The world is the planet earth and all life upon it, including human civilization – the complex society characterized by social stratification introduced by cultural elite, symbolic system of communication and perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment. Here in the world exist humans with variability of distinct categories; the young and old, the dependent and independent, the bourgeoisie and proletariat…
At the time of life when one is young with unwrinkled appearance, freshness, high spirit and vigor, the period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of interdependence as a member of a community, he is a youth. Though believed to be united by the feeling of belonging yet, we are separated by our unique individual differences. This gap is believed to close up through socialization amongst youths but something keeps widening it. It is our lifestyle. Lifestyle is the interest, opinions, behaviours and behavioural orientations of an individual, group or culture. The youths’ lifestyle in socialization is social class based, though allowing for transitional variations within social boundaries. Despite the existence of opportunities for individual taste and choice to operate in present day western cultures, elements of social class differentiate various lifestyles of youths. This social class differentiation is powerful and pervasive especially in relation to life chances and behaviour.
Youths from a lower social class having lower sense of personal control tend to have interdependent self-concept and are more inclined to explain social events in situational terms. This is quite different from the lifestyle of a youth who has everything at his beck and call. Some hold prejudiced attitudes and engage in discriminatory behaviour towards those from a lower social class while some are able to accommodate others irrespective of their social class especially those within their age bracket. Upon associating with them, the way of life that such youth exhibits now depends on the individual in question. As there exists the strong-willed youths whom despite not being from the affluent class, tend to uphold their family doctrines which regulates their actions, there also exists the weak-kneed youths who are often unable to withstand the pressures surrounding youthful age. As the pressure is increased by friends, they begin to do things that ordinarily, they wouldn’t do because they are imprisoned by thoughts and inability to distinguish between right and wrong. This leaves one in a state of dilemma as to whether the transitional variations within social class boundaries affects the youths in a positive or negative way. Positively, it helps a youth to develop a sense of responsibility if he meets the right people while negatively; those who aren’t strong-willed are easily swayed and taken advantage of.
Undoubtedly, youths’ lifestyle creates a gap between them hence, the need to develop an accommodating mindset for we rise by lifting others. As opposed to promoting actions that presages worsening inequality, the youths in their diversity should promote social interaction and solidarity.
This article was written by Okorie Cynthia; connect with her on IG here