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14 November 2012

You Can't Handle the Resocialization!

Here is a cool example I use to teach socialization and resocialization. First, I have the class read a selection from Dyer's "Anyone's Son Will Do." In class, I ask the students to prioritize these four items: their close friends, their college, God (if they are believers), and their country. Then, I show a clip from A Few Good Men. (It's chapter 6 [25:13-29:34] on my DVD.) Here is a snippet of that clip:

I ask how many had their priorities in the same order as the corporal, "unit, corp, God, country?" None of them do. I present this to them as an example of how deceptively easy it is to resocialize people so that their core values realign to such an extreme. (There is also an earlier part of the scene not in this snippet in which the Marines cannot alter the syntax of their communication when instructed to since they have been so thoroughly resocialized.)

I also often use this to segue into a conversation about how unlike ancient cultures, we do a horrible job at re-resocializing returning veterans to our mainstream values and how we have medicalized this social problem, labeling the symptoms first "shellshock" and more recently "PTSD."

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