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Socialization Paper

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, socialization is the process whereby an individual

learns to adjust to a group (or society) and behave in a manner approved by the group (or
society). Cultural identity is the identity that one develops based on their cultural influences.
Everyone has a cultural identity. Everyones cultural identity is different. Your cultural identity is
based on several different things. According to Cushner, there are twelve sources that contribute
to ones identity. These sources include language, social status, religion, sexuality, geographic
region, age, health, sex/gender, social class, ethnicity/nationality, race, and ability/disability.
Next, there are agents that affect our view of others and their lifestyles. These agents include
family, school, church, community, neighborhood, work place, peer group, print media,
electronic media, the arts, sports, and technology. All of these factors can influence who we are
and how we view other people in our society.
My Culture
With Cushners Twelve Sources of Cultural Identity in mind, here is what I consider my
cultural identity to be. I was born and raised in Gallatin, TN, which is a rural city about twenty
minutes from Nashville, TN. English was the primary language spoken in my household, so that
is the only language that I am fluent in. I would describe my social status as being accepted. I
think I am well liked, but I would not describe myself as being popular. I am a Christian. I am a
heterosexual, white female. I would describe myself as being young, but Im probably
approaching middle-aged. I am a healthy person. I was raised in an American, middle class
family. As an adult, I would still classify myself in this same social class. As a younger child, I
was a great soccer player. I played for a select team that traveled all over Tennessee to play
against other select teams.

My cultural identity has also been affected by several of the common agents. One of the
biggest common agents that has had an impact on my cultural identity is technology. Technology
really started booming while I was in middle and high school. Internet in homes became
available to my geographic region while I was in middle school. This is when I started
communicating using Instant Messenger. Next, personal cell phones became big. As I was
entering high school, text messaging became the popular thing. Now, the hot items are smart
phones, iPhones, and iPads. Information is easily available to almost everyone through
The next common agent that has impacted my cultural identity is the media. The media is
now everywhere. It seems like the amount of media and paparazzi have increased tremendously
over the past decade. News stories are almost available immediately. Reality TV has become
huge and I, like a lot of people, sit and watch other peoples lives. This is one that is
embarrassing to admit. However, what they do impacts me. The places that they go on vacation, I
would have never seen without watching their shows. Sometimes I wouldnt have ever heard of
that destination. Watching these shows makes me realize that things that I thought were
impossible are real life for some people in our world. It makes me want to strive for better things
in life.
School (elementary, middle and high) has also greatly influenced my cultural identity.
School helped me know how to get along with others. School allowed me to see that people of
other races are just like me. My educational level also changed the outcome of my life. If I
hadnt finished college, then I would still be working at a day care making eight dollars an hour.

My family still influences my identity. Our family held the belief that the father had the
authority. Although my dad worked a lot, my mom would always say, Dont make me tell your
father. I knew what that meant. My mom still gives me her opinion on various things in my life.
When I am making a decision about something my mothers approval still crosses my mind. My
parents think that I should live a conservative, quiet life. I should be kind and respectful to
others. I should help people when they are in need. For the most part I do these things, but I
spend money on things that they dont agree with.
My work place from high school, which was a day care, made me realize that I wanted to
work with children. This is what led me to want to become a teacher. I enjoyed working with
children, but knew that I would need more than a day care salary to have a family. So I became a
All of these factors and influences have made me who I am today.
My Socialization Compared to Latinos
The term Latino refers to anyone with Spanish-speaking origins. They could be from
Mexico, El Salvador, Spain, Puerto Rico, or many others. Currently, there are a lot of secondgeneration Latinos that live in the United States. They may have been born here and never
been outside of the United States, but our society still views them as Latinos. I am going to try
my best to complete their cultural identity (as a group) based on Cushners Twelve Sources of
Cultural Identity. A person of Latino origin may mainly speak Spanish. Some Latinos are
bilingual. There may also be different dialects depending on the country that they are originally
from. Their social class can vary. I think majority of them are between Low and Middle Class,
but I also think there are some that are in the Upper Class. Majority of the Latinos are Catholics,

but there are small percentages that practice other faiths. Their sexuality can vary as well as their
ethnicity and nationality. Their geographic region can vary as well. They are of all ages. Their
health can vary. They are human just like everyone else and they can get viruses and disorders
just like everyone else. Their sex and gender can vary. Their race would be Hispanic or Spanish.
Their social status can vary depending on how they treat others around them. Lastly, their
abilities and disabilities can vary just like all other humans.
Based on this information, Latinos are very similar to Americans. A lot of their cultural
identity would be based on their personal preferences and how they grew up. After some reading,
I learned that their families believe in the patriarchal structure, or that the father has the authority.
I also learned that they can be homosexual, but their families may be unsupportive or possibly
cut them off. I think that it very similar to our culture.
My personal cultural identity compared to a Latino has been influenced by my parents
and my upbringing. My parents had different views of Latinos, one was positive and one was
negative. My mothers view was the positive one. She would always say that we need the
Hispanic people to do the jobs that no one else in our country would do or that everyone deserves
a chance at a better life. My father on the other hand would say that they needed to pay taxes like
everyone else or that the government should just ship them all back to their own countries. Now,
as an adult, I can see how insensitive this is. Although I hear what my dad is saying and
somewhat agree with the taxes part, I have always been nice to everyone and I respect everyone
and their view points. I do think that everyone deserves a chance at a better life, but I think they
should pay taxes like everyone else too. (Everyone deserves some grace, so maybe not
immediately, but eventually.) I think everyone in our country has something to offer. The media
argues that they are violent and that they should be sent back to their countries. However, there

are whites, African Americans, Chinese, Asians, etc. out their doing the same things, but the
news isnt trying to ship them away. This is where the media causes issues because they pick and
choose what news story fits their agenda.
My cultural identity is changing everyday based on my experiences and the people that I
encounter. I cant wait to look back on this paper in a couple of years to see what else has
changed about me.