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What is Socialization?

It is the process by which an individual learns how to interact with others and becomes a member of society. It is essential for the renewal of culture and the perpetuation of society.

What does socialization teach us?


Language Culture Understanding with others Understanding of ourselves as a social being or a social self Emergence of social self

Definition of self?
Self- the dimension of personality composed of an individuals self-awareness and self-image. The self is inseparable from social experience.

The formation of the self-the set of concepts we use in defining who we are-is a central part of the socialization process. The self emerges in the course of interaction with other people and represents the ideas we have regarding our attributes, capacities, and behavior. It typically includes an egocentric bias.

Theories on socialization
George Herbert Mead the development of the Social Self
Charles Horton Cooley the Development of the Looking Glass Self

The Self and Socialization:


Charles Horton Cooley: The Looking-Glass Self: A process by which we imaginatively assume the stance of other people and view ourselves as we believe they see us. Self- image is differentiated from self-conception. Self-esteem is governed by reflected appraisal, social comparisons, and self-attribution. Personal efficiency is another aspect of selfevaluation.

The looking-glass self


The looking-glass self is the reflection of our self that we think we see in the behaviors of others toward us. We notice the way people act towards us and pay attention to their cues. This impacts a person to think about what they think other peoples' opinions are of them. The overall pattern of these reflections of other people's opinions become a dominant aspect of our own identities. Cooley theorized that through this process of considering how others view us, we actually become the kind of person we believe others see us to be

George Herbert Mead: The Generalized Other.


Argued that the Social Self developed out of social interactions with others Social interaction involves seeing ourselves as others see us or taking the role of the Other

Taking the role of the other involves a constant interplay between the I and the Me

George Herbert Mead


3 Components of the Social Self:

The I-the subjective element of the self; involves the direct experiences of the self; develops without language
The Me-the objective element of the self; involves how we look at others and see ourselves; develops with language The Mind-taking the roles of others; the interplay between I and Me

George Herbert Mead


Taking the Role of the Other Significant other when children take the perspective of those who are most important in their lives; performed through the use of language and symbols in imitation, modeling or simple role playing after parents

George Herbert Mead


Generalized other when children take the roles of several others at once; performed through the participation of children in complex games or sports activities; children learn the shared expectations of an entire social group or society as a reference point for evaluating themselves

Types of Socialization
Primary socialization Primary socialization occurs when a child learns the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. For example if a child saw his/her mother expressing a discriminatory opinion about a minority group, then that child may think this behavior is acceptable and could continue to have this opinion about minority groups.

Secondary socialization
Secondary socialization refers to the process of learning what is appropriate behavior as a member of a smaller group within the larger society. It is usually associated with teenagers and adults, and involves smaller changes than those occurring in primary socialization. eg. entering a new profession, relocating to a new environment or society.

Developmental socialization

Developmental socialization is the process of learning behavior in a social institution or developing your social skills.

Anticipatory socialization

Anticipatory socialization refers to the processes of socialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions, occupations, and social relationships.

Re socialization
Re-socialization refers to the process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones as part of a transition in one's life. This occurs throughout the human life cycle (Schaefer & Lamm, 1992: 113).

An example would be the process by which a transsexual learns to function socially in a dramatically altered gender role.

Reciprocal socialization

when children socialize parents like parents socialize children.

Total institution
Total institution a place where people are isolated from the rest of society for a set period of time and their lives are almost completely controlled by officials who run the institution. Examples include prisons, asylums and the military.

Agents of socialization
Agent of socialization an institution or group that prepares an individual for social life and society. (a) Family: (b) School ( c) Peer group (d) Media

The Family
The most important agent of socialization, because it stands at the center of childrens lives. Provides for basic needs, and teaches children skills, cultural values, and attitudes about themselves and others. Passes on to children a social position (places them in society in terms of race, ethnicity, religion and class) Socializes children into gender roles

The School
Schooling enlarges childrens social world to include people with social backgrounds different from their own. Formal schooling teaches children a wide range of knowledge and skills school is the childs first experience with bureaucracy. Socializes children into gender roles

The Peer Group


Provides young people the experience in developing social relationships on their own and establishing an identity apart from their Family. Provides the opportunity to discuss interests not shared by adults. Provides a sense of belonging that eases the anxiety of breaking away from the family

The Media
Spreads information on a mass scale, and functions to connect people. Influences our attitudes and behavior through the images and messages it conveys. Mirrors our societys patterns of inequality and rarely challenges the status quo. Reflects the values of the dominant culture

Socialization across the Life Course:


Socialization is a continuing, lifelong process. All societies have to deal with the life course that begins with conception and continues through old age and ultimately death. Role socialization involves anticipatory socialization, altering roles, and exiting from roles.

Childhood: Though societies differ in their definitions of childhood, they all begin the socialization process as soon as possible. Adolescence. In much of the world, adolescence is not a socially distinct period in the human life span. Children in many countries are socialized to assume adult responsibilities by age 13 and even younger, sometimes by way of puberty rites. Adolescence is not necessarily a turbulent period, nor does a sharp generation gap separate American adolescents from their parents.

Young Adulthood. The developmental and socialization tasks confronting young adults revolve about the core tasks of work and love. Individuals are strongly influenced by age norms and tend to set their personal watches by a social clock.
Middle Adulthood. Middle adulthood is a somewhat nebulous period. The core tasks remain much the same as they were in young adulthood. Increasingly, work is coming to be defined for both men and women as a badge of membership in the larger society. Although economic considerations predominate, people also work as a means to structure their time, interact with other people, escape from boredom, and sustain a positive self-image.

Later Adulthood. The last years of one's life may be filled with more dramatic changes than any previous stage. Retiring, losing one's spouse, becoming disabled, moving to a nursing home or other care facility, and preparing for death all require individuals to change and adapt. Societies differ in the prestige and dignity they accord the aged. Death. A diagnosis of impending death requires that an individual adjust to a new definition of self.