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Resocialization is a process that involves breaking with behaviors and ways of thinking that are unsuited to existing or changing circumstances, and replacing them with new, more appropriate ways of behaving and thinking. Much resocialization happens naturally and involves no formal training; people simply learn as they go.

Resocialization can be voluntary or imposed. Voluntary resocialization occurs when people choose to participate in a process or program designed to remake them. Examples of voluntary resocialization are wide-ranging: the unemployed youth who enlists in the army to acquire a technical skill.

Imposed resocialization occurs when people are forced into a program designed to train them, rehabilitate them, or correct some supposed deficiency in their earlier socialization. People drafted into the military, sentenced to prisons represent examples of those who undergo resocialization that is forced upon them.

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