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Social structure refers to the way the society is organized relationship wise whereas social interaction refers to how people relate to each other. Through these two, people’s identity and behavior is shaped though the sharing of socialization and culture.
Social institutions that govern social structure and interaction include the family, education, work, economy, religion, sports, mass media, and health care among others (Schaefer & Lamm, 1995). This paper focuses on three agents of socialization that have been part of my learning process and examines the re-socialization of drug users through rehabilitation.
Agents of socialization
Agents of socialization refer to the groups that act on behalf of the society and in my learning process, family, peers, and media have played a great role. For instance, my family has been greatly influential since I was a minor. It is in this agent of socialization that I learnt basic skills like communication, which rule my interactions to date.
It is also here that I learnt moral values and emotional control, which I can say, has modeled me into the person I am today. In addition, I also learnt how to conduct myself publicly from this agent and I can attest to it that my family has played a great role in giving me an identity, self-esteem, personality as well as keeping me emotionally healthy.
Peer groups have also contributed to my socialization process in the sense that these have been my close associations who I have grown up and interacted with. Most of them are my neighbors, members of the family as well as the people I have met in school and other places of socialization. Some of the vital lessons that I have learnt from my peers include cooperation, negotiation, compromise, leadership, and dominance.
School is the other agent of socialization that has made an impact in my life in matters of acquiring knowledge and skills that continue to shape me professionally as part of the official curriculum. The social curriculum has enhanced my social behavior at a secondary level where skills of domination, communication, and negotiation have featured prominently.
The hidden curriculum in the school setting has taught me how to behave in organized groups in what I would call behavior maxims. Some of the values that I have learnt here include obedience, self-reliance, competitiveness, and precision, which have all contributed in preparing me for the adult world (Brinkerhoff et al., 2008).
Rehabilitating and re-socializing a drug user
Rehabilitation involves the treatment of drug users with the goal of improving their social functioning. This takes special interventions by a health provider who ensures that the user is re-socialized to a drug-free lifestyle. Some of the treatments administered to drug users include detoxification, psychosocial therapies, substitution therapy, and counseling (United Nations, 2003).
To recover totally from drug use, people must be ready to change their lifestyles. Rehabilitation ensures that people realize how drugs are impacting on their lives negatively and helps them determine things that could make their lives change for the better. This calls for a change from things that could be standing between them and the change they want to make which include certain hobbies, work, and places of entertainment as well as friendships.
Personal perception must also change if people are to lead a drug-free life. It is important to make considerations of vital things in ones life such as family, spouse, children, health, and career. In addition, rehabilitation advocates for people to rely more on family and close friends who are capable of giving unconditional support. It also advises people to invest in sober social networks, sober homes and also consider joining support groups in their locality (Smith et al. 2001).
Agents of socialization play a great role in shaping people to become responsible members of the society. The family, peers, and school rank among the major agents of socialization as evidenced by this study. The society is home to many kinds of people including drug users who with the proper rehabilitation can become productive individuals. There are several social implications that result from the rehabilitation process the greatest one being a comprehensive lifestyle change.
Brinkerhoff, D.B., White, L.K. & Ortega, S.T. (1998). Essentials of Sociology. 7th Edition. USA: Thomson Higher Education.
Schaefer, A. & Lamm, C. (1995). Social interaction and social structure. Sociology Journal, 4(2), 2-3.
Smith, M., Segal, J., & Robinson, L. (2001). Overcoming drug addiction: Drug abuse treatment, recovery, and help. Help Guide Journal, 4(1), 3-8.
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United Nations. (2003). Drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation: A practical planning and implementation guide. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 5(2), 4.