Sociology 204 Writing Assignment Option 4: Socialization into Yourselves

People inhabit multiple social worlds, and act differently in those different worlds. Socialization is one of the processes that allows this to happen, focusing on how we learn and internalize the norms, values, beliefs, habits, knowledge, behaviors, and modes of action that allow us to function in those different social worlds. In this essay, please identify two distinct social worlds that you inhabit and the ways that the differences between them are reflected in your different “selves” in those settings. The question that should be the focus of your essay is why do these settings call for (or demand!) different selves? Your paper will have to accomplish several tasks.

First, make sure to provide a thorough description of the settings and the “selves” that you adopt in them, focusing on differences between the two, as well as similarities, and whether you experience them as complementary or contradictory (although you should also note similarities). Second, you should provide an analysis of why you adopt different selves in these settings focusing both on how the setting enforces or demands it and on the different socialization processes in the two different settings (the lecture, slides, and textbook all talk about aspects of the socialization process and you should use those resources to guide your discussion of socialization – don’t just wing it, use the concepts and theories we have gone over). All of that work is the set up to allow you to answer the main question for this paper which is: why do these settings call for different selves?

Does it have to do with what the settings are about? With power? With different cultures or social groups? Different goals or purposes within the setting? Different people or relationships? There are lots of other possibilities but those will hopefully get your thinking started down a useful road.