Agent of Socialization

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Agent of Socialization

Socialization is a very important continual process in which an individual keeps learning and developing himself. Learning and thus developing takes place in many contexts. We learn at home, from our friends, in school and also from mass media. They influence the self concept, emotions, attitudes and behaviors of a person. Family, peers, school and mass media have their own roles that bring a great impact in life of many people today.

Of all the agents of socialization, the family is the most important agent. Although the form of the family may differ from place to place in all societies, they all share the same main responsibility for socializing the child from birth until the child becomes an independent adult. Within the family, the child first develops physical skills, such as walking, and the intellectual skills of speech, math, and writing. The family is also important because it gives the child social location within society. A child born to an upper class family will be socialized into wealth, power, and social acceptance, while a child born to an impoverished family will learn about day-to-day survival, low pay, and social rejection.

Furthermore, peers, which consists of friends who are approximately the same age and have the same social status, is very influential in shaping the child’s behavior and values. Because children spend so much time with their peers, this peer group provides a great deal of informal socialization. The influence of the peer group increases with age, especially during adolescence. Teenagers are in the process of forming their own identities and participating in a distinctive, youth oriented culture that helps them to gain independence from their parents and other adults.

The school is the agent of socialization responsible for teaching formal cognitive skills, such as reading, writing, math, and history. The school is usually the child’s first...
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