Socialization in Late ChildhoodSubmitted to:Princy T. Sebastian,School of Social Work,Marian College,Kuttikkanam.Submitted by:Bimal Antony,1stMSW,School of Social Work,Marian College,Kuttikkanam.Date of Submission:26thOctober 2010.
2Socialization in Late ChildhoodIntroductionLate childhood extends from the age of six years to the time the individual becomessexually mature. At both its beginning and end, late childhood is marked by conditions thatprofoundly affect a childs personal and social adjustments. Although it is possible to mark offthe beginning of late childhood fairly accurately, one cannot be so precise about the time thisperiod because sexual maturity - the criterion used to divide childhood from adolescence - comesat varying ages. This is also the period when they start attending educational institutions in a bigway.Socialization is the term sociologists use to describe the ways in which people learn toconform to their society’s norms, values, and roles. Socialization occurs throughout the lifetimeas individuals learn new norms, new groups and situations. Socialization can be divided intothree major phases - primary Socialization, Secondary Socialization and Adult Socialization.Secondary socialization occurs in late childhood and adolescence, when the child enters schooland comes under the influence of adults and peers outside the household and familyenvironment. Becoming socialized is one of the major developmental tasks of this period.Process in socializationThere are three components in the process of socialization. They are as follows:Learning to behave in socially approved waysEvery social group has its standards of what is approved behaviour for itsmembers. To become socialized children must not only know what this approved behaviour is,but they must also model their own behaviour along the approved lines.Playing approved social rolesEvery social group has its own patterns of customary behaviour that are carefullydefined and are expected by members of the group.Development of social attitudesTo become socialized, children must like people and social activities. If they do,they will make good social adjustments and be accepted as members of the social group withwhich they are defined.Components influencing socialization in late childhoodPersons in the family’s social network, the school, and the children’s peer group join theparents as major socialization influences. There is a gang spirit in this stage in which the major
3Socialization in Late Childhoodconcern is the acceptance by the age-mates in a group; there is a team spirit in play activities andcreative works.School’s role in socializationAfter children enter school and come into contact with more children than during thepreschool year, interest in family activities begins to wane. At the same time individual playgives way to group games. Since group games require a large number of playmates, the olderchilds circle of friends widens. With change in play interests comes and increasing desire to bewith, and to be accepted by, children outside the home.A well-liked school teacher, especially one who resembles a child in some way (sex,race, religion, ethnicity) may be taken on as a role model by a child. Sometimes a teacher will beaware of the child’s modelling; often he or she will not. Effective schooling needs to bemeasured not only by scholastic attainment but also by attitudes toward learning, classroombehaviour, social functioning, absenteeism, continuation in education, and ultimate employment.School features that may contribute to beneficial effects include resources, size of class,composition of student body, degree of academic emphasis, classroom management, pupilparticipation, discipline and staff.The effect of a teacher on in-classroom social behaviour is better known than thecarryover effect of socialisation practises from class to home life. Much carryover modellingdepends on the child’s perception of the importance of the teacher’s nurturance and power. Muchalso depends on how well caregivers understand, agree with, and are willing to adopt differentschool socialization practices in their homes. A parent’s negative attitude toward a school maycontribute to a child’s school phobia.Childhood gangsThe childhood gangs are a spontaneous local group having no authorization from outsideand no socially approved aim. Although adults may know that it is being organized, it is formedby the children themselves, without support from parents, teachers, or youth leaders. It is anattempt by children to create a society adequate to meet their needs. As such, it is a substitute foradult society and for what that society fails to give. It offers relief from adult supervision, thoughit may not be hostile to the adults in authority.Gangs help children socialize by helping the children to learn to get along with age-matesand to behave in a way that is socially acceptable to them. it also helps children to develop arational conscience and a scale of values in supplement or replace the values of parents whichchildren tend to accept as an "authoritarian conscience." through gang experiences, children learnappropriate social attitudes such as how to like people and how to enjoy social life and groupactivities. The gang can also help childrens personal independence by giving them emotionalsatisfaction from friendships with peers.
4Socialization in Late ChildhoodPeer interactionsChildren use their friends as sounding boards and testing grounds for the values andattitudes they have learned at home. Children become members of a peer group which willgradually replace the family in its influence over their attitudes and behaviour. In many casesthe peer group can be more democratic than the home. Instead of rules being laid down byauthority figures, they are debated, with some or all of the group having a say in what theyshould be. Home values and attitudes may be upgraded or watered down, depending on theparticipants in the group.Children increasingly turn to their peers for assistance. During late childhood, friendshipsbecome more stable. Friends are usually of the same sex and often of the same race, religion,culture, or socioeconomic standing in the community. Organised activities like sports tend tostrengthen friendships. When children work together, they learn new respect for each other.Children in groups do things they would never do on their own. Peers have the potential toinfluence each other for good or bad. Some children are more powerful in influencing others, andsome children are more influenced by powerful peers.Neighbourhood interactionsNeighbours are also an essential factor in the socialization process in late childhood. Thishappens as more and more parents work outside and more at-home neighbours are being asked towatch the children after school hours until the parents return and on school holidays whenparents are out, working. Research on these section of children has suggested that while theytend to be more independent, they may also suffer more fears, loneliness, boredom, anddepression. Helping children develop a social network in their neighbourhoods has manybeneficial effects for safety, socialization and mental health.TechnologyThe influences of parents, schools, peers, and neighbours are modified, somewhat, bymachines of technology available to children. Researchers have focused more on the negativeconcepts they acquire like aggression, junk food preferences, and highly sex role-typedstereotypes than on positive behaviours like rule obedience, empathy, altruism they might learn.It has been found that the more violent programs children watch, the more aggressive theybecome in all aspects of life: conflicts with parents, fighting, and delinquent behaviours. Thesesection of children view the world with more suspicion and distrust and perceive violence as aneffective solution to conflict. Children also believe in the enormous presence, in all homes excepttheir own, of certain toys and foods.
5Socialization in Late ChildhoodConclusionLate childhood is a time when the community begins to play a much greater part inchildren’s lives. Peers, neighbours and school teachers often spend as much or more time withchildren as children spend with their families. With experience children develop abilities to applyrules, reverse mental operations, see reciprocal relations, conserve, order, classify, conceive ofdistances in time and space, and understand physical and psychological causation.This period can also be accounted in the development of the preliminary stages in thedevelopment of a social character and personality the child tries to associate with or wish todevelop.For all these factors and with the help of all these factors the socialization process in latechildhood develops which enables the child to develop with time.References:Karen L. Freidberg (1987). Human Development: A Life-Span Approach, Third Edition. Boston: Jones andBartlett Publishers, Inc.Elizabeth B. Hurlock (1956). Child Development, Sixth Edition. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.Elizabeth B. Hurlock (1959). Developmental Psychology: A Life-Span Approach, Fifth Edition. New Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill.