Cycle of Socialization – A Series of Haikus

Born into the world,
innocence upon entry;
established system.

privileged, lucky, and the norm.
Part of me belongs.

Subordinate group:
unlucky, minority.
Part of me belongs.

First Socialization
Those closest to us,
father, mother, family;
unconsciously formed.

Follow roles and rules;
intrapersonally, I
think about myself.

I think I am smart.
I write stories and doodle;

Relate to others;
interpersonally, what
others think about.

“Your daughter is cute.”
“She is a great learner.”
“She is very nice.”

I view others now.
I see their lives and I learn
these are role models.

Cartoons and adults,
around me every day,
influencing me.

School, church, home, and friends:
reinforce and contradict
what I learned at home.

Some kids are not nice.
Teachers make mistakes.
Listen to others.

Boys and girls, jocks, nerds;
we all know the hierarchy;
you are out of line.

In the media:
reinforce stereotypes.
Always there to see.

I don’t look like her.
He has more money than me.
Our lives are polar.

As I grow up with
messages of division,
they are justified

Contradict the norm,
thinking independently,
then you pay the price.

Conform to the norm,
receive benefits.

“Not brought up this way.”
“Just sit still and look pretty.”
“Do not raise your voice.”

If you do obey,
you will be greatly rewarded:
whatever you want.

Your reward includes:
privilege, safety, comfort,
access, approval.

If you don’t obey,
breaking invisible rules,
you will be punished.

Punishment entails:
vulnerability and

Our learned helplessness,
internalized oppression,
comes from within us.

We reinforce the
stereotypes against us;
they have the power.

Sometimes I may feel
guilt, fear, ignorance, stress
because of agents.

Perpetuate the
cycle through identity
in an agent group.

Causes of problems:
isms that society
is built on; produces.

Keep the oppression
by failing to interrupt
the cycle; alive.

What should I do next?
I would like to do nothing,
but no change can come.

“Do not rock the boat.”
“Old system, change is useless.”
Silence is consent.

Cycle has a life,
centrifugal force propels,
not interrupted.

Resign to destruct,
hurts too much to fight cycle,
need allies and help.

Why am I still here?
What has kept me in cycle?
How long have I been?

Core of the cycle:
fear, ignorance, confusion,

“Don’t be a trouble-maker.”
“Do not take that risk.”

Might lose privilege
if we interrupt cycle;
pay back and target.

Lack understanding,
need to educate ourselves;
blind to connections.

Complex confusion.
How do we break the cycle?
Prevents an action.

We are unprepared.
How do you fight the unknown?
Feeling insecure.

Part of many groups:
some are targets, some are not.
I am in both sides.

I am a woman.
I am a minority.
I am not the same.

I am middle-class.
I am Christian, “church-goer.”
I am capable.

I grew up with whites,
raised in a Dutch community;
not very diverse.

Good student in class,
obeyed the authority.
Respectful. Quiet.

Etiquette changed
when I went to friends houses;
rules are different.

I looked different:
I was not white or blonde-haired,
a Disney princess.

People assume things:
my language, my family,
American girl?

Chinese, oriental girl;
not from around here.

How do I respond?
Perpetuating by not
doing anything.

Want to be able
to promote and educate,
to raise awareness.

Most of us contain
multiple identities;
often conflicting.

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