Role Of Socialization

Topics: Sociology, Peer group, Education Pages: 6 (1239 words) Published: February 2, 2015

Role of Socialization
Danica Peters
Northern Lakes Regional College
Sociology 1000
Assignment 2: Role of Socialization
Laura Kiepal

Socialization is how individuals learn how to function in the world they live in. The process of socialization changes from each individual person. Values, norms, respect, worth ethics, and, behaviors are not programmed in the brain during gestation. Instead, all these characteristics are learned through the role of socialization. The agents of socialization; family, school, peers, and media are what influence and shape our understanding of society and ourselves.

Family is the first social agent which individuals are exposed to; they are the primary source of socialization (Brym & Lie, 2012). This social agent is responsible for teaching individuals about ‘self’ “a set of ideas and attitudes about who one is as an independent being” (Brym & Lie, 2012, p. 58). A functionalist view would argue “family is the most important agent of primary socialization, the process of mastering the basic skills required to operate in society during childhood” (Brym & Lie, 2012, p. 60). Language is one concept taught by the family in order to communicate, without a basic form of communication fitting into society would be near impossible. Teaching children how to speak is considered part of being a parent and is not questioned; bad parenting in turn would lead to bad socialization. Families also provide ‘class’ and how you as an individual, and family, fit into the order of society. Wealthy families may be able to provide different opportunities versus poor families, and different values may be taught such as wasting food and saving money. The lessons children are taught shape how they will act in society and what they will think of themselves and others.

School is another social agent which impacts an individuals understanding of self and society ("Agents of socialization," 2013). School teaches individuals how to be a productive member of society and gives them the means in order to succeed in society. One example is learning to listen to and respect authority. This is taught from kindergarten on. If a child breaks the rule and disrespects their teacher, or authority, they will be disciplined and taught to not do that again. Without the understanding of respecting authority an individual will have a hard time fitting into society since there is always rules to follow and authority to respect; bosses, RCMP, laws and so on. School also teaches a work ethic which is an important aspect of each individual. Bad work ethic can lead to being less successful in life, being an underachiever, and in turn not living up to what one could. Norms are also an aspect of society that are taught in school. An individual’s family is responsible for teaching communication and language, and the school builds on that basic knowledge to make it acceptable for societies standards. For example college students are expected to write at a specific level, in proper form, following rules and guidelines in order to convey their thoughts. If a student is unable to write at that level they will fail their courses and be unable to graduate in that program. The ‘norm’ for adults to be able to read and write with specific accuracy, without this basic understanding the adult may not be able to hold a stead job, own a house, find a marriage partner, or, have kids. This would in turn impact their understanding of oneself and how they fit into society.

Peers are a third social agent, which hugely impacts and shapes our understanding of self. Interacting with peers teaches individuals what is considered normal and acceptable in society. From a young age children are taught to use words instead of hitting during an argument. This lesson carries forward and is a crucial part of socialization. As an adult one cannot hit somebody because they are upset- that can lead to a criminal charge...

References: Agents of socialization. (2013). Retrieved from
Barbour, C. (2008). Peer group influence . Retrieved from Barbour, C. (2008). Peer group influence . Retrieved from
Brym, R., & Lie, J. (2012). Soc+ . (p. 58). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education Ltd.
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