This part discusses about the factors that affects on the socialization of the students. The concepts that will be used in the study are defined conceptually.
Religion, human beings’ relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy of especial reverence. I also commonly regarded as consisting of the way people deal with ultimate concerns about their lives and their fate after death. In many traditions, this relation and these concerns are expressed in terms of one’s relationship with or attitude toward gods or spirits; in more humanistic or naturalistic forms of religion, they expressed in terms of one’s relationship or attitude toward the broader human community or the natural world. Believers and worshippers participate in and are often enjoined to perform devotional or contemplative practices such as prayer, meditation, or particular rituals. Worship, moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions are among the constituent elements of the religious life (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Religious socialization may be broadly described as a process that encompasses the varying dynamics of religious group membership and the patterns of commitment which such membership can engender (Roberts 1984:133–148). It is a process potentially life-long in scope, and until quite recently it was a process thought virtually inevitable in churches and traditional religious groups, as the latter could assume both ongoing commitments in an unchanged society and the gradual incorporation of individuals into the religious group, whether from birth onward (as was the case of Roman Catholics and many mainline Protestants) or from the point of a conversion experience with its strong emotional power (the case of many sects and evangelical traditions). However, as churches and other social groups have been touched by increased levels of social and institutional change (Roof and McKinney 1987), and as cults and newer religious groups have become prominent in American society (Chalfont, Beckley and Palmer 1987:191–220), commitment patterns have become tenuous, and religious socialization has become a subject of specific and—on the part of churches—self-conscious concern (see the discussions by Westerhoff 1974; Groome 1980; Marthaler 1980; Phillibert and O’Connor 1982; Princeton Research Center 1986).
We begin the process of socialization within the context of our family. The family has primary importance in shaping a child’s attitudes and behavior because it provides the context in which the first and most long-lasting intimate social relationships are formed. In addition to representing the child’s entire social world, the family also determines the child’s initial social status and identity in terms of race, religion, social class, and gender.
While the family offers the child intimate social relationships, the school offers more objective social relationships. School is a social institution, and as such, has direct responsibility for instilling in, or teaching, the individual the information, skills, and values that society considers important for social life. In school, children learn the skills of interpersonal interaction. They learn to share, to take turns, and to compromise with their peers.
The peer group exerts a most powerful social influence on the child. The peer group is composed of status equals; that is, all children within a given peer group are the same age and come from the same social status. A child must earn his/her social position within the peer group; this position does not come naturally, as it does in the family. Interaction with a peer group loosens the child’s bonds to the family; it provides both an alternative model for behavior and new social norms and values. To become fully socialized, children must learn how to deal with the conflicting views and values of all of the people who are important in their lives. These people are called “significant others.”
The mass media includes television, newspapers, magazines; in fact, all means of communication which are directed toward a vast audience in society. The mass media, especially television, have considerable influence on the process of socialization. Children spend a great deal of their time watching television, and the violent content of many television programs is believed to be a contributing factor in aggressive behavior.
Socialization helps to shape and define our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and it provides us with a model for our behavior. As children become socialized, they learn how to fit into and to function as productive members of human society. Socialization teaches us the cultural values and norms that provide the guidelines for our everyday life.
Culture may be defined as the beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects shared by a particular group of people. Culture is a way of life that a number of people have in common. Our culture is reflected in what we wear to work, when and what we eat, and how we spend our leisure time. Culture provides the framework within which our lives become meaningful, based on standards of success, beauty, and goodness. Some cultures value competition, while others emphasize cooperation. Our culture affects virtually every aspect of our lives. Culture is not innate; human beings create culture. Culture consists of a set of principles and traditions transmitted from generation to generation, yet because human beings have created it, culture is flexible and subject to change.
Human culture is linked to the biological evolution of human beings. The creation of culture became possible only after the brain size of our early ancestors increased, enabling humans to construct their natural environment for themselves. Because human beings are creative by nature, they have developed diverse, or different, ways of life.
Cultural diversity is the result of geographical location, religious beliefs, and lifestyles. Culture is based on symbols, attaching significance to objects and patterns of behavior. Language is the most important expression of cultural symbolism. Sharing beliefs, thoughts, and feelings with others is the basis of culture, and language makes this possible. Language is also the most important means of cultural transmission. Language enables human beings to transmit culture not only in the present, but also from past to future generations. Language is probably the most powerful evidence of our humanity. According to two linguistic anthropologists, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf, the language that we speak actually determines the reality that we experience. This Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that we know the world only in terms of what our language provides, that language shapes culture as a whole. For example, while the English language has only one word for “snow,” the Inuit language has different words that describe different types of snow. This occurs because distinguishing between, for example, falling snow and drifting snow is so important to the life of the Inuit.
While it may be true that language shapes culture, it is probably equally true that culture shapes language. For example, the increasing use of computers has led to new words and phrases in the language. Words such as “gigabyte” and “RAM” (random access memory), while commonplace in English today, did not exist 50 years ago. As more and more countries become technologically advanced, new words and phrases will also become part of their languages. So language and culture are interrelated, and changes in either one are likely to result in changes in the other.