Published on March 10, 2014
A Brief Introduction to Socialization Robert Croker Center for Japanese Studies Nanzan University
Definition of Socialization Socialization is the process that prepares humans to function in social life. Socialization is culturally relative - people in different cultures are socialized differently. Scott & Schwarz
Two Functions of Socialization 1. Ensure the continuity of the social order by teaching a society’s new members the accepted way of doing things. 2. Provides the foundation for the development of the individual’s personality (relatively stable set of attitudes, values, and behaviours) and a sense of self (the conscious recognition of being a distinct individual). Scott & Schwarz
Stages in the Life Course infancy and childhood: birth to 12 adolescence: 13 to late teens adulthood: early – 20 to 40 mid – 45 to 65 late – 65+ Scott & Schwarz
Nature vs. Nurture Nature – biologically determined Nurture – culturally determined or environmentally determined (still being hotly debated)
Agents of Socialization the family – the most important agent of socialization, the center of the child's life, as infants are totally dependent on others. peer groups – social groups whose members have interests, social positions and age in common. Place to escape supervision and learn to form relationships on your own. schools – formal vs. hidden curriculum. language – encode social relationships. media – both mass and social media.
Primary vs. Secondary ① Socialization is a life process with two stages: Primary socialization – takes place early in life when you are a child and adolescent, giving you your core identity. Secondary socialization – takes place throughout your life as you encounter new groups, roles, and social situations.
Primary vs. Secondary ② differ by content – childhood: regulating biological drives adolescence: developing self-image and values adulthood: learning specific behaviors and developing norms, e.g. work- and family-related roles
Primary vs. Secondary ③ differ by context – childhood and adolescence: the person being socialized assumes more explicitly the status of learner within the family, school or peer group. More highly emotional. adulthood: although sometimes assuming the role of learner, more independence and control, especially when the process is self- initiated and voluntary. Less emotional due to more formal relationships.
Broad vs. Narrow Socialization Broad – to promote independence, individualism and self-expression. Broad range of outcomes. Narrow – to promote obedience and conformity. Narrow range of outcomes. Arnett
Natural vs. Planned Socialization Natural – through play. Planned – other people take actions designed to teach or train others.
Positive vs. Negative Socialization Positive – based upon pleasurable and exciting experiences.We tend to like the people who fill our social learning processes with positive motivation, loving care, and rewarding opportunities. Negative – occurs when others use punishment, harsh criticisms or anger to try to "teach us a lesson;" and often we come to dislike both negative socialization and the people who impose it on us.
① Symbolic Interactionism The self develops as a result of social interactions, so socialization is highly dependent on the situations in which you find yourself.
② Role Theory Socialization: a process of acquisition of appropriate norms, attitudes, self-images, values, and role behaviors that enable acceptance in the group and effective performance of new roles. Socialization is a conservative force, permitting the perpetuation of the social organization.
③ Internalization Theory Socialization is a series of stages in which the individual learns to participate in various levels of organization of society. Children internalize: a common frame of reference for interpersonal relationships a system of expressive symbolism (language) a moral conscience
① Gender Socialization The learning of culturally defined gender roles, behavior and attitudes – boys learn to be boys and girls learn to be girls. Parents: shape gender related attributes through toys and activities, differ interaction based on the sex of the child, serve as primary gender models, and communicate gender ideals and expectations.
② Group and Class Socialization Group socialization:Your peer groups rather than parental figures influence your personality and behavior in adulthood. Class socialization: Developing a class identity – and learned early in life. e.g. lower class parents emphasize conformity because they experience conformity in their daily activities; middle-class parents emphasize creativity and self-reliance.
③ Racial Socialization Cultural socialization: teaching children their racial history or heritage. Promotion of mistrust: socializing children to be wary of people from other races. vs. egalitarianism: socializing children with the belief that all people are equal and should be treated with a common humanity.
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