It is indeed true, that as human we are socialised into the already established society to which we develop in. Many factors in this society impact the entity we become (personality, morals and emotions), the status and roles we hold in that society. Clearly, the agents of socialisation and the structure of a society, “socialises” us. Socialisation, “the process by which people learn the characteristics of their group- the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, norms and actions taught appropriate to them;” is a major part of our development as human beings, and is evident through fictional characters, that such of Harry Potter. Through observing his character, an important question arises, can an individual who has already been socialised into a society, be re-socialised into another society? And so bringing us to the main topic of this essay, re-socialisation and its relations to the features and processes of socialisation: agents of socialisation, the social structure, development of morals, personality and emotions; the socialisation of the self and the mind.
Re-socialisation, the process of identity transformation in which people are called upon to learn new roles, while unlearning some aspects of their old ones , as Goffman (1961) has described, occurs as the individual is placed in a context of “total institutions”. In this context, the individual is removed from the ordinary everyday world and is resocialised into a social contract which encompasses all or most of an individual's daily life. The new context enables the person, to establish new relationships with the agents of socialisation, such as a neighbourhood, school and new peer groups. In relations to Harry Potter, the dominant agents of his re-socialisation into the magic world include the neighbourhood, the educational institute and peer groups. A neighbourhood can be defined as a location occupied by a group of people; when adopting such a definition, undoubtedly it is clear that Harry Potter makes his transition to a new world (thus a new neighbourhood). The culture and norms of the society also changes, supporting aspects of their culture (which encompasses magic), that has to be adopted by new comers such as Harry Potter. Furthermore, the school (Hogwarts), as part its main functions teaches knowledge and skills, for example dark art defences and flying lessons; alongside this, its “latent functions, their “unintended consequences” (e.g. such as fear of evils such as Voltimore), help in the process of socialisation through drilling the importance of the norms of society to the students.. Furthermore, sociologists through research has identified many other curriculum which are indirectly taught at schools; these include hidden curriculum and corridor curriculum ; both conveying messages of the norms and culture of society. Hidden curriculum are those which are involuntarily taught; such as the principles of honesty and justice. Whereas corridor curriculum involves the interactions of students amongst each other and so dominantly involves an emphasis on discrimination (as seen through Malfoy's loathe of Ron). A significant aspect of attendance to a school is the exposure of students to peer groups that help them socialise themselves. Peer groups entail its own subculture; and anyone “who doesn't do what the others want becomes an “outsider,” a “non-member,” an “outcast” And so, the values set up by the peer group predominately impacts an individuals choices and experiences. The role of peers in the process of socialisation is evident through the peer group of Harry Potter, who for example pressure him into trespassing into prohibited grounds of the chambers and library; disobedience of it would result Harry to be an “outcast”. Conclusively, the institutionalised context encompasses an individual's life, and so making previous social practices difficult to practice, due to the compelling force of the agents of socialisation which compel new comers into accepting and practicing the norms of the new society, thus socialising them.
Before the agents of socialization come into affect; individuals are exposed to various types of mortification practices, which act to “break down accustomed realities and weaken the boundaries of existing identities” . Mortification practices can vary from giving new clothing, tools and responsibilities, to assigning individuals with new identities or labels of membership. These mortification practices are unmistakably noticeable in the film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; as Harry and his equals, are given new uniforms for Hogwarts, new tools such as a wand and an owl, and new responsibilities and restrictions such as limitations of use of magic in the ordinary world. Much clearer mortification practices include assigning students (including Harry Potter) to different house groups, such as Gryffindor. Such mortification practices, express the hierarchical and social structure, as the elite decide of these rituals, which act as a formal introduction to a new society and break the barrier between the individual (e.g. Harry) and their previous society. Furthermore, just like childhood socialization, resocialisation “occurs in relationship to the status and roles of others.” Consequently, the individual has to relate to the status and roles of others in society, in order to establish their own status; through an ongoing process of rewards and punishments in which they learn the acceptable behaviors and responses that would result them understanding the society's norms, values and beliefs. This system of rewards and punishments, is undoubtedly applied to any achieved statutes, which refers to “a position that is earned, accomplished, or involves at least some effort or activity on the individual's part” . When analyzing Harry Potter resocialisation into the magic world, it is evident that this system of rewards and punishments set up his status, for example when he enters forbidden grounds, punishments such as detention and reduction of points from his house group apply, and so making him less favorable within the house group; whereas, when he achieves something, such as defeating Voltamore, he is rewarded and so setting him a favorable status. Likewise, his defeat of Voltamore as a child placed a highly regarded reputation of him in the wizardry world. Additional, to the achieved status, is ascribed statuses, these are positions which are earned, accomplished, or involves at least some effort or activity on the individual's part Ascribed statuses are involuntary, such as gender, ethnicity, social class; all which set restrictions and guidelines for the individual; undoubtedly Harry Potter was destined to attend Hogwarts and become a wizard, due to his parent's social class as wizards. These guidelines and limitations furthermore affect how we act and feel, as they set out what we can do and what we cannot do.
In order to make the transition to being resocialised into a new social context, identity transformations are required. This transition involves relearning morals and re-evaluating personality and emotion towards the new world; all which are vital aspects of who we are. Firstly, looking at the development of personality, we come to understand through Sigmund Freud (1856-1936) that our personalities consist of three vital elements: an id, an ego and a superego. The first element (id) refers to our inborn basic drives that cause us to seek self-gratification; this is neutralized by the second component of Freud's theory, the ego. The ego is the balancing force between the id and the demands of society. Consequently both are irrelevant to the process of resocialisation. However, the third element, the superego represents culture within us, the norms and values we have internalized from our social groups. The superego provokes individuals to follow the norms of society and failure to comply with social rules and norm results into feelings of guilt, whereas feelings of self-satisfaction are evident when we follow the social rules. This element is unquestionably important in terms of resocialisation, as seen through Harry Potter with the system of rewards and punishments; he strives to protect his new social context to due moral obligations; and so accepting the social values and norms as protects them, thus resulting in his resocialisation. The first to elements of Freud's theory has raised many questions amongst sociologists who disagree to this psychological approach that inborn and subconscious motivation is the cause of human behaviors. Differing from this psychological approach; is the sociological approach that individuals are socialized/resocialised into a society based on factors such as social class, ascribed and achieved statuses and people's roles impact of the individuals behavior. The second factor of the process of resocialisation is the redevelopment of morality; which is explained by Kohlberg (1975, 1984, 1986; Reed 2008); whose theory examines that we go through a series of stages as we develop morality. Children start with no sense of right or wrong, this stage is known as the amoral stage, which is followed by the preconventional stage, at the ages of 7 to 10, where children are taught the difference between right and wrong and so they aim to stay out of trouble due to rewards and punishments. The next stage (conventional stage) involves children following the norms and values they have learned as they believe that is what morality is summarized as. The postconventional stage, involves the person reflecting of the abstract principles of right and wrong. Again, this psychological approach which focuses on the development of the individual looks at the mental process and mental life of the individual and its impact on the person's behavior. When applying Kohlberg's theory to Harry Potter's resocialisation, we only focus on conventional stage of the development of morality; in which Harry enforces his humanly moral of justice and fairness (as seen through him standing up for Ron, when they first encounter Malfoy), which he had learned in his isolation whilst living with his aunt. Whereas, contrary to this approach is the sociological approach that social factors and influences such as schools, peers and our neighborhood impact on the moral we acquire. Either approach would result in Harry Potter re-development of his morals, and so contributing to his resocialisation; since his identity is altered to fit the new society. Finally, the development of emotions through a psychological approach, as explained by Paul Ekman (1980) is basically experienced six basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise; all which expressed the same way around the world. Ekman concluded that these emotions are wired into our biology and so we are born with them. Opposing, this view is the sociological approach that emotions depends on socialization (Hochschild, 2008); the society in which an individual is introduced to, through culture, relationships and settings influences the emotions an individual experiences and how they are expressed. In relations to Harry Potter, the process of his resocialisation, involves a change in the emotions he experiences, such as fear (of Voltmore), and curiosity in exploring the wider world. Overall the new society into which Harry has been placed into impact him as an individual, his morals, personality & morals; and so resocialising him.
Another interesting concept to look at in relations to Harry Potter's resocialisation, is Cooley's (1902) theory of looking-glass self; which incorporated three main elements. The first element being, we imagine how we appear to those around us , which refers to individuals creating an ideology of how others perceive us; Harry's questioning of Haggard about why people have respect towards Harry. The second element, we interpret other's reactions; this can relate to the system of rewards and punishments, which illustrate to Harry whether his actions are acceptable in regards to the norms. Lastly, we develop a self-concept, the reactions revealed, impact on an individual's actions and behaviours, thus establishing a concept of self which is reflective of society. This sociological approach, entails the society playing an important role is establishing a concept of self for individuals. Differing from this is the Mead's (1934) psychological approach, which comprises of three stages, first being Imitation, children under the age of three have no sense of self, thus imitate other. This can be indirectly applied to Harry Potter, as he does not have a sense of self in the magic world. The next stage, usually impacts children of ages of three to six, in which they pretend to, take the roles of other such as nurses and so on. The final stage of Mead's theory involves teams games, in which children learn of many different roles in a situation, this is relevant in terms of Harry's resocialisation, as in the game of Quidditich in which the skills which Harry learns become useful in him gaining an ascribed status and defeating Voltimore by using his skills to enter the unauthorised chambers. Conclusively, both theories illustrate the psychological perspective, that the mind develops a concept of the self through many processes such as imitating others and reflecting on other's reactions. However, sociological, social factors such as the norms of a community contribute to what is acceptable and so impact other's reaction, consequently our self concept. Sociologically the imitation process in Mead's theory also impacted by society, because an individual can only imitate what is already there.
In conclusion, different features and processes of socialisation such as the agents of socialisation, the social structure, development of morals, personality and emotions; the socialisation of the self and the mind; all influence an individual's resocialisation into a different society. This is undoubtedly evident through Harry Potter who, by the influence of the agents of socialization such as his peer groups and educational institutions, through imitating (Mead) and reflecting (Cooley) upon social factors, and by re-establishing his morals, personality and emotion; gains an acceptance in to a different society and manages to be socialised by that society.