Social Role of Women in Society
Introduction The social role which I feel that I occupy and that I am going to focus on in this essay is the one of a women in this society. I believe I have been socialized into this role for numerous reasons. Throughout this paper I will explain how I think I have been socialized into this role.
Social Roles; There are a variety of social roles in our society. They have been established since the early years. It is the people within our society that establish and portray these roles in their everyday life. “Social roles are the part people play as members of a social group.
With each social role you adopt, your behaviour changes to fit the expectations both you and others have of that role. ” (McLeod, S. A. (2008). Social Roles. Retrieved from: [Accessed 21/10/2012] http://www. simplypsychology. org/social-roles. html I believe social roles are in place so that we as people know our place in society and with our roles in society come many opportunities but also many rules and regulations. Whereas, other species on our land seem to be set in their ways and abide by them no matter what. If they dot the consequences are usually very extreme.
As a woman I feel like I have been socialised into this tradition role for numerous reasons. To be honest I think my family and where I am from has had a major impact on how I have been drawn to this role. I am from a tradition country Irish family. There is my brother and I in my family. It really frustrates me in my life as there seems to be a different set of rules and obligations for my brother over me. Their seems to be so many societal expectations for women. As I have grown older things have become much clearer to me as why I have always been treated differently to my other sibling.
When I was younger I thought maybe it was because of the four year age gap, but now I realise it is merely because I am a female and that is why some obligations are always ordered for me to do and not for my older sibling who is a male. “When we occupy a certain status in society, we have functions to serve” (Donohoe and Gaynor 1999) Social Roles as Constructed Not Natural I believe that my social role as a woman is socially created as it has been in place for many generations. Women since the early years have always been seen in a traditional way as been the house-wife and mother in the home.
Even though I have just entered into my adult years I already feel the pressures of the role which is socially constructed for me. I am worried for myself that I will be discriminated in the workforce just because of my gender and also the fact that I am a young woman with the potential to have kids. “Even with the fact that women are now able to participate more in the public world and get paid employment, they still face inequality in the work place” (Gender Roles of the 21st Century. ” 123HelpMe. com. 3 Oct 2012) This is a major concern of mine and it is not through my own fault that these restrictions may affect me; it is simply due to our society. I also think my role as a woman has been socially constructed as society wants us all to be in a set manner for order in our world and so a conflict does not occur. Socialization “Socialization refers to the way in which we absorb the rules of behaviour which are common in our society” (Abbott 1998:10) Socialization sets out how we should live in accord to our society and its expectations. (McDonald, Bernadette 2006) It is also the process of development of the human being in a social context.
Human behaviour is learned primarily through the process of socialization which involves the transmission of culture by language and gesture and at the same time through the same interaction with others we learn about our ‘self’ and develop a sense of who we are and how to behave. Primary socialization; this happens in your childhood and is the ‘most intense period of cultural learning’ (Giddins 2001:26) this is the stage in our lives we begin to learn the basics such as acceptable behaviour and things like our native language. My primary agents of socialization were my parents and grandparents.
Secondary socialization, this is the stage of socialization that occurs in the later stage of our lives when we are maturing in our lives. “At this stage children adapt to the wider world and learn to relate to a variety of people in a variety of different ways” (Bernadette McDonald, 2006. An Introduction to Sociology in Ireland, Dublin, Type IT) If we are part of a group we are influenced greatly by them such as; our family, peer group and the media. ‘Social interactions in these contexts help people learn the values, norms and beliefs which make up the patterns of their culture’ (Giddens 2001:28).
I strongly think that I learned my social role as a woman in the secondary stage of socialisation. When I was playing hurling with the boys I was noticing that they treated me different just because I was a women, they would be afraid to tackle me even though I was just as tough as them. This was the first stage in my life where it really hit me that as I woman I was going to be treated much different in my society in comparison to my male counterparts. I have lived with my parents all of my life and they are very set in their ways. This has clearly impacted on me in my life also.
It has made me see myself as different so other people, like I have a set of obligations as a women and if I do not perform them I seem to fail in my role as a women. According to Macionis and Plummer (2002) “ The family also confers on children on a social position, that is, parents not only bring children into the physical world, they also pace them in society in terms of race, ethnicity, religion and class” From this I think what they are trying to say is that as your parents are responsible for giving you life you must abide by the values that they entrust onto you.
Also another main element that I think was an agent to my socialization of a woman was my peer group and school. I went to an all girl’s school and we had a set way of doing stuff in school and also the fact my whole peer group was girls it took me awhile to get used to been able to deal with having men within my peer group. I believe people in mixed schools have a much better chance in life as they are more aware of how to deal with the mixture of genders. I believe that society is so strong that my role as a woman will never be abolished and we will always have set obligations in our life compared to our male counterparts.
Constraining or Creative? There are many viewpoints in sociology in how we interpret social roles. Some people interpret roles and are very dominant in enforcing them and on the other hand others are more relaxed about enforcing society’s roles. On some occasions I challenge the social role I obtain, I try to change the way people view me through the actions I carry out. I sometimes try to be tough to others to show that I am not the typical women and that I go by my own rules. But then sometimes I end up giving up as after all usually if anyone tries to challenge society they usually fail and as a person I am not too fond of failing.
I thought I could exercise the agency in my social role but it is not as easy I thought. Society is very tough but I hope through the power of knowledge as I grow older and further my studies I will be more confident to challenge society’s values and the agencies theories that are upheld. Conclusion On a whole there are so many reasons why I think I was socialized into my role as a woman in the society. My family and peer group had a great effect on me in my life values and the set of obligation that apply to me just as I am a woman.
In the primary stage of my life I was brought into a traditional family which enforced the strong old values of how women were to work in the house. Then as I matured and grew older in my secondary stage of developed I began to be unhappy with my role as I seen how different my brother was treated. I started to challenge my role a lot but got greatly dishearted as the values and set forces in societies are almost irreversible and also when you go against the values of society you usually as the old proverb goes you get burned badly.
Through the study of sociology it is making me believe in myself so much more and as I deepen my studies in it I feel it is giving me more self belief and confidence to stand up and argue against the role I was socialized into as a woman. Bibliography and Referencing Page McLeod, S. A. (2008). Social Roles. Retrieved from: [Accessed 21/10/2012] http://www. simplypsychology. org/social-roles. html Donohoe and Gaynor 1999 Gender Roles of the 21st Century. ” 123HelpMe. com. 23 Oct 2012 Abbott 1998:10 Bernadette McDonald, 2006. An Introduction to Sociology in Ireland, Dublin, Type IT Macionis and Plummer 2002