j lawton maskfinaldraft Essay Socialization Juvenile Delinquency

Judging Books by Their Covers
The cycle of socialization is the driving force in the formation of the personality of individuals and
society as a whole. The cycle of socialization is a repetitive and continuous process that teaches people
the norms, values and sanctions in today’s society. Within the cycle, there are agents who try to maintain it
and keep everyone within their correct place within the cycle. “Agents have relatively more social power,
and can ‘name’ others.” Harro explains in her paper,
The Cycle of Socialization
. “Agent groups include
men, white people, middle and upper-class people, able [bodied] people,middle-aged people, heterosexuals
and gentiles.” There are also targets of the cycle, the people oppressed by the agents. Harro explains the
 position of Targets within the cycle, “Targets are disenfranchised, exploited, and victimized by prejudice,
discrimination and other structural objects. Target groups include women, racially oppressed groups, gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people; disabled people; Jews; elders; youth and people living in
 poverty.” Socialization has positive effects for the most part, but it does have a lot of negative effects on
 people in the world today. I have been socialized to feel targeted as a teenager, to believe that individuals
of other sexual orientations are inferior, and that men are constantly supposed to be dominating and
 physically tough.
I have been socialized to try to do the right thing whenever I can, but today, teenagers are always
 pinned as being up to no good, especially when they are without supervision. My friends and I are always
 being looked at strangely and targeted as trouble makers whenever we are downtown or on the rivertrail,
when we are just minding our own business. There is little variation in this stereotype. The old
generation always looks at the newer generation with a critical eye. I feel targeted because I feel as if
they are judging me based on one of the most basic observations that they can make about me. I feel
constantly judged by society even though teenage arrests and crime rates are the lowest that they have
ever been. Research by the John Jay College for Criminal Justice states that, “Compared with trends since
1980, the arrest rate for violent youth crime reached a new low every year from 2009 through 2012.” This
significant decline in youth crime infers that youth aren’t causing as much trouble as it seems. Whenever I
am targeted in public, I feel very isolated and like I’m doing something wrong, but my age is my only
As a straight male, I have been socialized to be accepting of homosexuality in the world today.
But, as I have aged, I have found that the disrespect towards homoexuals has drastically increased,
especially on sports teams. The phrase, “So gay,” is thrown around an astounding amount of times during
the day. Ash Beckham preaches to her audience during Ignite Boulder, “When you use ‘gay’ in a
 pejorative way, the effect that it has on the gay kid in the room or the kid with gay relatives is that being
gay is less than, or inferior to.” When careless language like that is just tossed around casually, it could
hurt and offend someone who is gay themselves or that cares about someone who is gay. When a word is
derogatory, it tells people that the subject of the word is inferior to the speaker. Implying that someone is
inferior to yourself just because of who they love is preposterous. If all men are created equal, then why
are gay people treated like inferiors? The use of this word is what keeps people afraid of being themselves
and has them hiding their true personalities from the general public.