How does society influence people?


Quick Answer

Society has a far-reaching effect on people by shaping their belief systems, behaviors and values. Society and culture are inextricably linked, which affects individual tastes in art, music and fashion. There are many ways a society can reach a person and have an influence, including through television, school curricula, the church and community.

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How does society influence people?
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Full Answer

As children grow, they tend to look to their parents and community when forming their understanding of behavior. Therefore, children who grow up in violent and turbulent environments have a higher likelihood of becoming aggressive as adults. Children who live in neighborhoods where racism is prevalent are more prone to become racist. On the other hand, children who grow up in cooperative and tolerant environments are likely to exhibit those traits as adults.

Television also has a wide-reaching effect on a person's behavior and beliefs about themselves and others, as television programs tend to dictate what is valuable, important and fashionable in a society. In a landmark study, Harvard anthropologist Anne Becker surveyed the women of a Fiji island before and after the arrival of television. Before televisions were implemented into society, teenage girls were generally happy with their appearance. Three years after the arrival of television, however, 74 percent of girls felt they were too fat.

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