in my childhood. They came in different sizes and colors. Their texture was rough and made of thick plastic materials, though there were some other parts like the passenger seat that were made of soft material - interacting with these toys involving riding or pushing them. We could pretend that the toys vehicles had stuck in the mud and they needed to be pushed to get out of the situation. Often, such plays involved some of the friends in the neighborhood. As far as I can remember, I would reach out to friends during the weekends for us to do the driving of toys in the pavements near our homes. From these experiences, I can infer that playing with vehicle toys with my neighborhood friends created relationships that are intact even up today. However, there were cases where we could fight in the event of damage to the toys, especially if the damages were inflicted by the child who was not the owner of the toys. Playing of toys creates relationships among children, develops their motor and cognitive skills as well as makes lean conflict resolution skills with their peers (Onder, 2018). How I value relationships and the community of people today can be traced back to the days of my childhood when I would sacrifice my time with friends to play toys and other activities.
From the discussion, it can be concluded that socialization is an ever-going activity in the life of every individual. Every day, people encounter different situations that challenge their present understanding of the world, and these happenings sometimes take place with little awareness from the person experiencing them. However, socialization is so critical during childhood that lack of exposure to this all-important process would result in the development of an adult who is unable to perform fundamental life activities such as speech or eating. In childhood, socialization enabled me to confront the issue of race as a teenager. It also allowed me to conceptualize the value of acquiring an education. Socialization taught me the benefit of being a smart-saver of money and how it is related to entrepreneurship. Lastly, my childhood plays shaped my personality concerning relationships, culture and language despite the negative messages that it imparted in me about people who appeared physically different. Overall, socialization made me who I am today I terms of ideology and behavior.
Gaskin, A. (2015). Racial socialization. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/newsletter/2015/08/racial-socialization
Green, B. S., & Johns, E. A. (2013). An introduction to sociology. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.
Lalonde, R. N., Jones, J. M., & Stroink, M. L. (2008). Racial identity, racial attitudes, and race socialization among Black Canadian parents. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 40(3), 129-139. doi:10.1037/0008-400x.40.3.129
Mitchell, B. A. (2012). Family Matters: An introduction to family sociology in Canada. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholars' Press.
Webley, P., & Nyhus, E. K. (2006). Parents' influence on children's future orientation and saving. Journal of Economic Psychology, 27(1), 140-164. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2005.06.016
Onder, M. (2018). Contribution of plays and toys to children's value education. Asian Journal of Education and Training, 4(3), 146-149. doi:10.20448/journal.522.2018.42.146.149
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Women and Men in Canadian Society: Socialization in Childhood and My life Story - Research Paper . (2022, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/women-and-men-in-canadian-society-socialization-in-childhood-and-my-life-story-research-paper
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