Landing : Athabascau University

Toxic Socialization

We live in a surprisingly violent world. We experience physical assault, emotional and psychological attack, and even the intellectual violence of manipulation and indoctrination. Psychology is becoming increasingly aware not only of the prevalent violence, but also of the profoundly deleterious impact of said violence on the human mind and body; however, sociology lags behind. Socialization, or our experiences at the hands of agents of socialization, is a key concept in sociology. Every introductory sociology text that is printed devotes and entire chapter to a discussion of socialization and related concepts. However rarely, if at all, is there any indication that sociologists are aware of the profoundly deleterious impact of toxicity (violence, neglect, etc.) in the socialization process. This research note seeks to alleviate this lacuna by providing a concept, toxic socialization, by which sociologists and others (e.g., psychologists, parents, teachers, and anybody involved in the socialization of human beings) can more readily discuss the problem of a violence and neglect in our socialization processes.

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