This article is about the sociological concept. For the political and economic concept, see Socialization (economics). Socialization (or socialisation) is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminatingnorms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society. Socialization is thus ‗the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained‘. Socialization describes a process which may lead to desirable, or moral, outcomes. Individual views on certain issues, such as race or economics, may be socialized (and to that extent normalized) within a society. Many socio-political theories postulate that socialization provides only a partial explanation for human beliefs and behaviors, maintaining that agents are not blank slates predetermined by their environment. Scientific research provides some evidence that people might be shaped by both social influences and genes. Genetic studies have shown that a persons environment interacts with his or her genotype to influence behavioral outcomes. Contents 1 Theorieso 1.1 Klaus Hurrelmanno 1.2 Lawrence Kohlbergo 1.3 Carol Gilligano 1.4 Erik H. Eriksono 1.5 George Herbert Meado 1.6 Judith R. Harris 2 Types 3 Social institutions 4 Other uses 5 Socialization and intelligence 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links Theories Socialization is the process by which human infants begin to acquire the skills necessary to perform as a functioning member of their society, and is the most influential learning process one can experience. Unlike other living species, whose behavior is biologically set, humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive. Although cultural variability manifests in the actions, customs, and behaviors of whole social groups (societies), the most fundamental expression of culture is found at the individual level. This expression can only occur after an individual has been socialized by his or her parents, family, extended family, and
extended social networks. This reflexive process of both learning and teaching ishow cultural and social characteristics attain continuity. Many scientists saysocialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the lifecourse and is a central influence on the behaviour, beliefs, and actions of adults aswell as of children.Klaus HurrelmannFrom the late 1980s, sociological and psychological theories have been connectedwith the term socialization. One example for this connection is the theory of KlausHurrelmann. In his book "Social Structure and Personality Development"(Hurrelmann 1989/2009), he develops the "Model of Productive Processing ofReality (PPR)." The core idea is that socialization refers to anindividuals personality development. It is the result of the productive processing ofinterior and exterior realities. Bodily and mental qualities and traits constitute apersons inner reality; the circumstances of the social and physical environmentembody the external reality. Reality processing is productive because human beingsactively grapple with their lives and attempt to cope with the attendantdevelopmental tasks. The success of such a process depends on the personal andsocial resources available. Incorporated within all developmental tasks is thenecessity to reconcile personal individuation and social integration and so securethe "I-dentity." (Hurrelmann1989/2009: 42)Lawrence KohlbergLawrence Kohlbergs (1981) theory of moral development studied moralreasoning(how individuals judge situations as right from wrong) within three stagesof young adulthood. The first is the pre-conventional stage, where childrenexperience the world in terms of pain and pleasure. Second, the conventional stageappears in the teen years of maturation. Teenagers learn to define right and wrongaccording to the desires of their parents and begin to conform to cultural normsresulting in a decrease of selfishness. The last stage of moral development is thepost-conventional level where people move beyond societys norms and considerabstract ethical principles.Carol GilliganCarol Gilligan compared the moral development of girls and boys in her theory ofgender and moral development. She claimed (1982, 1990) that boys have a justiceperspective meaning that they rely on formal rules to define right and wrong. Girls,on the other hand, have a care and responsibility perspective where personalrelationships are considered when judging a situation. Gilligan also studied theeffect of gender on self-esteem. She claimed that societys socialization of femalesis the reason why girls self-esteem diminishes as they grow older. Girls struggle toregain their personal strength when moving through adolescence as they havefewer female teachers and most authority figures are men.Erik H. Erikson
Erik H. Erikson (1902–1994) explained the challenges throughout the life course.The first stage in the life course is infancy, where babies learn trust and mistrust.The second stage is toddlerhood where children around the age of two struggle withthe challenge of autonomy versus doubt. In stage three, preschool, childrenstruggle to understand the difference between initiative and guilt. Stage four, pre-adolescence, children learn about industriousness and inferiority. In the fifth stagecalled adolescence, teenagers experience the challenge of gaining identity versusconfusion. The sixth stage, young adulthood, is when young people gain insight tolife when dealing with the challenge of intimacy and isolation. In stage seven, ormiddle adulthood, people experience the challenge of trying to make a difference(versus self-absorption). In the final stage, stage eight or old age, people are stilllearning about the challenge of integrity and despair.George Herbert MeadGeorge Herbert Mead (1902–1994) developed a theory of social behaviorism toexplain how social experience develops an individuals personality. Meads centralconcept is the self: the part of an individuals personality composed of self-awareness and self-image. Mead claimed that the self is not there at birth, rather, itis developed with social experience. Since social experience is the exchange ofsymbols, people tend to find meaning in every action. Seeking meaning leads us toimagine the intention of others. Understanding intention requires imagining thesituation from the others point of view. In effect, others are a mirror in which wecan see ourselves. Charles Horton Cooley (1902-1983) coined the term lookingglass self, which means self-image based on how we think others see us. Accordingto Mead the key to developing the self is learning to take the role of the other. Withlimited social experience, infants can only develop a sense of identity throughimitation. Gradually children learn to take the roles of several others. The finalstage is the generalized other, which refers towidespread cultural norms and values we use as a reference for evaluatingothers.Judith R. Harris Group Socialization.Judith R. Harris (b. 1938) graduated magna cum laude with her masters degree inpsychology from Harvard University. She received the George A. Miller Award for
her proposed theory of group socialization (GS theory). This theory states that achild‘s adult personality is determined by childhood and adolescent peer groupsoutside of the home environment and that ―parental behaviors have no effect onthe psychological characteristics their children will have as adults.‖ Harris proposesthis theory based on behavioral genetics, sociological views of group processes,context-specific learning, and evolutionary theory. While Harris proposed thistheory, she attributes the original idea to Eleanor E. Maccoby and John A. Martinboth of whom are doctors at Standford University and wrote the chapter on familysocialization found in the fourth edition of the Handbook of Child Psychology. Afterextensively reviewing the research conducted on parent-child interactions, Maccobyand Martin (1983) state that their findings suggest that parental behavior and thehome environment has either no effect on the social development of children, orthe effect varies significantly between children.Behavioral genetics suggest that up to fifty percent of the variance in adultpersonality is due to genetic differences. The environment in which a child israised accounts for only approximately ten percent in the variance of an adult‘spersonality. As much as twenty percent of the variance is due measurementerror. This suggests that only a very small part of an adult‘s personality isinfluenced by factors parents control (i.e. the home environment). Harris claimsthat while it‘s true that siblings don‘t have identical experiences in the homeenvironment (making it difficult to associate a definite figure to the variance ofpersonality due to home environments), the variance found by current methods isso low that researchers should look elsewhere to try to account for the remainingvariance.Harris also states that developing long-term personality characteristics away fromthe home environment would be evolutionarily beneficial because future success ismore likely to depend on interactions with peers than interactions with parents andsiblings. Also, because of already existing genetic similarities with parents,developing personalities outside of childhood home environments would furtherdiversify individuals, increasing their evolutionary success.TypesMain article: Primary socialisationPrimary socialization for a child is very important because it sets the groundwork for all future socialization. Primary Socialization occurs when a child learns theattitudes, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particularculture. It is mainly influenced by the immediate family and friends. For example ifa child saw his/her mother expressing a discriminatory opinion about a minoritygroup, then that child may think this behavior is acceptable and could continue tohave this opinion about minority groups.Secondary socialization Secondary socialization refers to the process of learningwhat is the appropriate behavior as a member of a smaller group within the largersociety. Basically, it is the behavioral patterns reinforced by socializing agents ofsociety. Secondary socialization takes place outside the home. It is where childrenand adults learn how to act in a way that is appropriate for the situations they are
in. Schools require very different behavior from the home, and Children must actaccording to new rules. New teachers have to act in a way that is different frompupils and learn the new rules from people around them. Secondary Socializationis usually associated with teenagers and adults, and involves smaller changes thanthose occurring in primary socialization. Such examples of Secondary Socializationare entering a new profession or relocating to a new environment or society.Anticipatory socialization Anticipatory socialization refers to the processes ofsocialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions, occupations, andsocial relationships. For example, a couple might move in together before gettingmarried in order to try out, or anticipate, what living together will belike.Research by Kenneth J. Levine and Cynthia A. Hoffner suggests that parentsare the main source of anticipatory socialization in regards to jobs and careers.Re-socialization Re-socialization refers to the process of discarding formerbehavior patterns and reflexes, accepting new ones as part of a transition in oneslife. This occurs throughout the human life cycle. Re-socialization can be anintense experience, with the individual experiencing a sharp break with his or herpast, as well as a need to learn and be exposed to radically different norms andvalues. One common example involves re-socialization through a total institution,or "a setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society and manipulatedby an administrative staff". Re-socialization via total institutions involves a two stepprocess: 1) the staff work to root out a new inmates individual identity & 2) thestaff attempt to create for the inmate a new identity. Other examples of this arethe experience of a young man or woman leaving home to join the military, or areligious convert internalizing the beliefs and rituals of a new faith. An extremeexample would be the process by which a transsexual learns to function socially in adramatically altered gender role.Organizational socialization Organizational Socialization ChartOrganizational socialization is the process whereby an employee learns theknowledge and skills necessary to assume his or her organizational role. Asnewcomers become socialized, they learn about the organization and its history,values, jargon, culture, and procedures. This acquired knowledge about newemployees future work environment affects the way they are able to apply theirskills and abilities to their jobs. How actively engaged the employees are inpursuing knowledge affects their socialization process. They also learn abouttheir work group, the specific people they work with on a daily basis, their own rolein the organization, the skills needed to do their job, and both formal procedures
and informal norms. Socialization functions as a control system in that newcomerslearn to internalize and obey organizational values and practices.Group socialization Group socialization is the theory that an individuals peergroups, rather than parental figures, influences his or her personality and behaviorin adulthood. Adolescents spend more time with peers than with parents.Therefore, peer groups have stronger correlations with personality developmentthan parental figures do. For example, twin brothers, whose genetic makeup areidentical, will differ in personality because they have different groups of friends, notnecessarily because their parents raised them differently.Entering high school is a crucial moment in many adolescents lifespan involving thebranching off from the restraints of their parents. When dealing with new lifechallenges, adolescents take comfort in discussing these issues within their peergroups instead of their parents. Peter Grier, staff writer of the Christian ScienceMonitor describes this occurrence as,"Call it the benign side of peer pressure.Todays high-schoolers operate in groups that play the role of nag and nanny-inways that are both beneficial and isolating."Gender socialization Henslin (1999:76) contends that "an important part ofsocialization is the learning of culturally defined gender roles." Gender socializationrefers to the learning of behavior and attitudes considered appropriate for a givensex. Boys learn to be boys and girls learn to be girls. This "learning" happens byway of many different agents of socialization. The family is certainly important inreinforcing gender roles, but so are one‘s friends, school, work and the mass media.Gender roles are reinforced through "countless subtle and not so subtle ways"(1999:76).As parents are present in a childs life from the beginning, their influence in a childsearly socialization is very important, especially in regards to gender roles.Sociologists have identified four ways in which parents socialize gender roles intheir children: Shaping gender related attributes through toys and activities,differing their interaction with children based on the sex of the child, serving asprimary gender models, and communicating gender ideals and expectations.Racial socialization Racial socialization has been defined as "the developmentalprocesses by which children acquire the behaviors, perceptions, values, andattitudes of an ethnic group, and come to see themselves and others as membersof the group". The existing literature conceptualizes racial socialization as havingmultiple dimensions. Researchers have identified five dimensions that commonlyappear in the racial socialization literature: cultural socialization, preparation forbias, promotion of mistrust, egalitarianism, and other. Cultural socializationrefers to parenting practices that teach children about their racial history orheritage and is sometimes referred to as pride development. Preparation for biasrefers to parenting practices focused on preparing children to be aware of, and copewith, discrimination. Promotion of mistrust refers to the parenting practices ofsocializing children to be wary of people from other races. Egalitarianism refers tosocializing children with the belief that all people are equal and should be treatedwith a common humanity.
Planned socialization Planned socialization occurs when other people take actions designed to teach or train others—from infancy on. Natural Socialization Natural socialization occurs when infants and youngsters explore, play and discover the social world around them. Natural socialization is easily seen when looking at the young of almost any mammalian species (and some birds). Planned socialization is mostly a human phenomenon; and all through history, people have been making plans for teaching or training others. Both natural and planned socialization can have good and bad features: It is wise to learn the best features of both natural and planned socialization and weave them into our lives. Positive socialization Positive socialization is the type of social learning that is based on 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 socialization Negative socialization 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. There are all types of mixes of positive and negative socialization; and the more positive social learning experiences we have, the happier we tend to be—especially if we learn useful information that helps us cope well with the challenges of life. A high ratio of negative to positive socialization can make a person unhappy, defeated or pessimistic about life. Social institutions Main article: Institutions In the social sciences, institutions are the structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human collectivity. Institutions are identified with a social purpose and permanence, transcending individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing of rules governing cooperative human behavior. Types of institution include:The Family The family is the most important agent of socialization because it is thecenter of the childs life, as infants are totally dependent on others. Not all socializationare intentional, it depends on the surrounding. The most profound affect is gendersocialization, however the family also shoulders the task of teaching children culturalvalues and attitudes about themselves and others. Children learn continuously fromthe environment that adults create. Children also become aware of class at a veryearly age and assign different values to each class accordingly.Religion Agents of socialization differ in effects across religious traditions. Somebelieve religion is like an ethnic or cultural category, making it less likely for theindividuals to break from religious affiliations and be more socialized in this setting.
Parental religious participation is the most influential part of religious socialization—more so than religious peers or religious beliefs.Peer group A peer group is a social group whose members have interests, socialpositions and age in common. This is where children can escape supervision and learnto form relationships on their own. The influence of the peer group typically peaksduring adolescence however peer groups generally only affect short term interestsunlike the family which has long term influence.Economic systems Socialization within an economic system is the process of learningthe consequences of economic decisions. Socialization impacts decisions regarding"acceptable alternatives for consumption," "social values of consumption alternatives,"the "establishment of dominant values," and "the nature of involvement inconsumption".Legal systems Children are pressured from both parents and peers to conform andobey certain laws or norms of the group/community. Parents‘ attitudes toward legalsystems influence children‘s views as to what is legally acceptable. For example,children whose parents are continually in jail are more accepting of incarceration.Penal systems: The penal systems act as an agent of socialization upon prisonersand the guards. Prison is a separate environment from that of normal society;prisoners and guards form their own communities and create their own social norms.Guards serve as "social control agents" who discipline and provide security. Fromthe view of the prisoners, the communities can be oppressive and domineering,causing feelings of defiance and contempt towards the guards. Because of thechange in societies, prisoners experience loneliness, a lack of emotional relationships,a decrease in identity and "lack of security and autonomy". Both the inmates andthe guards feel tense, fearful, and defensive, which creates an uneasy atmospherewithin the community.Language People learn to socialize differently depending on the specific language andculture in which they live. A specific example of this is code switching. This is whereimmigrant children learn to behave in accordance with the languages used in theirlives: separate languages at home and in peer groups (mainly in educationalsettings). Depending on the language and situation at any given time, people willsocialize differently Mass media The mass media are the means for delivering impersonal communicationsdirected to a vast audience. The term media comes from Latin meaning, "middle,"suggesting that the medias function is to connect people. Since mass media hasenormous effects on our attitudes and behavior, notably in regards to aggression, it isan important contributor to the socialization process.Some sociologists and theorists of culture have recognized the power of masscommunication as a socialization device. Denis McQuail recognizes the argument:
… the media can teach norms and values by way of symbolic reward and punishment for different kinds of behavior as represented in the media. An alternative view is that it is a learning process whereby we all learn how to behave in certain situations and the expectations which go with a given role or status in society. —McQuail 2005: 494) Learning Learning can be social or nonsocial. Consider the example of a child learning about bees. If is child is exploring and playing with no one else around, the child may see a bee and touch it (out of curiosity). If the child is stung by the bee, the child learns that touching bees is associated with pain. This is nonsocial learning, since no one else was around. In contrast, a child may benefit from social learning about bees. If the child is with mom, dad or anyone else, the childs inquisitive approach to a bee may lead to some kind of social intervention. Maybe Aunt Emy sees the child reaching for a bee and simply points the child in another direction, saying "Look at that pretty butterfly." Maybe Uncle Ed would say, "Don‘t touch the bee, because it can hurt you and make you cry." Maybe Mom would have said, "Honey, stay away from bees because they sting." There are all sorts of ways that people can interact with a child to help the child learn to avoid ever being stung. Any and all of these social interventions allow the child to benefit from social learning, though some of these social interventions may be more educational and useful than others.Other usesTo "socialize" may also mean simply to associate or mingle with people socially.In American English, "socialized" has come to refer, usually in a pejorative sense,to the ownership structure of socialism or to the expansion of the welfarestate. Traditionally, socialists and Marxists both used the term "socialization ofindustry" to refer to the reorganization of institutions so that the workers are allowners (cooperatives) and to refer to the implementation of workplacedemocracy. Some authors suggest that social interaction helps to exercisepeoples minds. People reap cognitive benefits from socializing," They speculatethat social interaction "exercises" cognitive processes that are measured onintellectual tasks. "It is possible," the authors conclude, "that as people engagesocially and mentally with others, they receive relatively immediate cognitiveboosts."Socialization and intelligenceAs humans, we always want to mingle and spend much of our time withfriends. This makes us to become wiser, smarter and more intelligent. OscarYbarra and his colleagues at the University of Michigan explored the possibilitythat social interaction improves mental functioning. In a series of related studies,they tested the participants level of cognitive functioning, comparing it to thefrequency of participants social interactions.