How Social Justice Affects You |Part 2: Socialization
Socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus "the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained". Socialization is strongly connected to developmental psychology. Humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive. Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the life course and is a central influence on the behavior, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children" according to sociologists. Now that was a mouthful and a lot to wrap my brain around. To simplify, socialization means "a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position" (dictionary). Basically, it is how we learn to do the things we do, say what we say and act the way we do when we are around people. Hence the term "socialization". Last week's OBN article inspired me to learn more about how social justice affects us in more ways than we can see and think of off the bat. After researching about environmental issues, I started connecting dots and thinking about the "big picture". If social justice affects how people physically live, it must affect it in other ways too- like how they socialize: behavior in a group setting, work environment, etc.
To recap what we learned the first week of February, social justice is "ensuring people of all race, religion, genders, geographical location, social class, etc. receive the same equal opportunities and are not discriminated upon or refused resources or opportunities because of these factors" (What Is Social Justice). What happens to the way people interact when they are being discriminated upon and refused equal opportunity? Not only will it cause aggravation, but it will lead to a multitude of emotions and can cause different outcomes (some negative and harmful) because someone may not be properly dealing with the feelings or able to access a professional (therapist, psychologist, councilor, etc.) to help them work through this. The American Psychological Association says the impact of discrimination "can exacerbate stress" it is "linked to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, even in children". By treating others differently because they appear different, practice a different religion, are another gender, make less money per year or live in a smaller house and less wealthy community can lead to the person being disconnected not wanting to leave the house to go to work or even hang out with friends because they are afraid of the hate and backlash they will get from others. The Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center helps people with social disorders. The website has insightful information on how exactly discrimination affects socialization: "for a person with social anxiety disorder, common, everyday social situations cause so much anxiety, fear and self-consciousness that isolation seems like a relief. The person may go to great lengths and come up with many excuses to avoid public events or giving presentations." They "may not even be able to eat with friends or make purchases at the grocery store, let alone go to a party and be surrounded by strangers. This can lead to feelings isolation" and lead to "disconnectedness".
Not only are there emotional tolls, but physical ones too. Timberline also lists these symptoms:
Trembling or shaking
cold, clammy hands
difficulty making eye contact
Every year 1.2 million Americans drop out of high school. That is equivalent to "a student every 26 seconds- or 7,000 a day" (Do Something .org). Statistics also show Asian-American and white students are still far more likely to graduate than Latino & African-American students. This very much has to do with the unequal distribution of resources. 70% of teachers assign homework online while not all students have access to the internet. 5 million households are without internet, to be exact ( The Edvocate). Majority of the number are low income, Hispanic and African American. So, how do 5 million children complete their homework? Most of the time children aren't communicating this problem with their teachers because they are embarrassed to inform someone of their limited resources due to financial or other circumstances. They probably don't want to draw attention and be seen as less than or "different". For the kids who are already facing racial, religious, gender or financial backlash, they probably don't want to stand out even more- I know I wouldn't want to.
THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Be aware of how others who are "different" are treated. I challenge you to call people out (respectfully) and challenge them to not discriminate.
Even go as far as sharing with them why and the effects it can have on people.
Teachers, I encourage you to assign homework this week that does not need internet access and see how many students complete the assignment.
Maybe the person or group of students you think are slackers just don't have access to the internet.