This constituent elements of the religious life

This part discusses about the factors
that affects on the socialization of the students. The concepts that will be
used in the study are defined conceptually.

 

            Religion, human beings’ relation to
that which they regard as holy, sacred, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy
of especial reverence. I also commonly regarded as consisting of the way people
deal with ultimate concerns about their lives and their fate after death. In
many traditions, this relation and these concerns are expressed in terms of one’s
relationship with or attitude toward gods or spirits; in more humanistic or
naturalistic forms of religion, they expressed in terms of one’s relationship
or attitude toward the broader human community or the natural world. Believers
and worshippers participate in and are often enjoined to perform devotional or
contemplative practices such as prayer, meditation, or particular rituals.
Worship, moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious
institutions are among the constituent elements of the religious life (The
Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica)

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Religious
socialization may be broadly described as a process that encompasses the
varying dynamics of religious group membership and the patterns of commitment
which such membership can engender (Roberts 1984:133–148). It is a process
potentially life-long in scope, and until quite recently it was a process
thought virtually inevitable in churches and traditional religious groups, as
the latter could assume both ongoing commitments in an unchanged society and
the gradual incorporation of individuals into the religious group, whether from
birth onward (as was the case of Roman Catholics and many mainline Protestants)
or from the point of a conversion experience with its strong emotional power
(the case of many sects and evangelical traditions). However, as churches and
other social groups have been touched by increased levels of social and
institutional change (Roof and McKinney 1987), and as cults and newer religious
groups have become prominent in American society (Chalfont, Beckley and Palmer
1987:191–220), commitment patterns have become tenuous, and religious
socialization has become a subject of specific and—on the part of churches—self-conscious
concern (see the discussions by Westerhoff 1974; Groome 1980; Marthaler 1980;
Phillibert and O’Connor 1982; Princeton Research Center 1986).

We begin the process of socialization within the context of
our family.  The family has primary importance in
shaping a child’s attitudes and behavior because it provides the context in
which the first and most long-lasting intimate social relationships are formed.  In
addition to representing the child’s entire social world, the family also
determines the child’s initial social status and identity in terms of race,
religion, social class, and gender.

            While
the family offers the child intimate social relationships, the school offers
more objective social
relationships.  School is a social institution, and as such, has
direct responsibility for instilling in,
or teaching, the individual the information, skills, and values that society
considers important for social life.  In school, children learn the
skills of interpersonal interaction.  They
learn to share, to take turns, and to compromise with their peers. 

            The peer
group exerts a
most powerful social influence on the child.  The peer group is
composed of status equals;
that is, all children within a given peer group are the same age and come from
the same social status.  A child must earn his/her social position
within the peer group; this position does not come naturally, as it does in the
family.  Interaction with a peer group loosens the child’s bonds to
the family; it provides both an alternative model for behavior and new social
norms and values.  To become fully socialized, children must learn
how to deal with the conflicting views
and values of all of the people who are important in their
lives.  These people are called “significant others.”

            The mass
media includes television, newspapers, magazines; in fact, all
means of communication which are directed toward a vast audience in
society.  The mass media, especially television, have considerable
influence on the process of socialization.  Children spend a great
deal of their time watching television, and the violent content of many
television programs is believed to be a contributing factor in aggressive behavior.

Culture

            Socialization
helps to shape and define our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and it provides
us with a model for our behavior.   As children become
socialized, they learn how to fit into and to function as productive members of
human society.  Socialization teaches us the cultural values and
norms that provide the guidelines for our everyday life. 

            Culture may be defined as the
beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects shared by a particular group of
people.  Culture is a way of life that a number of people have in
common.  Our culture is reflected in what we wear to work, when and
what we eat, and how we spend our leisure time.  Culture provides
the framework within
which our lives become meaningful, based on standards of success, beauty, and
goodness.  Some cultures value competition, while others emphasize
cooperation.  Our culture affects virtually every aspect of our
lives.  Culture is not innate; human beings create
culture.  Culture consists of a set of principles and traditions
transmitted from generation to generation, yet because human beings have
created it, culture is flexible and subject to change.

            Human
culture is linked to the biological evolution of human beings.  The
creation of culture became possible only after the brain size of our early
ancestors increased, enabling humans to construct their natural environment for
themselves.  Because human beings are creative by nature, they have
developed diverse,
or different, ways of life.

            Cultural
diversity is the result of geographical location, religious beliefs, and
lifestyles.  Culture is based on symbols, attaching significance to
objects and patterns of behavior.  Language is the most important
expression of cultural symbolism.  Sharing beliefs, thoughts, and
feelings with others is the basis of culture, and language makes this
possible.   Language is also the most important means of cultural transmission.