Individual - This is a separate individual, which combines a unique complex of innate qualities and acquired properties. From the position of sociology, the individual is a characteristic of a person, as a separate representative of a biological species of people. The individual is a single individual of Homo sapiens representatives. That is, it is a separate human being that combines social and biological in itself and is determined by a unique set of genetically programmed qualities and an individual socially acquired complex of traits, characteristics, and properties.
The individual is the carrier of the biological component in man. People as individuals represent a complex of natural genetically dependent qualities, the formation of which is realized in the period of ontogenesis, the result of which is the biological maturity of people. It follows that in the concept of the individual is expressed the species identity of the person. Thus, each person is born an individual. However, after birth, the child acquires a new social parameter - he becomes a person.
In psychology, the first concept, which begins the study of personality, is considered an individual. Literally, this concept can be understood as an indivisible particle of a whole. A person as an individual is studied not only from the point of view of a single representative of a family of people, but also as a member of a certain social group. Such a characteristic of a person is the most simple and abstract, speaking only about the fact that he is separated from others. This remoteness is not its essential characteristic, since “individuals” are separated from each other and in this understanding all individuals in the Universe.
So, the individual is a single representative of the human race, the specific carrier of all social characteristics and psychophysical features of humanity. The general characteristics of the individual are as follows:
- in the integrity of the psychophysical organization of the body;
- in stability relative to the surrounding reality;
- in activity.
Otherwise, this concept can be defined by the phrase “specific person”. Man as an individual exists from birth to death. The individual is the initial (initial) state of a person in his ontogenetic development and phylogenetic formation.
An individual as a product of phylogenetic formation and ontogenetic development in specific external circumstances, however, is not at all a simple copy of such circumstances. It is precisely the product of the formation of life, interaction with environmental conditions, and not conditions taken by themselves.
In psychology, the concept of "individual" is used in a rather broad sense, which leads to the distinction between the characteristics of a person as an individual and his features as a person. It is their clear distinction, therefore, that lies at its basis in the delimitation of such concepts as the individual and the personality, and is a necessary prerequisite for the psychological analysis of the personality.
Unlike young animals, the individual is almost devoid of congenital adaptation instincts. Therefore, for survival and further development, he needs to communicate with his own kind. After all, only in society a child will be able to translate into reality its innate potential, to become a person. Regardless of the society in which an individual is born, he will not be able to do without the care and learning of adults. For full development, the child needs a long time so that he can absorb all the elements and details that he will need in his independent life as an adult member of society. Therefore, a child from the very first days of life must have the opportunity to communicate with adults.
The individual and society are inseparable. Without society, the individual will never become a person; without individuals, society will simply not exist. In the initial period of life, interaction with society consists in primary mimic reactions, sign language, with the help of which the baby informs adults of its needs and manifests its satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The responses of the adult members of the social group also become clear to him from facial expressions, various gestures and intonations.
As a child grows up and learns to learn to speak, body language and facial expressions gradually relegate to the background plan, but never during the whole adult life of an individual does he completely lose its significance, transforming into the most important tool of non-verbal communication, which sometimes expresses feelings no less, and sometimes and more than familiar words. This is due to the fact that gestures, facial expressions and postures are less controlled by consciousness than speech, and therefore possess, in some cases, even more informative, telling the society what the individual wanted to hide.
So, it is safe to say that social qualities (for example, communication) should be formed only in the process of interaction with society in general and communication with other people in particular. Any communication, verbal or non-verbal, is a necessary component of a person’s becoming socialized. The social qualities of the individual are his abilities for social activity and the process of socialization. The earlier the process of socialization begins, the easier it will be.
There are various forms of learning through which the individual is socialized, but they must always be used in combination. One of the methods that adults deliberately use to teach a child to socially correct and approved behavior is to learn to reinforce. Consolidation is implemented by using the directional method of rewards and punishments in order to demonstrate to the child which behavior will be desired and approved, and which will be negative. In this way, the child is taught to comply with the basic requirements of hygiene, etiquette, etc.
Some elements of an individual's everyday behavior can become quite habitual, which leads to the formation of strong associative connections - the so-called conditioned reflexes. One of the channels of socialization is the formation of conditioned reflexes. Such a reflex, for example, can be washing your hands before eating. The next method of socialization is learning through observation.
The individual learns how to behave in society, observing the behavior of adults and trying to imitate them. Many children's games are based on imitating the behavior of adults. Role social interaction of individuals is also learning. The adherent of this concept, J. Mead, believes that the mastery of social norms and rules of behavior occurs in the course of interactions with other people and with the help of various games, especially role-playing (for example, games with mothers and daughters). Those. learning takes place through interaction. By participating in role-playing games, the child embodies the results of his own observations and his initial experience of social interaction (visiting the doctor, etc.).
Socialization of the individual occurs through the influence of various agents of socialization. The most important and the first such agent in the process of social formation of the individual is the family. After all, it is the first and closest "social environment" of the individual. The family’s functions regarding the child include taking care of their health and protection. The family also satisfies all the immediate needs of the individual. It is the family that initially introduces the individual to the rules of behavior in society, teaches communication with other people. In the family, he first becomes acquainted with the stereotypes of sexual roles and passes sexual identification. It is the family that develops the primary values of the individual. However, at the same time, the family is an institution that can do the most harm to the process of socialization of the individual. For example, the low social status of parents, their alcoholism, conflicts in the family, social exclusion or incompleteness of the family, various deviations in the behavior of adults - all this can lead to irreparable consequences, to impose an indelible imprint on the child’s world view, his character and social behavior.
The school is the next social agent after the family. It is an emotionally neutral environment, which is fundamentally different from family. In school, the baby is treated as one of many and in accordance with its real characteristics. In schools, children learn practically what success or failure means. They learn to overcome difficulties or get used to giving up in front of them. It is the school that forms the self-esteem of the individual, which, more often than not, remains with him for the whole adult life.
Another important agent of socialization is the environment of peers. In adolescence, the influence of parents and teachers on children weakens, along with their peer influence. All the lack of success in school, lack of attention to parents compensates for the respect of peers. It is in the midst of his peers that the child learns to resolve conflict issues, to communicate as equals. And in school and family, all communication is built on a hierarchy. Relations in a peer group allow an individual to better understand himself, his strengths and weaknesses.
The needs of the individual are also better understood through group interaction. The social environment of peers makes its own adjustments to the value ideas imparted in the family. Also, interaction with peers allows the child to identify with others and, at the same time, stand out among them.
Since different social groups interact in the social environment: family, school, peers - the individual faces some contradictions. For example, the family of the individual appreciates mutual aid, and the spirit of rivalry dominates at school. Therefore, the individual has to feel the impact of different people. He is trying to fit into different environments. As an individual matures and develops intellectually, he learns to see such contradictions and to analyze them. The result is that the child creates his own set of values. Formed values of the individual allow you to more accurately determine your own personality, designate a plan of life and become an initiative member of society. The process of forming such values can be a source of significant social change.
Also among the agents of socialization need to highlight the media. In the process of its development, the individual and society continuously interact, which causes the successful socialization of the individual.