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  • Learn the roles of families and peer groups in socialization
  • Understand how we are socialized through formal institutions like schools, workplaces, and the government

Socialization helps people learn to function successfully in their social worlds. How does the process of socialization occur? How do we learn to use the objects of our society’s material culture? How do we come to adopt the beliefs, values, and norms that represent its nonmaterial culture? This learning takes place through interaction with various agents of socialization, like peer groups and families, plus both formal and informal social institutions.

Social group agents

Social groups often provide the first experiences of socialization. Families, and later peer groups, communicate expectations and reinforce norms. People first learn to use the tangible objects of material culture in these settings, as well as being introduced to the beliefs and values of society.

Family

Family is the first agent of socialization. Mothers and fathers, siblings and grandparents, plus members of an extended family, all teach a child what he or she needs to know. For example, they show the child how to use objects (such as clothes, computers, eating utensils, books, bikes); how to relate to others (some as “family,” others as “friends,” still others as “strangers” or “teachers” or “neighbors”); and how the world works (what is “real” and what is “imagined”). As you are aware, either from your own experience as a child or from your role in helping to raise one, socialization includes teaching and learning about an unending array of objects and ideas.

Keep in mind, however, that families do not socialize children in a vacuum. Many social factors affect the way a family raises its children. For example, we can use sociological imagination to recognize that individual behaviors are affected by the historical period in which they take place. Sixty years ago, it would not have been considered especially strict for a father to hit his son with a wooden spoon or a belt if he misbehaved, but today that same action might be considered child abuse.

Sociologists recognize that race, social class, religion, and other societal factors play an important role in socialization. For example, poor families usually emphasize obedience and conformity when raising their children, while wealthy families emphasize judgment and creativity (National Opinion Research Center 2008). This may occur because working-class parents have less education and more repetitive-task jobs for which it is helpful to be able to follow rules and conform. Wealthy parents tend to have better educations and often work in managerial positions or careers that require creative problem solving, so they teach their children behaviors that are beneficial in these positions. This means children are effectively socialized and raised to take the types of jobs their parents already have, thus reproducing the class system (Kohn 1977). Likewise, children are socialized to abide by gender norms, perceptions of race, and class-related behaviors.

Questions & Answers

difference between custom and culture
Gh Reply
costumes are made by people and every individual is having customes in there cultures.
Adil
What is conflict perspective
Najib
What is culture؟
Suha Reply
totally wey of life
TauceepH
Can anyone help me with Max Weber's theory on sociology?
NEETHU Reply
it's not Marx actually it's Weber..if u do have notes 4 dat culd me send it to me
NEETHU
wat is sociological imagination
Peter Reply
what are the important of sociology
Fatima Reply
what's meaning of sacred in sociology?
Annas Reply
Define Sociology in the light of its Subject Matter.? I need a comprehensive answer if somebody could help Please?
Sakhawat Reply
sociology is the science that studies human beings in the society
Tambi
sociology group of origanazition
Suha
difference between culture and custom
Gh
importance of sociology
Maqsood Reply
6.sociology has made broaden the outlook of man. 7 Sociology is of great importance in the solution of international problems. 
manisha
1 sociology detects and Solve Social Problems 2Sociology Helps in Planning and Development 3. Sociology makes a scientific study of Sociology 4 studies role of the institutions in the development of the individuals. 5 Helps in Preservation and Growth of Culture 6.sociology has made broaden the outl
manisha
sociology makes humans versatile
Emeka
what is sociology of education?
Ndifon Reply
what is the sociological approach to diversity in society
Paula Reply
what is the social problems?
sandip Reply
what is sociolization
Muhammad Reply
transmission of norms,values, cultures,from older to younger members of society.
Sivam
hello sir,just wanted to know when the quiz questions are send
Tambi Reply
ASSESS THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AUGUSTE COMTE AND EMILE DURKHEIM TO THE DISCIPLINE OF SOCIOLOGY
Freedom Reply
what were the social problems in Europe in 19th century?
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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