Research Paper Idea: Agencies of Gender Socialization
According to Functionalists, the process of socialization is carried out by the agencies of socialization. These agencies work together to make sure that there is law and order in the society. All these institutions are inter-connected and they have many things in common. The agencies include the family, school, religion, workplace and the media. Each has their own role to fulfill in a person’s life. The major work of each agency is to socialize human beings into confirmed and honest members of the society and to instigate norms and values of the cultures into them.
The family is one of the most main and probably the first institution which a person enters into. It is known as the primary socialization. When a baby is born, he / she become a part of the family which he / she are born into. The purpose of the family is to teach the cultural values to the children and what is acceptable and unacceptable in their society. This may differ in every society. The gender role socialization starts at an early age when parents start differentiating between their children’s gender. The baby boys are dressed in blue, girls are dressed in pink. As the child grows up, a difference in the parent’s behavior is observed by him / her. Girls are encouraged to play with doll houses and kitchen sets, whereas boys are told to play outside and with his ‘masculine’ toys. The girls are told to act feminine and the boys are told not to cry as it would make them girly. This gender role socialization carries all way to adult life.
The next step is to enroll in a school. In schools, the treatment is not different. Boys are told to take up subjects such as engineering and mathematics, whereas girls are told to study biology and much more feminine subjects. This is because girls are not expected to pursue a high-paid career. This situation has, however, become better with the time as schools nowadays do not limit girls to choose particular subjects. However, the teachers’ attitudes still remain partial towards a particular gender. A school is the source of secondary socialization for children. The children are also facing the same kind of attitudes at home and are then moved on to the school.
Media has also been responsible for the gender socialization as children are given access to TV, books and game shows at an early age. Therefore, different expectations of gender roles are instigated into the minds of the people. The reality is sometimes very different than what is shown in the media. Therefore, the person should use his/her own consciousness to differentiate between wrong and right.
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