Resocialization typically consists of two steps, the first being the efforts of a specific institution to strip away the original social identity of the person involved, often by subjecting them to a highly structured environment. The second step involves a systematic reconstruction of that person based on institutional goals.
Resocialization occurs in a number of contexts wherein a radical reconstruction of a persons' views, outlooks, behaviors or responses is considered necessary. For example, in the military, raw recruits must be molded into competent soldiers, a process that often requires severe conditioning and desensitization. Similarly, violent prisoners must be transformed into potential candidates for re-entry into society. In both cases, aspects of resocialization include prescribed garments, strict schedules, potential confinement or enhanced confinement for disobedience, complete subservience to authority and a stressful yet secure environment.
In some cases, as with prisoners, resocialization entails an extreme sense of personal degradation. For instance, prisoners are stripped of their civilian clothes, many of their daily freedoms of movement and association, their belongings and even their right to privacy. In other cases, resocialization is ideally easier and more compassionate, such as with the entry of a senior citizen into a nursing home or assisted living facility. While residents must, to some extent, resocialize and create new identities, administrators and staff try to make the transition as stress-free as possible through personalized care and emphasis on the shared experience of all residents.