Studies of isolated, institutionalized or feral children demonstrate that in order to learn to act like human beings, we must interact with other people.(1)
Interaction with others consists of two struggles: trying to get our meaning across and correctly interpreting what others communicate to us. Together, through the processes of socialization and interaction, societies socially construct reality. The people in our lives and environments have enormous influence over us.
Gender, attractiveness, good and bad are all socially constructed concepts. These processes of socialization often happen without us knowing. One does not often consciously think about their gender, personality, etc as anything but inherent. To a large extent, these are actually learned traits.
Our sense of selves is also largely contributed to by the social world we live in. Socialization can affect how successful you believe you can be, the type of education you think you can achieve and the relationships you think are worth investing your time in.
George Herbert Mead compares what happens as we are socialized as members of society to learning to play baseball.(1) He argued that it is only after learning what to expect from each player that one can truly play the game. If a batter does not know that the pitcher will throw the ball to the first base teammate after the batter hits it, the game will probably not end in his favour. Similarly, we cannot live a normal life free of deviancy without understanding the expectations and norms of our society.