A society has many kinds of personalities and this depends on its culture. Every cultural environment has certain personality models that characterize the members of that particular society. In the late 19th century, rapid industrialization began in the United States of America and most parts of Europe. In places where industries were located, people came to work and as a result, urban towns sprung up to form big cities. This led to the settling of people who have diverse cultures and backgrounds in one place. In most places, the most dominant people or culture is the one that is always emulated (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). This popular culture tends to dictate the way personalities of many people develop.
Current immigration trends have led to an influx of many immigrants from many nations. These immigrants go to America to work, study, and live. This has resulted to enormous changes in the composition of the people who live in America. The American culture is highly individualized and egocentric. Immigrant children who come from places like Asia have to develop their personalities in a way that is similar to the American culture. The children have to learn that they have to make their own decisions concerning all the important aspects in their lives. This value makes them to think about themselves and as a result develop personalities that are individualistic and self-centered (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). This is contrary to the culture of the Asian communities where children do not have a say at all in decision-making.
Urbanization is a direct result from industrialization. In the large cities, urbanization has brought many problems and people have to work hard to fit in. Expensive life in cities, urban poverty, organized crime, and poor sanitation has forced many people to look for ways of getting better jobs. This means that they have to adjust their level of education so that they can be able to get high paying jobs. On the same level, their personalities too have changed to being assertive and demanding. The increasing levels of education have resulted to high competition among people. This has influenced the emergence of competitive personalities that can be able to keep up with a society that is becoming more and more competitive.
In an urban set-up, there are majority and minority people. This can be people of a certain race, ethnic group, or even gender. The majority or dominant persons will always dictate the way in the social life, politics, and actually all the spheres of life. The minority status of people does affect their personality development because they have little or no say in many issues since they are an assumed lot. In most urban centers in America, African Americans, Native Indians are often looked at as minor, and people with a value lower than that of the whites. They are often relegated to poor housing, jobs, and schools. This has made them to develop aggressive personalities as they try to jostle for recognition and place in the dominant white society.
According to Albert Bandura’s theory of social learning, the family environment shapes especially children (Larsen & Buss, 2005). This implies that if a child is raised in a family surrounded with problems then they will suffer the consequences of such upbringing. In urban places, many families struggle to provide their children with education, good food, housing, and clothing. This makes them to work for longer hours than usual thus neglecting their families. Parenting practice is the most important in shaping the personality of a child. Families that are characterized with poor communication, weak parent to child and child-to-child relationship affect the personality development of a child. A child grows anti-social and to get recognition, they engage in antisocial behavior. Families who have strong family bonds, discipline, love and care are likely to raise individuals who have caring, responsible and assertive personalities (Jones, 2005).
The socio-economic status of a family also plays a big role in personality development. Research has shown that families with good income and high levels of educations tend to provide good care to their children (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). These children are raised in better housing with good food and thus have a good health. This in turn affects the way their personality develops from childhood to adulthood.
Every urban center has its own values and norms. These norms or lack of them is what shapes the personality of children as they grow up into adulthood. In social places like schools, students treat children who are nurtured badly and aggressive as outcasts. These outcasts feel undervalued and tend to cluster together. These outcasts feel rejected and tend to develop personalities that are impulsive and aggressive. Their environment is characterized by influencing one another to do “bad things” towards others. This pushes them towards criminal and violent behavior.
It is significant to note that personality traits like aggressiveness, assertiveness, impulsivity, individualism, and competitiveness are greatly influenced by cultural factors. Bandura stated that whatever a child will see, that is what will shape their behavior and personality (Larsen & Buss, 2005). Cultural factors are one of the greatest support systems in personality development.