Personality and his socialization

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Understanding of personality and his structure

We often use words man, human being, person, individual, individuality, personality as identical in meaning. Actually, they denote different phenomena. Man is a most common, generic concept. Individual, person or human being identifies a definite person as a representative of mankind. Individuality is a set of qualities or characteristics dis

tinguishing one person from another at the biological, psychological, social and other levels. Personality is introduced to focus on the human’s social nature. Social nature is of primary importance because when born, an infant is not personality. It is only an individual. To become personality, any individual must go through a development period wherein the obligatory terms are biological prerequisites and social milieu which a baby interact with. That’s why personality is understood as a social type of person which satisfies the demands of the society, its values and norms.

Structural analysis of personality is considered one of the most complex problems in sociology. Traditionally theorists differentiate between biological, psychological and social structures of personality studied by biology, psychology and sociology. A biological structure is taken into account by sociology when interactions between individuals are broken due to somebody’s illness or disorder because the disabled can’t perform all those social functions distinctive of healthy individuals. A psychological structure includes various emotions, feelings, memory, abilities etc. Although these qualities are of subjective character, they can be of interest for sociology as well because they can determine to some extent social behaviour of a person. As social quality is dominant in personality, a social structure of personality includes a set of his subjective and objective social qualities which are created and function in the process of his activity. As it comes from the definition, a distinction of the social structure of personality is his activity as itself and as interaction with other people.

Personality can also be defined as a certain type. The need to designate people according to character and personality is universal. Each historical era has formulated its own human types motivated by its perceptions and values, for instance, the hippie, the English country gentleman, the Sicilian Mafioso, the Arab sheik – these are but a few examples of the many cultural types. The urge to classify people by their character and temperaments has yielded well-known psychological types of choleric, sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic people.

A Swiss psychiatrist Karl Jung (1875-1961) put forth the psychological theory (1923) that in normal behaviour the mind operates in two modes. He called these two modes as introversion and extroversion. People who prefer introversion tend to focus on their inner world of ideas and experiences. People who prefer extroversion tend to focus on the outer world and external events.

In sociology the focus is on social types. According to L. Wirth, “social type consists of a set of attitudes on the part of the person toward himself and the group and a corresponding set of attitudes of the group toward him, which together determine the role of the person in his social milieu. ”It suggests that a person can be recognized as a typical example of a familiar group or social category and remind of other individuals with similar values, behaviour, style and habits.

There are various classifications of personality types developed by M. Weber, K. Marx, E. Fromm, R. Darherndorf etc. For instance, asserting that personality is a product of cultural development and social environment R. Dahrendorf identified four types of personality on the basis of the term homo sociologicus:

· homo faber – a “working man”in traditional society: warrior, peasant, politician, or personality allotted with an important public function;

· homo consumer – a modern consumer, or personality moulded by mass society;

· homo universalis – a person with the aptitude to perform various activities;

· homo soveticus – a person depending on the state.

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) worked out the conception of one-dimensional man (1964). Under the impact of propaganda a person perceives informational stereotypes and moulds simplified schemes of seeing phenomena as black-and-white. Modern society makes people as if they were one-dimensional humans perceiving the reality and existing processes in the context of primitive alternatives. In modern Russia such types are the new Russians, ordinary people, communists, oligarchs etc.

Another classification includes types of personality defined due to value orientations people follow:

· traditionalists are followed by values of duty, discipline, law; their level of self-realization, creativity is low;

· idealists are critical towards traditional norms and firmly determined to self-development;

· realists combine their strive for self-realization with a developed sense of duty;

· hedonistic materialists are oriented to satisfy their needs as consumers;

· frustrated personality is characterized by low self-assessment and depressive state.

As social structure of personality includes the person’s relations with the outer world and inner, ideal relations, sociologists also identify a basis and ideal type. The basis type most fully meets the demands of the society that’s why a basis personality means a set of typical qualities which are dominant in a given society. These qualities characterize the people who grew up in same culture, developed under same socialization processes, for instance, a workerholic in the Japanese society after World War II. The ideal type is a sort of standard or model declared by the society. It gives sociologists the right to assert that social types are produced by the society.

As we live in an era of rapid and dramatic changes when globalization is melting cultures down into a global one, in an era of social revolutions, mobs and wars we may spot in future new types of personality.

Theories of personality

A multi-dimensioned nature of person and diversity of his social relations determine a diversity of theoretic approaches to personality. One of them is the psychological analysis of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). He considered a person as a hedonist, as striving for getting satisfaction, with the society as a system of constraints and taboos. According to S. Freud, personality has three structures: the Id, the Ego, and the Superego. The Id consists of instincts, basically sexual. It is totally unconscious and has no contact with reality. As children experience the demands and constraints of reality, a new structure of personality emerges – the Ego. It is called the executive branch of personality because it uses reasoning to make decisions. The Id and the Ego have no morality. They do not take into account whether something is right or wrong. The highest structure is the Superego which is the moral branch of personality as it takes into account whether something is right or wrong that’s why it is seen as norms of the society. The Superego is what is often referred to as “conscience. ”The Id and the Superego are most aggressive branches. Attacking human psyche (the Ego) from both sides they make life rough for the Ego and give birth to a neurotic type of human behaviour. For instance, your Ego might say, “I will have sex only occasionally and be sure to take the proper precautions because I don’t want the intrusion of a child in the development of my career. ”However, your Id is saying, “I want to be satisfied; sex is pleasurable. ”Your Superego is at work, too: “I feel guilty about having sex before I’m married. ”Personality becomes neurotic as it is constantly defending from public pressure and conflicting with the social milieu. As soon as the society develops, the highest structure (the Superego) inevitably increases and becomes more massive and heavier, that’s why S. Freud considered the history of mankind as history of increasing psychosis.

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