Robert Alan states that the difference in culture and values among the people should not separate them from each other; the diversity in culture should impact a collective strength that is beneficial to the whole of humanity. Living a life entails making decisions, and everyone thinks that obviously, every individual makes their own choices. Nevertheless, it has never been right because invisible influence exists: a series of hidden forces that shape a person’s behavior. Social influence is more like a magnet that sometimes attracts and leads us to do the same things as other people, while in other cases, it repels and leads us into doing things differently from others. The desire to be different pushes us to pick on something else even when it makes us less happy because we have an antagonistic desire to be unique from the rest of the pack. This paper seeks to explain how social forces shaped respect as my core value, how agents of socialization and a global event have built this value in me, and a reflection of how social forces have influenced respect as a core value in me.
Respect has always been a value in me appreciated by myself and everyone I happen to interact with at all times. Respect entails the ability within me to value and honor other people, their words, and actions, even when we hardly approve or share everything they do. It is the art to accept other people without any trials to change them. I have always respected people’s attitudes or thoughts without expecting them to be otherwise. However, respect in me began with personal respect. Self-respect is essential as it has enabled me to value other people to the extent that I can value myself at all times.
Socialization happens to be a lifetime process that educates us on interacting with others and learning about people’s social expectations. We learn to walk, talk, and feed ourselves about the norms of behaviors that keep us fit into society through socialization. Most essential socialization happens in childhood though it is a continuous lifetime activity (Liu et al., 2020). Various agents are influential in socialization, as discussed.
First, one might think that they can only be influenced by people they know or the people we are often interacting with, but then it is evident that the skimpy fact that someone else around watching us can change our behavior. The fact that someone else makes us perform worse even when the persons say nothing ultimately. The fact that I had people watching me and the people I engaged in talks with really motivated the building of my respect as a core value positively. I wanted to carry myself as the descent and courteous man among the people around therefore building respect for myself and others.
Secondly, peers have also proven to be a powerful tool of influence. The youths can encourage individuals to work harder and be better if exploited in the correct ways. When NBA teams were faintly behind at halftime, they were more likely to win after halftime because of the pressure from their peers. Telling the team that they are behind the competition leads the team or the individual to put in more hours and improve the outcome. Though the peers have always been viewed negatively by smoking, drinking, and getting into trouble, the very same peers can also be motivating. Regular interactions with my fellow peers shaped the respect belief in me. Whenever I acted disrespectfully, they always pointed out that they would challenge me to make up for my wrong and always be better. The peers also provided a background that has enabled me to practice and build my respect all along.
Thirdly, a family consisting of parents or guardians can also influence the values of the children. In most cases, when the parents carry themselves with love and respect, the children will also be motivated to act with love and respect. Children will always be motivated to build and develop on the positive sides of their parents. However, it is notable that children can also adopt addictive characteristics like smoking, drinking, and violence from their parents. Parents will always be an achieved status that I am often proud of for the foundation they laid in my life. Parents with these characteristics risk influencing their children to the same paths. However, loving parents with vast actions depicting respect and other positive values and beliefs can influence their children. I grew up among parents who were always eager to help, always listening, and apologetic whenever they messed up. It is fascinating how the same was easily influenced as I mostly endeavored to be like them and even a better version of them. Whenever I did something wrong, they could point it out, and I would apologize and feel included and given a chance to be the better version of me. I built my respectful nature from them and always worked on being the better version of me yet achieving the best version of me.
Similarly, schools are an essential agent of childhood socialization. The primary purpose of the school is to relinquish knowledge and educate on the life skills like adhering to instructions and deadlines. Students learn from the academic modules prepared by teachers and administrators. We can learn specific social skills through interaction with teachers, staff, and other students. I learned to obey authority by obeying my teachers and the school prefects. From the school environment, I learned to be quiet, wait, and act interested even when I am not interested. I learned many things from the teachers that they did not intend to teach. Respect was among the various things I learned without necessarily being compelled to learn and know. I listened to instructions by the teachers, respected them, and responded to the bell without being chased around to follow the rules.
Lastly, religion was also an informal institution that enabled me to focus on the institution’s practices. Religion is an essential platform of socialization among many individuals. There are synagogues, temples, churches, mosques, and other similar religious communities that facilitate the gathering of people to worship and learn. The institutions teach the people interaction with religious material and the values for upright growth. Religious institutions teach on gender norms and facilitate enactment by socialization. Organized religious nurture socialized values passed on through the society. From religion, I learned to respect the rules of the church leaders and the various leaders. I was following the rules without necessarily being followed around or forced to participate in building the respectful aspect in me. Respect has been my master status in the institution, highlighting my presence. I also learned to keep time and stay by the required without being compelled, even when sometimes I felt like the rules were too severe and demanding to follow.
When growing up, I familiarized myself with the Global Code of Ethics, a set of standards that guides the professional conduct of social workers internationally. However, through this code of values, one can learn to be respectful and socialize effectively with the environment. The codes built belief in me and encouraged the self-improvement of my skills. The code stipulates ethical standards by which the public holds social work professionals to account for their actions. Through integrity and human relationships, I learned about being respectful to be accommodated by the world and the people I get to interact with. Learning about the codes of ethics built my being because I was hopeful that I would be a social worker and society would expect certain traits. I was influenced by the many social workers who were given prizes for observing integrity in their course of action and wanted to uphold the same standards in the future, and with time I developed the aspect of respect without any pressure.
Other social forces influencing respect is my core value include self-belief. A belief includes the idea that I hold to be true. I am always willing to defend respect as my core value because it forms part of my belief system. I have always upheld respect as an essential value because it has enabled me to acquire a lot of favors from the school, home, religion, and all the surrounding institutions. I have also received the same in showing respect, which is a value I strongly believe in.
Similarly, a belief often develops into a personal value when commitment grows, and they see it as an essential aspect. Respect has outgrown into a personal value has enabled me to make rational and responsible decisions. I have built my skills and developed them to be trusted by my parents and friends. My parents can confidently delegate duties and listen to my ideas in the family because of my respectful nature.
The presentation of self in everyday life is a book in which Erving Goffman believes that when individuals contact other persons, the individuals attempt to control the impression that others may make on them by changing their setting, appearance, and behavior (1959). The person, the individual, interacts with tries to from and retrieve information from the individual. Many data have been collected by the Global Survey Service and supported the theory in the book. Through my contact with the family members, the teachers, my peers, and the religious leaders, I built my respectful nature by changing my behaviors to fit the environment and portray a better version of myself. Through the regular changes, I adopted respect to my core value and positively influenced many people around me.
In conclusion, values help shape society by offering an overview of good and evil. Living up to the cultures of the society can be tricky sometimes. Values only suggest the expected behavior of people but are not an accurate reflection of the people’s behavior. Various theories and concepts strongly analyze how social forces shape the core values in an individual. Respect is not only a core value but rather a personal value that I have grown to embrace and live up for because of the many changes it has opened for my good. A society is built by the founding values of the region’s individuals.
Khan, S. (2020). Erving Goffman, the presentation of self in everyday life (1959). Public Culture, 32(2), 397-404. doi:10.1215/08992363-8090145
Liu, Z., Venkatesh, S., Murphy, S. E., & Riggio, R. E. (2020). Leader development across the lifespan: A dynamic experiences-grounded approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 101382. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2020.101382