The Impact of Childhood Socialization

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The Impact of Childhood Socialization Student’s Name: Lawala Hawkins Institution: College of the Canyons Sociology: 200 Date: December 2, 2018IntroductionHave you ever wondered why we associate names such as girls, boys, men, women, females, and males with each other, or why we even associate certain genders with the different toys in which they can play with? Our country today is experiencing a lot of social issues in which we need to desperately address. Social issues are those that lie beyond one’s personal control and the range of one’s inner life (Coleman 2017:5).

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An example of social issues would be topics such as college tuition prices rising up or the popularity differences between a male or female within grade school. According to Katie Coleman, gender socialization is the shaping of individual behavior and perceptions in such a way that the individual conforms to socially prescribed expectations for males and females (Coleman 2017:21). Gender Socialization is important because we can now understand why we give little boys what we consider masculine things such as, toy trucks and also, why we have little boys wear certain colors such as, blue, red, or green. It helps us to understand why we give little girls feminine toys such as barbies, or dream houses. Also why we have them wear colors such as pink, purple, or yellow.

We can see how there are many different ways in how we apply our sexualities. Allowing both male and female to adapt to their gender identity, which is how we label one’s self-such as female male or neither (Coleman 2017:22). This paper will explain an interview in which I conducted between myself and a male that I will refer to as Responded 1. I am a 29-year-old multiracial woman of African, Indian and American descent. From Diamond Bar California, but now a resident of Lancaster CA. Responded 1 is a 41-year-old heterosexual African American man. Born and raised in Los Angeles CA. What is interesting about my response from Responded 1 is that he was a popular male throughout his entire school experience which made him have high self-esteem.

As to whereas, I was not popular or privilege so I had a completely different school experience than responded 1 and very low self-esteemHawkinsing up we are taught many things by our parents. Such as how to brush our teeth, wash our face, cook, clean, go to school on time, get a job and etc. However, although our parents may try to protect us from being corrupted by outside influences like our media, peers, schools, and etc, they can not properly keep these outside influences from entering into their children’s lives. These influences that I mentioned above are what sociologist consider to be part of a social learning theory. The social learning theory regards to gender identity and roles as a set of behaviors that are learned from the environment. Environmental influences include parents, peers, images in the media, toys, books, etc. The main way that gender behaviors are learned is through the process of observational learning wherein children observe the people (or images of people) around them behaving in various ways.

During these observations of behaviors, they’re internalizing what it means (culturally) to be a female or male in society (Coleman 2017:24). Allowing us to see that we can not stop the outside influences from grabbing a hold of our children, forcing them to behave in a way that is pleasing to our society. Early socialization of peers within your lives is where the shaping of who you are going to become. When children interact through elementary with their peers they are learning how to develop through interaction their social behavior. In addition, we can see how early social relationships with peers can shape the kind of person one becomes and what we think about gender later on in life. In elementary school, you learn about other people and building your reputation. Learn other children’s name, where they live, and how to play and communicate with them are part of social interactions. Peers start to assign you a nickname.

You get to feel out what you like or dislike about each person within your school. We start forming friends and these are the one in which you hang out with or sit with them at lunch. If you are not popular the bullying is really mild. You may be called out of your name or called a funny nickname. Then when you transition to junior high school you are now familiar with who you are going to hang out with, but also scared about meeting new people who are older and in a higher grade. When you enter junior high school you notice that the popularity criteria has changed. Males and females are now separated.

Groups are now formed into clicks. If you are popular you are wearing named brand clothes, makeup, and not taking school seriously considering you far from smart. When you transition to high school we then can see how a major transformation occurs in order to be popular. No one has to prove their popularity. Being part of a sport, a class clown, wearing makeup, dating, and doing things that could damage a person mentally, physically or emotionally, is what would consider you to be a popular person. I am going to focus on how being popular or unpopular can influence a person’s life for the better or for the worst. Starting off with my own life experience I have never been popular.

I did always try to fit in throughout my school days because being popular to me was like being a famous celebrity. It seemed like everyone knew your name and that you had to have a demeanor of a female being nice, always smiling, dressing nice and smelling good. Also what kind of car your parents dropped you off in really mattered. Popularity was based on materialistic things and on what society deemed to be considered a trend. So if you didn’t possess any of these traits then you were considered unpopular. I can remember being considered an unpopular girl, for one I didn’t have expensive things and my parents were not rich. My family was considered a middle-class family barely making enough money to survive off the basic necessities. I remember coming across my first experience accepting that I was not popular. I was sent to school in non-name brand shoes.

They were called phat farm which was in at the time considered to be the hottest shoe at the time. However, due to my mom buying me off-brand Phatfarm tennis shoes from paying less shoe store with copied the Phatfarm shoe brand but had a logo of a backward P. I was made a skeptical within my junior high school. I remember my peers coming to up to me all day asking me to see my shoe and then laughing behind my back. This one incident I can say shape me for the worst. I became very closed in with not only my peers but everyone. My self-esteem dropped very low and I remember having a lot of thoughts about not wanting to finish school.

I was able to make it out of junior high and high school by eliminating weather I wanted to be popular or not by taking my focus of the trends that society and my peers deemed as being part of the in crowd, concentrating solely on my education and high school graduation. I believe because of my negative experience within my school days that it shaped me into the woman I am a today. I believe that it should not matter how one should act or behave whether a male or female. As you get older you start to notice that the things that once mattered to you such as if you are popular or unpopular, the clothes and shoe you wearing, or if you are beautiful or smart does not define you as a person. The next person I will be talking about is Responded One.

His popularity was based off his looks, brown eyes, along with his personality, which could of boost his way into being popular. The people he may have hung around, and the crowd he hung in also influenced this as well. He never had problems with getting a girlfriend or being teased. Because he is popular he does not recognize that everyone is not on the same status quo as him. He thinks boys and girls share popularity equally and that anyone can have access to this popularity title. Showing us how Responded One life is based on societies expectation of how a man should conform to masculinity.


Responded one feels that these experience shaped who he is today and that because of his positive experience he is able to blend within any crowd or settings. He walks with his head held high and feels that he is accomplishing all that he was taught to do. Which is when he becomes a man and have a family, to be the sole provider for them. He believes that his life has been shaped off his gender and masculinity. He thinks that gender is important to keep the cycle of reproduction going and to bring more little ones who will be considered popular into our future generations. In conclusion his section you will need to note interesting similarities and differences between your experiences and those of your respondent. You will also use your sociological imagination and knowledge to speculate about why you and your respondent view gender the way you do today. Finally, conclude the paper with some parting words of wisdom or some take home lesson for your reader. 

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The Impact of Childhood Socialization. (2019, Mar 13). Retrieved November 27, 2022 , from

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