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Childhood Socialization Essay, Research Paper

Webster’s definition of socialization is 1. to make social 2. to take part in social activity.” A well known definition of socialization is being exposed to race, ethnicity, and religion in

an unbiased, open-minded, and positive manner. Therefore, leading one to not have any predispositions, stereotypes, or negative thoughts on any certain group of people. You can see that just through this definition that socialization is not an easy process; it requires being active, involved, enthusiastic, and passionate about everyone around them, regardless of their background.

It is easy as an adult to make the decision to live this way, but children need direction and example in order to be social. Children don’t decide that they want to be “social” in every sense of the word, rather they have to be taught. Socialization is not the

idea of being a “social” person, having a lot of friends, or being involved with society as a whole. Many adults believe that they fall under the definition of socialization because they

are active in their community, popular, and have many friends and acquaintances. Ironically, a person could have all of those characteristics and not fall under the definition of “social.”

Socialization is the ability to look at society as a whole and be unbiased and open-minded which in turn decreases negative attitudes toward racial, ethnic, and religious groups. People who understand socialization realize that a big part of it is an understanding

of the world and the people around them. It is a very important task to teach children the ways of socialization and this job should not be taken lightly. It could be quite a large task and would take a lot of good example and teachings in order to show children the ways of socialization. A person can not be biased, because children are smart and thy can pick-up easily on it. They have to be willing to share every aspect of every element of life.

There are many ways in which we can socialize children in the world and teach them culturally unbiased and understanding ways. The first and foremost way in doing so is teaching the children by positive example. They can and will learn from parents, older siblings, teachers, and respected family members. These are the people that children look up to most and rely on for opinions and thoughts. Other ways to socialize children is through activities with other children of a variety of backgrounds. This can be accomplished by way of play-groups, school, after school programs, extra-cirricular

activities and clubs. These sorts of experiences are fun for and at the same time it opens up children’s minds to different types of cultures, races, ethnic groups through various friends without them being aware of it.

Children also learn a great deal from television, movies, and radio. Often times the children learn from media are negative. For example, the T.V. show “Cops” portrays mostly minorities. Is this because more minorities are arrested or is this because more minorities are initially pulled over and questioned. No one knows for sure. Other

examples of the bias portrayed through media are the movies, “Menace to Society,” “Boys in the Hood,” and “Dangerous Minds.” These movies show children the negative stereotypes of minorities, because more than 50% of the characters in the movies are minorities. These movies and television shows are about violence, gangs and other

negative societal events. This is teaching children, in a roundabout way, negative attitudes about the people around them. The movies present ideas about stereotypes and because children are niaeve, they tend to believe that if one person does something bad then other

people who resemble that particular one are capable of doing the same thing. Most people know that is untrue, but when you are a child it is hard to understand this concept.

When children are opened up to different experiences and different children of various backgrounds, races, and religious groups, it causes many positive characteristics to be brought out. For instance, children obtain qualities such as tolerance, understanding,

open-mindedness, compassion, respect, and reverence for themselves and those around them. Since they are brought up being exposed to other races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions, other than their own, they are able to understand and appreciate the differences among them. Bringing children up this way can have very positive effects on their own life, lives around them , and the society around them.

Sadly, not all children are brought up to see the world in this culturally unbiased way. If an effort could be made in order to bring children up to be more socialized, the world could be a much better place, and maybe someday we would live in a world where there was no racism or stereotypes. In conclusion, childhood socialization can decrease the negative attitudes toward racial, ethnic, and religious groups in many ways, causing a child to be more liberal and open-minded.


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