In this lecture, we shall look at the most important agents of socialisation from adolescence onward. First, We will look at adult socialisation and Resocialisation. We will also look at some important agents of socialisation such as mass media, school, peer groups, state and more.
We have already learnt about primary socialisation. Many social scientists have written about this period of socialisation. Socialisation does not end after childhood. It is a life long process and so we need to know about secondary socialisation.
Adult Socialisation and Resocialisation
Adult socialisation is a time of learning new roles and statuses. As Tischler cited, adult socialisation is different from primary socialisation. Adults become more aware that they are being socialised. They will actually do advanced education and on-the-job training. Adults also have more control over socialisation and therefore want to learn more or make the best of opportunities.
Resocialisation as Tischler notes, "involves exposure to ideas or values that in one way or another conflict with what we learned in childhood. An example of Resocialisation could be coming to university. This new environment has changed many people's views. Many of the things their parents have taught them are now being re-analysed. Resocialisation can bring about changes in religion and political beliefs. For instance, one might convert from being catholic and become enlightened by new age values.
Peer Groups are strong socializing agents for adolescents who are still trying to find their own identity. The adolescent struggles with being a part of a group and being themselves. Peer groups usually consist of people of similar ages and social status." The dictionary meaning of the word "peer" is: "and equal in civil standing, or rank, equal in any respect" (Datta A, 1984, 67).
It should be noted that gender differences in the peer groups do exist. As Schaefer and Lamm cited, males usually spend more time with a group of males whereas females seem to have a single close female friend (1994). These differences in emotional intimacy show that females have strong emotional ties and males prefer group activity.
Peer groups aid in letting the individuals gain independence from parents however most adolescents remain emotionally and economically dependent on parents (Schaefer RT and RP Lamm 1994,69) .In unstable families peer groups are a form of stability for the adolescent.It seems adolescence is a time when the individual participates less in the family activities and more with the peer group. This is because the adolescent is trying to form an identity. This causes a struggle between still being young and wanting to be independent. Schaefer and Lamm noted that peer groups assist in the transition to adult responsibilities(1994). Peer groups therefore serve a valuable function.
Radio, television, cinema, newspapers, magazines, music, and the Internet are powerful agents of socialisation.
Television is a leisure activity, which has a range of viewers, and therefore many members of society are socialised by this medium. Television can be harmful as one imitates what is on television and this can threaten authority (White G 1977). Television advertisements actually socialise people into certain behaviour patterns. For instance infomercials convince people that they need to lose weight or that they just have to have a new kind of improved oil for their cars.
Television also portrays gender roles (Schaefer RT and RP Lamm 1994). It teaches us what the idea of a man is and how women are meant to act. Nowadays with drag queens on television, adults and adolescents views on gender roles have been challenged.
Television does not always have a negative socialising influence. Exposure to television can improve...