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Biology 202
2004 First Web Paper
On Serendip

The Self; Social Yet Biological

La Vita

Socialization effects social image in so many ways. Socialization is how we learn and process the norms of our culture, and in take in the values and beliefs we are supposed to follow in order to develop a sense of whom we are. Scientists and sociologist debate which of nurture or nature does most to affect our sense of self. Also whether entwined sociology and biology theories better explain how and what is affecting us. What about these effects contribute to how you feel about your self?
Nature versus nurture, which one helps form our self-image? In the late nineteenth and twentieth century, scientists felt the basis of their argument was stronger to believe in the fact that it was nature. Many scientists support Charles Darwin's theory that it is the survival of the fittest. This theory is often misinterpreted as the strongest, but it's much more than that. What Darwin actually meant by "fittest" was the best possible fit between organism and environment. And the organism that fits best is the one that is most capable of adapting and using its strengths to meet the challenges presented to it. (1)

With today's consistently evolving society, humans, the social beings we are, must rethink and reevaluate how we socialize and how we equip ourselves to do so. In our rapidly changing societies the fittest persons will be those who survive through adaptation to the social norms, knowledge, and conceptualizations. In this light knowledge and how we use it to socialize and adapt is key. Thomas Spencer, a behavioral psychologist, has said, "The average worker of today will probably have to relearn his job five different times in his career." And he could be underestimating it significantly. Marshall McLuhan put it another way: "The future of work now consists of learning a living rather than earning a living."(1)

A study was done on twins where they were separated at early age. This experiment was supposed to reveal how heredity and social environment help form behavior. The study concluded that nature and nurture equally shape. The concept of combining ideas and theories help us understand and clarify things. Another way of trying to approach this question is through the lens of sociobiology, where people - including Darwin himself -- have been speculating on how our social behaviors (and feelings, attitudes, and so on) might also be affected by evolution.(3) integrates theories and research from biology and sociology in an effort to better understand human behavior. The main idea of sociobiology is biology; genetics and physiology help develop our characteristics. An example that will demonstrate this is the process of early childhood socialization. At conception and during prenatal development, our DNA already can tell us what our sex, race, skin, color, hair, and eye color will be. Researchers believe that the first two to three years of a baby's brain are like vacuums ready to receive any knowledge available.

How does socialization affect self-image? Self-image is based on your personality, a person's attitude, feelings, and behavior. There are three different parts to personality: the id, the superego, and the ego. In Freudian theory the superego is the division of the unconscious that is formed through the internalization of moral standards of parents and society, and that censors and restrains the ego.(2)
The id consists of the essentials to life, drives what you are aspiring to be, the ego is what balances out one's superego and the ego is the conscience. According to Freud, socialization was due to internal factors not the environments.

Socialization for every person is different. For instance for women socialization has changed, women were once viewed as inanimate objects to role models. The norms of the culture were for women not think as much and just stick to their daily chores and their life would be fulfilled. But women are not socialized to things for themselves in society and they have aspiration in life.

In my culture the norms and beliefs that we were taught are opposite to the type of person I am now. When you're a child you are taught that everything your parents teach you is right and that they are never wrong, even though they know eventually you'll realize no one's always right. As a child I was a bit troublesome with all my questions and testing what I was told. For example when I was told I couldn't wear pants to church, I was the brat that would rebel and sit with my legs open in a skirt until my mom let me wear pants to church. That personality in a much more mature way is still apart of who I am. My ability to free think is what liberates me, and it also gives me the strength and foundation to challenge myself in different situations. How I carry myself and more importantly challenge myself is not only my socialization skills but also my behavior. Socialization affects us in so many ways far beyond the visible. Our individual socialization patterns shape our mentalities. The things we individual experiences in society directly affect our minds, which explains how our minds register and react to incidents and situations we encounter differently.



1)Waking Up in the Age of Information,


3)Sociobiology, Excellent site!!! Very well written :)

The writings of Charles Darwin on the web

Sociobiology Another great site if you like - or want to like sociobioloy.

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