1. Explain the idea of the “social construction of reality.”  In your discussion, also address social interaction and role performance in our everyday lives.  Do people adjust the presentation of the self to affect the opinion of others? Provide specific examples in your explanation.

Social construction of reality is a book that sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann created. Berger and Thomas came up with the idea that society is created by humans and human interaction. They called this habitualization. Habitualization is the depiction that any action that is repeated often becomes cast into a pattern, which can later be done again in the same way, with the same economical efforts. The role a person is playing at the moment, whether it’s a friend, sister, daughter, or supervisor, will impact and define the way they socially interact with others. Role performance is how a person expresses their role. For example in the book Introduction to Sociology 2e, it says “Think about the way you behave around your coworkers versus the way you behave around your grandparents versus the way you behave with a blind date. Even if you’re not consciously trying to alter your personality, your grandparents, coworkers, and date probably see different sides of you.” This pairs with sociologist Erving Goffman’s theory that a person is like an actor on stage. Goffman considered that we as people use “impression management” (a process in which individuals try to influence the perceptions people have about something, a person, or an event.) to show ourselves to others as we would hope to be seen.

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4.3 Social Constructions of Reality – Introduction to Sociology 2e | OpenStax 
2. Do you think the mass media significantly contributes to the socialization process? When answering this question be sure to identify and describe the major agents of socialization in U.S. society today. Has the media changed social interaction? Also share a recent news piece (within the last 3 months) that relates to the impact of the media on society. Briefly describe the news piece and please include a link for the article, video, etc. (a full citation is not needed).

Yes I do believe the mass media significantly contributes to the socialization process. Major agents of socialization in the U.S today include family, peer groups, formal institutions and informal institutions. Family is the most common agent of socialization. Family teaches the child what they need to know from birth. In the U.S. families teach and show their children how they should use utensils, how they should read, and even how they should behave around certain individuals. Peer groups are another agent of socialization. Peer groups are people who are close in age and share the same interest. Peer groups affect individuals in the U.S. starting as a child and keep going as they grow. Peer groups are important to growing children in different ways, because they begin to develop an identity separate from their parents and employ independence. Formal and informal institutions are institutional agents. They include the government, school, jobs, religion and mass media. The government affects you with age. In the U.S. today, at age 18 you’re considered an adult. When you’re considered an adult you’re usually required to get a job and take care of yourself, meanwhile some people go off to college to pursue a degree. At 18 you’re able to vote and start earning credit. In the U.S. today schools serve a hidden purpose in society by socializing children into behaviors like practicing teamwork, following a schedule, and using textbooks. Schools teach you how to share and how to be patient. Jobs today require you to know how to do certain things in order to hold a certain position. Knowing how to use a computer and give off great customer service is an effect jobs give off. Depending on where you work socialization is different. Religion is another institutional agent. Religion is a formal institution and is very important to some people in the U.S. today. Religions have places of worship, where they teach people how to interact with the religion’s material culture. Some religions even hold important ceremonies and celebrations, for things like marriage, death and births. Mass media is considered to be a big informal institution in the U.S.. It gives off a large portion of unfiltered information to people who browse the internet, watch television, listen to the radio, and even people who read the newspaper. Mass media greatly influences people’s beliefs and values. Overtime I believe the media has changed social interaction. People used to write letters in the mail, or find time to spend with each other. They used to read the newspaper, listen to the radio or just find out things by word of mouth. Today people are more invested in their phones on social media platforms like instagram and snapchat. People are getting their news from the media. They talk to each other via video chat or messaging. The media gives off biased information and people go with it as long as it sounds good. COVID-19 is a big issue in the world right now. One of the biggest issues we have is people not wanting to be vaccinated based on the media. In a news article by Tom Jones he says that “…fewer people are getting vaccinated and more people are getting COVID-19… At the center of why people aren’t getting vaccinated has a lot to do with their political view and where they are getting their information — or, I should say, misinformation.” In this article Tom jones talks about the effects media has on society. He uses various information from multiple sources including president Joe Biden, who all point the finger at one another. Whether it’s politics, social media, or just the news.

America has a vaccination problem — and some media are to blame – Poynter 

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