Agents of socialization


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Agents of socialization

  1. 1. Agents of Socialization
  2. 2. What is an agent of socialization?• People and groups that influence our self- concept, emotions, attitudes, and behavior
  3. 3. Family• Melvin Kohn suggests social class differences in child raising – Often the main concern of working-class parents is their children’s outward conformity (neat, clean, and follow rules) and are more likely to use physical punishment – Middle class parents show greater concern for the motivations for their children’s behavior and parents are more likely to punish by withdrawing privileges and affection
  4. 4. Neighborhood• Some neighborhoods are better for children than others• research shows that children from poor neighborhoods are more likely to get in trouble with the law, get pregnant, drop out of school or end up disadvantaged
  5. 5. Religion• Religion plays a major role in socialization of most Americans – 70% of Americans belong to a local congregation and 2 in every 5 Americans attend a religious service weekly• Religious especially influences morality but also ideas about dress, speech, and manners that are appropriate
  6. 6. Day Care• With more mothers working, day care has become a significant agent of socialization• Research finds that the effects of day care largely depends on the child’s background and quality of care – Children from poor households or dysfunctional families appear to benefit from day care – Children in higher quality day care centers interact better with children and have fewer behavioral problems• The more hours a child spends in day care, the weaker the bonds between mothers and children and the more negative their interactions
  7. 7. School and Peer Groups• In school, children are placed outside the direct control of the family and learns to be a part of a peer group – Research by Patricia and Peter Adler demonstrates how peer groups influence behavior • For boys, norms that make them popular are: athletic ability, coolness, and toughness • For girls, norms are: family background, physical appearance, and the ability to attract boys• Its almost impossible to go against peer groups; children who do become labeled as outsiders, nonmembers or outcasts.
  8. 8. Other Agents of Socialization• Sports- teaching social skills and values• Workplace- learn a set of skills and a perspective on the world
  9. 9. Resocialization• What does a woman who has just become a nun have in common with a man who has just divorced?• Resocialization is the process of learning new norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors to match new situations in life – Occurs each time we learn something that is contrary to our previous experiences, such as going to work in a new job
  10. 10. Total institution• Erving Goffman coined the term to refer to a place where people are cut off from the rest of society and are under almost total control of agents of the institution – boot camp, prisons, concentration camps, convents, some religious cults and some boarding schools• A person entering the institution is greeted with a degradation ceremony through which current identity is stripped away and replaced• Total institutions are effective b/c they isolate people from outside influences and information