The best of us is either victims or victors of its manipulation. During the growth process, a default framework of man is to assimilate and mirror the actions of the people around them. How to speak, walk, perspective and way of thinking are all guided by one's immediate environment. This directly links to the study of sociology whereby individuals are studied as a group to discover a pattern, predict their actions and in turn understand man's reasoning. It has been established that the social environment is a major influence on man's actions but to what level of extent can the human mind and behaviours be influenced by their environment?

Definitely, a large percentage of our personalities are copied traits or traits from recessive and dominant genes. However, humans are able to learn, unlearn and suppress certain characters hereby utilizing the intelligence of the mind. This means that the effects of the social environment an individual emerges from can wear out their effect in the face of willpower and a stronger influence. It is of essence to take note that no one should be judged solely on their environment as this is an erroneous act. This applies to both environments that follow with positive and negative influences.

For example, a person that comes from a racist environment can choose to unlearn certain beliefs that she has been taught. She can choose a different path and fight the wrong stereotypes that she grew up with. When humans act in certain ways, are they truly acting by their own will or just following the uniform patterns set by their social environment? We as human beings react to situations in ways that might seem specific to us but then we need to ask ourselves, are we doing what is logical or what everyone else is doing? It is a coping mechanism, to just follow the crowd but shouldn't we step out of our shackles of primitivism? There exist certain societies whereby mental health is not well advocated for and is not seen as a concept of value. The ripple effect of this is the discomfort that comes with speaking out about personal mental health struggles.

Certain individuals have acted against the status quo and do show character traits similar to their society's social pattern. This is a result of other socialization factors such as school, peer pressure and religion, especially in situations whereby these institutions are far from the family and immediate environment. Factors such as these can single a person out and cause them to act differently. Hence, alienation occurs because people choose to look away from what they do not understand.

Yes, the social environment serves as a determinant to understanding a man's reasoning, explaining behaviours and building a pattern. It cannot be regarded as a sole factor regardless; one's social environment has a huge part to play. In either a bad or good society, however, there is a choice that comes to play in our actions. We are still fully responsible for the decisions we make and it is a ridiculous attempt to blame it on solely your social background no matter how strong an influence it might be.