Childhood and Socialisation in Australia

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Socialization is the human process of learning to become a member of our society, and how each individual learns to fit into a group (Jureidini & Poole, 2003, p123). Jean Piaget (1896-1980) a Swiss psychologist described childhood and development in terms of distinct psychological stages and how these stages influence socialization and enculturation (see Jureidini & Poole, 2003, pp124 ¡V 127). Other important theorists to look at are George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) and Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934). Agents of Socialization: In Australian culture, socialization occurs through various agents, and due to Australia being so multicultural and diverse, the importance of each of these agents is different from individual to individual. „XFamily ¡V For most children, the family is the epicenter of socialization and is the most important factor in how the child is conditioned. At an early age, a high percentage of Australian children have their family environments substituted by daycare. There is mixed evidence as to how this affects the stability of the child in later years. „XSchool ¡V Primary schools in Australia offer an opportunity for children to learn about behaviour and social interaction from peers under disciplined guidance from a teacher. The playground is an important place for children to learn what socially acceptable behaviour is and what is not. „XMedia ¡V Programs such as ¡¥Playschool¡¦ and ¡¥Sesame Street¡¦ offer young children the social tools they need. Such programs also have a significant role in gender conditioning. In later years, the children/teenagers will become subject to issues of conformity that are modeled on mainstream media icons. „XReligion ¡V In an Australian context, religion holds varied importance in childhood socialization. For some children, attending church, a mosque or a synagogue with family provides an introduction to the beliefs, values and morals that are socialized throughout their lives.

Processes of Socialization: There...
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