Socialization can be described as the process of learning in the life of a human being that enables such a person to acquire knowledge and skills that necessary for him/her to be able to intermingle or rather interact with other human beings in the society. In reference to Grusec and Hastings (2007), socialization refers to the process through which people are assisted to become or acquire a belonging status in one or more social groups (1). When one is actively involved in the socialization process, there are both positive and negative results that are expected. Whereas this is a process of learning that enables a person to integrate into a particular social group, the results that are obtained during the learning process are not standardized, i.e. they are not absolute positive results (2). The outcome depends heavily on the environment that one is exposed to. This essay will therefore examine the importance of socialization to individuals as social beings and how failure by one to be involved in the socialization process results into a negative impact on the overall lifestyle of a person.
Human beings just like trees and animals have a responsibility to learn various skills that will give them an opportunity to be in a position to interact freely with their kind in the society. Whereas animals and plants will find different ways of adapting to their respective environment, human being too have to find out ways of coping with each other within their respective environments and in this case their communities and their respective social groups. As the saying goes, that no man is an island, there is no single person in this world that has the ability to live on his/her own without being affected in a negative way. As a result, people need each other in the society. However, it is important for one to understand that despite the fact that people need to interact with each other in certain forms of relationships, this cannot be achieved unless there are clear outlines on how these relationships will be conducted. Therefore, this raises the need for socialization process or rather socialization in the society (Grusec and Hastings 5).
In reference to Pate (2006), socialization is of paramount importance in the society as it contributes to the overall existence of the society (81). This is particularly important as far as the cultural and other values of the society are concerned. For example, without socialization, the societies throughout the world cannot be able in any way be in a position to disseminate skills and knowledge that concerns them to the next generation (81). As a result of this, the society would be unable to grow culturally, since the culture that is known to a few people cannot be passed on to the next generation. A clear picture of how socialization influences the values that are passed on from one generation to another is seen in the life of a parent and his child. Despite the fact that a parent may have the best character in the whole world, yet his absenteeism from home will result in his child learning a bad character from people around him/her as he/she is able to learn more from people that he interacts with rather than those that are related to him yet absent from their lives.
Therefore, socialization plays a critical role in holding the community together. While this process may be ignored by most people in the society, the existence of these societies depends heavily on the success of the whole process of socialization and how it valued within a particular community. For example, the communities that regard socialization as an important factor that need to be integrated into their societal system are able to lead healthy lives in regard to their interaction. The desirable behaviors and characters cannot be attained if the society is unable to bring its members to socialize, interact and create a bond that would necessitate them to desire to be with one another. While man is able to make independent decisions, these decisions require calculated moves that would not interrupt the running of socialization processes. However, when socialization bonds and processes are broken, such vices as crime and other uncouth behavior are introduced in the society, thus derailing the general development of the society (Pate 82).
Brown (2008) asserts that the society is able to hold together is certain barriers are broken (32-37). The modern world is characterized by people from different races and communities. However, it is worth to note that despite the numerous or rather countless communities and races that exists today in the current world, there is a growing interaction between these communities as technological developments especially in communication continue to find their way even in the remotest parts of this world. As a result of this, people have no choice but to interact with each. In such cases therefore, socialization plays a vital role in breaking the barriers that exists between different communities. While in the past, racial interactions were minimal, the current world’s requirements considers unrestricted interaction among different groups of people irrespective of their racial or community backgrounds as one of the components that contributes to success in achieving ones’ goals. However, it important to note that these racial barriers cannot be broken or rather eliminated without socialization. Different people from different racial backgrounds have to interact in social groups to be able to eliminate these barriers and be able to create a world that is not limited by racial or community barriers.
The society is expected to meet various needs that its members have and to ensure that their lives are well taken care of. Yet this cannot be achieved without appropriate institutions in place. For example, there is the family as an institution, religion, education, political institutions, sports, etc. These institutions are mandated to meet specific needs of their members. However, there various limitations that may arise if relevant measures are not put in place. One of these measures is the fact that the society has a responsibility of ensuring that these institutions remains as sociable as possible. For example, a family of two people, a wife and a husband need to remain on the track of socialization for as long as they are together. However, on the day that the socialization process between these two stops, they will separate. Therefore, socialization process provides a platform for these two to stay together, thus enabling their needs to be met and their cultural norms and behaviors to be passed on from one generation to another.
Whereas socialization is one of the core factors that contribute to a healthy society, it is also an important element in personal lives of people. First, people who have been isolated in the society have been found to possess weird behaviors that do not contribute to the wellbeing of the society but rather to its destruction. For many years, scientists and researchers wondered whether socialization had an effect on the lives of those that were involved and whether failure by an individual to socialize had an effect on such a person. Therefore, experiments were carried out using monkeys. The results of these experiments reveal that those monkeys that were separated from the rests of the monkeys portrayed a character that was not found in the ‘socialized’ monkeys. These observations were also seen in individual people that had shunned away from the rest of the society, or among those children that were separated from their peers in the society (Shepard 91).
There are certain emotional build up components that are only activated in human beings when they form part of a social group, and interact with this group on a regular basis. According to Gross (2007), emotional build up in human beings occurs during the childhood and the adolescent periods of a person (249). However, this requires that these periods are fully utilized in a social group thus enabling one to be able to go through the whole process of socialization. On the other hand, any distortion during this period or rather lapses in the socialization period would result in incomplete emotional development that creates a vacuum in the minds of people thus causing these people to develop emotional problems in future. There are various issues that can be observed in such people. To begin with, people whose socialization process was affected during their childhood periods are unable to interact in a health way in the society. Instead, they carry in their emotions a rejected personality, causing them to perceive every person as their enemy.
As a result of this, these people would continue to stay in isolation from the rest of the society no matter the efforts that are made to bring them and help in integrating them back into the society. Another issue that has been identified in such people is their stunted growth. Whereas a normal person has the ability to grow, especially in regard to learning special skills and knowledge that are relevant and necessary for a healthy interaction, this requires that such a person be in a social group where he/she participate actively thus enabling him/her to be in a position of learning them from other people. For example, learning language and how to express oneself in a particular language demands that one is fully integrated in the community where this language is spoken. The same issue accompanies the overall growth of a person. Certain knowledge and skills cannot be learnt in class but rather through experience that comes from interacting with people who already have these skills (149).
Hondeghem and Perry (2008) also argue that socialization is an important component in enhancing the working relationships of employees in a particular work setup (150). Although at this stage of development, most employees are grown ups and therefore have excellent socialization skills and knowledge that enables them to survive in any kind of environment, there is need for a continued socialization process among employees to develop their work environment. One cannot imagine of a scenario whereby employees do not participate in any socialization process, but rather strictly adhere to rules and regulations that have been set by the organization or business in which they have been employed. Such a scenario would be characterized by hostility that reduces efficiency and increases animosity among employees.
Therefore, most companies that have realized that socialization processes are important for their employees and therefore their company have introduced activities either on selected days of the week or month or have a set program on a daily basis that allows both the management and the rest of the employees in these companies to interact with one another freely in social gatherings such as over tea or lunch or through sports. This signifies that socialization process cannot be ignored in any way as it affects the society, the individuals and even the workplaces where individuals have been employed to work (Hondeghem and Perry 149). There are various factors that have contributed to socialization to become an important aspect of management in different organization. To begin with, socialization increases the awareness of employees in regard to their colleagues. As a result of this awareness, there are personal barriers that are broken by these individuals once they become aware of their fellow employees, thus creating a friendship that allows for an easier sharing of skills and knowledge as it concerns their work.
Socialization therefore, remains as one of the most important element that holds the society together. First, there are a variety of societal norms that cannot be learnt in school or in any other place. Socialization has a part to play to ensure that these societal norms are instilled in the lives of its people. Similarly, socialization has enabled the society to be in a position to avoid certain negative characteristics among its members that arise from their social lives. This is as a result of the effects that socialization has on the development of the emotional lives of people in the society. For example, people’s emotions are affected by the way they socialize in the society they live in, with negative impacts being recognized in people who socialize less often. However, this is not the only area where socialization is depicted in the society. Multinational companies have discovered that socialization remains to be among the top factors that need to be integrated in their daily activities to create an environment that is conducive to their employees, a factor that increases productivity and enhances efficiency.