Externalization Objectivation And Internalization Example

Externalization Objectivation And Internalization Example

Externalization, objectivation, and internalization are concepts rooted in social psychology and sociology, describing the processes through which individuals interact with and internalize social phenomena. These terms, coined by German sociologist and philosopher Alfred Schutz, offer valuable insights into how people perceive, interpret, and make sense of the social world around them. In this article, we delve into the meaning of externalization, objectivation, and internalization, providing practical examples to illustrate their relevance in everyday life.


Externalization refers to the process of expressing internal thoughts, feelings, and experiences through external means, such as language, symbols, or behavior. It involves transforming subjective experiences into objective forms that can be communicated and shared with others. Externalization enables individuals to convey their thoughts and emotions, shaping their interactions and relationships with others.

Example of Externalization:
Imagine a person who experiences feelings of anxiety and stress due to work-related pressures. To externalize these internal experiences, they may engage in behaviors such as pacing back and forth, tapping their fingers nervously, or expressing their concerns verbally to a colleague. By externalizing their feelings through observable behaviors and verbal communication, the individual seeks to convey their internal state to others and solicit support or understanding.


Objectivation involves the process of attributing objective meaning or significance to subjective experiences or phenomena. It entails treating subjective experiences as if they were objective facts, allowing individuals to analyze, interpret, and understand them within a broader social context. Objectivation enables people to create shared meanings and interpretations of their experiences, fostering mutual understanding and communication.

Example of Objectivation:
Consider a group of friends who regularly meet for dinner to celebrate special occasions. Over time, these gatherings become imbued with shared meanings and significance, symbolizing friendship, camaraderie, and celebration. Through objectivation, the group collectively attributes symbolic value to these social gatherings, treating them as meaningful rituals that strengthen their bonds and reinforce their sense of belonging.


Internalization refers to the process of incorporating externalized social phenomena, norms, or values into one’s own subjective experience and identity. It involves accepting, assimilating, and integrating external influences into one’s internal worldview, beliefs, and behaviors. Internalization allows individuals to internalize societal norms, cultural values, and social roles, shaping their sense of self and guiding their actions.

Example of Internalization:
Imagine a child who grows up in a family that places a strong emphasis on academic achievement and success. Over time, the child internalizes these values and beliefs, coming to view academic excellence as an important aspect of their identity and self-worth. As they progress through school, the child’s internalized values motivate them to study hard, set high academic goals, and strive for success, reflecting the internalization of societal norms and cultural values.

Externalization, objectivation, and internalization are fundamental processes that shape how individuals perceive, interpret, and internalize the social world around them. By externalizing internal experiences, attributing objective meaning to subjective phenomena, and integrating external influences into their own identities, individuals navigate the complexities of social interaction and construct their sense of self within a broader social context. Understanding these processes offers valuable insights into human behavior, cognition, and social interaction, illuminating the dynamic interplay between subjective experience and objective reality. Through practical examples, we can appreciate the relevance of externalization, objectivation, and internalization in everyday life, underscoring their significance in shaping individual and collective experiences.