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Socialization Process: Agents, Methods and Aims

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Socialization Process: Agents, Methods and Aims

Socialization Process: Agents, Methods and Aims

Socialization is what every parent, teacher, friend, employer, and community does.

Biography 1– Azuma, age 10, lives in major metropolitan city and attends public school. He is currently in third grade. He lives with his mother and two older sisters, ages 12 and 14. Azuma really enjoys math and playing video games. His sisters think he is a pest. Azuma’s best friend is Michael, also age 10. They only get to see each other at school because they live in different communities. Azuma’s mother works full time as a paralegal in a law office in the downtown area. She commutes to work using public transportation. His eldest sister is responsible for the younger two each day after school until mom gets home. Mom appreciates the fact that she doesn’t have to pay for after-school care, but worries it is too much responsibility for her children.

Biography 2 – Esmerelda, age 16, has just given birth to a healthy 7 lb. 2 oz. daughter. They live in a rural community with Esmerelda’s two parents and her younger brother, age 12. Esmerelda attends school during the day while her mother takes care of the new born baby. Her father is a seasonal construction worker and works in the off-season stocking shelves at a local hardware store. Esmerelda plans to graduate high school and attend the local community college. The baby’s father and Esmerelda do not plan on getting married, but do plan on jointly raising their child. Both sets of grandparents enjoy being grandparents, but are not thrilled at the circumstances of the birth of their first grandchild.

As you read the two biographies and think about them, you will see that each one demonstrates a variety of sources that shape the individuals and the decisions that they make. You are seeing the socialization process in action and some of the many ways it influences our lives. As you will discover, we have five primary agents who shape our sense of identity and self-esteem. It teaches us knowledge, skills and personal traits as individuals.

Also in the process of socialization we experience different methods that provide us opportunities to learn from and grow. The goal of the socialization process is to have each of us have a positive sense of who we are and how we can participate productively as a member of different groups and communities.

As we think about the process of socialization, it is important to remember three things. One element to remember is the historical perspective. The historical context places each of us in a time period that influences our sense of right and wrong, how we dress, music we listen to, etc. A second element to remember is the importance of culture and diversity. We do not all come from the same places and therefore we do not all have the same cultural framework that grounds many of the rules we live our lives by. It is important to develop an appreciation for differences in others as we navigate our unique individual socialization experiences. A third element to remember is to maintain a global perspective as you learn about the different components of socialization. This is not just a western European experience. Young children through out the world are shaped in very complex ways by similar agents and methods of socialization, but how they look will be unique to that individual’s culture, geography and time in history.

Chapter 1 Questions: (Reflective questions for you to think about, but not to send in to me.)

1. What is your definition of “socialization?”

2. What are some of the historical changes that influence the socialization process?

3. What methods of socialization have you experienced?

4. What goals do you have for young children as a result of the socialization process?

5. What are some current issues facing young children that will impact their socialization?

Internet site to explore: Optional information for you.
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