Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Importance of Socialization

By Jusu Dunor
Socialization through Peer-group
Through socialization we discover how to behave, what to expect from others or society’s norms and values.

Sociologists, around the globe have been figuring out patterns of human attitudes and behavior from birth till prime of life. These observation and patterns carried on by sociologists is mainly geared toward the transformation of infants who are born without culture to developing a culture through a process called Socialization. During this process people learn values, attitudes and appropriate behaviors of a particular culture, that are acquired through parents, teachers and their general society. During socialization, we grasp the language of the culture we belong to as well as the positions we are to play in life.
Additionally, an important tool to socialization is Norms. In the field of sociology Norms play a vital role: it is the conception of appropriate and expected behaviors that are held by most members of the society, and acquired through socialization.
One may ask what the benefits of socialization are, what do we get when we socialize? The answer is simple. When we socialize we can achieve several things including the following:
  • Language
  • Culture (norms, values, beliefs, etc.) 
  • Perception of others
  • Consider ourselves as a social being or a “social self”

More besides, there are several elements and agents that are combined to form socialization. Listed below are few. 
  1. Primary socialization- socialization that occurs without the subject’s knowledge of it. 
  2. Secondary socialization – socialization that is purposeful and obvious 
  3. Anticipatory socialization – socialization that prepares people for future roles and statuses 
  4. Reciprocal socialization – when children socialize parents like parents socialize children and, 
  5. Re-socialization – the process of unlearning old norms, roles, and values, and learning new ones required in a new social environment.
Agents of socialization: an institution or group that prepares an individual for social life or society; example may include:
  • Family
  • School
  • Media
  • Peer-group
More importantly, the key concepts to socialization for our layman point of view are “culture” and “Norms”, these two are the pillow or cornerstone of socialization.

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