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A Girl Like Me

February 4, 2010

Posted by: Chad M. Gesser

Twitter: @profgesser

Email: chad.gesser@kctcs.edu

Socialization is characterized as the life long social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture.  The socialization process begins soon after birth, as babies are cared for (or not) by their parents or other loved ones from their family.  Of course that experience is as varied as there are cultures in our world.  We begin to learn at a very early age how to love, to hate, to care for, to fight, and to ultimately relate to other people in our society.

We also learn our position in society, particularly in terms of social class, gender, and race.  We are influenced by history and the social norms of society.  Norms aren’t necessarily right or wrong, but we gauge ourselves to the cultural standards in society, and as Mead would characterize, we develop that sense of self.

As an example of how we internalize what we perceive in society, watch the “Girl Like Me” video below

.  Many students question the validity of these girls’ interpretations of what others think about them.  Keep in mind these are the experiences of these girls, right or wrong, and it is the “job” of the Sociologist to ask the critical questions as to why.




What shapes their viewpoints?  What popular messages in society influence their perceptions?  What ideas and/or behaviors have they garnered from their family and peers that influences their sense of self?

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4 comments

  1. Well what shapes their view point is the fact that they are all African Americans. An African American seem to be held responsiable for all of the crime. And women are looked down upon because they have more children.They are more poorer than White Americans.It is harder for Afro American women to find jobs and go to go to college.What happened the best of all was for Abe Lincoln to free the slaves which were all Black and now we have a Black President that stands up for all the Americans And Martin Luther King that stood up for the American rights of the Black.


  2. WOW! Are you kidding me? African Americans don’t seem to be help responcible for all of the crimes. You do however have people that believe that African Americans commit more crimes (which is false). Also the women are looked down upon because it seems like more black woman rely on the goverment to care for their children (which is also not true). And black people are not any more poor than white people. I don’t mean to be rude but how is it harder for African American woman or men to go to college when there are a lot more scholarships to go to college just for being black! But how many do you see like that for being white? None that I have ever seen cause then it would be “racist”! Like I said are you kidding me?!?!


  3. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, between 1976 and 2005, blacks, while 13 percent of the population, committed over 52 percent of the nation’s homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer.

    I am tired of people talking as if black people are not as free as whites. The truth is we are. In fact we have more resources to get out there and make something of ourselves than white people do. Stop acting as if you are suffering just because our ancestors did. Besides it wasn’t the white people who sold our ancestors into slavery, it was our African family that sent our ancestors to America for a profit.


  4. […] Socialization […]



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