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Social conditioning refers to the sociological process of training individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. The concept is stronger than that of socialization, which refers to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies. Manifestations of social conditioning are vast, but they are generally categorized as social patterns and social structures including nationalism, education, employment, entertainment, popular culture, religion, spirituality and family life. The social structure in which an individual finds him or herself influences and can determine their social actions and responses.
Social conditioning represents the environment and personal experience in the nature vs. nurture debate. Society in general and peer groups within society set the norms which shape the behavior of actors within the social system.
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