About Socialization

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When two people first meet, their sex, age, race, and to a certain extent, ethnicity, are frequently determined. Even if social class is less visible, it can occasionally be determined during the first meeting by a person's demeanor, language, and dress. These qualities become crucial determinants of group membership through socialization. Stigmatization takes place in this setting. There are requirements that must be met in order to join certain social groups. However, they are not simply perceived as different if they do not satisfy the established requirements. Instead, they are deemed unfit and dismissed. It is based on this that people attempt to alter their social identities to conform to the groups they wish to be part of. For example, it is common for women to go for beauty enhancement surgeries. They do this with the aim of meeting the socially defined "standards" of beauty. It is that Goffman refers to as altering the "spoiled identity."


I agree with your analysis of Goffman's beliefs. The society has a way of defining what is right or wrong, what is good or bad, and what is acceptable and not acceptable. These standards could be based on age, health, sexual orientation, or place of origin. If an individual does not meet the set criteria, he or she is subjected to stigmatization. The reason why people attempt to hide their true self either through denial or corrective surgeries is that they are trying to gain acceptance and avoid being stigmatized or segregated from the mainstream society.


I agree with you that stigmatization results from a person failing to meet specific socially defined standards. Although these measures could be as a result of unavoidable differences such as gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities, they in a way segregate these individuals or put them in a position where others judge them. To redeem themselves or in an attempt to fit into the "acceptable standards," these people develop low self-esteem and depression. Alternatively, they should use their difference to their advantage since their uniqueness means they have unique abilities and believe in themselves.

March 15, 2023


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