Almost all people in the world grow up in some kind of society, big or small. Humans after all are social creatures that have thrived and developed together along with the people that they live with and compete against. The society that we live in will likely determine our personality, what we believe in, and even what we like, and dislike.
We will therefore be looking at the question of how does society affect a person in this article.
Humans Enjoy Acceptance.
The reason why the society that a person grows up in or spends a considerable amount of time shapes their views considerably is that every human being is seeking some level of acceptance. And this is actually natural, the ways humans have evolved it was very important for us to get along in order to survive.
With what is deemed as positive actions deemed with an act of acceptance while negative actions being frowned upon and possibly punished.
Due to this often individuals will abandon their moral compass in order to fit into the wider society that they find themselves, which is why for much of history people have believed in things that today are seen as abhorrent to support in modern society. We will usually not ignore things, but instead not pay any attention to them.
We Tend to Believe What We Are Often Told.
When we are told something over and over again we tend to believe it as a fact even if we have not been shown any evidence to support the claims being made. And this is important because in the society that you find yourself in you will likely experience certain ideologies and beliefs being referenced to consistently which can end up changing your perception about things.
This is why you should always verify what you are reading or being told, even if the information is being distributed by a leading figure or news source. As there could always be something not allowing for the full truth to come such as politics and lobbying efforts for example or other forms of background interests.
In general, this is a very effective way to control and influence society as people are emotional creatures that will tend to act first and think later.
Our Views of Beauty.
It may seem absurd at first, how can we find attractive be dictated by our society? Well, research shows that this actually happens to be the case for the majority of people. For example what you see in movies to be portrayed as beautiful, in music, advertising, and in general in your society whether it is in real life or social media.
People will try and aim to achieve beauty standards even if they happen to be very unrealistic. Another aspect to this is that having an attractive partner is for many people a status symbol, so they will inadvertently look for a partner that has those features that are seen as good-looking in the society that you find yourself in.
Such an effect on a person generally takes a very long time to develop and happens without the person really noticing unless they start to compare their previous preferences in a romantic partner.
One of the biggest aspects to consider when looking at the question of how does society affect a person is that of religion.
It is a controversial subject, but multiple studies such as a study conducted by the Pew Research Center show that children that are brought up to be religious are more likely to be religious. While children that have been brought up as atheists are the least likely to be serious believers in any religion.
Even in the 21st-century religion is a very powerful force, also depending on what religion a person subscribes to they will have to follow a certain set of guidelines that will ultimately influence what they can and not do.
If you grow up in a religious society you are much more likely to end up being religious than if you grew up in a country that is not as religious such as the Czech Republic which is one of the most atheist countries in the world.
Loving What You Associate With Memories.
Every society has its own unique traditions, cuisine, and style of life that they cherish and see as the best one out of the bunch. The reason behind this is that the society that we have grown up in or spent a large part of our life in will be the place where we have made most if not all of our most cherished memories.
Memories that may include the best moments that you have spent with people that are no longer here or you are too busy to keep in contact with right now. This is why the majority of people view their own native country, city, or society as the best even if it may have its flaws.
A person that has not explored the world or is not very knowledgeable will have a very big bias towards his own society which is generally not a good thing.
Our Social Class.
The social class that we belong in or have lived in for most of our lives will also affect us. Wealth inequality is not as bad as it was a few hundred years ago and now virtually all social classes interact with each other in some ways every day. This has to do more about the type of social circles that we have such as our friends and family members.
The type of social class that we find ourselves in will dictate a lot of factors of our life such as the way that we address, how we talk, our politics, and also our hobbies.
The extremes on both sides such as the super-rich and the lowest earners can easily get stuck in their own little world within their society that can act as a wedge between them which leads to major differences and disputes.
How does society affect a person? One of the most powerful ways to influence the behavior and thought process of a person is by using stigma in society. Such stigmas can develop naturally or be promoted due to a variety of reasons such as politics, religion, and native traditions that have long held roots.
For example, in much of the world, it was once unacceptable for a couple to have children without marrying, and it was thus very rare until societies in some parts of the world started to liberalize and no longer hold such parts of life so highly. Therefore, things that are stigmatized by society even if it is not for a good reason tend to be unchallenged by the overwhelming majority of people.
Also read the article: Why is Society a Self-Developing System?