The Determinants of Freedom: An Inquiry into Socialization

Publication Year



socialization, freedom, society, human nature, social science, humanity


Civic and Community Engagement | Family, Life Course, and Society | Place and Environment | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


It can hardly be contested that in order to survive, our society with its democratic institutions, second Greek and Judeo-Christian cultural heritage, must in the process of socialization produce responsible society members. Yet this statement of apparent fact involves a problematic issue and represents two lines of thought quite widely considered in the social sciences to be incompatible. These two viewpoints are on the one hand the position that assumes man to be socially, or culturally, determined, within the limits imposed by his biological nature; and on the other hand the position which posits that man as a human being is endowed with the dignity of individuality, freedom, responsibility, and creativity. He has an essential nature which cannot be violated by society and which resists the pressure toward conformity and adjustment.

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